Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Live-blogging the 2008 presidential election: "Change has come to America."

By Michael J.W. Stickings

UPDATED FREQUENTLY.

PLEASE ADD YOUR COMMENTS AND LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK/THOUGHT OF THE ELECTION RETURNS AND THE ELECTION COVERAGE.

6:33 pm - So. Here we are. What a day it's been already. We've already put up 21 posts. This is the 22nd. If you're on the home page, scroll down. To go to the home page, click here. There's some really, really excellent stuff there, if I do say so myself.

6:39 pm - As I've mentioned to a number of people today, it's difficult to overstate the significance of this day to me and to so many other bloggers. I didn't really know what I was doing when I started The Reaction three and a half years ago, and some of my earliest posts were on the papal election, but what was clear was that I was looking ahead to 2008. There have been many other issues and stories along the way -- the Iraq War, Katrina, the 2006 mid-term elections, etc. -- but this election, today, has always been the key event on the horizon.

And here we are, at long last, after a long, long campaign, the results slowly trickling in from Kentucky, much more to come at the top of the hour when the polls close in Vermont, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, and most of Florida.

Speaking personally, it's a big day for me as a blogger and a big day for this blog. But it's been difficult not being able to vote in an election that means so much to me, difficult watching and reading and listening to the accounts of the day without actually being there. I'd love to be there, but, alas, circumstances. And so I observe it all from my perch here in Toronto, detached but as engaged as possible, thankful to have so many wonderful co-bloggers posting their thoughts and experiences, so many friends and acquaintances who are right in the middle of it. I may not be down there, I may not be able to vote, but, well, I'm certainly there in spirit.

More to come...

7:00 pm - And here we go... CNN's first projections... ready? Can you feel the excitement? Wolf Blitzer certainly put on his most excited and dramatic tone of voice. Vermont to Obama. Kentucky to McCain. Well... of course. Not exciting at all.

7:02 pm - For a run-down of poll closings, see Joe Sudbay at AMERICAblog. Ohio, North Carolina, and West Virginia close at 7:30.

7:05 pm - Mark Warner wins the Senate race in Virginia over wacky Republican ex-governor Jim Gilmore. No surprise there.

7:32 pm - Sorry, just had some dinner. Pancakes. The start of an election-night tradition.

7:33 pm - Not much new to report. As John King pointed out on his Magic Map, Obama seems to be doing fairly well in Indiana, specifically in the conservative, rural parts of the state. He's down by just five, with only a few votes in from Marion County (Indianapolis) and nothing reported from either Lake County (next to Chicago) and Monroe County (Bloomington and Indiana U.).

7:44 pm - Not much yet from North Carolina, just a slim lead for Obama, very early on. Remember, we're also watching the Senate race here, with incumbent Republican Elizabeth Dole up against Democratic challenger Kay Hagen. Dole's campaign was predictably nasty -- in a Helms-like sort of way. This could be a major pick-up for the Dems.

7:47 pm - McCain's up by 15 in Virginia, with 6 percent reporting, mostly from southern rural counties.

7:49 pm - Obama's narrowed McCain's lead in Indiana to just a single point. He's doing very well along the Illinois border -- yes, that's his home state, but it's still a conservative part of the world, as well as in and around Indianapolis.

7:51 pm - Obama's up by 10 in Florida, with 5 percent reporting. It's way too early to make much of these results, of course. For example McCain's up 70-29 in Georgia. He may end up winning it, but not nearly by that much.

7:55 pm - My friend Jeff from Ohio, currently in Oklahoma, sends me this interesting piece from the NYT by McCain's 2000 national communications director. It's about how Democrats and Republicans have over the course of the past several decades "engineered an enormous trade of one group of suburban swing voters for another," with the Democrats picking up "economically successful suburbanites who trended leftward on a range of social and environmental issues" and the Republicans picking up "blue-collar workers who were socially conservative."

8:01 pm - Indiana is the state I'm following most closely at the moment. McCain's up by 3 with 26 percent reporting. Still nothing from Bloomington, though, or the counties in the northwest.

8:02 pm - Obama wins a bunch: Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Maine. McCain wins South Carolina, Tennessee, and Oklahoma. All as expected.

8:06 pm - King's looking at Virginia. A lot of red. McCain's up by 13, with 19 percent reporting. But there's nothing in yet from some key counties in and around D.C. in the north. As in Indiana, King points out, if less dramatically, McCain is underperforming Bush in '04.

8:10 pm - BREAKING NEWS: NBC calls Pennsylvania for Obama. (No word yet from CNN.)

Creature: "Pennsylvania goes to Obama. I guess McCain's push for the racist vote failed. Good." Very good.

8:12 pm - NBC has called New Hampshire for Obama. More big news. He's also picked up D.C. and Delaware. See, wasn't Biden a brilliant pick? (Kidding. I think he was, but Obama would have won Delaware anyway.)

8:15 pm - From TPM (via Sullivan), on Indiana: "Democrats are cheered by early numbers showing that Obama holds a healthy lead in Vigo County, a place that one Dem described to us as 'the most reliable bellwether county in the country.'"

Dan Tobin: "CNN got so burned by 2000 that they're going to be the last to call every state."

8:21 pm - The current vote total in Maine is 2 to 1 for Obama. That's total vote total. Hilarious.

8:25 pm - Maybe now would be a good time to comment on CNN's much-ballyhooed (by Wolf) Jessica Yellin "hologram," when she was "beamed" into the studio for a one-on-virtual-one with Blitzer. Somewhere, I thought, Aldous Huxley is really not amused. But I suppose it's pretty cool.

8:28 pm - Good point from Sullivan: "White evangelicals voted for McCain in larger margins in South Carolina than they did for Bush, according to CNN. That's staggering to me: what this election may be doing is intensifying the religious and racial identity of the GOP. This is Rove's legacy. It is the destruction of the Republican party as a national force."

8:29 pm - ABC gives Obama Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, too.

8:30 pm - And CNN follows on New Hampshire.

8:33 pm - Virginia seems to be tightening somewhat. McCain's lead has been reduced to 11, with 37 percent reporting. Why? Well, because votes are coming in from the D.C. area. (As the saying goes, this isn't rocket science.) Obama is doing really well in Albemarle County (Charlottesville), Norfolk County, and Roanoke, as well as in Fairfax County (the most populous in the state, up near Washington), and along the southern border with North Carolina.

8:40 pm - CNN, finally, calls Pennsylvania for Obama.

8:43 pm - NBC gives Georgia to McCain. Alas. I projected it to McCain, but, needless to say, I was hoping for an upset.

8:44 pm - Liddy Dole is done. CNN, which seems to be going for extreme caution tonight, still hasn't called it, but NBC has. Hagen is currently up by 16 points, 57-41, with 13 percent reporting.

Creature: This makes my godless heart happy.

8:48 pm - Let's head down to Florida for a moment. Obama is currently up by 3 points, 51-48, with 41 percent reporting. Obama is way ahead where you'd expect him to do well: Palm Beach, Miama-Dade, Monroe down in the south, Pinellas (part of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area) up on the Gulf Coast, Leon (Tallahassee) in the north, Orange (Orlando), Seminole, and Volusia in the middle, on the Atlantic side of the state.

8:54 pm - CNN agrees. Dole lost. Good times.

9:00 pm - The pundits, in their infinite wisdom, are almost ready to declare Obama the winner.

9:01 pm - Obama wins Rhode Island, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and New York. Remember when, once upon a time -- actually, not so long ago, the McCain campaign pulled out of Michigan and targeted Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Wisconsin? Yeah, well...

9:05 pm - And John Sununu is done, too! In New Hampshire, former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen has beaten the Republican incumbent in the state's Senate race. (He beat her in 2002.) With 17 percent reporting, she's up by 11 points, 54-43.

9:06 pm - ABC gives Kansas, Wyoming, and North Dakota to McCain. Too bad about ND. That was another possible upset for Obama. CNN gives Alabama to McCain.

9:10 pm - NBC is reporting that Missouri and Florida are too close to call.

9:13 pm - Fast and furious now. Co-blogger non sequitur says in comments that the BBC is calling Ohio for Obama. With 8 percent reporting, Obama is up by 15 points, 57-42. But it may not last. Obama is up by huge margins in Cuyahoga (Cleveland) and Franklin (Columbus). Remember, Kerry was counting on Cuyahoga in '04, and the numbers only trickled in late in the night. Right now, Obama is up 71-26 (or, in actual votes, 148,943 to 57,496). He's up in Hamilton (Cincinnati), too.

9:24 pm - The BBC seems to be the place to be. Via non sequitur in comments, there's a source in the McCain campaign who's conceding Florida. "Apparently Obama won 10% more of the Hispanic vote than did Kerry."

9:26 pm - Crap. Mitch McConnell has held on to his Senate seat in Kentucky. I find him to be by far one of the ost offensive Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Creature: "PBS/FOX calls New Mexico for Obama. Ladies and gentlemen, we have our first red state. Onward and upward."

9:28 pm - Can I call this? It's over. Obama will be the next president of the United States. (CNN is hyping a major projection coming up. Hmmm.)

Non sequitur clarifies. On BBC:

"We should point out that we haven't called Ohio for Obama yet. ABC hasn't. Only Fox has."

"Fox isn't good enough?"

"No, Fox isn't good enough."

Right you are, Beeb.

Creature: "Ohio is for Obama. Seriously, that could be it. I'm without words." I hear you, my friend.

9:32 pm - LindaBeth: NBC calls Ohio for Obama. It's still early, with just 15 percent reporting. Obama is up 56-43.

9:33 pm - McCain won West Virginia, by the way.

9:35 pm - BREAKING NEWS: CNN calls Ohio for Obama, joining the other networks. Can I say it again? It's over.

9:37 pm - My friend Marco just dropped me a line from Chicago. He and a friend decided to drive down to Chicago this morning from Toronto: "The mood in the city is electric. People everywhere are talking about the vote. It's no surprise considering this is his backyard but it's awe-inspiring to see so many people talking politics and in such a positive way to boot."

9:40 pm - "It's a steep climb [for McCain]," says Blitzer. No, really? John King is using his Magic Map to offer some scenarios for McCain. Pretty much, he has to win Florida, Virginia, Iowa, and Colorado.

Creature: "I'm this close to tears."

LindaBeth: "Hell, I was teary when I pulled the lever!"

9:44 pm - Indiana is really close now. McCain is up by just a single point, 50-49, with 75 percent reporting. McCain has pulled ahead in some of the Illinois border counties, but Obama is, as expected, well ahead in the more urban and suburban parts of the state. I think Obama can pull this off.

9:48 pm - New Mexico goes to Obama (as expected, but it was considered a swing state). Louisiana goes to McCain (also as expected, though the polls showed Obama not that far behind).

9:57 pm - Obama is down by just over 7,000 votes in Indiana, with over 2 million counted so far (82 percent reporting).

9:58 pm - I haven't mentioned Missouri yet tonight. Coming into tonight, it was, to me, one of the three key states, along with North Carolina and Indiana (this was assuming that Obama would win Ohio, Virginia, and likely also Florida). It's still early there, with just 14 percent counted and McCain up by 9 points, 54-45. Nothing from St. Louis County yet, though, Obama's stronghold in the state.

10:01 pm - Obama wins Iowa, once thought to be a swing state. (McCain was actually campaigning there recently, even when it was clear he wasn't going to win it.) McCain wins Utah, perhaps the most Republican state of all.

10:04 pm - The idiot pundits are spewing nonsense on CNN. Bill Bennett wonders if Obama will govern from the center and stand up to Pelosi and Reid. See, this is what happens. Obama is winning big tonight, receiving an overwhelming mandate in the process, but the right is trying to drive a wedge into the Democratic Party to break it apart. Why shouldn't Obama govern as a liberal? Why should a Democrat who wins be a centrist? When a Republican wins, it's a vindication and mandate for conservatism. When a Democrat wins, it's still a loss for liberalism. Move to the center, move to the center... To do what? To embrace the GOP? To make nice with out-of-power Republicans? Why should Obama not work with Pelosi and Reid on a solidly liberal agenda -- say, on health care, global warming, the Iraq War, and taxes? There is no "liberal media," just a media establishment that operates as an organ of Republican interests. Good for Carville to point out that you just have to look at the election returns to hear what the people are saying. This is a victory for the Democrats, not for Republican-friendly centrism.

10:12 pm - CNN gives Arkansas to McCain. Even the Clintons couldn't prevent that inevitability.

Non sequitur: "VA is 50-50, but apparently the outstanding counties are mainly in the north around DC, so it looks good for Obama." He's right. Actually, it's 50-49 for McCain, with 86 percent reporting, but Obama is clearly closing the gap. He's now down by about 28,000 votes with almost 2.8 million cast.

10:17 pm - As Blitzer points out, the national popular vote is extremely tight, with Obama up 50-49. I suspect, however, that Obama will soon pull away as votes from more urban and suburban precincts are counted and as California starts reporting.

10:23 pm - I haven't seen it called yet, but Obama is well ahead in Colorado: 56 to 43, with 16 percent reporting (and with a lot more to come from Denver).

10:24 pm - McCain wins Texas... and Mississippi. Duh. (Sorry, I'm slowly losing the ability to comment intelligently. I'll do my best to return to form.)

10:29 pm - Ambinder is reporting that Palin will speak shortly after 11 pm ET. (Ha! McCain campaign head honcho Steve Schmidt refuses to say anything nice about Palin.)

10:33 pm - Headline at The Plank: "The New England Republican Is Officially Extinct." Yes, "Connecticut Congressman Chris Shays has gone down to defeat." Actually, he's being clobbered, currently losing 58-41.

10:36 pm - Senate update: Franken is leading Coleman in Minnesota, early on, 43-40. Chambliss, one of the most reprehensible Republicans ever, is leading Martin, with 75 percent reporting, 56-40. The later race isn't being called because a candidate needs to win over 50 percent of the vote to avoid a run-off.

10:39 pm - Obama has pulled ahead in Virginia. With 90 percent reporting, he's up 51-49. There's so much good news I don't know what to do with myself. Let's look at Indiana again...

10:41 pm - Still. Very. Close. McCain's up 50-49, with 90 percent reporting. And Missouri...

10:42 pm - Also. Very. Close. McCain's up 50-49, with 38 percent reporting. In terms of the actual vote, McCain is up by under 4,000 votes (with well over a million counted). I still give Obama the edge here.

10:45 pm - By the way, NBC has given South Dakota and Nebraska to McCain. No surprise there. Arizona, however, remains too close to call. For those of you who haven't been paying attention, that's McCain's home state.

Creature: "The NY Post, of all places, has called the entire enchilada for Obama. Pinch me now."

Barack Obama scored a barrier-breaking victory tonight to become the first black president of the United States -- capping a 22-month quest that tapped into a national hunger for "hope" and "change."

"Wow."

10:54 pm - The polls close in California (as well as in Washington and Oregon) in a few minutes. Allow me to call it for Obama.

Dan Tobin: "This night is such a microcosm for the campaign -- it's just going on and on and I want to kill myself but I can't turn away... and it looks like it's going to end well.

10:58 pm - Gloria Borger is saying nice things about McCain, "an honourable man." Uh-huh.

10:59 pm - BREAKING NEWS: CNN calls Virginia for Obama. Seriously, this is amazing. My excitment isn't coming through here, I know, but I'm busting, Jerry, I'm busting!

11:00 pm - BREAKING NEWS: Obama wins. CNN calls it.

OBAMA WINS OBAMA WINS OBAMA WINS OBAMA WINS OBAMA WINS OBAMA WINS OBAMA WINS OBAMA WINS OBAMA WINS OBAMA WINS OBAMA WINS OBAMA WINS OBAMA WINS OBAMA WINS OBAMA WINS

11:04 pm - And the other networks call it, too: CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, FOX.

11:09 pm - I'm numb, amazed, I'm excited, I'm joyous, I'm... I can't even explain what I am.

This is such a deeply emotional moment, one of the greatest moments in American history, a moment of world-historical significance. I feel like cheering and crying at the same time.

Which is what I'm doing, even as I'm typing away.

11:14 pm - I need to take a break. Honestly, I feel like I'm about to break down. Stay with us. I'll be back in a bit. I just want to sit quietly and take it all in.

11:30 pm - Alright, I'm back... until Obama comes out. McCain's concession speech was pretty good. It was, I suppose, the good side of McCain, the one that has never been what his mythology has made it out to be but that has been there nonetheless. It was "gracious," as Blitzer put it, much to the chagrin of some in the crowd, some of which seemed to be a bit like those mobs that showed up for McCain-Palin rallies. But I don't want to be too negative. McCain said what needed to be said at the end of a long and bitter and nasty campaign, and I do not doubt his sincerity. (I can't say nice things about Palin, though. She looked contemptuous of the whole thing, as if she still thinks she deserves to win, as if she's already got the knives out to blame anyone but herself, including McCain himself.)

11:34 pm - One name I haven't mentioned tonight -- Joe Biden. He was fantastic pick and he'll be an excellent vice president.

11:37 pm - Obama has won Colorado, by the way. He's up 54-45, with 58 percent reporting. He's also won, as expected, California, Oregon, and Washington. And Hawaii. He's still behind in Missouri, where Obama leads 51-48, and he holds narrow leads in Indiana and North Carolina, up 50-49 in each. Those were the three key states, remember -- not to put Obama over the top, because I didn't think it would be that close, but the three states to watch tonight, the three key battlegrounds, the three closest races.

Non sequitur (once, way back when, a McCain admirer): "McCain's concession speech: What everyone is saying. The old McCain, the guy we liked and respected. It was, as the BBC presented said, 'generous and handsome.' I hope he does something significant in the Senate in the next few years. I hope that this rather disgraceful campaign isn't his last word or legacy."

11:44 pm - This victory "represents masses of Americans" -- David Gergen. And, again, in my view, it isn't some wishy-washy or Republican-friendly centrism that those "masses" want now. It's a vigorous liberalism. Hopefully, and many of us will be here to call him on it if he isn't, Obama is up to the challenge. I believe he is.

Dan Tobin: "America just elected a black man named Barack Hussein Obama as their president four years after deeming John Kerry too risky... Holy fucking shit!"

Creature: "Congrats to America."

11:54 pm - This is incredible. There are celebrations breaking out all over the country. And all around the world, no doubt. (Just compare the setting of McCain's speech to Obama's.)

11:55 pm - Obama will be out soon. I'll be back later.

12:31 am - Wow. What a setting. What a speech. (What a bad podium.) It wasn't soaring, not at first, but he was humble and magnanimous throughout. And the end -- when he traced the life of the 106-year-old Georgia woman over the course of 20th-century American history, each stage ending with "Yes we can," and when he articulated the nobility of America's ideals and the possibilities of America's future, ending, as he has in the past, with "this is our moment, this is our time" -- how incredibly powerful and how incredibly moving that was. I sat there utterly transfixed.

Simply awesome.

LindaBeth: "WOW what a difference... when Obama mentioned McCain's gracious phone call and Obama congratulates McCain, the crowd cheers. When McCain mentions Obama, there were loud boos, which persisted throughout despite McCain's 'no, please.' What unbelievable division that McCain's campaign brought in, and what unity Obama has promised!"

Non Sequitur: "Is it just me, or something generational, or does Obama have a far deeper and fuller understanding of America's civil religion than McCain (or any other politician I've ever seen, including Clinton)?"

Libby Spencer: "Oh happy day. I'm proud to be an American again and we have a president we can be proud of. I've been crying off and on since about 10:00. It's a new world. Big hugs and champagne clinks to everyone."

12:42 am - Obama won Nevada, by the way. He is holding on to extremely tight leads in both Indiana and North Carolina and has narrowed the gap in Missouri. He's even ahead by a slim margin in Montana. Those are the four states left to be decided.

12:45 am - A quick word on some of the key ballot initiatives: "Voters in Colorado and South Dakota on Tuesday rejected anti-abortion initiatives, while Michigan approved medical marijuana and Massachusetts decriminalized the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana."

All good so far. But not this: Florida and Arizona banned same-sex marriage. Arkansas banned adoption by gay couples. California's Proposition 8, on banning same-sex marraige, is too close to call, but the "Yes" side is ahead.

For other votes and results, see here.

12:51 am - The Senate is currently 56-40 for the Democrats. They won't make it to 60. (And I certainly don't count Lieberman as a Democrat.) Of the remaining four races, Chambliss will likely hold his seat in Georgia (and may avoid a run-off). And Coleman may successfully fend off Franken. So that would be two more for the GOP. The race in Oregon is too close to call, but the Republican incumbent, Smith, may pull it out. That would leave Alaska, where Ted Stevens, a walking personification of corruption, is seeking re-election. So the Democrats may win one more, two at most.

12:56 am - The House is currently 237-153 for the Democrats, with 45 still undecided. Which means the Dems have picked up one seat so far. I'll have more on this tomorrow sometime.

1:02 am - Okay, I'm off to watch a repeat of Indecision 2008 with Stewart and Colbert. I'll be back in a bit with one more update.

1:29 am - Well, it looks like McCain will win Missouri and Obama will win Indiana and North Carolina. I had all three going to Obama. As it turned out, all three were incredibly close. Obama continues to lead in Montana.

I'm past the point of being able to comment in any meaningful way on pretty much anything at this point, including these four races. So I'll hold off on saying any more until... later today. By then, we should know how these races and the various undecided Senate and House raced turned out.

1:31 am - It's been a tense but ultimately incredible night. I'd like to thank all of you for stopping by, and my co-bloggers for their many contributions. I've included some of their comments here in the post, but make sure to check out the comments section as well. They and others kept a good thread going throughout the evening.

As I said at the opening, so much of my blogging over the past three and a half years was pointing directly to this night.

So many of us, bloggers and non-bloggers alike, had been looking foward to it, and working for it, each in our own way, and, tonight, we were witnesses to history.

Change has come to America. Hope has come to the world.

Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States.

**********

I just want to end with an e-mail that I just received from the Obama campaign -- one that all of us who signed up received:

Michael --

I'm about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first.

We just made history.

And I don't want you to forget how we did it.

You made history every single day during this campaign -- every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it's time for change.

I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign.

We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I'll be in touch soon about what comes next.

But I want to be very clear about one thing...

All of this happened because of you.

Thank you,

Barack

I can't really take credit for anything. I'm not American and couldn't donate and didn't vote. But this election meant a lot to me, as to many around the world, just as America means a lot to me. And I did what I could, however small a contribution I made in the grand scheme of things, both with this blog and at the other blogs where I post and on the radio and on TV and simply by being an active participant in the conversation.

And without taking anything away from Obama, for whom I have perhaps greater respect and admiration than I have ever had for any political figure, I do think this happened because of all of us.

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51 Comments:

  • Came over from TMV to see how your live blog was going. I'll be checking in throughout the night...

    I'm cautiously optimistic, but I'm also so nervous I can hardly stand it. I'm a computer animator, and I can't concentrate on my shot at all. I am compelled to keep checking blogs, reports on exit polls, the networks, etc. I'm hoping for a clearing of the picture relatively soon so I can concentrate on my work and my kids tonight. Otherwise my 3 year old is going to be subjected to hours of political TV instead of his usual episode or two of Backyardigans.

    By Anonymous JWeidner, at 7:18 PM  

  • Backyardigans?

    I don't know whether it's better to be following the results without a tv or not. On the one hand, I'm spared all the inanities (is Bob Novak there this year?). On the other hand, there's something distinctly maddening about watching the BBC web page flash the same two (excruciatingly obvious) result over and over again.

    By Blogger non sequitur, at 7:26 PM  

  • I'm cautiously optimistic.

    By Blogger creature, at 7:35 PM  

  • Thanks, jweidner.

    Yes, the Backyardigans. Trust me, non sequitur, when you have young kids, you know all about them.

    But the weirdest kids' show of all? In the Night Garden. I can't even describe it. It's dream-like psychedelia. My youngest daughter absolutely loves it, but I think it would have freaked out Syd Barrett.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 7:42 PM  

  • Heh. Backyardigans is an animated kid's TV show. We don't let our 3 year old watch much TV, but he does love that show...

    As for election coverage, you're not missing much if all you're getting is the BBC's results on Vermont and Kentucky. There's no other real result yet, just a lot of speculative rambling as results are slowly reported on.

    Some interesting analysis on CNN I think. They showed Indiana, in which McCain is currently ahead by a small margin, but then broke it down and compared county by county from 2004 and what's being reported this year. Obama dramatically increased the number of counties voting Democratic, and the strongest Democratic counties hadn't reported yet. Basically no way to call anything, but could wind up being a very strong showing for Obama there.

    By Anonymous JWeidner, at 7:43 PM  

  • Not to get too far off topic, but since the election is proceeding fairly slowly...

    Michael, have you ever seen Yo Gabba Gabba? That's pretty psychedelic as well.

    By Anonymous JWeidner, at 7:49 PM  

  • No, I haven't seen that. Where can one find it?

    I agree with your take on CNN's Indiana analysis. That's what John King's good for, playing with his map.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 7:53 PM  

  • I figured Backyardigans was something of the sort; I just think the name is funny.

    And holy ess, Michael: it just hit me you have kids.

    By Blogger non sequitur, at 7:55 PM  

  • Elizabeth Dole just lost, FYI

    By Blogger lindabeth, at 8:35 PM  

  • Elizabeth Dole just lost, FYI

    By Blogger lindabeth, at 8:35 PM  

  • Yeah, according to the BBC, Fox News is reporting that. Chances of Falafel Boy committing suicide tonight?

    By Blogger non sequitur, at 8:39 PM  

  • Are they calling Ohio for Obama? I'm watching the BBC and they're saying yes!

    By Blogger non sequitur, at 9:08 PM  

  • BBC: "Fox seems to be calling everything rather earlier than anyone else."

    "Maybe they just want to get it out of the way."

    By Blogger non sequitur, at 9:09 PM  

  • Oh, correction: BBC: "We should point out that we haven't called Ohio for Obama yet. ABC hasn't. Only Fox has."

    "Fox isn't good enough?"

    "No, Fox isn't good enough."

    By Blogger non sequitur, at 9:11 PM  

  • Some random woman with a laptop on the BBC has a source in the McCain camp who's conceded Florida. Apparently Obama won 10% more of the Hispanic vote than did Kerry.

    By Blogger non sequitur, at 9:16 PM  

  • The BBC has JOhn Bolton and Simon Schama on at the same time. Schama is bee-boppin' and scattin' all over him.

    By Blogger non sequitur, at 9:19 PM  

  • MSNBC: Ohio=Obama

    By Blogger lindabeth, at 9:23 PM  

  • MSNBC: Ohio=Obama

    By Blogger lindabeth, at 9:23 PM  

  • John Bolton is such an asshole. The presenter and others artfully shut him up, but what a stupid douche. Thank god we're now done with all those shitheads once and for all.

    By Blogger non sequitur, at 9:28 PM  

  • I'm this close to tears.

    By Blogger creature, at 9:36 PM  

  • me too creature. hell, i was teary when i pulled the lever!

    By Blogger lindabeth, at 9:43 PM  

  • BBC: "Iowa results coming up. And an interesting stat about Iowa: There are 8 pigs for every one person. Mm."

    By Blogger non sequitur, at 9:52 PM  

  • VA is 50-50, but apparently the outstanding counties are mainly in the north around DC, so it looks good for Obama.

    By Blogger non sequitur, at 10:00 PM  

  • This is crazy.

    By Blogger creature, at 10:02 PM  

  • Why should a Democrat who wins be a centrist? When a Republican wins, it's a vindication and mandate for conservatism. When a Democrat wins, it's still a loss for liberalism

    Ugh. I totally agree. I see the same thing when labeling some a "liberal" is seen as an insult, a bad thing to be, while labeling someone a "conservative" is noble. "The most liberal senator" is bad bad, but being a strong conservative isn't. Liberal is perceived as almost as dirty of a term as "universal health care."

    My partner's dad mentioned the "socialism" charge tonight, which, as a sociology teacher, I felt compelled to define socialism for him and explain exactly why Obama isn't one, and to inform what in our society IS pretty much socialist (ie the police force, teachers even). After that, I was thinking about how liberals get "accused" all the time of "socialism" while conservatives never get "accused" of "fascism"--both are the extremes of the right and left...I don't know, it was just something that crossed my mind--what is with this vilification of the left without a similar vilification of the right??

    By Blogger lindabeth, at 10:22 PM  

  • I thought this was an interesting point:

    BBC North America editor Justin Webb: How satisfying for Obama that he - apparently - is going to take Iowa. Mainly white, wholly un-Kenyan, yet willing to take this guy to their hearts. Iowa is one of my favourite places - Des Moines is a wonderfully laid-back city and the state, in the January snow, glistens like a Christmas scene. He met them, they liked him, and they support him - that's the mid-western way. The race issue is interesting here as well - in states where there are few black people and no economic competition between the races, he sails home.

    By Blogger non sequitur, at 10:27 PM  

  • David Frum is on the BBC and actually making some very good points, saying that McCain would have done well to base his campaign on that of Sarkozy, who had similar problems with his party and its incumbent when he ran.

    By Blogger non sequitur, at 10:34 PM  

  • The BBC's Laura Trevelyan in Pennsylvania: As Fox News are projecting that Barack Obama has carried Virginia, a Rrepublican official from Cumberland County takes the microphone and tells the party faithful that he hasn't given up on Pennsylvania yet. Keep the faith he tells the crowd, only 40% of the votes have been counted, wait till 100% are in.

    By Blogger non sequitur, at 10:54 PM  

  • BBC North America editor Justin Webb: It looks as if the Democrats will NOT get to the 60/40 Senate majority that would have allowed a sweeping of the boards. Someone at the McCain wake has told an AP reporter: "I'm very afraid that we're going to lose our freedoms, that the country will be controlled by almost a dictator." That person will be relieved - or should be - by the Senate results. One senator can hold up legislation - unless crushed by the 60/40 supermajority. Dictatorship might be held at bay...

    By Blogger non sequitur, at 10:56 PM  

  • MSNBC just called it for Obama!

    By Blogger lindabeth, at 11:00 PM  

  • I've been sitting here prepping for my Gender lecture tomorrow as I've had MSNBC on...they've been talking about what this says about Americans and race. Maddow said that "this demonstrates that Americans have changed the way they feel about race in this country".

    It's not just how they feel about it...I was just typing in my lecture that there's a difference between attitudes and behaviors (whether race or gender, or whatever). What we see here is that Americans have decided to do something about the way they feel, and that's a much different thing itself.

    By Blogger lindabeth, at 11:04 PM  

  • OK, so I'm crying a little now ;-)

    By Blogger lindabeth, at 11:05 PM  

  • Again, David Frum has something interesting to say: We're seeing the emergence of a new electoral coalition that is based on education levels and generational diffrences, rather than geography.

    By Blogger non sequitur, at 11:12 PM  

  • BBC roXX0rz:

    BBC North America editor Justin Webb: No need for legal action in Virginia - but the celebrations of an Obama win there seem to me to speak more of a changing America than of Obama managing to triumph in an unlikely place. Virginia is a changed state - it has grown by 50% in 10 years. Those newcomers are not your granny's Virginians. Virginia looks and feels different. And as Virginia goes, so goes the nation - this is the immutable fact which wise Republicans (Pawlenty et al) grasp. Unwise Republicans think abortion and gay bashing and gun toting can still win them the future…

    By Blogger non sequitur, at 11:13 PM  

  • Outgoing President George W Bush has telephoned Obama to congratulate him on his "awesome night," says White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.

    By Blogger non sequitur, at 11:30 PM  

  • McCain's concession speech: What everyone is saying. The old McCain, the guy we liked and respected. It was, as the BBC presented said, "generous and handsome." I hope he does something significant in the Senate in the next few years. I hope that this rather disgraceful campaign isn't his last word or legacy.

    By Blogger non sequitur, at 11:32 PM  

  • Congrats to America.

    By Blogger creature, at 11:34 PM  

  • Michael,

    Great coverage. Great job the last three+ years. I'm a regular reader.

    Bill (from U of T)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:34 PM  

  • Gore Vidal is on the BBC!! "The Republican Party isn't a party, it's a mind-set. They love war! They love power!"

    By Blogger non sequitur, at 11:48 PM  

  • Gore Vidal appears to be drunk or senile (or, of course, both).

    By Blogger non sequitur, at 11:48 PM  

  • Thanks, Anonymous Bill. I really appreciate it.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 11:52 PM  

  • I've been watching MSNBC tonight, and Matthews is saying some pretty smart stuff.

    He's talking about the college-educated white voters voting for Obama...saying that people in that demographic feel more economic security, and so they're more willing to want to do anything about social injustices and are willing to work on issues of inequality. Whereas people who feel extreme insecurity are more suspicious about "Others" threatening their social position and so cling to conservatism. It was a great sociological analysis.

    Also about how unusual this is, because in times of social turmoil, people tend to be more conservative and cling to the status quo. Perhaps this is in an indicator that people are questioning the status quo as part of the source of our problems?

    ...OK, Obama's on.

    By Blogger lindabeth, at 11:59 PM  

  • WOW what a difference...when Obama mentioned McCain's gracious phone call and Obama congratulates McCain, the crowd cheers. When McCain mentions Obama, there were loud boos, which persisted throughout despite McCain's "no, please."

    What unbelievable division that McCain's campaign brought in, and what unity Obama has promised!

    By Blogger lindabeth, at 12:03 AM  

  • Is it just me, or something generational, or does Obama have a far deeper and fuller understanding of America's civil religion than McCain (or any other politician I've ever seen, including Clinton, who was all schmutzy emoting and executing retarded people)?

    By Blogger non sequitur, at 12:19 AM  

  • Non-sequitur,

    I agree with you completely. No President since Lincoln has struck the chords Obama has regarding political religion and the higher purpose of American politics.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:03 AM  

  • Oh happy day. I'm proud to be an American again and we have a president we can be proud of. I've been crying off and on since about 10:00. It's a new world. Big hugs and champagne clinks to everyone.

    By Blogger Libby Spencer, at 1:34 AM  

  • Ick, Michelle Bachman won. The one with the McCarty-esque proposal that we investigate the American-ness of the members of Congress.

    libby, me too...I think I'm done crying now.

    By Blogger lindabeth, at 1:43 AM  

  • Very happy he won. Economic recovery in 3.. 2.. 1..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:19 AM  

  • I am very proud of what America did last night. Black and White. I happen to be a black man who has seen the way our ancestors were treated but "One Glad Morning" God has blessed us with a President and VP who are versatile in many ways and is qualified to do the job which "The Bush Administration" ran into the ground. If McCain would have won, we would have more of the same politics and the economy would have been in worst condition in 4 years. I am very proud to be an American at this historic fork in the road. God Bless not just America, but GOD BLESS EVERYONE.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:00 AM  

  • By Blogger sadisu, at 12:13 PM  

  • By Blogger coco0610, at 9:43 PM  

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