EDITOR’S NOTE: Return to this post often to see some links and quotes from weblogs of varying opinions on the races and political developments. Updates will be placed ON TOP in this roundup. Links will be picked at random from a variety of viewpoints. Refresh TMV often to see the latest.
7:45 PM PST:
A videotape of a poll worker in Houston’s #202 precinct has corroborated reports received by Pajamas Media of voter intimidation today in the Texas city by the New Black Panther Party. The New Black Panthers have been at the center of the controversy surrounding a dropped prosecution by the Department of Justice that is being investigated by the US Civil Rights Commission.
So CNN just released the first bit of actually revealing national exit poll data: President Obama’s job approval rating is 45 percent positive, 54 percent negative (looks like no one is ambivalent).
Comparing this to some of the final polls, the final ABC/Washington Post poll, which gave Republicans only a 4-point advantage in House voting, had the Obama ratio at 46/52. The final Gallup “low-turnout” estimate, which gave Republicans a gigantic 15-point margin, had the Obama ratio at 40/56. So based on this one data point, it looks like a wave, but maybe not a tsunami.
It’s a bloodbath in the House. However, that is not yet been proven to be the case in the Senate. It’s still too early to say. Ohio looks pitiful in the House and Senate, but pretty good in the governor’s race, which is the most important. My initial assessment is that we’re getting killed in the midwest in any district that doesn’t have a substantial number of racial minorities. This is basically what I feared based on the resiliency of the Birth Certificate “secret Muslim” crap. This is a culture war, and we just took a standing-eight count. There are some surprises for the Republicans though. They might lose the state house in South Carolina, and there are a couple of House seats that might fall that people weren’t thinking about. Overall, though, we’re going to be in pitched combat over the next two years, fighting off a pit bull of hate.
7:20 PM PST: (NOTE an earlier version of this wiped out all of the other links. THIS RESTORES THEM):
7:20 PM PST:
—Larry Sabato on Twitter:
If raw exit poll data in WV-Sen holds and Manchin wins, GOP chances to take Senate probably disappear, as expected.
Republicans shouldn’t gloat. With their low approval rating, voters will reject them again in 2 years if they don’t perform.
And ready for this: Joe “You Lie” Wilson is losing by 3600 votes with 34% of the vote in… If Wilson/Grayson lose, victory for civility?
7:05 PM PST:
Sharron Angle is using numbers that are allegedly leaked exit polls to get out the vote.
Earlier this evening, the Drudge Report and the Huffington Post reported that Democratic Sen. Harry Reid and his GOP opponent were tied in exit polls conducted for a media research company.
Angle’s campaign wasted no time sending out an email shortly before 7 p.m. which urged Nevadans to head to the polls.
The bottom line is, media exit polls are showing this race is a dead heat right now. This election really is going to be decided in the next 4 hours. If you know ANYONE who has not gotten out and voted, you have to call them right now, and make sure they go vote for Sharron Angle.
Although relatively few tossup races have been called in the House, Republicans hold leads in most of them, and our model now expects them to somewhat overperform its expectations going into the evening. It’s now forecasting a 60-seat gain for them, and has Democrats with just a 5 percent chance of holding the House. Frankly, this night is looking slightly anticlimactic, with both the House and the Senate having moved in relatively clear directions so far.
FLASH !!! Exit Polls Indicate A GOP Night, Some Say Bigger Bloodbath Than Predicted
While the Network exit polls cannot predict winners as of yet, the exit polls are indicating that the GOP blowout may be bigger than expected. At this writing only a handful of states have closed. But Turnout nationally seems to be favoring the more conservative candidates.
Only a quarter blame Obama for the ailing economy—but about half think his policies are hurting the country. Fifty-six percent say the government is doing too much.
What more, really, do you need to know?
One early exception to the trend: Chris Coons. You know, the Delaware guy who ran against Christine O’Donnell, the most covered candidate of the season, despite the fact that she had no chance to win. She must have cast a spell on the media.
If the speaker’s gavel passes from Nancy Pelosi to John Boehner, along with committee chairmanships and control of the floor, it will fundamentally alter the second half of Obama’s first term. The result will be either absolute gridlock or a grudging cooperation, if the two sides choose to make a few Clintonian deals during the positioning for 2012.
On the plus side, the president will have a foil, someone to blame for lack of progress, now that his party won’t control all the levers of Washington power. But make no mistake: the activist phase of Obama’s presidency is over and he will be fighting a rear-guard action to preserve his health care plan and other priorities.
The House is looking bad for Dems, the Senate is looking good.
How bad is the tv coverage so far? I know Harold Ford has said all kinds of crazy s—, but he doesn’t bother me anymore since mistermix’s excellent post. But Gergen, Bobo, Joe Scar, Carville/Matalin, Candy Crowley….I can’t even say it…Halperin. Is it please-shoot-me bad or global-extinction-event bad?
What’s the meme, liberal overreach, right-center nation, or some as-yet-unimagined (by me) horror?
6:35 PM PST:
For the record, it is voting day. I voted–straight Democratic Party line this time, with the singular exception of my congressman, Thaddeus McCotter, who’s a good man. Did you vote, and if so, how did you vote?
I’m so glad we live in a country where we get to resolve our issues this way.
By the way, I expect Republicans to do exceedingly well tonight. They’ll pick up some Governorships, some State legislatures, and I’d say they’ve got good odds of recapturing one or both houses of Congress–not that I think they deserve to (hence how I voted) but it appears inevitable. Anyone got any predictions?
Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell is the projected loser in the hilarious and bizarre Senate race against Democrat Chris Coons.
ABC News declared Chris Coons the winner minutes after the polls closed in Delaware Tuesday night.
Christine O’Donnell on Halloween: some get candy, some get human sacrificed..
Christine O’Donnell was one of the superstars of the 2010 election, thanks in part to a media blitz of archived clips from Bill Maher’s 90s talk show Politically Incorrect. O’Donnell appeared on Maher’s pop culture discussion group more than 20 times and Maher released clip after clip of hilarious footage featuring O’Donnell proclaiming her expertise in witchcraft, masturbation prevention and evolutionary myth.
UPDATE at 3:10 PM]: Dave Weigel has seen early exit numbers out of Nevada, and writes, “Early exits have dead heat in #nvsen.” If this is the case, the numbers may actually augur quite well for Harry Reid. Why? Democrats are confident that Reid banked a significant lead in early voting, so if he and Sharron Angle are tied on election day he may be able to eke out a victory.
[UPDATE at 3:57 PM]: Oof. According to NPR, 41 percent of exit poll respondents self-identify as conservative, well above numbers from the past three cycles.
[UPDATE at 4:04 PM]: Marc Ambinder has some better news for the Democrats. Exit polling out of Florida shows Barack Obama’s approval rating a net 5 percentage points higher in the swing state than nationally, with 47 percent approving and 51 percent disapproving. Could this augur well for Democrat Alex Sink in the state’s competitive Governor race?
8:38: Fox calls West Virginia for Democrat Joe Manchin, a hold for Democrats. Manchin ran against Obama. Looks like the GOP cannot get the Senate. My forecast of +8 still in range. Fox also calls it for Webster over Grayson in a blowout.
8:48: Grayson blames the weather for his defeat. Yes, really.
Grayson’s campaign said they needed a massive Democratic turnout to win, and that simply didn’t happen with the weather.
9:00: No surprise, Dems sweep governor and both Senate seats in New York. Hoeven wins in North Dakota, a GOP pickup. Republican Snyder wins governor’s race in Michigan.
9:13: Fox calls House for GOP with a projected gain of 60 seats. I’m holding out for my 67. The Humpbot is back out. MSNBC forecasts an apocalyptic America led by Rand Paul.
9:27: Ugh. Fox calls it for Barney Frank over Sean Bielat.
THIS ROUNDUP STARTED HERE:
–-New York Magazine: Voter hate everyone but the Dems will get murdered:
According to the first exit polls to be released, “nearly all voters are worried about the future direction of the economy” and 62 percent name it their “most important issue” this year. This is because roughly a third of those polled say their household suffered a job loss since the recession began, and nearly half say they are now worse off financially. Eighty percent are concerned that things aren’t going to get much better over the next year, either.
But that doesn’t necessarily indicate how they are going to vote: According to polls, voters dislike the Democratic Party and the Republican Party about equally. In potentially heartening news for the president, only about a quarter of those voting in House races today blamed Barack Obama for the country’s economic troubles — but still, nearly twice think his policies will eventually hurt us. Though many respondents said they voted specifically to either support or object to the those policies, his approval rating among those polled hovers around 45 percent, which is where it was last week.
Democrats are at 43/53 fav/unfav. Republicans are at 41/53. Obama’s at 45/54.
Self-described conservatives have jumped from 34% of the voting electorate to 41%. Yound voters are 9% of the electorate, down from 12% in 2006. African-Americans are at 10% of the electorate.
None of these really portend a very good night for the Democrats. About the only thing they can hang their hats on: voters do not want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, by a count of 47-41.
—Andrew Sullivan Live blogs what he calls “The (Not Quite) Bloodbath”. A tiny taste:
8.51 pm. It looks as if Manchin has won West Virginia. The Dems will keep the Senate in all likelihood, well in 88 percent likelihood at this point.
8.45 pm A small sign that GOP expectations and media hype may have gotten a little out of hand. Ponnuru does a pre-spin post-spin spin:
Whether or not Republicans meet the expectations that people have acquired over the last few days, it’s worth remembering how different things looked at the start of the year (let alone the start of 2009, when people were saying the Democrats would probably gain Senate seats because the map favored them). People are barely talking about the GOP Senate wins in Indiana and Missouri — but at the start of this year both of them were considered real races. And few people were paying close attention to Wisconsin.
PERRIELLO LOSES IN VIRGINIA. Blanche Lincoln loses, too. Fox calling it for Todd Young over Democratic incumbent Baron Hill in Indiana. A lot of people saw that as a real indicator. Alan Grayson loses in Florida. A lot of people saw him as a real jerk.
Obama shouldn’t be fooled into thinking Bill Clinton was reelected in 1996 because he moved to the center. I was there. Clinton was reelected because by then the economy had come roaring back to life.
The 1996 election was about little else. Dick Morris, Clinton’s pollster and chief political advisor (who effectively took over the White House policymaking apparatus shortly after Newt Gingrich and the Republicans took over Congress in 1995), instructed the president to say only “the economy’s booming and you ain’t seen anything yet.”
President Obama won’t have that luxury in 2012. In all likelihood, the economy will still be anemic. It’s now growing at the rate of no more than 2 percent a year — far too slow to bring down the jobless rate. Even now, sales are slowing. Business revenues are slowing. Home sales are down. Home prices are down. Foreclosures are increasing.
For the next two years Republicans will try to paint Obama as a big-government liberal out of touch with America, who’s responsible for the continuing bad economy.
Obama won’t be able to win this argument by moving to the center — seeking to paint himself as a smaller-government moderate. This only confirms the Republican’s views that the central issue is size of government, that it’s been too large, and the economy can improve only if it’s smaller.
On the Republican playing field, Republicans always win.
Obama’s best hope of reelection will be to re-frame the debate, making the central issue the power of big businesses and Wall Street to gain economic advantage at the expense of the rest of us. This is the Democratic playing field, and it’s more relevant today than at any time since the 1930s.
Two big Senate races this hour: Ron Johnson looks ready to retire Russ Feingold in Wisconsin and Ken Buck and Michael Bennet are likely headed for a late night in Colorado. In the House, there are a bunch of longshots worth monitoring: Maurice Hinchey and Jim Oberstar, both of whom have been blogged about by Ed repeatedly over the last few weeks, are hoping to hold on in NY-22 and MN-8, respectively. Joe Cao’s seat in LA-2 is also up; that’ll probably be a rare Dem pick-up tonight, thanks in part to Obama having cut a campaign commercial — the only one he did all season, in fact — for Cao’s opponent. (Yes, that district is blue enough that it helped.)
The New York polls also close this hour, so let me give a special hometown shoutout to the worst state party in America: The New York GOP, which had a crack at both Senate seats this year and the governor’s seat in Albany and managed to produce three candidates who are each likely to lose … by 25 points. You almost have to try in order to be that bad. A+ for effort, guys.
A predictably cocky Rand Paul giving his victory speech.
Admittedly, I dig Rand about as much as Rand digs Jack Conway.
I do get the sense that Mr. Paul has a series of rude awakenings in store when he arrives in the Senate. One from the senior Senator from his own state.
Update by Kim (8:37pm) In a real disappointment, Fox News calls WV Senate for Joe Manchin. This makes the GOP’s chances of taking the Senate even more difficult.
And what will probably be the best news of the night, Alan Grayson goes down!!! Fox just called Florida’s 8th CD for Republican Daniel Webster, and with 67% of the vote counted, Webster defeated Grayson by almost 20 points. YES! That win is particularly satisfying.
Unfortunately for Linda McMahon, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, she couldn’t write the ending to this storyline. In the Connecticut Senate race, Democratic state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has defeated McMahon, the Republican nominee, in the contest to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd.
With less than 1% or precincts reporting, Blumenthal leads by 62%-36%, and has been projected as the winner by Fox News and NBC News. (Keep in mind that with so few precincts in, the margin is likely to fluctuate considerably throughout the night — the current numbers are not final.)
McMahon apparently spent over $50 million on the race — which was parodied quite effectively on Election Eve by her husband, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon — but to no avail in the end.
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Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.