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Tuesday, November 06, 2012


Election Night Musings

The Presidential race is coming in as a statstical tie in the popular vote, and very likely a nailbiter in the electoral vote as well.  If Romney starts with 191, he can get to 285 by winning Colorado, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin.  A tall order but not impossible, as all 6 are within the magin of error, he would still be over 270 without either Colorado or Wisconsin, or Virginia, but he can't lose two of them.  He does pick up some breathing room if he can pick off New Hampshire (possible, but not likely), Michigan (possible but unlikely), or Pennsylvania (a big lift).  Iowa is also in play.  I would have to consider Nevada in the Obama camp. 

My guess is that we will not know the winner tonight, and might still not know until about Thanksgiving.  This is because there are 1.1 million absentee ballots returned in Ohio already, with 200,000 outstanding that can come in any time up to the 16th.  They won't even be counting those until the 16th.  So the pivotal state is not likely to be conceded tonight by either side.  This is a consequence of the unfortunate trend in the country to early and absentee (without sufficient cause) voting, encouraged by Democrats who are helped by larger turnouts.

Virginia polls close at 7 PM, and those returns will tell you a lot about how the night's going to go.  If Romney is comfortably ahead there, he is on his way to victory.  If he's behind, especially badly, it will be four years of hope without change.  So watch that one closely.

My guess is that Virginia is one of 5 states that will not see a decisive result by night's end.  The others are Wisconsin, Ohio, of course, Florida, and Colorado.  No matter what the score, I don't see the Obama crowd conceding any of these tonight.  They are all pivotal in any Romney victory scenario.

The progressive blogs are expressing confidence today, but I think that's braggadaccio.  They are fairly indiscriminate in evaluating polls.  Believe me, pollsters are not all the same in their rigor.  I rely on Rasmussen, who has a great record, and he is saying that it's too close to call.  Given the GOP has the enthusiasm edge this time (reversing the state of affairs from 2008), I see no reason for Progressives to be so confident in Obama.  But we'll just have to see.

The GOP should keep the house, with a single digit change in either direction possible.  As for the Senate, it was the Dems to lose, but as happened in 2010, the GOP snatched defeat from the jaws of vicory due to idiotic statements by candidates in Missouri and Indiana.  Believe it or not, Akin might still win in Missouri.  I don't know exactly what that would say about voters in that state.  I still hold out hope for Scott Brown (MA), Tommy Thompson (WI), and even Linda McMahon  (CT) and there are a number of other close races.  But it no longer looks like the Red Team can run the table, so I am predicting a pickup of only two seats, leaving Harry Reid Majority Leader by 51-49. 

The GOP may pick up a Governor spot or two to expand an already commanding lead there.

New York has been thrown into a tizzy by Sandy, and it could impact several state senate races.  Chances are the GOP maintains the same majority it had going in.  I hope.  Thank God for reapportionment gerrymandering.

Whatever, I plan to uncork a bottle of bordeaux, turn on the tube and hop around the dial, looking for actual returns, and not just talking heads.  I will stay up as long as their is doubt, or until it is clear that the winner will be decided in recounts or in the courts.  I expect it to be a very long night and a very bleary morning.

We'll do the stocks next time.  Not into money tonight.   

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