Wednesday, November 5, 2008

72 Hours Later: President-Elect Obama

The election was called for Senator (now President-Elect) Obama almost exactly 72 hours ago. I hosted an election-night party with map & charts. Here's photos, as things were at the end of the night, and some additional thoughts with another three days of perspective.


It looks pretty well wrapped up. Indiana (home state of my lovely FW, yay!) and North Carolina has since been called for Obama, Montana for McCain. Missouri will probably go McCain. The fun thing is that Nebraska will split its electoral votes, the first time that this has ever happened (Nebraska and Maine are the only states that aren't winner-takes-all). Voters in Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District (Omaha) will send one elector to vote for Barack Obama.

That puts the final EV count at 365-173. My own prediction (393-145) proved too optimistic, as we lost Georgia, Montana, and Missouri, all of which I expected to win. However, we did win NE-02, which I did not expect.


Races not resolved in the photo:
  • Ted Stevens (R-AK), convicted felon, wildly outperformed his polling. He is currently leading by 3,500 votes out of ~200,000 counted, and there are a bunch left to count, which Nate Silver thinks will favor Begich, the challenger. But regardless, this one wasn't supposed to be close. Seriously, Alaskans... you should be ashamed of yourselves.
  • Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) is 3% ahead of Jim Martin, but a hair under 50%, so this one will go to a runoff on December 2. I can't figure out who's favored, but personally I think it'd be quite a surprise if Martin pulled it off.
  • Norm Coleman (R-MN) is currently ahead by 221 votes, or 0.01%. Despite Colemans power-hungry demand on November 5 that Al Franken concede and waive his right to the automatic recount, this one will be hand recounted. The Secretary of State is a Democrat and a nerd, so it'll be fair. Some believe that the ballots without a machine-recorded vote favor Franken. Probably no resolution until December. I think our odds are no better than 50%.
  • Gordon Smith (R-OR) was ousted by Jeff Merkley. The race was called on November 6.
Democrats will flip at least 6 seats and Republicans none, for a 57-seat Democratic majority at minimum (counting Sanders and Lieberman, Lieberman's risk of being thrown out of the caucus notwithstanding). There's a lot being said about a 60-seat filibuster-proof majority, but in reality cloture votes rarely go along party lines. The power of Republicans to be obstructionist is much, much diminished even if they retain all three seats still unresolved.


There are a few races still uncalled, but the new House stands at 255-174 so far, with Democrats netting at least 20 seats. Highlights:
  • AK-AL: Alaskans unexpectedly re-elected disgustingly corrupt Don Young. Alaska, have you no shame?
  • AZ-01: My mom's district, an open seat left by corrupt Rick Renzi (R). Flipped blue.
  • AZ-03: The netroots had hoped to retire John Shadegg, member of the Republican House leadership, but failed.
  • CO-04: Republican hate-monger Marilyn Musgrave, incumbent, was ousted.
  • CT-04: Chris Shays, the only House Republican from New England remaining, was ousted.
  • ID-01: Republican hate-monger and lunatic Bill Sali, incumbent, lost to Walt Minnik.
  • MN-03: Stayed red despite being an open seat in a swing district (Western Twin Cities suburbs).
  • MN-06: Voters sent Republican gay-bashing fundamentalist embarrassment Heather Wilson back to Washington. Shame!
  • NM-01: My home town's district. An open seat vacated by Heather Wilson (R) in her pursuit of New Mexico's Senate seat. She lost the primary. Now blue.
  • NM-02: Another New Mexico flip, now blue.
  • NM-03: Stayed blue. No surprise there, but New Mexico's Congressional delegation is now 100% Democratic.


Everyone and everything I endorsed won, with the exception of the yet-to-be-resolved Coleman-Franken race. Wow! That doesn't happen to me very often.

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