The Eclectic Quill

November 4, 2008

Watch the Election Results on the Quill

Filed under: Politics — Kelly @ 5:05 pm

I’ll be hosting a live blog monitoring the election throughout the evening. Feel free to post any comments and bring in the next President with me.

 

5:13 PM—The first polls have closed but we haven’t heard any actual counts yet. CNN is reporting that according to their exit polling the #1 issue on voters mind is the economy. Big surprise there, but it bodes well for Obama.

5:21 PM—The first results from Kentucky are trickling in and McCain is ahead, but it’s just a trickle. Kentucky isn’t really anything remotely expected to be for Obama anyway. More interesting is waiting to see the Indiana Results start to come in.

5:31 PM—CNN is reporting that according to their exit polling 70 percent of voters think that Obama will raise their taxes, which means that the McCain lie got through. What’s interesting though is that it didn’t seem to matter.

5:33 PM—The first results for Indiana are coming in and Obama is ahead 55-44, I’m pretty sure that’s going to change and get much tighter. It’ll be interesting.

5:37 PM—More votes from Indiana trickle in and its 50-49 Obama , and it’ll probably hang around there all evening. Indiana won’t be a quick call tonight.

5:40 PM—ABC News is reporting that only 13 percent of the vote was African-American, perhaps not the number that Obama was hoping for. What’s interesting is that the highest black turnout may be in Pennsylvania, and it is as a direct result of the Jeremiah Wright ad put out by the RNC in that state.

5:46 PM—Indiana results continue to come in. With 2 percent in he still has about a 700 vote lead, and is up 50-49 percent. If Obama wins Indiana this is so over. I should point out that those precincts that are coming in now aren’t the urban areas where Obama is expected to do better.

5:52 PM—On Kentucky, I’m looking for the Senate Race with Lunsford because that would bode well for a filibuster proof Senate.

5:55 PM—On MSNBC they are reporting that the Republicans are essentially conceding the Dole will lose. If Hagin and Lunsford win their Senate seats, then Franken (MN) and Beich (AK) can give us the 60 we need in the Senate.

5:59 PM—McCain has pulled slightly ahead in IN by about 350 votes, still no urban areas reporting yet though. I think Obama might actually have a shot there.

6:00 PM—CNN is projecting Kentucky for McCain and Vermont for Obama. Indiana is too close to call. South Carolina is too close to call early, which is pretty fascinating. A lot of red states are too close to call.

6:03 PM—Warner wins the open Virginia seat, which is a pickup for the Dems in the Senate, so now we’re officially 52-48.

6:10 PM—Still waiting for some results on the 6:00 PM closings, but Indiana continues to trickle in and Obama holds steady. Still no urban precincts reporting though.

6:13 PM—Obama is back in the lead in Indiana, up by about 4000 votes.

6:23 PM—I’m trying to not go into a panic as McCain is taking an early 53-47 lead in the overall numbers. Then I stop and look and realize that it’s that close, it’s early, and all the reporting precincts were Bush states in ’00 and ’04.

6:25 PM—McCain is pulling away a bit in Indiana, but again, it’s almost all rural vote.

6:30 PM—Obama is taking a big lead in Florida (40,000 votes), but I’m not sure about the precincts.

6:33 PM—The first North Carolina votes are coming in and Obama has an early lead there.

6:35 PM—The national numbers are starting to favor Obama, whose up by 40,000 votes overall now.

6:57 PM—McCain is getting projected to win South Carolina. That was once again, expected. Obama is doing very well in Florida, but again, I don’t know the map well enough to speculate on the precincts.

7:00 PM—Eight new projections, MA, MN, IL, DE, MD, VT and CN and DC for Obama and OK and TN for McCain. The EV count is now 81-34 Obama. CBS is giving NH to Obama and W. VA to McCain.

7:06 PM—ABC is projecting PA for Obama. That gives Obama 100 EV, and pretty much, the election.

7:08 PM—Electoral-vote.com is running a real time, actual vote map. It’s pretty interesting.

7:11 PM—North Carolina and Indiana both continue to look realistic for Obama. If he picks up one or both you can all but call the election. If he wins Florida it’s going to be a landslide.

7:13 PM—WOW!!! What difference between the McCain and Obama camps in terms of their election night parties! In Chicago it’s way beyond enthusiastic, and in Arizona they’re practically singing a dirge—literally!

7:31 PM—We have a big win for the Dems as Hagan wins North Carolina! Woohoo!

8:00 PM—Another bout of closings, McCain gets KS, WY and ND, Obama gets NY, MI, MN, WI, RI. A lot of other too close/too early to calls.

8:26 PM—Obama wins OH. Now he only needs to keep the Kerry states and wins. It’s over. If he wins CA, OR, WA and HW, which he will, Obama wins the election.     

8:35 PM—Obama gets NM. Yep. It’s over.

8:37 PM—Obama closes in on Virginia cutting the lead to 7000 votes.

8:41 PM—CNN reports no Republican since Lincoln has won without Ohio.

9:01 PM—Sorry to anyone who is reading, which isn’t much from what I can tell, but I’ve gotten to caught up to blog. Congratulations to President Barack Obama.

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November 3, 2008

Maddow on the Poll Tax

Filed under: Politics — Kelly @ 4:11 pm

Maddow brings up an interesting question, and I’d like to get some of your thoughts on it. I hope this blog entry turns into a conversation by many, rather than a rant by me (unlike most of my other blogs). What do you think, should Election Day be a National Holiday?

<— Don’t forget to vote in the Poll!

The Axis of Liberals

Filed under: Politics — Kelly @ 4:01 pm

The new mantra of the Republican Party has been that America should vote for John McCain to avoid the trio of Pelosi, Reid and Obama running the show. They may be wondering why the strategy isn’t having its intended effect. I can’t blame them, it’s worked in the past. It’s always the same with them, try to scare you about the liberal running, and then you’ll make the "safe" choice, the Republican. There’s a big reason it doesn’t work anymore. They found out that whatever is going to happen if there’s liberals running the world, it can’t possibly be as bad as when the conservatives were doing it. But there the Republicans go, prattling on about how the "liberals" are going to ruin America and how the American people are going to suffer and so on. Incredibly, their campaign strategy has turned into "Don’t vote for Obama or you’ll get what you want!"

I was watching Joe Scarborough, (don’t ask me why) and he was telling us how America is still a "center-right" country. I read the same thing in column, (I believe form the Wall Street Journal but I’m not really feeling like looking it up). I love that, center-right, as though somehow that expression means something. It’s all relative. If Obama took the exact same platform to Europe he would be far right, but here he’s getting called by the right "The most liberal candidate ever." Again, as if that means something. Put it this way. If I have Bush on my left, and Hitler on my right, equal distances apart, and then take a baby-step to the right, am I center right? What does center-right mean when you take the relative position out of it.

I love it when people talk about how Obama and/or any liberal is "socialist." Pretty much if anyone does that I know for a fact they don’t have a clue as to what socialism means because if they did, they wouldn’t be calling the Democrats a socialist. I ask them which Democrat is advocating for the government to take over the means of production. At that point they look at me with a blank and stupid stare. I then refer them to this quote of Mussolini , "The first stage of fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of State and corporate power." Then I ask them, which of these is closer to being true, 1) we are in danger of the state taking over them means of production, or 2) we are in danger of the corporations (i.e. the means of production) taking over the state. Then they stare blankly for another moment or two before they get it. The first thing is, the Republicans aren’t "center right" they are FAR right and, with apologies to Godwin’s law, on their first step to the road of fascism. When we literally have studies done to protect the public interest, which are then usurped, spun, and overwritten to protect private corporate interests that’s Corporatism, and a hairs-breadth from fascism. So whatever Joe the Pundit says, I don’t think that "America" agrees with the notion of corporatism. In fact I think that they are a far more "liberal" crowd than Joe the Pundit realizes.

On the subject of gun control Americans are nearly 2-1 for it. Again, by a nearly 2-1 margin Americans currently believe that those who are making more than $75,000 a year should be paying more than they are (which is a far cry from the $250,000 that Obama proposes). Since Gallup has done polling on the subject, those who are pro-choice outnumber those who are pro-life in every single poll . Americans, by a nearly 3-1 margin favor Universal Health Care. Again, by a 2-1 margin Americans oppose the war in Iraq, and 71 percent think the money we’ve spent over there is to blame for the economic crisis. Nearly 60 percent of Americans think there should be some sort of legal recognition of same-sex couples, either through marriage or civil unions. By a nearly 3-1 margin Americans favor Obama’s education policies over those of John McCain. Look, you could probably go on for quite a while here, but when you break things down issue by issue here it’s pretty apparent. America is, by Joe the Pundits standard, pretty darned liberal. In fact, if Obama is the most liberal candidate to ever run for the Presidency of the United States of America, then this might be the most liberal the country has ever been. Perhaps that’s why America is going to elect the "Axis of Liberals" to lead it.

This brings up one of the craziest, most idiotic things I’ve read lately, and I’ve read it more than once. It seems that a lot of the endorsements of McCain (which there are thankfully few of) are citing his superior ability to work out compromises in Congress. Ahem? McCain is going to do a better job of working smoothly with a Democratic Congress, which has already bent over backwards, perhaps too willingly, than a Democratic President who shares the same goals and views? That’s just plain silly. I think the "Axis of Liberals" are going to take a couple of years to just get the country back on track from where it is now. It’s high time America got what she wants, now that she knows there are scarier things out there than trumped up Socialism.

November 2, 2008

IF—A Question for Conservatives

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kelly @ 7:16 pm

I have a question for any and all conservatives. I understand that you feel the world is about to collapse underneath your feet on Tuesday. I felt the same way 8 years ago when it looked like there’d be an all Republican rule. I was worried about fighting an unending war, a President who would be nonchalant about terrorism until it was too late, and most of all, I was worried about what an unrestrained Republican party would do with deregulating and irresponsible tax cuts, and what that might do to the economy. Gee, looks like I was right to worry. So, yes, I can understand why you’re worried, but let’s discuss some slight possibilities here. If, and I know for you it’s a big, whopping, "if", but let’s consider IF all of the following are true.

IF in four years the economy is better.

IF in four years your income has gone up.

IF in four years you still have your house and your job.

IF in four years you make less than $200,000 and your taxes haven’t gone up.

IF in four years small businesses are up.

IF in four years the mortgage crisis is over.

IF in four years you still have your religious freedom.

IF in four years health care has not been nationalized.

IF in four years we still haven’t been conquered by the terrorists.

IF in four years there hasn’t been another 9-11.

IF in four years you are still allowed to own your hunting rifles.

IF in four years there is still heterosexual marriage.

IF in four years the abortion rate is lower than it is now.

IF in four years Wright, Farrakhan and Ayers are names from the past, and not the Obama Cabinet.

IF in four years the world is not in a universal recession.

IF in four years, the American Flag is still in the Oval Office.

IF in four years the White House hasn’t been painted black.

IF in four years we still haven’t nationalized the means of production.

IF in four years you are personally better off than you are now, and America is better off than it is now.

So here’s my question for you. IF, and only IF all of the above are true. Will you then admit you were wrong about Obama?

Socialist-Muslim-Pedophiliac-Anti-American-Flag-Hating-Celberity-Terrorist Sympathizer Endorses McCain on Global Warming

Filed under: Politics — Kelly @ 3:31 pm

Seriously, if McCain really believes all that he and his surrogates say about Obama then why is he using this?

Will We Be Up Late On Election Night?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kelly @ 9:42 am

I’ve been seeing and reading a number of shows and articles which suggest that the election is “tightening” and that we may be up on election night late. There’s discussions of polls and “Bradley Effects” and Obama not “closing the deal” and so on. All of this is completely incongruent with reality. I understand that this time is probably the most profitable time for the media, and it only comes around once every four years so they have to sell a close election, but reality has to settle in somewhere. So if you’re one of those people who is having trouble believing Obama is going to win, this blog is for you. Consider it your Sunday and Monday night sedative. Here’s why some of the bunk you’ve been hearing isn’t true.

The Polls Aren’t Tightening

They aren’t. Polls operate with a margin of error, and that margin of error is actually a margin of error. When there is a daily tracking poll which has a that has a lead of 5 points one day and 6 the next and 5 the next it doesn’t mean that one percent of the people changed their mind one day and then changed it back the next day, it actually means that there is no real measurable change, since the fluctuation is well within the margin of error. Additionally different polls use different sampling criteria. Therefore if we want to really get an idea of what sort of trending is going on the best thing to do is to look at what is happening over time, and over multiple polls. Two weeks ago Obama held a lead of 5.7 points in the major polls. One week ago he held a lead of 8.1 points in those same polls. Then today, once again in the same polls, he leads by 7.6 points. So, over the last two weeks it is actually more accurate to say that Obama has extended and held his lead than to say that the polls are tightening. This still doesn’t tell the whole story though. In 14 of 18 non-tracking polls in the last two weeks Obama has maintained at least 50 percent of the votes. If we look at the three major polls which use the expanded model (accounting for the huge influx of newly registered voters) we see something similar. In the ABC daily tracking poll he’s held at 52 or 53 percent since Oct 16. In the Gallup daily tracking poll he’s held at between 50-53 percent. In the Daily Kos tracking poll he’s held between 50-52 percent. The bottom line is that Obama is holding steady with a pretty solid majority. If he wins 52 or 53 percent of the votes, then accounting for third party votes, McCain would probably only settle in around 45 percent, which is pretty consistent with our 7.6 points.

But really, it doesn’t matter whether McCain gets 45 or 48, if Obama gets 52 or 53, which he’s been very steady with. The McCain camp and the pundits want you to think that the flocculation in the polls is because people have trouble making their mind up about Obama. The swing in the polls hasn’t come from people having trouble making their mind up about Obama, it’s coming from people having trouble making their minds up about Mcain, whose numbers swing wildly from 38 to 47 percent, depending on the polls and the day of the week. On Tuesday night Obama will receive about 52-53 percent of the votes and McCain will probably settle in around 45-47. I’m certain.

National Numbers Don’t Matter Anyway

National numbers don’t matter anyway. Anyone who remembers Al Gore can tell you that much. This vote is about the electoral college, and there Obama holds a decisive advantage, and it’s nothing like the last two elections. People want to draw comparisons to the Kerry election from last year to this year’s election this year. It’s not even close. First look at this map. Particularly pay attention to the “Strong” and “Weak” numbers. In the “Strong” states, where the average, weighted lead over the last number of polls is at least 10 points, Obama has 238 electoral votes. In the “weak” category, where the lead is outside of the margin of error but fewer than ten points, Obama has 73 EV. That makes for 311 EV. Now look at the same map in 2004, two days before the election, with Kerry having 95 and 101 respectively, totaling only 196. To say the least Kerry’s numbers were a lot more tenuous than Obama’s are right now. It makes comparisons ridiculous.

Let’s take a look at this year and what actually needs to happen for Obama to win. Let’s assume that first that both candidates retain all their “Strong” states, leaving Obama with 238 to McCain’s 112. Now, let’s be stupidly generous and give all the states within the margin of error, regardless of who is leading, to McCain, and also give him his weak states. That gives him another 115 EV, closing Obama’s lead to 238-227. This should start giving some indication of how close the election isn’t. It means that Obama has to only win 31 of the 73 EV to lock everything down. These states, with their EV in parentheses are, Pennsylvania (21), Ohio (20), Virginia (13), Colorado (9), Nevada (5) and New Mexico (5). McCain has given up advertising in Colorado and New Mexico, virtually surrendering those states to Obama as he has held leads around the 7-9 point margin for the last month. Since he’s virtually conceded those two states let’s go ahead and give them to Obama. That means that Obama now has 252 EV, and needs only 18 more. His lead in Ohio is actually getting stronger lately, and yesterday in one poll he held a 14 point lead, which while this is probably an outlier, it is significant. A win in Ohio seals the deal for Obama. In Virginia McCain has not lead in over a month; the same is true with Nevada. Combined wins in Nevada and Virginia seal the deal for Obama. McCain has trailed Obama in Pennsylvania significantly, and while he’s closed slightly after a weak of heavy campaigning and spending, he’s still only closed it a couple of points. He currently trails there by 8-10 points and would have to have to pass Obama up by Tuesday, or else he loses the election. Essentially all Obama has to do is hold serve in half the states he is comfortably ahead in while McCain has to pull off the near impossible.

Upsets Don’t Happen

Some people want to point to sports upsets and draw analogies between this and them. It’s a ludicrous metaphor. In sports, you have a competition settled on the field, which consist of anywhere between 10-22 players, depending on what major sport you are talking about. There’s not going to be an ’06 Cards here, or an Appalachian State. This isn’t a sport, it’s an election. There are a hundred million people involved. This isn’t about what Obama does today or tomorrow, and it’s not about what McCain does. It’s about what the voters do. There’s no home run to surrender, no “Hail Mary” to throw, there’s only a speech or two to be made and the votes to be cast. Generally speaking I don’t believe that there are anymore “undecided” voters. I think that there are only people who say that because it makes them sound smarter, as though they are waiting to the final day to “make their decision.” Some people point to Truman and Dewey, and suggest that’s an upset. I disagree. Polls ended a week before the election with them. That’s not the case here.

We Might Be Up Late Anyway

I live in Illinois. It’s a big mystery who will win here! I’ve been asking my Republican friends whether they will cast their protest votes. Apart from the ones who think that Palin is actually Presidential they are saying no. Compare this with the early voting trends, which hugely favor Democrats. This is an area where Republicans normally have an advantage. However, this year Democrats are waiting in huge lines to cast their votes, whether it’s because they are so frustrated with the status-quo or whether it’s because they want to be able to tell their children they voted for the first African-American President. These voters aren’t likely to go home because it’s “in the bag.” I think the only surprise on election night as far as the Presidential election goes may be the margin Obama wins by. I believe this because I believe that a lot of McCain supporters are pretty much conceding it’s a lost cause and will stay home. People don’t brave four hour lines to cast a losing vote. I think this will filter into the Senate races could impact the number the Democrats have in the Senate. There are a number of close races which a McCain weight could affect. We may be awake on election night anyway, although not to see whether Obama will be President, but to see whether Franken carries Minnesota and gives the Democrats a filibuster proof Congress. So there you have it, sleep easy for now, you might need it on election night.

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