Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Election Day 2004
9:15 pm PT - Things are getting interesting. Florida goes to Bush. If Kerry can't make up ground in Ohio, there are going to be a lot of happy NASCAR fans out there. As I write this, Bush has a 129,000 vote lead in Ohio with 82% of the precincts reporting. Both sides are saying the precincts that are out are heavily in their favor. We shall see.
I think we'll know the winner before 10:30 pm Pacific time, when I predict that Ohio will slide to one or the other.
7:15 pm PT - The electoral votes are really piling up for the President, but still no surprises. He's up to 193 according the CNN.com. One important thing to consider though is that Bush needs 77 electoral votes to win, and Montana, Idaho, Arizona and Nevada are his only sure bets. A guy from New Mexico indicated that we won't likely know the results there or in Colorado until tomorrow. We might be in for a long night.....
One thing that is really interesting is how Gay Marriage Bans on the ballot has affected the turnout. As of right now, six states ( Ohio, Mississippi, Georgia, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arkansas ) passed various and sundry resolutions/initiatives that define marriage as only between a man and a women. 5 other states (Michigan, North Dakota, Utah, Oregon, and Montana) are considering similar laws today.
While I disagree completely with the aim of these laws, I have to hand it to the strategists who got these on the ballot, because it seems to have motivated voters in those states who were against same sex marriage, who would tend to be more Republican. So far, all of those six states have gone to Bush, which is a disturbing trend when one considers the importance of Ohio for Kerry to win the White House. Michigan is another close state where this could come into play.
5:00 pm PT - States have started to be allocated. No surprises thus far. Kerry takes Vermont, Bush takes Kentucky (that's a prize), Indiana and Georgia. The prizes coming up in the next hour are Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Good news keeps flowing from those exit polls (if you're a Kerry supporter). If Kerry picks up Florida or Ohio and maintains leads in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, Bush will be heading back to Crawford.
Several people have commented about the varying coverage between networks at this point. Fox News is predictably Pro-Bush, CNN is predictably Pro-Kerry, and NBC doesn't want to be the network that got it wrong two Presidential Elections in a row.
My prediction is that there are going to be some surprises from all of this. Hear me know and listen to me later, but I see Kerry taking Iowa and New Mexico by paper thin margins.
I'm not making any rash predictions until I see how Ohio ends up, but I continue to gain confidence with each new poll and projection. Feel free to chime in either in comments or via email .
3:00 pm PT - Good news if you're a Kerry supporter...the first exit polls are in here
Now, I will strongly caution you, as the author of the article does, to remember the exit polls have predictive value, but can be thrown off because they don't include absentee ballots etc. I'm encouraged, but I got excited in 2000, when Coolio and Al Gore were singing "Gansta's Paradise" and I still haven't recovered from the disappointment there. It will be interesting to compare these initial numbers with the final numbers. Any predictions?
1:00 pm PT - I have been monitoring the news all day and things seem to be going well with very high voter turnout News link
An interesting story on NPR this morning: apparently someone called a number of elderly people in a very conservative area of Pennsylvania pretending to be Ret. Gen. "Stormin'" Norman Schwarzkopf, telling these people that he was supporting John Kerry. It was obviously a prank, as Schwarzkopf has made it no secret that he supports Bush. But, part of me actually found this quite funny. What do you think? My feeling is that if you need a General to call and tell you who to vote for, prank calls are the least of your concerns.
Finally, a gripe of mine. Are any of your out there still undecided? I have heard from a number of people today that there are still people on the fence. I'm interested in hearing more about this because I had assumed previously that undecided voters were a statistical anomaly, and like Santa Claus, the Yeti, and compassionate conservatives, really didn't exist. If you're still undecided and you do a good job of explaining yourself, I will post your response here with your name or an alias so that we can all better understand where you're coming from. Email me here, if you'd like
9:00 am PT - Mission Accomplished (at least partially, the rest of you have to do the same thing). I voted this morning at 7:00 am, incidentally at a local church. Mister Bling raised an interesting question about the tendency for churches to be used as polling places. I would be interested to hear more reaction about this. I have also had several emails from people outside of the US, and I will be posting their reactions later this afternoon.
The place where I voted was packed. There were probably at least 50 people waiting. The scanner was malfunctioning, so we had to place the ballots in an emergency box to be scanned at a later time. I would have had a more negative reaction to this, but a representative from the State Attorney General's Office was there observing the whole mess, and assured several people that the ballots would be scanned.
From the media reports at MSNBC.com, it appears that there have been few voting problems, and most of them have been resolved. Just a reminder that if you need information on where your local polling place is, the Election Updates title will take you to a website where you can figure that out.
I was also excited to learn that in certain states, you can register on the day of the election (Wisconsin, for example). I hope people take advantage of that, because I know Wisconsin is going to be contentious when it comes to the Presidential Race.
More updates coming later today regarding the election. Also expect updates on my gripes with celebrity endorsements for President and your reactions to the election.
6:00 am PT - Good Morning. Just a reminder to get out there and vote today, regardless of the candidate you're supporting. In the title, I linked a website that can help you figure out where to vote. The polling place locator has had a lot of traffic today, so be patient. I'm afraid the entire day might be a bit disappointing, since the whole thing could end up in court, anyway, but we'll keep our fingers crossed.
For those of you in the US, send me information or pictures about your voting experience and I will share that here with either your name or an alias.
For those of you in different countries, send me your impressions of how our electoral process works with either your name and an alias.
I have some comments already that I will post later in the day, that I received via email.