Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Live-blogging the 2012 presidential election: Forward to a brighter future or back to a darker past?

By Michael J.W. Stickings and Richard K. Barry, with Frank Moraes and tcmbpatriot, along with Carl and Mustang Bobby



6:43 pm - So. Here we are... That's how I began my live-blogging post of the 2008 election, four long years ago.

6:50 pm - No time to waste. Some polls have closed already, notably in Indiana and Kentucky, two mostly red states Romney is expected to win easily, though in Indiana what we'll be watching closely is the Senate race between Republican Richard "pregnancy from rape is a gift from God" Mourdock and Democrat Joe Donnelly. Mourdock is up, but it's very early, and our prediction is a Donnelly win.

6:54 pm - By the way, New York magazine has a very useful guide to tonight's results, including a round-up of when the polls close across the country. Check it out.

6:56 pm - Again, not much to note so far. Obviously the results are skewed because of Indiana and Kentucky. But a number of states close at 7:00, including Virginia and most of Florida. Obviously, those are two states we're all watching very closely tonight. I've predicted that Obama will win both, but they're both toss-ups.

6:58 pm - Just going to grab my homemade meatloaf sandwich along with a glass of red wine. Be back in a moment.

7:00 pm - Okay, fine. Quickly... NBC says Virginia is too close to call. No surprise there. They're also saying Georgia and South Carolina are too close to call. Yes, yes, I respect such restraint, but those aren't competitive states.

7:15 pm - You can find our predictions here. Suffice it to say we're all predicting a big win for Obama (with anywhere between 303 and 347 Electoral College votes).

7:16 pm - Watching MSNBC. Good news from Howard Fineman on apparently high turnout in Virginia, essential for Obama's hopes there tonight. But the key, he notes, is for those in line to stay in line even after the poll closes. That's the message from the Obama campaign, and it's very important. If you're there in line before the closing time, you can vote.

RKB: I really dislike the early coverage before much real data is available. I don't want to hear spin from pundits on either side at this point. The campaign is over. Just tell me what the numbers mean, if they mean anything at all in the early going. I think there should also be a moratorium on what each campaign says the early numbers mean. We know what they will say. Boring. 

7:21 pm - Obama wins Vermont! Hoo-... oh, wait. That's one of those states that elects socialists, right? 

7:22 pm - It's all about Ohio, right? Well, maybe not all, but mostly. It was the target of a carpet-bombing blitzkrieg of advertising (including Romney's lies about the auto industry) during the campaign's final stretch, and both candidates were on the ground there wooing voters (with Romney, you'll recall, setting up a phony "relief" effort after Hurricane Sandy). Well, polls close there at 7:30, as well as in North Carolina and West Virginia.

West Virginia will go Romney, not least because of his pro-coal position (Obama is pro-coal, too, unfortunately, but he's got much more nuanced positioning on energy). It's one of those states that should be Democratic given its economic troubles and working-class orientation, but it's very white and socially conservative. North Carolina is on the fringe of Obama's hopes tonight. He won it four years ago. If he wins there, he wins the election, because it means he'll roll in the other swing states, but I've got it going to Romney.

Watch for both Ohio and North Carolina to be too close to call. Duh. 

RKB: I don't know why, but I force myself to watch Fox News' coverage at times. If you knew nothing about the polls going in, you would think that Romney was the odds-on favourite to win. Brit Hume just said that Obama's turnout machine is basically the only reason things will be close. God love them, they're delusional. I'm not saying I know who is going to win, but Michael Barone and Brit Hume sure seem to know. Oh, and now Karl Rove is up. I expect him to be fair and balanced too, as usual.  

7:40 pm - Again, no surprises so far. Romney has South Carolina, West Virginia, Indiana, and Kentucky -- all as expected. Obama just has Vermont -- as expected.

7:43 pm - Not much to say... so let's look at some headlines:  

Politico : "Dan Rather's gut: 'Good day' for Mitt" -- Look, maybe his gut's right. I don't know. But I think we should look to somewhat more serious sources for our punditry.

The New Republic : "Nate Silver Is a One-Man Traffic Machine for the Times" -- I've certainly been there a lot myself.

The Huffington Post : "Chris Christie Slams 'Know-Nothing, Disgruntled' Mitt Romney Staffers" -- Is it Obama or Springsteen who's more responsible for Christie's anti-Romney turn? Initially, Obama, but there's no denying the power of The Boss over a superfan like Christie, a weepy Christie, just as there's no denying Christie's own political aspirations and massive ego.

Carl : Looks good for Obama and his firewall.

tmcbpatriot : I think I will watch FOX. If Obama wins, it will be sweet to see it happen there.

Frank : Fox News Headline: Romney takes early electoral-vote lead, with Ohio and Virginia too close to call. All of the news are just babbling. Meanwhile, Jeremy Scahill is on Democracy Now! Why aren't people listening?

7:53 pm - A lot coming up at 8:00, including Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, the rest of Florida, and most of Michigan. As well, Missouri, where we're watching McCaskill defend her seat against Todd "legitimate rape" Akin, and Massachusetts, where Democratic star Elizabeth Warren is challenging Scott Brown. (We're predicting McCaskill and Warren wins.)

Also: Illinois, which at least will give Obama some major EC votes.

Oh, almost forgot, Connecticut, where we're hoping to replace the usually execrable Joe Lieberman not with repellent Republican Linda McMahon but with Democrat Chris Murphy.

tmcbpatriot : I am just so worried about vote tampering. I can see Romney taking Ohio against all odds and there will be nothing anybody can do about it. 

8:00 pm - More calls. Pennsylvania too close to call (of course). Florida too close to call (of course). New Hampshire too close to call (of course). But the president wins Illinois (of course). And Romney wins Tennessee (of course). And Albama (of course). And Oklahoma (of course) -- climate change denialism is big there. And Mississippi (of course). And Obama wins Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, and Delaware (of course).

It's a really close race, but at the same time there's really no obvious drama so far. Romney is winning some states by such a large margin that they're easy to call. Obama is doing the same in some states, but the key to any Obama victory is wins in tight swing states. And indeed it's Romney's big wins in overwhelmingly red states that will help him in terms of the popular vote.

"What we didn't know before we still don't know," said Rachel Maddow just now. She's right.

8:05 pm - Independent Angus King wins the open Senate seat in Maine. No surprise. He apparently likes Obama, so he may caucus with the Democrats. And Bill Nelson beats Connie Mack in Florida. Also not a surprise, but it's good to see the Democrat win there, obviously, holding the seat.

8:07 pm - No call in New Jersey, but that's because of the storm and a delay in voting. It's too early, that is, not too close. Obama will win there.

8:08 pm - McCaskill and Warren are both leading. Good news.

RKB : CNN exit poll has Obama up by 5 in Pennsylvania. Not to rely too much on it, but that's good.

tmcbpatriot : So far Virginia is looking like it might go red! Nate was wrong there. Okay, now I am worried.

8:13 pm - From what Chuck Todd is saying, it looks like Florida may go to Romney by a slim margin, perhaps less than 100,000 votes. Obviously, Romney needs to win it. I predicted an Obama win, but I wasn't exactly confident about it. It's okay, I suppose, if the president doesn't win there, as he can get to 270 without it, but it just puts more emphasis on Ohio, Virginia, etc.

But here's my concern: If Romney does a bit better than expected in Florida, does that mean he'll do a bit better than expected everywhere else? And if so, will it be enough to put him over the top?

tmcbpatriot : The fix is in, man. No way the Koch brothers allow Obama to win. Just not possible. I will actually be surprised if this goes to Obama. I know that is a downer, but I just cant believe the right will just let this slip away without cheating. Is it that hard to believe?

Frank : This is going slowly. The networks won't call Ohio lightly. And because of Romney's feint, they won't call Pennsylvania lightly either.

tmcbpatriot : I can't believe George "Macaca" Allen is going to be back. How the fuck did that happen?

Frank : @tmcbpatriot -- Racism is back in a big way! 

RKB : I know this is a completely silly thing to say, but the Fox News folks seem very down. Sure, their mouths say it's close, but their eyes say it may be over. Speaking of silly, Sarah Palin is up next.

8:29 pm - Yeah, but it worries me that Chris Matthew et al. on MSNBC are talking about voter suppression, as if they're trying to explain in advance a shocking Romney win. 

tmcbpatriot : Exit polling says Obama, but Romney's numbers keep going up.

Frank : The one heartening part of this thus far is that the voting is going exactly as the polls suggested. I wish I had stock in Nate Silver. But the problem spots are where there is voter suppression: mostly Ohio, Florida. 

Frank : Nate Silver indicates that Romney is winning Chesterfield County, Virginia by the same amount that McCain did. Obama won Virginia last time so this is Good News. Unless you are for Romney. In which case: do you realize you are reading The Reaction?

8:31 pm - Murphy beats McMahon in Connecticut. Great news.

Carl : The Maine Senate race may be the big loss for Republicans.

tmcbpatriot : Talking Points Memo says, "Second round exit polls continue to look quite promising for President Obama." 

tmcbpatriot : I just want to see Ed Gillespie with a foot up his ass. I just think the GOP knows something the rest of us don't. When you have Karl Rove working for you, it is just not possible for it to be on the up and up.

Frank : CNN indicates that Orange Country, Florida is going exactly the same as it did in 2008. More Good News.

tmcbpatriot : Virginia is still open for voting. The polls there are not closed. They are still accepting voters until those in line by 7 pm have voted. This election is going to have a huge turnout. People there waiting up to four hours to vote. I wonder how many just gave up.

Frank : @Carl -- Why is Maine such a big loss for Republicans? Just that King will likely caucus with Democrats? 

8:46 pm - Should I note that Obama has won Romney's home state of Massachusetts? 

tmcbpatriot : So far Ohio has Obama way up, but still way to early to call. 

8:53 pm - There's been a lot of talk about how expensive this election has been, how much has been spent. Here's Frank with an interesting point, and a link to an article well worth reading:

Frank : Matthew O'Brien at The Atlantic reports that as percent GDP, the election of 1896 was 4x as expensive as this one. Also, 1932 and 1968 were slightly more expensive. 

8:55 pm - So there. 

8:56 pm - Major poll closings at 9:00, notably Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the rest of Michigan. And also, in terms of major EC votes, New York.

To quote NYmag: "This is the crucial hour for Obama: The latest polls show him right around 50 percent with leads of about five points in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. And if those numbers hold up, he will be very hard to beat. Indeed, if Obama has already carried Ohio (or Virginia plus New Hampshire), these three states would give him the 270 electoral votes necessary to win. This is tough ground for Romney..."

My anxiety is ridiculous.

Frank : From The Fix: "The electorate that showed up to vote today in Ohio appears similar to the one that delivered the state to President Obama in 2008 — if not slightly better for the incumbent." 

tmcbpatriot : No need to point out Obama taking Mass. They are not stupid. They had him as their governor, after all. No surprise Connecticut is totally blue again for all open seats. Forever blue.

Frank : Michigan goes for Obama as soon as the polls close. I can't believe Unskewed Polls got that wrong!

9:03 pm - I appreciate your sarcasm, Frank. 

Frank : Ezra Klein reports that 52% of people at exit polls blame the economy on Bush. Who says Americans are stupid?

9:07 pm - Alright. My former home state of New Jersey, for which I still hold a great deal of fondness, has been called for Obama. NBC, at least, had been holding off given that there's been an extension for voting because of the storm, but the result was really never in doubt.

9:13 pm - Of course, it's also significant that Romney lost another of his home states (his birth state, in fact), Michigan. I never thought he had much of a chance there, but for a time it was looking unpleasantly close.

Also, while Pennsylvania hasn't been called yet, it's good to see that Casey won re-election in his Senate race. Not exactly my favourite Democrat, but you take what you can get.

9:15 pm - And Pennsylvania goes for Obama!!!!!!!!!! 

Not a surprise -- the Romney-Ryan effort there was just a late-campaign act of desperation -- but still. It's a big state. Basically, Obama holds what needed to be held, while Romney loses what could have been a ticket to victory, particularly should he lose Ohio.

tmcbpatriot : Nate Silver live-blogging reiterates: Mr. Obama was projected to 49.797 percent of the vote in Florida, and Mr. Romney 49.775 percent, a difference of two-hundredths of a percentage point. We'll see, won't we? So far it is literally 50/50 with 76% counted. 

Frank : Remember Nate Silver (I talk about him so much I ought be on a first name basis!) called Florida for Obama by 0.022 percentage points. (That's not a misprint!) And Florida is looking like it will be that close. A recount is likely. 

tmcbpatriot : Mike Huckleberry says on FOX 30 minutes ago: GOP Has "done a pathetic job of reaching out to people of color." No shit, Huck.  

Frank: Fox is calling Pennsylvania for Obama. You want sarcasm, Michael?! You can't take my sarcasm! Okay, a little: I'm beginning to think all these Republicans (George Will, Dick Morris) were just talking out their asses.

As usual. 

tmcbpatriot : Just read a tweet that Mass. is being called for Elizabeth Warren! I am starting get very excited! 

tmcbpatriot : Alan Grayson retakes his seat in Florida. That's great news! 

9:25 pm - Okay, I'm going to get a drink. Maybe some Bourbon. 

tmcbpatriot : @Frank -- Way to go, racism! Missed ya!  

tmcbpatriot : Mountain states are now in play. Obama takes early lead in Colorado. I am not going to get excited just yet. A lot of gun nuts out there. Aside from Boulder, it's full of nutjobs. 

9:28 pm - No Bourbon yet. NBC just called Wisconsin for Obama. Huge. 

9:29 pm - We haven't talked about the gubernatorial races yet tonight, and we didn't blog about them much during the campaign, but I should mention that the Democrats held New Hampshire, with Maggie Hassan beating Ovide Lamontagne. Also, incumbent Democrat Jay Nixon seems to be doing well in Missouri, a generally Republican state.

But it's not all good news... The Republicans have flipped North Carolina, with Pat McCrory beating Walter Dalton.

9:32 pm - Sherrod Brown wins in Ohio. He's the incumbent senator, and it's an important seat to hold. 

9:34 pm - And here's Richard back:

RKB : John King is pointing out that southeast sections of Florida with a lot of vote to come in are strongly Democratic. The same may be true for sections of Virginia outside of DC. Obama is expected to do well there and it could make up the current deficit. Also surprised that North Carolina is so close. They are also saying the African-American population in and around Philadelphia is coming out strong, making Pennsylvania a good bet for Obama. 

9:35 pm - NBC is saying Tammy Baldwin is leading Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin. I predicted Baldwin. It's going to be close.

tmcbpatriot : Obama takes New Hampshire!!!! It's tipping!!!!!! 

tmcbpatriot : @Frank -- Did George and Dick predict Pennsylvania for Romney

tmcbpatriot : Quote of the night so far: Scott Pelley of CBS News: "Mitt Romney's chances are shrinking fast."

9:40 pm - It's Ohio, Ohio, Ohio. 

Frank : It is interesting to watch Fox. They are so focused on Florida as though it is the key state. Of course, Obama wasn't even planning on winning the state a couple of weeks ago. They don't need it. But they have to put a happy face on an election that looks to be going against them. Thus, they can make their viewers happy if Romney pulls Florida out, even if he loses the whole race.

9:47 pm - Elizabeth Warren wins!!!!! This makes me very happy, even more so Richard, who has a massive crush on her. Great pickup for the Dems, and an important new voice to have in the Senate.

Frank : New Hampshire for Obama. Fox calls Indiana for Donnelly!

9:49 pm - Great to see Mourdock going down in Indiana. A truly reprehensible man, even by Republican standards. And of course he was the Tea Party candidate who took down Lugar, one of the few admirable Republicans left in Washington. It's called political suicide, and the Republicans committed it in Indiana.

9:50 pm - Yes, New Hampshire is important, too. It was always leaning Obama, but of course it's Romney's backyard and is the sort of libertarian-leaning state that tends to be attracted to Republicans like Romney. 

RKB : Chuck Todd is already doing the Romney post-mortem, saying Romney simply hasn't kept up with national demographic changes.

Frank : @tmcbpatriot - Yep.

tmcbpatriot : Another great tweet: "By the way - Romney and Ryan lost in their home states while Obama and Biden won theirs." 

9:56 pm - Big poll closings coming up at 10:00, including Iowa and Nevada. I'm predicting both for Obama, but they're still swing states that shouldn't be taken for granted. 

Also Montana, where Gov. Jon Tester, a Democrat, is trying to fend off Republican Denny Rehberg. Recent polls have been incredibly close. I predicted Tester by a hair or two.

Frank : I think the TV stations have run out of things to report without calling Ohio. It is certainly looking like Ohio will go to Obama. But even if not, I'm not sure that Romney can win. If Romney wins Ohio, Iowa, and Florida, it could be tied at 269. 

tmcbpatriot : Chris Murphy giving his speech. Maybe he will throw a pie in Joe Lieberman's face. That would be a fitting end to his career.

10:00 pm - Too early to call in Iowa and Nevada, but Obama has a lead in both states.

Romney wins Utah? Noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10:04 pm - Okay, I just poured myself some Elmer T. Lee, a tasty single-barrel Bourbon from Frankfort, Kentucky. Good stuff.

10:06 pm - And Akin goes down. McCaskill wins re-election. Things weren't looking all that good for her until Akin made his infamous rape comments. Also not one of my favourite Dems, but she'll do -- and it's not like Missouri is about to elect a progressive.

tmcbpatriot : Nate, let's just call him Nate, says: "Ohio has been slow to count its vote, but President Obama has gotten reasonably strong results so far in south-central Ohio, often beating his 2008 margins there. In Ross County, Ohio, home to the town of Chillicothe, Mr. Obama trails Mitt Romney by only one percentage point with about 80 percent of the vote counted. Mr. Obama lost the county by eight percentage points to John McCain in 2008."

Carl : In Florida, most of remaining uncounted votes in Broward and Dade counties. About to go Obama.

RKB : How do you know when one side is losing? Their pundits continue to litigate the campaign after the polls close. Creepy Liz Cheney is criticizing the new Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, over the non-story about her Native American heritage. Oh Liz, crawl away with your miserable daddy. 

tmcbpatriot : Um... guys? Obama is up by 15,000 votes in Florida. 

Frank : You want sarcasm?! Check out this tweet from Nerd Hero Ezra Klein: "Well I, for one, am shocked that Dick Morris's predictions aren't holding up. I bet Fox News will stop treating him like an expert now."

10:10 pm - I've been on the phone with Richard several times tonight. I'll give him credit. He's been optimistic where I've been pessimistic. And now it's boiling over:

RKB : Obama is up by one in Florida, but the outstanding vote is in strong Democratic areas. Good night, folks. It's over.

10:11 pm - I thought the election would be called between 10:00 and 10:30. Still waiting on Ohio, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, Colorado...

Frank : Great Matt Yglesias tweet: "If your candidate says something insane and repugnant about rape, the electorate has a way of shutting the whole thing down."

Frank : Nate Silver reports that Romney is only up by 2 percentage points with half the votes counted. This is much closer than I expected.

Frank : My friend Will just voted and they were out of "I Voted!" stickers. California elections are out of control!

10:16 pm - NBC calls the Nebraska Senate race for the Republican, Deb Fischer, who beats big-name Democrat Bob Kerrey. Yes, big-name, but he didn't really have much of a shot. He's been out of the state for too long, running the New School in New York, and it's a solidly Republican state.

Frank : Greta Van Susteren asks Sarah Palin how we are going to come togetheras a nation. Priceless! Palin also points out that the debt is going to balloon under Obama because government something. Of course, Obama has cut the deficit that he inherited by 1/3. But that fact is not allowed on Fox News. 

10:19 pm - Obama advisor Robert Gibbs just said people waiting in line to vote should stay in line and vote, reiterating a key message tonight. He tells friends to take them food and water. Good advice, but does it seem to anyone else that the U.S. resembles a developing "Third World" country? This is what you'd expect in, like, Rwanda, not what we are constantly being told is the greatest fucking country in the history of the universe.

Frank : CBS says Ohio and Nevada "leaning" toward Obama. 

tmcbpatriot: Twitter is saying Tammy Duckworth has beaten Joe Walsh in Illinois. Can it be this beautiful?

Frank: Dennis Kucinich on Democracy Now! blasting the drone program. More than ever, we need him. 

Frank: Good tweet from They Might Be Giants (the band, not the movie that is way under-rated): "A manipulated cynical partisan mess--looks like Florida is going to be this years Florida."

tmcbpatriot: CBS News says Nevada likely going for Obama. Romney is in the trash compactor on the Death Star saying "3PO! Where can he be?!"\

tmcbpatriot: Looks like Allen West may pull off another win. Republicans somehow keep the majority in the House. 9% approval and so many Tea Party incumbents keep their jobs. Bachmann ahead as well. Glad I don't live in those counties. I would have to move.

10:34 pm - By the way, make sure to check out the live-blogging at Nate Silver's place, if you haven't already.

Frank: My man Nate says the popular vote is going more Romney's way because there was little polling of deep red states where he seems to be doing better. I do not want to see a popular vote defeat for Obama. That's why I decided to vote for Obama even though I'm in California. 

tmcbpatriot: They are saying Florida is going to be close, but Obama is way ahead with 90% counted. Hard to believe it may be Florida that calls it for O. They may have redeemed themselves. 

10:37 pm - We'll see. I wouldn't give Floridians any credit yet.

Frank: @tmcbpatriot -- I call a halt of all Star Wars analogies! 

tmcbpatriot: I am sure guitarist Joe Walsh will be happy to not be mistakenly called an asshole anymore. Way to go, Tammy! 

10:39 pm - I'm exhausted. 

10:44 pm - And Obama wins Minnesota. Oh, if only Romney had picked Pawlenty... (kidding). 

Chuck Todd is looking at the votes remaining in Ohio, Virginia, and Florida and making a good case for Obama's chances in all three states. Solidly blue areas with big populations, like Ohio's Cuyahoga County and Florida's Miami-Dade County, still with a lot to report. 

Frank: Jon Schwartz (Tiny Revolution) tweets: "Nate Silver being right brings up the very real and terrifying possibility that climate scientists are too." 

tmcbpatriot: "The Sad Faces of Fox News on Election Night."

Frank: I gave up hoping for the House around the first debate. This is still a good night.

10:48 pm - Akin talking about Almighty God instead of Almighty Government. Such an asshole, so remarkably full of shit. What a bitter, delusional speech from a bitter, delusional man.

Frank: My man Nate: "Early bellwethers in Colorado bode well for Barack Obama."

RKB: In the event Obama wins the EV and loses the popular vote, let me say this: If the rules of the game had been different, Obama would have run a different campaign. He would have run ads in Mississippi and South Carolina. He would have had sophisticated GOTV operations in every state. Everyone payed by the rules of the game as they are and should be judged accordingly. 

10:50 pm - That's a great point. Someone else made it earlier... oh, Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic. Obama would have campaigned in those red states, but he also would have worked harder in solidly blue states like New York and California. It's impossible to know what would have happened, but I tend to think Obama would have won a popular vote contest.

10:52 pm - And here's David Axelrod on MSNBC. As Rachel noted, he doesn't have to shave off his moustache because Obama won Minnesota, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. 

10:56 pm - Kaine beats Allen in Virginia!!!!! Wow. I predicted that, but I was pretty unsure of it.

10:57 pm - The Atlantic has some great live-blogging, too. And notes that marriage equality appears to be doing well across the country.

More good live-blogging: The Atlantic Wire, ThinkProgress, and Nate Cohn et al. at The New Republican.

10:58 pm - And here's our friend Mustang Bobby:

Bobby: Is it wrong to laugh sardonically at the wincing concession speeches of Republican losers like Todd Akin in Missouri? Why, no, not at all.

Frank: From a man who ought to know, Al Gore: "I am confident in saying that President Obama is going to carry the state of Florida tonight."

tmcbpatriot: "Joe the Plumber" loses bid for Congress in Ohio. He was running? Good lord.

Frank: I've been following Google News closely this evening. The Fox News headlines are always biased. The most recent: "Republicans keep control of House, Senate battle still too close to call." House, yes; Senate, not so much. But they are all pitched this way. They do know that eventually the facts will come out, right?

11:01 pm - Uh... no. They don't.

tmcbpatriot: Florida has to be about to be called for Obama. 91% reporting and Obama up by about 30,000 votes! How could he lose? Not even a need for a recount. But then this is Floriduh.

11:02 pm - I'm still not terribly optimistic about Florida, though obviously it looks like Obama has a decent shot at winning.

tmcbpatriot: Man, Jesse Jackson Jr. won. Dude totally lost it and still won! Illinois, baby. True blue, from me to you.

11:03 pm - Very, very safe seat. It's not nearly as blue when you go south. In fact, it's a bit like Alabama down there.

Carl: Obama needs a 45,000 vote margin in Florida to avoid recount. He's up 16,000 now.

11:04 pm - NBC is calling Romney the "apparent winner" in North Carolina. Okay, we were on a roll, and that's a bit of a setback. But, again, not terribly surprising. Most of us here picked it for Romney. (As Frank notes, though, Obama did surprisingly well there, and that says something.)

Did I mention that Obama won California? Funny how the largest state in the union is an afterthought.

Frank: @RKB -- Exactly. You play the game by the rules. If it had been different, there would have been a big GOTV campaign here in California. This doesn't mean the electoral college isn't evil

Frank: The Denver Post calls Colorado for Obama. Meanwhile, it looks like Paul Ryan will remain in the House. Better there than the White House.

11:09 pm - NBC calls Iowa for Obama. As predicted, but still one of those contested swing states. Three cheers for ethanol... (kidding).

11:11 pm - Here's the link to the article at The Denver Post projecting an Obama win in Colorado.

tmcbpatriot: Okay, no more Star Wars analogies. Couldn't help myself. Sorry. 

Bobby: It looks like the only way Romney can win is if Congress votes tonight to admit Puerto Rico as a state and he wins there.

11:12 pm - And here we go... Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NBC projects Obama to win Ohio.

And projects that Obama has won!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Frank: Matt Taibbi just tweeted, "I was wrong. Tonight doesn't suck." Indeed!

11:22 pm - A trememdous loss for billionaires who thought they could buy the election, says Ed Schultz. I'm not as confident that democracy is really and truly alive and well, but this is certainly a significant victory.

tmcbpatriot: FOX is awesome right now. They are in shock. They cant believe what is happening around them. Four years of lies and millions and millions and people still did not buy the bullshit. That is inspiring... Everyone at FOX is wearing oxygen masks. I can't wait to listen to Rush Limpballs tomorrow. Oh man, I do love it so.

tmcbpatriot: "Romney Finished Writing Victory Speech Tuesday" -- Guess that fucker should have waited one more day.

11:27 pm - Loved this headline earlier at CNN: "Romney: I've only written a victory speech." Yes, fine, he had to say that, but still.

And there was this, too. When he landed in Pittsburgh today, he was greeted by a fairly large group of supporters and was asked how he felt about that: "That's when you know you're gonna win."

Feel free to let the guffaws flow.

11:33 pm - Check out the coverage of Obama's victory at the NYT and WaPo. And for some non-American perspectives, the BBC, The Globe and Mail, and the Toronto Star

Frank: @tmcbpatriot -- Is this great?! It's just like at the end of Star... Forget that.

tmcbpatriot: No shit! A hard-fought fight. We did our part. I am damn proud of that. 

11:39 pm - I am, too. We all should be.

Frank: CNN calls the Senate for the Democrats.

11:40 pm - Well, yes. That was clear.

Oh, Rachel just reported that the Romney campaign is not conceding Ohio. Interesting.

Frank : Digby is an evil pixie! She retweeted an Ann Coulter tweet from this morning: "I can't see a scenario where Romney wins less than 273 electoral votes." Now she'll be blackballed from the all the news shows!

tmcbpatriot: The Republican funeral is happening live in Boston. It's like porn for me. 

Frank: Jonathan Chait: "Conservatives made a huge bet: 2012 or Never. They got never."

11:42 pm - Great, great line. And absolutely true.

11:43 pm - "This was one of the toughest environments ever for an incumbent." -- Steve Schmidt on MSNBC.

tmcbpatriot : FOX is actually still saying Ohio is still a close call. They are insane and totally is shock. Peggy Noonan is committing harakiri on live TV right now.

Frank: Greta is grilling Fox's numbers guys. It can't be true! It can't be true!

11:50 pm - Rachel just noted that while Fox has called Ohio (and the election) for Obama, the on-air "talent" is refusing to concede anything, refusing to say it's over. (At which point Chris Matthews wondered about the use of the word "talent.")

11:52 pm - Chuck Todd back. Okay, even if Cuyahoga County doesn't go Obama's way, the president is ahead in Virginia (yes, he's taken the lead there) and Florida, and of course there's still Colorado and Nevada.

11:53 pm - Rachel: Karl Rove, a Fox News contributor and also one of Romney's biggest bankrollers (in terms of outside Super PAC support) is telling his network to rescind the call on Ohio.

Crazy, eh? This is what conservatism has become. This is the face of the Republican Party.

Extremism, denialism, obstructionism -- and as Rachel is pointing out, this is just like the Republican opposition to basic facts, to math. They are completely blinded by ideology and partisanism.

They are anti-democratic, anti-American, and anti-Enlightenment, and what they want to take us back to is the darkness of the Middle Ages.

11:54 pm - Todd also says projection is that Obama will win the popular vote by 1-1.5 points. He's less than 200,000 behind now, with most of the remaining votes coming from the west coast. 

Bobby: Okay, now let's go take away all the guns, turn all the kids gay, and start setting up the FEMA camps. 

12:01 am - That's funny. I was just about to pull that quote over from MB's election post.

Frank: Charles Krauthammer is complaining on Fox that Obama didn't campaign on the issues Charles Krauthammer cares about.

12:03 am - How about this? Let's stop caring about anything Krauthammer says.

tmcbpatriot: Blasts from the past: 

George Will to Republicans: "If you can't win this election, get out of politics."

Nancy Pelosi: "Everybody know Mitt Romney won't be president."

Bryan Fischer: "If Barack Obama wins this election, the Republican Party as we know it is finished."

Newt Gingrich predicts Romney victory of 53-47 percent. 

Joe Scarborough: "Anybody that thinks this race is anything but a tossup right now is such an ideologue. They should be kept away from typewriters, computers, laptops and microphones for the next ten days because they're jokes." 

Ann Coulter: "If you don't run, Chris Christie, Romney will be the nominee and will lose."

David Brooks: "[Nate] Silver may be a one-term celebrity."

Eric Bolling after the latest job report: "This is official. Mitt Romney will now win the election."

Ari Fleischer: "Prediction time: The election wont end tuesday night. 7 states will be decided by 1 pt or less (VA, OH, CO, IA, PA, WI, NH)"

George Will predicts Romney win with 321 electoral votes. 

12:05 am - Hilarious. Thanks for putting that together.

tmcbpatriot: This night is not over. I now live for Romney's concession speech. I love the smell of crow in the evening. Smells like... victory. Can we do Apocalypse Now quotes? Please? 

Frank: Did I mention Colorado legalized (on a state level) cannabis? I'm not a fan of the drug, but this is a great thing! 

Frank: Is it news that Trump is calling the election invalid? 

12:08 pm - By the way, I agree with Ed Schultz to a point that this refusal to concede is a power play by the Republicans.

This is not to say the Romney campaign isn't in denial. At the end of a long campaign that you thought you could win, it's hard to let it go, to give up, to admit defeat. And of course the various wackos on Fox News are in denial, too. They just can't accept that Obama has won, not the Kenyan-Indonesian socialist they think is the worst thing ever to happen to America. But part of what's going on here, and it's been going on for a while now, is a concerted campaign of de-legitimization (or illegitimization) of the president. By talking up voter fraud (against all the evidence that it's not a significant problem) and suggesting that Obama and the Dems somehow stole the election, they're hoping to create a narrative for Obama's second term, one they'll try to hammer home again and again over the next four years.

And before you tell me that Dems did the same thing to Bush after the 2000 election, let me just say that that was completely different. In that case, the Republican-leaning Supreme Court stepped in and stopped a recount in Florida and might have found Gore to have been the winner of the election. It wasn't about Gore winning the popular vote nationally, it was about the Court handing the election to Bush. And even then, Democrats stopped challenging Bush pretty quickly. Yes, 9/11 happened, and the country rallied behind Bush for a time, but even before then voices saying Bush was and illegitimate president were isolated on the left-wing fringe and not accepted within the Democratic mainstream.

The campaign against Obama that we've witnessed the last four years and that will continue over the next four is very much a central part of the Republican Party and everything it stands for. And what we're witnessing tonight from the likes of Karl Rove is both more of the same and a call to arms for Republicans in Obama's second term.

Yes, it's that ugly. Yes, the Republican Party is that vicious and malevolent.

12:19 pm - Nevada's been called for Obama, too, by the way.

And, Rachel says, no call yet from Romney to Obama. In defeat as well, he remains a privileged rich douchebag with a plutocratic sense of entitlement.

tmcbpatriot: Final thoughts: Lots of people voted, Nate Silver just got a raise, and I am wiped out. Good night, folks. It's been fun.

12:41 pm - Good night, patriot. Fun indeed. And exhausting. I don't have much left in the tank. 

12:48 pm - Romney speaking at 12:55. Will he actually show some maturity while the rest of his party has its collective head up its collective ass?

Frank: I leave you with one more tweet from Matt Yglesias: "This has to be one of those nights when Romney’s regretting the whole no drinking thing."

Good night, America!

12:50 pm - Good night, Frank. Thanks for all you've done tonight. 

12:55 pm - Heeeeeeeeeeeeere's Mitt!

Okay, he concedes. And says the election is over.

Nice way to open the speech, nice reaction from some in the crowd. Looks like he's got some decency in him after all. He may have had some all along, but it was hard to see during the campaign -- that relentless deluge of dishonesty with which he tried to sucker the American people, first during the Republican primaries and then right up to the very end.

This is the tone of the "Moderate Mitt" who used to have some credibility, the guy who did well for himself, and got things done (like, you know, Romneycare) before he sold his soul to the devils who run the Republican Party.

But the message he's sending now -- that it's not a time for partisanship -- is not a message that will go over well with his party. It didn't when McCain tried it four years ago, and it won't now, not with Republicans already trying to de-legitimize President Obama again, already preparing for four more years of the same.

Well, that was brief. But it's late. And he looks tired. I can't believe I'm writing this, but... well done, Mitt. Well done.

Frank: Hello, America! Mitt Romney is giving a good concession speech. He sounds calm for the
first time ever.

1:03 am - Yes, he rose to the occasion, as Al Sharpton just said. But, again, it hardly matters -- and it won't "begin a new dialogue in the country." No one will care what Romney thinks about anything after tonight, especially in the Republican Party. The election is over, but it's also over for Romney.

1:05 pm - Oh, more great news: Baldwon beat Thompson in Wisconsin! (Another correct prediction for me!)

Still waiting on Montana, where Tester's up with a third of the vote counted.

Frank: As for the popular vote, here's Nate Silver, "As of 11:45 p.m., however, Mr. Obama trailed Mitt Romney by only about 150,000 votes nationally, a margin he should be able to make up on the West Coast." 

1:14 pm - Okay, President Obama will shortly be making his victory speech in Chicago. Meanwhile, we're still waiting for the results from Florida, Virginia, and Nevada. Actually, no, we're not. NBC isn't calling those three states yet, but CNN is calling Virginia and Nevada for Obama, bringing his total to 303 EC votes. All that's left is Florida, and it's looking pretty good.

And if he wins Florida, then my prediction will be exactly right: 332 to 206. And it also looks like the Dems will pick up one Senate seat, which is also what I predicted. I'm no Nate Silver, but I'm pretty happy with my calls.

I think we'll sign off now. I expect a good speech from the president. A very different one than what he gave four years ago, when his win was so historic and so emotional -- I myself broke into tears as I watched on TV -- but one that is perfectly suited to the occasion: a close election, tough times, a lot of work ahead.

A huge thank you to the great friends I have here at The Reaction, my fellow bloggers who joined me here tonight. What a night! And of course to all of you who came along for the ride or who found this post at a later time. I hope we kept it informative and entertaining.

I'm so very happy that President Obama won. We work hard to keep this blog going, and we've spent so much time, as non-professionals who have jobs and families and various other responsibilities, on this election. It ain't easy, but we love it. And this year Richard and I also had the pleasure of being on the Obama campaign's media list, meaning we got the campaign e-mails and were invited to briefing calls throughout the campaign. It's been great.

But there is indeed a lot to be done, and we'll be back at it soon enough, including with more analysis of tonight's results, after we rest up from this long night and this incredibly long post, the longest this blog has ever seen. Stay tuned.

1:29 am - Good night, everyone.

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  • According to Nate at 538, Fairfax Co. in VA is heavily Dem so it's possible that vote is not in yet.

    By Blogger Kevin Robbins, at 8:18 PM  

  • Thanks for the Fox link, Tmcbpatriot. Victory is sweet.

    By Blogger Infidel753, at 11:06 PM  

  • YES!

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 11:25 PM  

  • I'm not sure how on earth President Obama prevailed over the array of powerful and sinister forces arrayed against him. But he did---and he's now going to be our president for the next four years.

    It's quite an impressive accomplishment. Consider all the obstacles Obama faced:

    1. "Citizens United" which pretty much handed over to rich & powerful corporations the right to buy elections in America. Obama somehow overcame the vast sums of money that the likes of ExxonMobil and Walmart and the Koch brothers were able to throw into Romney's campaign. I'm not sure how Obama prevailed. And I'm certain that, despite this victory, the threat to American democracy that Citizens United poses remains very real and ongoing. "Citizens United" will continue to threaten American democracy until it is repealed.

    2. The vast GOP propaganda apparatus of Fox "News," Drudge, Limbaugh and the rest of hatewing radio. Despite their vicious and relentless attacks on Obama, somehow the truth prevailed.

    3. Romney's constant flipflops and outrageous lies. Romney is the biggest liar to ever pursue the office of president. Considering that the mainstream media rarely even bothered to counter his lies, it's astonishing that more people weren't deluded into supporting him.

    4. Various GOP dirty tricks. From the shenanigans involving voting machines in Ohio to the GOP's suppression of the voting rights of minorities, things turned out infinitely better than what a lot of us progressives had dared to hope for.

    Congratulations to President Obama. Here's to another four years.

    By Blogger Marc McDonald, at 1:06 AM  

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