THE FIFTH COLUMNIST by P.M. Carpenter
That was a damn rude thing the American electorate did last night to political commentators everywhere.
I mean, who did they leave us? Michele Bachmann?
So many of the true greats were already missing in action. One fondly recalls the slithering Tom DeLay, for instance, or the überbombastic Newt Gingrich, or even the more affectionate sorts, like Mark Foley.
Gone. Long gone, long ago, and likely never to return to the main arena.
That was -- is -- bad enough. But then there came George W.'s impending checkout time at the Hotel Pennsylvania Ave., along with his malevolent Dick.
What would we do? How would we manage without? Oh dear, what, indeed, was to be done?
Well, there was always the haplessly mavericky John McCain. He and Bookmark/Search this post with: buzzflash | delicious | digg | yahoo | technorati Technorati Tags: P.M. Carpenter obama mccain returns
I'm watching THE VIEW, and Joy Behar was talking about how last night McCain "finally came back to who he was." I.e., he's been kind of an ass for the past several months, and finally started to find his honor again. The token Republican countered with the following:
"I think it's hard because campaigns... really bring out the ugly in everyone on both sides. It's when you see them in their pure moments, Barack's speech last night, and John McCain's speech lsat night, that you see these moments of hope that they really have given us."Horse shit.
In that alternate reality Up North, Gov. Sarah Palin is back home with her new fame and wardrobe, while Ted Stevens seems to have won reelection to his Senate seat.
The careers of Alaska's two media stars have been intertwined since before Palin emerged and ran for the state house in 2006, and the conjunction will clearly continue.
Senate Republicans, anxious to escape the past and look to the future, would undoubtedly pressure the 84-year-old convicted felon to step aside to let Palin run for the seat in a special election early next year.
That would pose a slight problem for John McCain's running mate, who attained national stature without showing any knowledge whatsoever about substantive issues. As a senator, she would be a politician, to quote her convention speech, "with actual responsibilities" to know what's involved in proposed legislation and cast votes.
But her admirers at the National Review and Weekly Standard would be happy to supply tutelage, and it would be hard for Palin to resist the spotlight and remain frozen in Juneau.
As she told Rush Limbaugh, she is not bothered by the pesky attentions of the mainstream media: "Well, yeah, I guess that message is they do want me to sit down and shut up. But that's not going to happen. I care too much about this great country."
In his concession speech last night, McCain called Palin "an impressive new voice in our party for reform and the principles that have always been our greatest strength" and in Washington she would have much more occasion to wear the designer clothes that Republican contributors bought for her.
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The Franken-Coleman race is going to a recount. Details as they become available.
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Something to look at in the next couple of days -- turnout sucked. Not all ballots are in, but we're currently at almost 119M for the night. We had 122M vote in 2004. So we may get to 2004 levels. A quick spot check confirmed numbers down in many states (e.g. CA, NY, OH, etc). Could it be Republicans staying home? A look at the exit polls will be on my agenda tomorrow.
Tufts University’s Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement reports that:
Young people (ages 18-29) represented 18 percent of the voters in today’s election, according to the early released National Exit Polls (NEP) conducted by Edison/Mitofsky. This is the one point higher than in 1996, 2000, and 2004, when young voters represented 17 percent of voters in each presidential election, according to the NEP. However, this number does not indicate how many young people voted or whether there was a rise in youth turnout. In recent elections, the youth share of the vote remained constant, because youth turnout rose at the same rate as the total turnout. ...
Young voters diverged sharply from the population as a whole, preferring Obama/Biden over McCain/Palin by 68% to 30% in the NEP. This is by far the highest share of the youth vote obtained by any candidate since exit polls began reporting results by age categories in 1976. In past elections from 1976 through 2004, young voters diverged by an average of only 1.8 percentage points from the popular vote as a whole. 2004 had set the previous record for an age gap.
The youth turnout numbers should become available some time this morning. This figure is the only one which will show if there was an increased percentage turnout of youth voters this year. The youth share as a portion of the total turnout has stayed about the same, 17%, since 1996 because more people of every age have voted. However, youth turnout has grown, from 37% in 1996, to 41% in 2000, to 47% in 2004.
The Democratic presidential candidate's share of the youth vote (based on exit polls) vs. the Democrat's share of the total popular vote has been:
1976 51% 50%
1980 44% 41%
1984 40% 40.4%
1988 47% 45.5%
1992 43% 42.9%
1996 53% 49.2%
2000 48% 48.3%
2004 54% 48.1%
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At long last, after eight years in the wilderness, it is time that we shift our activism efforts[...]
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Highest turnout rate since '08 -- 1908: Provided the number stands, the turnout rate for yesterday's election was the highest in 100 years, according to the estimate from turnout guru Dr. Michael McDonald at George Mason University. Almost 137 million (136,631,825) went to the polls -- 64.1% of the voting-eligible population. 1960 saw 63.7% of the populace go out to vote; In 1908, 65.7% voted. It was, of course, the most people ever to go to the polls topping 2004's 122 million. That's 12% increase from 2004. For those wondering why the current total vote in the presidential adds up to approximately 117 million, note that it's going to climb. There is still a ton of vote missing on the West coast.
A commenter in a previous thread notes this about the Oregon Senate results:
NOT all in.
It's about a third in.
Someone at the AP/all the media have screwed up.
As a matter of fact, this race should be called for Merkley.
That seems true. Multnomah County is only 32 percent reported for the presidential race, with 360,000 ballots received.
Meanwhile, the AP reports (which fed results into our Scoreboard) says 100 percent of the vote is in the Senate race with just 129,000 ballots cast. Weird and kind of wrong. Is there an undervote? Sure. But this vote tally suggests it's nowhere near that drastic:
SUMMARY REPORT Multnomah County, Oregon
Run Date:11/04/08 General Election
RUN TIME:11:58 PM November 4, 2008
United States President
Vote for 1
Ralph Nader (PCE). . . . . 1,320 .99
Cynthia McKinney (PAC) . . . 357 .27
John McCain (REP). . . . 28,361 21.28
Bob Barr (LIB). . . . . . . 383 .29
Chuck Baldwin (CON) . . . . 327 .25
Barack Obama (DEM) . . . 101,712 76.32
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . 808 .61
United States Senator
Vote for 1
Gordon H Smith (REP). . . . 36,060 27.93
Jeff Merkley (DEM) . . . . 87,756 67.96
Dave Brownlow (CON) . . . . 4,845 3.75
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . 461 .36
The Senate total above is what AP is reporting as 100 percent in, and the presidential total above is what the AP is reporting for Obama, but with just 32 percent reporting.
In other words, the reality of the Senate race is that 2/3rds of heavily Democratic Multnomah (home of Portland) still has to be counted, not to mention 2/3rds of heavily Democratic Lake County (home of Eugene).
We're going to win this one.
And I think that maybe, just maybe, I'll go to bed.