Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Presidential Election Liveblog

I will be running a liveblog for this election so you can see the results.

6:58: Things are not looking too good in North Carolina. We got our voters out but the Republican turnout seemed to have increased higher than I would have liked.

6:53 MSNBC calls New Hampshire for Obama!

6:47: Two pickups in the Senate! Warren and Donnelly!

6:45: Obama leading by 140,000 in Ohio. People still in line there, it will take awhile to call many of these states.

6:41: Looking at these results, I think there is one person who is the happiest person in politics. No, it's not Obama. It's Nate Silver.

6:38: Virginia narrows a bit. Romney 51%, Obama 48%. Looks like Democratic areas are coming in.

6:35: Jefferson and Araphaoe Counties, the big bellwethers in Colorado are looking good for Obama.

6:30: Wisconsin goes to Obama! First battleground state to go! Thought it would be closer but that Maruqette poll showed Obama ahead. Looks like that is happening.

6:26: Looks like MSNBC called Pennsylvania for Obama. Was a bit worried about that but it looks like we are fine there.

6:17: 78% in at Florida, Obama ahead by only 2,000 votes. Polls showed a close race. However, I think Obama still narrowly pulls it out because the I-4 Corridor still has not reported everything and I see Obama overperforming there.

6:13 Obama actually did better in Pensacola now than he did in 2008. Also, there are still more votes in Miami Dade and Broward. Early voting went well for Democrats there, reported early but it is reporting later.

6:10: David Gergen said that one more state may flip to the Democrats in the Senate. I think he is looking at Indiana.

6:06: Looks like Wisconsin should go our way. Minnesota though is a bit closer than I would like. The problem with Minnesota is that polls always overstate the leads for Democrats there.

5:58: Feeling much better about Florida. Except for the Panhandle, northern Florida which is pretty conservative is almost all in. Miami Dade just has 1% of non early votes in so I am not super worried yet. I think we pull out in Florida but by less than 100,000 votes. Obama currently ahead by only 3,000 votes.

5:56: Lots of these Senate races like Ohio and Missouri still too early to call although Democrats have a lead.

5:51: Carville says Florida is looking good for Obama. I would agree. Obama up by 5 in Pinellas, 5 in Hillsborough County (these are all bellwethers.) Only worry is that the conservative Panhandle has not reported strongly yet. Palm Beach is almost all in, Broward County is on its way too.

5:50: Elizabeth Warren is ahead by about 5, I think she is going to pull this out! Sorry Scotty.

5:48: Still too close to call in Florida. It is going to be a long night there.

5:32 Chris Murphy (D) wins in the Connecticut race. Linda McMahon (R) spent $41 million but still could not win. She ran in 2010, made it close in September but it was not enough.

5:28: Numbers not looking the best in NC. Not liking that Wake County, 2nd biggest NC county, Obama won by 13%, is leaning toward Romney.

5:27 Franklin County in Ohio, Obama needs 59% to win statewide, has 66% there. Still, it is the early voting.

5:18: Florida shows Romney ahead but this is a total glitch. Broward County has Romney with 70%. I would expect that to be the other way around, Broward County is a very strongly Democratic county.

5:14: If Obama wins Florida, it is checkmate. It will make it nearly impossible for Mitt Romney to win.

5:03: New Jersey too early to call. Interesting, would have expected it to go more strongly for Obama. Looks like Sandy had a big effect.

4:58: Democrats +3 in Florida, we will see how the Independents go.

4:50 pm: Florida is looking very good for Obama. Baseline for Miami Dade was 57%, he has 62%. Baseline for Osceola was below 60%, he has 63%. Obama is ahead by 140,000 votes so far and Broward County which is strongly Democratic is 0% in.

4:48 Republican areas in Virginia traditionally report early. Romney ahead 141,000 to 101,000. Similar in 2008, do not freak out yet Democrats. Fairfax County is not in yet.

4:41: Looks like Obama is barely going to pull it out in the bellwether Vigo County.

4:29: Obama ahead by 9 in Hillsborough County. That county is the bellwether. Also, Obama ahead now with NOTHING from Palm Beach, Broward and Miami Dade.

4:28: 39% Democratic, 30% Republican in Ohio. Please pray the exit polls are correct! 59% approve auto industry bailout.

4:24: Obama ahead by 7 in Pinellas. Basically matches his percentages in 2008. Problem is that Romney ahead by only 19,000 votes in Florida with 1.3 million votes in with NOTHING from Broward, Palm Beach and Miami Dade.

4:23: Worth watching IN Governor race. Republican ahead by only 3, Romney ahead by 16. Exit polls did not project good numbers for dems.

4:13 pm: Orange County early votes go 152,000 to 96,000 for Obama. Really good news, he needs to break 60% in Orange County to win statewide and he got 61% of the vote there so far. Hopefully the early votes match the results.

4:12 pm: For Virginia, watch Fairfax County. Obama must get above 57% there and Obama needs to win by around 100,000 votes to win statewide.

4:08 pm: national bellwether Vigo County in Indiana is 78% in. 49-49 tie with a very slight Romney lead. Still could go the other way.

4:06 pm: Exit polls show Romney +1 in Virginia. Not reading too much into that, I remember 2004. However, Mourdock is behind by about 5 points in Indiana. We will see.

3:57 pm: Looking close in IN-09. Expecting a big Republican win but Shelli Yoder (D) is an energetic and young candidate. Maybe she has a shot?

3:56: Mourdock ahead by 4, Romney ahead by 22 in Indiana. If Mourdock can't do as well as that, then Mourdock is in trouble.

3:19: Indiana is starting to report. So far, Romney is ahead 63%-35% but the main counties reporting include Shelby County, a Republican leaning county in the Indianapolis suburbs. Mourdock is leading 54%-41%. I am expecting Obama to lose Indiana by less than 15 points (and Romney is overperforming Mourdock by 15 points.) This is not good for Mourdock. However, Shelby County just started reporting, results could change.

3:16 So far, the early exit polls are showing according to Politico that half of voters blame Bush for the economic recession, 39% say the economy is getting better and the #of people saying the economy is getting worse is at 31%, according to ThinkProgress.

3:16 Kentucky's first polls have closed and they are showing a large Romney lead. The counties reporting though are in the southern part of the state which is heavily Republican. Kentucky is expected to go Republican but if Romney gets a large margin out of Kentucky (greater than 20%,) then expect a good night for him.


Anonymous said...

great play by play! - Lise

Ed said...

Its looking like a status quo election, with Obama winning, the Democrats holding the Senate, and the Republicans holding the House.

As of 10:30 EST, I've counted three House incumbents defeated (Bartlett, Kissell, and Chandler, the first two had their districts gerrymandered against them) and no Senate incumbents defeated. Keep in mind that the approval rate of Congress heading into the election was 15%. This is a shaping up to be one of the bigger pro-incumbent elections, during a time of high unemployment when government institutions are unpopular. I think that is significant.

I'm really curious how the national popular vote shapes up. Every President who has won re-election, and one President who lost re-election (Cleveland in 1888), increased their popular vote margin compared to their last election. The only case where a President won with a smaller popular vote margin than his party's candidate polled in the previous election was Truman in 1948.

If Obama wins re-election by a smaller margin than he received in 2008, that would be a historic anomaly. For this reason I thought that the final polls were understating Obama's votes. Right now CNN's website shows Romney with a popular vote lead! However, the returns from California have not come in yet and I would be shocked if Romney wins the popular vote.

Actually, defeats of sitting presidents running for re-election are rarer than people think. This has happened nine times since the 12th Amendment came into effect. In one case (1888) the President actually won the popular vote and even increased his margin. There were two cases (1828, 1892) involving Presidents who had lost the popular vote when he was "elected" four years earlier and voters ratified their actions in rematches. Another case (1976) involved a President installed under the 25th Amendment who had not been elected President or Vice President. That leaves just five instances (1836, 1912, 1932, 1980, 1992), in four of these cases the defeated party had controlled the White House for twelve years or more and voter fatigue had set in.

The fringe party presidential candidates this time had unusually strong backgrounds -Gary Johnson has more experience in government than Romeny does- but there was a more complete media blackout on them than normal and they seem to have gotten no traction at all.

This is also eerily like the 2004 election, in that everyone seems to be voting exactly how they voted four years earlier. I didn't understand how this happened in 2004, given how different Bush's foreign policy turned out to be from what he campaigned on, and I don't really understand how this happened this time out.

Ed said...

According to the Daily Kos elections cheatsheet, only six House districts have changed control tonight, only two of these not redistricting-related.

The two exceptions, OK-2 and KY-6, are historically Democratic rural districts in the South that have been reliably Republican in most elections for some time now. The good news for the Democrats is that there are only a couple of these types of districts left at the most. The Republicans have maxed out the House seats they can win in the rural South.

Ed said...

Also, according to the CNN exit poll there is a huge cleavage among generational cohorts in this election, much more noticeable than in other presidential elections.

Ed said...

Final comment of the night, since I am going to bed.

President -CNN currently has Obama leading in the popular vote, 49% to 49%. However, only 29% of the California vote has been counted.

I checked and it appears that 120 million votes were cast in 2008. The CNN tally is just under 100 million. Either turnout is down sharply in this election, or there are still alot of uncounted ballots. Its hard to tell what the final presidential popular vote tally will be.

I was incorrect earlier about Presidents winning reelection with reduced margins from four years earlier. In addition to Truman in 1948, Wilson won with a reduced margin in 1916, though his popular vote percentage increased. However, its very rare, so if the current trend holds this election will be an anomaly.

Assuming Obama's leads in Florida and Virginia hold, only two states, Indiana and North Carolina, will have flipped. That is also an usually small number.

Less than 2% for the fringe party candidates.

Senate -I was incorrect when I said earlier that no incumbents have been defeated. Scott Brown is an incumbent, though just barely, since he entered the Senate only two years ago in a special election. The only other incumbents in danger of losing are John Tester and Dean Heller (again, Heller barely counts as an incumbent). You have to go back to 1990 to see so few incumbents lose.

The best the Republicans can do right now, if they win all four races still outstanding, is to gain one Senate seat, which is amazing considering the Democrats were defending 23 seats.

House -By my count, reapportionment effectively eliminated 8 Democratic and 4 Republican seats. Of the 12 newly created seats, so far the Democrats will win 5 or 6 (2 or 3 in Texas, depending on how you count Lloyd Doggett's district, 2 in Florida, 1 in Washington) and the Republicans will win 4 or 5 (1 or 2 in Texas, 1 each in Georgia, South Carolina, and Utah), with NV-4 and AZ-9 still having to be decided. So reapportionment will be mostly a wash.

Daily Kos elections is showing 8 additional Democratic gains, 5 of them in Illinois and Maryland where the Democrats were able to gerrymander away Republican districts. The site is showing 6 additional Republican gains, 3 of them redistricting/ gerrymandering induced. I'm counting IA-3 as a Democratic district that was reapportioned away.

Reapportionment removed 12 incumbents, and another 7 lost to challengers in primaries. So far 11 more incumbents have lost, however 5 of the defeats were clearly due to gerrymandering changing the political balance in their districts. There seem to be another two dozen incumbents involved in contested races, but this is still not a high rate of turnover.

All in all, this is a status quo election, similar in this respect to 1984 and 1996, but in these other years of course the economy was in much better shape and institutions and office-holders had higher favorability ratings.

Ed said...

Checking in this morning, Wikipedia has Obama's popular vote margin at 1.9%, down from 7.2% over McCain. That is a 2.1% swing away from Obama. There are still more precincts to come in, but as I stated earlier it is very unusual for a President to win reelection and have his margin shrink.

I'm rooting now for Gary Johnson to break 1%, right now he is at 0.93%.

It looks like Scott Brown will be the only Senate incumbent to lose. That ties the dubious record set in 1990, it may be worse if you view people who complete terms someone else was elected for as quasi-incumbents.

Technically, the Republicans could wind up with a net gain of one seat in the House, but its more likely that we will see a net Democratic gain of half a dozen districts, in line with what conventional wisdom predicted. Again, I'm actually surprised turnover was so limited, given that this was a post-redistricting election (in fact about half the turnover seems gerrymandering-induced) and Congress is really unpopular.

Voters in New York state tried to give the Democrats the State Senate again. The problem is that the New York Democratic Party doesn't want the State Senate. They always find a way to give it back.

I really think the story here is how well incumbents did across the board, given high unfavorable poll ratings for the federal executive and even more so for the federal legislature.

Alibguy said...

I hope we can find a way to finally get that State Senate. Yeah though, this was a bit of a status quo election (but a really good night for us Democrats, we won 25 out of 33 Senate seats up for election.) The House annoys me though, gerrymandering really hurt us.

Ed said...

The latest Daily Kos Elections diarist makes an interesting point. Democrats gained the trifecta (both houses of the legislature plus the governor) in Minnesota, Colorado, Oregon, and possibly New York.

That means a Delay-stype midterm gerrymander is possible in Minnesota and Colorado, which would swing 2-4 seats into the Democratic column (even in a Republican wave election this would deliver a Democratic pickup in each of these states). Oregon, where the Democrats hold four of the five seats with a favorable map, is not worth bothering with. In New York, the complicated politics means they may not have the trifecta, though the situation, a "least change" court drawn map that froze a gerrymander slightly favorable the other party, is almost exactly the same as the situation in Texas in 2003.

I'm a good government type that deplores gerrymandering, but I've come around to the view that it would be great if parties redrew the lines every time power shifted to them within a state, on the grounds that the situation would quickly get so out of hand and ridiculous that people would revolt and take line drawing out of the politicians' hands. That may be too optimistic.

But its also increasingly clear that Republican control of the house rests mainly on their winning the gerrymandering battle in this cycle (admittedly the concentration of the Democratic vote in the cities would have probably meant a small Republican majority in an even election, with neutral lines drawn nationwide). So the Democrats will probably need mid-term redistricting to stay competitive. The Republicans are also very unlikely to gain the trifecta in the states where the Democrats were able to draw the map. They could try to get rid of the Arizona commission again, but that would be very risky.

Ed said...

OK, I checked the comments to the Daily Kos article, and discovered that the Colorado constitution limits redistricting to once every ten years. Minnesota is probably too much of a good government state for this to fly.

New York is not a good government state. Though Cuomo advocated creating a commission, he caved very quickly on the state legislature drawn maps. Its conceivable that the Democrats could shore up their position in the state Senate by drawing a map favorable to any congressional ambitions of selected state Senators in both parties. However, the Democrats probably don't want control of the state Senate.