Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Night

12:08-- Well, it turns out trusting experts using actual math worked better than relying on your gut. Yesterday I wrote that "332 seems plausible" and it looks like that's what it's going to be. A couple of take-aways: Romney lost Hispanics by something like 40 points. With blacks and Hispanics together constituting almost a fourth of the electorate, that was just too much for Romney to overcome. Republicans kept insisting that the electorate would not look like 2008, but it largely did. It's not just because the Obama campaign organized well. The Republicans have spent the past four years insulting minorities in about every way imaginable, not to mention trying to suppress their vote. So when Obama said voting is the best revenge, he was right, and the Republicans are reaping the bitter fruit of their anti-minority policies and rhetoric.

10:40-- 15% is in in Iowa and Obama is matching his 2008 totals in his important counties. It's not going to be close. Meanwhile, though Nevada hasn't reported anything yet, 70% of the vote was done before today and the Democrats built up a large lead. If we assume, as I think we safely can, that Iowa and Nevada go to Obama, check out this handy dandy calculator that shows the remaining possibilities. There are 32. Obama wins in 31 of them. So...yes, Romney does have a chance!

10:27-- Some perspective: the only true swing state that has been called thus far is New Hampshire. Everything else is still too close. That said, Romney has to win nearly everything that is currently too close to call, and Obama is winning in most of them.

9:28-- The night is slipping away from Romney. With states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin being called so soon after the polls closed, it indicates that the polls were right. So Romney's main hope for victory has been dashed. Now he must hope for the even more implausible idea that the polls in an arbitrary set of battleground states he needs to win were systematically wrong while being right elsewhere. Not likely.

8:47-- According to the exit polls, more voters blame Bush for the economy than Obama. This is encouraging. It says our memories are not as short as Mitt Romney would like to believe. He should have run against Obama and Bush. 

8:28-- The results being reported from Richmond, Virginia cannot be correct. Multiple sites are saying Romney's up 58%-41% in Richmond! Obama took 80% of the vote there four years ago, and Tim Kaine, the Dem senate candidate, is taking 87% now. There's no way Kaine is at 87% while Obama is at 41%. Presumably this will be corrected as the night goes on.

8:21-- Still very early in Virginia, but it's not looking good for Romney so far. In many counties his numbers are looking very similar to McCain's four years ago.

7:15-- Very interesting anecdotal experience here in Ohio. In theory Alicia and I are voters that the Romney campaign should be going after. We're white, married, evangelical, live in a suburb, and we voted for John McCain in 2008. On the other hand, the Obama campaign shouldn't give up on us because we're young and we voted Democratic in the 2010 midterms. But the interactions we've had with the two campaigns could not be more different. The only contact from the Romney campaign has been in the form of mailers and robocalls. No human contact at all. In contrast, we got a call months ago from a live Obama volunteer asking us if we were planning to vote. Then this week we woke up to find pamphlets on our door showing us the voting times and address for our exact precinct, along with a handwritten note. Then, just a few minutes ago, about half an hour before the polls close here in Ohio, a volunteer came to our door to make sure we had voted.

Romney supporters better hope our experience is not at all representative. I considered the possibility that the Romney campaign had somehow weeded us out early on and that's why we weren't contacted. But why send all the mailers and robocalls then? From my little perspective here in northeast Ohio, Obama's vaunted ground game appears legit.

More to come as the night goes on.

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