Although it is hard to believe, votes are still being counted for the 2008 presidential election. Obama's lead has reached 7.01% according to wikipedia, 52.81%--45.80%. However, both fivethirtyeight.com and the United States Election Project indicate that wikipedia is currently behind on their count by several hundred thousand votes. In fact, the United States Election Project shows wikipedia behind by over 1.3 million votes, fully 1% of the total, so Obama's margin of victory will continue to increase.
Here are some fun facts and figures:
Large Obama mandate: Obama received votes from the second highest percentage of the American population ever. With another million or so votes to count, currently 22.62% of the population voted for Obama. The all-time leader was Reagan in 1984, when he received the vote of 23.09% of the population. With up to another million votes to be added, Obama might still pass that total.
Huge turnout: Despite losing by over 7.00%, McCain actually didn't perform that badly. For example, he actually received more votes than John Kerry, and will probably pass the 60,000,000 threshold. In this light, Obama succeeded by pulling off the holy grail of Democratic election strategies: turning out huge numbers of unlikely voters. When the final totals are made, there will have been 26 million more votes in 2008 than 2000. That increase is in excess of 100% of the nation's population increase during the last eight years. Overall, more than 131 million people voted, or 61.6% of the voting eligible population. All in all, probably about 63% of the voting eligible population attempted to vote, considering spoiled ballots. That is the highest voter turnout since the voting age was lowered to 18.
National polls were pretty darn accurate: Assuming that Obama will win by 7.1%, the Pollster.com regression line of all national polls was only off by only 0.5%. The same can be said for the simple mean of national polls performed by Real Clear Politics. The lesson here is that when there are a high number of public polls, election forecasters are not very useful. Even a schmo like me can just conduct a simple mean of all the polls, and come pretty close to the final result. That old myth that combining different polls will not produce accurate results--because different polls have different methodologies--is just wrong. Clearly, you can combine polls to produce more accurate results.
Repudiation of 1994 "revolution": If Democrats win both of the outstanding House seats, and squeak out one of the remaining Senate seats, then there will be exactly the same number of Democrats in the House and Senate combined--316--as there were in 1993-1994 (note: this number includes Sanders as a Democrat on both occasions, and Lieberman as a Democrat on this occasion).So, this is effectively a repudiation of the 1994 Republican "revolution," although the location of Democrats did shift away from the south and toward the rest of the country.
Cool stuff. Although, given how long it takes to count these votes, it is a relief that the election wasn't closer. Given what a mess our election system is, I can only imagine what a disaster it would be if two candidates were separated by less than 1%.