Recounting Where Things Stand

by: Chris Bowers

Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 13:35

In the extended entry, I take a quick look at where the campaigns for President, Senate and House currently stand. Lots of counting, and recounting, to be done.

More in the extended entry.

Chris Bowers :: Recounting Where Things Stand
Looks like 364-174, with Obama winning the Kerry states plus Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia. Doesn't look good in Missouri.

Right now, turnout is at about 119 million, which would be down 3 million from 2004. However, there are millions of absentee ballots still to be counted, possibly three million in California alone.

In the popular vote, looks like Obama won by about 6.5%. That number could grow to 7.0% as ore votes are counted.

Democrats have 54 seats, Republicans 40, and Independents 2. There are four remaining campaigns:

  1. We are tailing in Alaska, and it doesn't look good. Probably one for Republicans. Something strange happened in Alaska.
  2. Georgia will have a run-off. Four more weeks of campaigning for Jim Martin.
  3. Minnesota is headed to a recount. Right now, Coleman leads by 694 votes, with all precincts reporting. The provisional ballots, which always favor Democrats, will come into play as well. Not over by a longshot. AP already retracted their call for Coleman. Recount and certification will take at least two weeks.
  4. Oregon is close, but seems like it will be OK.

If we win Georgia, Minnesota and Oregon, we get the Employee Free Choice Act. However, we need all three. Right now, I think we are only the favorite in one (Oregon). I can see pulling off one upset, but both will be difficult.

Swing State Project has the most concise round-up I can find. It looks like Democrats have 256 seats right now, counting ID-01, MD-01, and VA-05 for our side, with six undecided. Three campaigns, NJ-03, SC-01, and WA-08 are yet to be counted. There will be two run-offs in Louisiana. Also, CA-04 is headed to a recount, but we are trailing.

This is a net 20-seat pickup so far. Looks like we will come in on the lower end of my 21-27 seat range, and probably not hit the 24 which I labeled my best guess.


Most campaigning is over, but there is still another month to go in some areas. I will continue to monitor the 2008 elections as long as they continue.

Update: Democrat Adler wins NJ-03. That makes a 21 seat gain for Democrats.

Update 2: It appears we have lost SC-01.  

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Still hoping for the MO upset... (4.00 / 1)
(or else my path to a Mac Book will be blocked), but at the very least if things stay the way they are we can stop hearing endlessly about how MO always picks the president.

I am so sick of hearing that. =)

are people's guesses (0.00 / 0)
on that dkos contest publicly accessible yet? I got the 364 part right, my percentages were a bit too optimistic...need some more Senate seats but that could happen. Need a couple more House seats (go Darcy!).

[ Parent ]
I dunno... (0.00 / 0)
I can't even remember what some of my guesses are... I also need more senate seats and I overshot the house seats I think... but a lot of people probably did, and not sure what percent of people picked 375 for EVs... yeah, even if he pulls the MO upset I'm still a longshot for the MacBook, but would still be fun to be in the mix. =)

My PV is looking VERY good right now... I think I did 52.8-46.3.  It's at 52.4 - 46.3 right now apparently, though McCain's numbers will probably go down a bit further too... So I'll be close. =)

[ Parent ]
contest within a contest (0.00 / 0)
we'll have to look at an Open Left subset of the dkos entrants and see who wins that. I have a Taco Bell coupon I can offer as a prize. Chris thinks it's all his....we'll see.

[ Parent ]
actually I have an Apple laptop I could offer (0.00 / 0)
it's from the late 1990s however.

[ Parent ]
The election continues... (4.00 / 2) least in real life. Cable news can barely bring themselves to cover the unresolved races for more than 2 minutes an hour.

All things considered, Prop 8 in CA seems to be the worst result of the night. Fortunately, this constitutional amendment that was (probably) passed by a simple majority can also be repealed by a simple majority, hopefully as soon as 2009.  

"Don't hate the media, become the media" -Jello Biafra

Yeah, and then... (4.00 / 2)
Can CA please pass something that says that new constitutional amendments need a super-majority to pass?  Seems like the CA constitution is way too flimsy.

[ Parent ]
I wish we had a proposition (4.00 / 1)
That just gets rid of the whole proposition process. I'm really delighted that the high speed train prop passed, but for the most part these propositions are a horrible way to govern.

Half the people who voted for Prop. 8 thought it had something to do with protecting children from gay people. The LDS church really blanketed our airwaves with fear, smears, lies. And the No on 8 campaign acted too little, too late in their ad campaign.

[ Parent ]
I agree with that too... (0.00 / 0)
It's a stupid process... CO had extremely long ballots this year too, as did several other states I'm sure, because of propositions.  What's the point of an elected government if you're just going to leave a bunch of issues up for a referendum anyway?

I shouldn't be talking, though... We had a long ballot in Chicago too because we have to vote on whether to retain judges, but at least that's voting for people and not for policy (we had 2 referendums this year, but only 1 I think had any legal weight, and that was just whether we should have a constitutional convention).

[ Parent ]
Which... (0.00 / 0)
The convention is required to be on every 20 years anyway,  

[ Parent ]
We Need Fundamental Reform, Not Abolition (4.00 / 1)
I agree 100% that the existing system is a disaster.  But it doesn't have to be.

The original Swiss model of the initiative is vastly superior.  It basically functions to force legislative action.  When an initiative is passed, the legislature has the option to propose it's own alternative, which gets voted on first.  These are generally very well-crafted measures that meet the main concerns of all involved.  More often than not, even the original proponents are pleased.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Waht Cali needs (0.00 / 0)
is a constitutional convention. The constitution is a mess and it makes the state unvgovernable.

[ Parent ]
What is the deal with this "revise" vs "amend" thing (0.00 / 0)
Wouldn't explicitly repealing a constitutional amendment be revising?

[ Parent ]
I wish... (4.00 / 1)
I wish a bunch of progressive companies would uproot from CA and come out here to MA in support of gay rights.  Not only would it be nice to see MA rewarded for showing some sense of equality (plus it would help our economy and ergo our Democratic governor), it would be great to watch Californians suffer from the aggressive actions of their even more bigoted neighbors in Utah.  It would be a nice cautionary/reward tale.

[ Parent ]
California doesn't border Utah... (0.00 / 0)
There's a Nevada in between.

[ Parent ]
I hope you're right (0.00 / 0)
here is the real sad part. While the gay community rallied behind Barak 9-to-1 and helped put the first African-American in the white house, 70% of African-Americans voted YES on 8. Latinos split 50/50, Asians and Whites voted NO. So it looks like Blacks are responsible for YES on 8. This is according to exit polls. The good news: 19-29 voted NO overwhelmingly 63%. It's just matter of time ...

[ Parent ]
Amendment 2 in Florida was worse (0.00 / 0)
Amendment 2 was a ban against same sex marriage, but Florida law requires 60% for an initiative to pass.

It got 62.

[ Parent ]
Congress underperformed the polls (0.00 / 0)
While Obama matched the polls.

Iraq Plus Turnout (0.00 / 0)
See my comment below.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Yeah... but... (0.00 / 0)
The media is reporting Turnout at 7 million higher than you claim.    

[ Parent ]
Interesting (0.00 / 0)
There was concern during the campaign that Obama was under-performing "generic" Democrats, but he ended up out-performing them.

It also looks like his coattails may have substantially bigger in states with early voting, though we could have done better in some of those South Florida seats.

Conduct your own interview of Sarah Palin!

[ Parent ]
One thing that occurs to me (4.00 / 4)
about the wins in Nevada, Colorado, Virginia and North Carolina: Obama has won states that are rapidly growing in population.  For at least the last 30 years one of the problems Democrats have confronted is the steady erosion in their electoral base as a result of the Census.  

The best example: Gore would have won with the States he won in 2000 under the map in force in the 80's or 70's.  

Obama in some ways broke that trend last night.   The states that are growing the fastest are in the Mountain and South West and in the Southeast Coast.  Obama's competive showing means he is less at risk from the inevitable shifts that will occur in 2010.  

Exactly! (4.00 / 1)
I think AZ might have been ours without a native son on the ticket.  That Western bloc is going to be huge for us.

[ Parent ]
I agree very much about Arizona (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
It's the Piedmonts, stupid! (4.00 / 1)
Piedmonts of the Appalachians and Rockies are the keys to the Democrats' future. Already, Obama won Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado and New Mexico on the strength of the piedmont regions, and those trends ought to only strengthen over the next 4-8 years. So we start out with quite a solid electoral map for the future.

[ Parent ]
I don't know why the media is stuck on NJ3 (4.00 / 2)
We have the final unofficial NJ3 numbers at Blue Jersey.  

New Jersey politics at Blue Jersey.

yeah (0.00 / 0)
i think that one is done.

[ Parent ]
Thanks! (4.00 / 1)
Updated with a link. Great news!

[ Parent ]
About the employee free choice act (0.00 / 0)
Aren't there 5 or 6 Senators that can be picked up from Republicans?

Also, when does Harry Reid get replaced?

I live in a true blue state--I will have a choice in November

Hard to say (0.00 / 0)
As I mentioned in this post, Spector is the only one on record as voting for cloture.  Can we pressure some of the moderates either up for re-election or those who barely survived?  Maybe.

[ Parent ]
Harry Reid will look better (0.00 / 0)
He'll be a stronger leader in the Senate with Obama in the White House to back him up. (And the Veep will have a few words for him, too.) And he'll be a much stronger leader with the added Democratic Senators.

In fact, I've been saying that the best way to get better Democrats is to get more Democrats. When you are the only elected Democratic federal official within hundreds of miles, you can feel intimidated.

Now Mark Udall will help Ken Salazar vote with the Democratic majority more often. Tom Udall will help Jeff Bingaman move a step to the left. Senators Mark Warner and Kay Hagan -- and we still hope, Jim Martin, too -- will help Mary Landrieu and Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor to be better Democrats, too, if not exactly "Better Democrats."

[ Parent ]
Employee Free Choice Act Filibuster (0.00 / 0)
It does seem like we need 59, as Specter was the only Republican voting for cloture.  However, is it possible we could pressure moderates up for re-election?  Gregg, for example.  Voinovich.  What about pressuring Smith/Coleman after (if they win) narrow re-election?

I'm just not sure if I agree we need 59 to get it through.  59 might be acceptable.

Also, what about an Obama administration offering Olympia Snowe a job?

If Coleman does win .. (0.00 / 0)
I think he could be brought in line .. after all .. would he rather Obama release the DOJ on his ass?

[ Parent ]
or Al Franken's next book? n/t (4.00 / 1)

[ Parent ]
Why I Was Wrong (4.00 / 3)
Well, I wasn't wrong about everything.  But I was wrong about the number of House and Senate pickups, as well as Obama's victory margin--all of which are sort of a big deal.  But all three shortfalls seem to be largely attributable to the fact that overall turnout was surprisingly flat from 2004. Yes, there's still millions of ballots left to count, but not enough to get us over 130 million, while some projections were as high as 135 million.  With Obama at 70 million and McCain at 60 million (Dems always have more marginal voters than Reps), I probably would have been on the money.

It's ironic, really. I expressly said I was going with my heart vs. my head, and put some pretty ambitious, well outside the consensus projections, only to discover that they fall short in no small measure, because the CW on turnout was wrong.  Now the big question is "why?"  The youth turnout seems to have been just the sort of lopsided force we had all assumed it would be.  And Dem turnout was up, while Reps were down.  But the massive turnout wasn't really that massive after all.

So, again: why?  The avalanche of negative ads in the closing is the best explanation that pops out at me.  It's known that Democratic/Democratic-leaning low-info occasional voters are more vulnerable to discouragement through this sort of thing, particularly if it comes last minute and there's no time to refute it.  There was also a lot of last-minute disinformation--such as emails, flyers, etc. saying that Dems were to vote on Wednesday.  Voter Protection talked about this on a press conference call yesterday. Again, low-info  voters are more vulnerable to this.

So, it's a plausible explanation.  But given that I'm trying to gain insight into why I was wrong, I don't want just a plausible expalantion.  I want to know why.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

Turnout (0.00 / 0)
MSNBC reports turnout at 137 million, 64.1% of registered voters, the highest turnout since 1908. Shoulda been 100% of course, but highest turnout in 100 years doesn't suck!

[ Parent ]
But That Doesn't Seem To Be So (0.00 / 0)
The totals so far are more like 121-122 million. CNN has Obama at 63 and change, McCain at 56 and change. Plus a million and change, maybe two for third parties.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Then Again... (0.00 / 0)
Turnout dude from george Mason says its Historic...   I'm just saying that you and Kos have jumped the gun on the turnout thing.   I believe there are still absentee ballots and provisionals that need to be added to the totals as well.  

[ Parent ]
Same here (0.00 / 0)
I guessed high and have been wondering the same things and reached the same conclusion.

The day before the election, I saw the Wright ad 5 times in 1.5 hours on MSNBC.

[ Parent ]
Florida turnout (4.00 / 3)
was lower than expected, though it was still pretty good.  

I think part of the reason was the length of the lines.  There was enourmous publicity in Florida about the waiting times to vote and in the end I think that kept some people away.  

Long voter lines are a form of voter supression: in some ways the most effective of all.  

[ Parent ]
I almost didn't vote (0.00 / 0)
I've voted Democratic in every election since LBJ was on the ticket. But yesterday in New York City, a friend reported standing in line for over an hour in the morning. Now that I'm 64 with arthritis in my hips, I just can't stand for an hour. I began to think, they can do this without me. (When I went to vote at 4:15 in the afternoon, the rush of early voters had finished and the after-work voters had not yet arrived.)

It is a disgrace that there are waiting lines to vote in any county in the country, even in NYC, but worse in any of the battleground states.

We need to mandate early voting North Carolina style, with at least one polling place open in every county from 8 to 5 every weekday, plus evening and weekend hours, and on-the-spot registration and voting as well.

[ Parent ]
Actually, this post is wrong, I think (0.00 / 0)
On the turnout question.  

If Hooey is correct about, we got great turnout.

[ Parent ]

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