Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Live-Blogging Election Night 2004

6:00 pm Here we go folks. The spin-dogs have been howling all day. Time to whack them back with the rolled up newspaper of real precinct returns.

Dang people. Kerry has been said to be winning Minnesota by 18 points all day. Does anyone this side of the New Patriot think that one is going to hold? Or maybe - just maybe - those numbers come from over-sampled Kerry friendly precincts and demographics?

Now we get to find out.

Listening to our friend Chumley Wonderbar on the Patriot at the moment during a break from the Lord High Commissioner’s broadcast. He says he’ll be there all night, with the NARN guys.

Oh.. that’s right. We have the NARN breaking in occasionally for commentary during Hugh’s special-extended election coverage broadcast. We’ll need to remember to check in on them regularly.

Blogger is slow as a tired old mule in a Texas July tonight (an homage to Dan Rather there). I’ll keep blogging as I go, but publishing is going to be sluggish if this doesn’t clear up.

Here we go with the first real returns…. According to Hugh Hewitt, CNN calls Georgia and Kentucky for Bush.

Ok, so we’re not getting real shocking returns yet. But it’s real. Which is less susceptible to spin than what we saw earlier today.

6:30 pm Fox News is calling West Virginia for Bush. Virginia seems tight, with Kerry unexpectedly in the lead. Only 1 percent of precincts reporting so far though. Kerry gets Vermont, of course.

Current tally on Fox is 39 Bush, to 3 Kerry. But the only state in there ever in doubt was West Virginia, which was a Bush leaner.

6:45 pm Dinner coming up shortly. A nice beef tenderloin marinated in something piquant and garlicy my wife tossed together. The side will be some red chard, tossed with mushrooms and scallions. The wine is Alexander Valley Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Allexander Valley 2000. The wine is biiiiig. Me happy. Me more happy when it's washing down the food.

I need to pace myself here. Adrenaline high plus good drink equals a nasty hangover tomorrow. And I can't afford that at the stage my project is on. I even skipped buying the celebratory bottle of champagne to uncork for the Bush win later on.

Hugh is letting Michael Barone from Fox News cut in to his show now. The radio feed is out of synch withthe television broadcast I can see in the other room. Did he just say Godzilla was attacking?!! Sorry, I'm not a good lip-reader.

Hugh's take on Barone is that he thinks it's good news. Beats me. Sounded like he was just giving background on the demographics to me.

Dinner break.

7:25 pm I'm back. Let's check in on how things have progressed. Over to the Corner (I've forgiven them)....

Seems CBS has called South Carolina for Bush.

KJL is using some kind of code to post Fox calls in other states. I think I'll wander over to the television for the English version. One sec. ...

If that was you calling from an 813 area code, please quit hanging up when we answer the phone. Idjit.

Looks like Bush is way up in early Florida returns. But like anyone is going to believe early returns in that state again. We'll wait until they're all in, thank you very much.

A cursory glance tells me they've called a few more for Kerry: Maine, Massachussets, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, and Illinois. No big surprises yet. New Jersey was one of the longshots the Bushies hoped for, but I never put it in his column.

The calls have Bush gaining: Tennessee, Alabama, and Indiana. Expected, expected, expected.

Current electoral tally: Bush 66, Kerry 74.

7:35 pm Oh right, dinner. Wonderful. Red meat, red wine. Even the veggies were drenched in fat - of the olive oil kind anyway. A red state meal for sure.

Hugh is in his element tonight. Good radio. Good choice for the Patriot to extend him past 8pm.

Whoops. The electoral tally should have been 74 - 74 previously. Fox hadn't yet updated the SC total (I think that was the one) on their website when the state was called.

Dum de dum. Let's check out Flash for a little look at the opposite side of the aisle (ahem... NOT the "enemy" let's please remember) .

Flash and is friend the Doctor are headed to both parties' victory celebrations tonight. That's one of the cool things about Flash. Equal opportunity partier. And the Doctor is as conservative as Flash is liberal. Look forward to that free beer I offered to console you Flash. Your guy is goin' DOWN tonight, old school. Or something. Anyway, say hello to the Doctor for me.

The big news in the race so far tonight is... no surprises yet. Oh, we'll have them. No doubt. But at least the MSM has contained its wilder impulses to call these things long before an outcome is certain. The difference between a "scoop" and "acting like an ass" is paper thin, as we saw in 2000.

7:55 pm Bush had North Carolina called for him at some point I wasn't paying attention. Another expected one.

As you might have noticed, this is NOT the place to go for up-t0-the-minute Senate results. I'll chime in on the significant ones when it seems appropriate. But other than the Daschle/Thune and Salazar/Coors race, I really haven't been paying much attention. I hope the good guys win.

Checking out the television for a moment....

Nothing really informative there. Though I am reminded that I like listening to William Kristol's analysis more than I really trust it. He's a good talking-wonk. Dick Morris is the master of this. Compelling to listen to or read. And I don't trust him any more than I trust early exit polls (take note, KLO).

Our electoral tally is now: Bush 102, Kerry 77.

Exit polls are not proving a very good barometer of results so far. I am just shocked!! But not at the polls. At the gullibility of bloggers reading them. If you're one of them, expect some needling at the next Keegan's event.

Whoo! Estrich on Fox piling it deep! Trying to make the claim that the exit polls are more reliable than the counts of tallied votes so far. Heh. That's transparent even from her.

Hugh announces that Wolff Blitzer is reporting that Democrat Senators are calling around inquiring about their chances to take the Democrat Senate leadership post. And that sounds like a good note to tie this off and post.

8:05 pm Waiting for the normal Hugh broadcast to finish and the special election coverage to begin. Hometown shout-out to the NARN! We're winning Minnesota this year guys!

Incidentally, now that the polls have closed here in Minnesota, this is probably a good time to remind us how the Minnesota precincts will likely come in. We'll get heavy representation from DFL-heavy precincts in Minneapolis and Saint Paul early on. This tends to make the state look like it will lean more heavily Democrat than it ends up.

The NARN guys are on now with David Strom (from Our House, and the Taxpayer's League), reporting possible fraud in Duluth. Reports are busses of unregistered people pulling up to polls with mass-vouching going on. We were country before country was cool here folks. Good job getting the word out David. The answer to that kind of fraud is media exposure.

And a whole bunch of states have been called. Before looking them all up, I'll post this first.

8:20 pm What is this comment from KJL at the Corner? "Is it me... or is Chris Matthews infatuated with Vanessa Kerry? Devoted Hardball watchers will udnerstand."

Alexandra is the hot one Chrissy! Another failure to pretend you're a real man!

Ok, we've got some more expected states called for Bush. As follows:

Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota.

Looks like Rhode Island and DC have been called for Kerry.

Current electoral count: Bush 156, Kerry 112.

The NARN guys are reporting on the veeeery initial Minnesota returns, which are from Hennepin county. Nothing worth extrapolating from.

8:35 pm Both actual returns and rumors on the Internet suggest Florida is in the bag for Bush. If it wasn't Florida the current margins, with 37% of precincts reporting so far, would get them to call it for Bush. But I'm ALL in favor of waiting for the call until they really know.

We sealed the wine after dinner. Knob Creek bourbon is the magic elixer to see me home.

NARN guys say Kerry is leading by 5 points in the very early returns in Minnesota. As noted earlier, these precincts are heavily Kerry country. No need to get excited yet.

And now I need to burp a baby (I doubt Brit Hume does this off camera).

9:30 pm Ok. Baby burped. Older kids in bed. Now for some serious blogging.

Where the heck are we by now? Let's see...

Virginia, Mississippi, Lousiana, and Utah have been called for Bush.

I'm seeing nothing extra for Kerry at this point.

Wow, the buzz seems good for Bush at this point. Non-called states are trending Bush so far. Including Florida and Ohio. If Kerry doesn't take one of those, this race is over. And if Bush doesn't take one, same thing.

Republican body language on television is starting to look confident, and Democrat is looking defensive.

Hugh is reporting that New Jersey - called for Kerry earlier - may go back into play.

Minnesota poll-challenger calling into Hugh now. No shenanigans other than getting the police to remove the MoveOn scofflaws.

Hoo-yah! Mitch is on now with the NARN. Ann Althouse might be on with them later. That would be cool.

The early metro results in Minnesota have Kerry up 11. That's large. But no shock. This is the heary of Kerry's voting region reporting so far.

The only somewhat close U. S. House race sounds like the Kennedy/Wetterling race. With Kennedy 5 points up.

9:37 pm Arkansas and Missouri have been called for Bush now. Not a whole lot of easy ones left. We're beginning to finish off the easy red states. Some people considered Arkansas and Missouri in play, but not many really thought so by now.

Current electoral count is Bush 193, Kerry 112.

9:50 pm How 'bout those exit polls? Heh.

Hindrocket on Hugh's show now ripping on the exit polls at Hugh's prompting. Now pointing to how some of the internals of those polls were pro-Bush, but not weighted for demographics.

New Hampshire is now 400 votes apart in actual counted votes. I gave this one to Kerry in my prediction. For the record, neither candidate has lost a state I gave them so far. But none of the real battlegrounds have been called, so that's me and 90 percent of the rest of those who made predictions.

Feeling the Bush momentum building now. Not many positive signs going his way, now that we're counting rather than spinning.

10:00 pm Roger L. Simon on Hugh now. Cool. One of my daily reads, and I've never heard his voice before.

Simon is talking up the "closet Bush voters." He has blogged about them before out on the left coast. Simon also thinks Bush will pick up Jewish voters from 2000 in Florida. The returns so far don't suggest that.

NBC has called Pennsylvania for Kerry, and Arizona for Bush. But Fox hasn't called either. Whoops. Now Fox calls Pennsylvania for Kerry as well.

Another Republican Senate pickup called in North Carolina. Just about takes a Democratic gain in the Senate out of the picture.

The Minnesota returns are really strong for Kerry so far. Get ready folks. Now the pro-Bush precincts start weighing in. This is like the Coleman Senate race in 2002. Bush will carry Minnesota this year.

10:05pm Ann Althouse talking to the NARN now. Madison perspective from Wisconsin. But just anecdotal stuff. No big tips.

David Hogueberg on now. Mentioning surprise and dismay that Bush isn't leading in Iowa so far. The margin is just a few percent with 15% of precincts reporting yet. I have a feeling this guy was one of the ones flipping out from the early exit polls.

Now to... some guy who's name I missed... is reporting from South Dakota. Thune has pulled ahead, and the Thune HQ is very positive.

10:45pm Anyone using me as their primary source for which states are in which column? I didn't think so. I'm dropping that.

Just some more safe states for Bush called his way, and more safe states for Kerry called his way. Still waiting for the real battleground calls.

We've moved on to late night nachos and fresh made guacamole.

210 Bush, 144 Kerry at the moment. But that means nothing yet. It's all coming down to Ohio according to most of the pundits.

11:00 pm ABC has apparently called Florida for Bush. Enough of the real vote is in, that doesn't feel all 2000ish to me. No one is even talking about Florida this time. Everyone has moved on (no pun intended) to Ohio.

Captain Ed reports Kerry with a 100,000 vote lead with 40% of precincts reporting in Minnesota. Seems daunting (darn it). Bush isn't out of the running in Minnesota yet, but it's a longer shot. Almost certain to close as more precincts report. But that's a big lead.

Thune is leading Dachle in South Dakota according to Fox News. Rumor has it the heaviest Democratic precincts already have most of their votes in there. But we'll see.

Karen Hughs is on Fox now looking confident. Some reporter on MSNBC can't get a Democrat to come on with him, but is noting that the mood is more somber at Democrat HQ.

11:30pm Getting tedious to me now. No one wants to make a call on the battlegrounds. Which is admirably restrained and all. But Florida and Ohio are leaning strongly Bush. Florida has 98% of precincts reporting so far. Are we waiting for some truckload of fraudulent ballots to arrive in Miami before calling it? (probably)

Fox is finally calling Florida for Bush.

They also call the full left coast for Kerry. No surprise.

New Hampshire isn't in yet. I figured it would go for Kerry by now.

Minnesota isn't looking good. Wisconsin is looking better.

Chris Mattews is not a happy man at the moment. That's a good sign.

246 Bush to 206 Kerry at the moment.

Bush up by 130,000 votes in Ohio with 79% of precincts in. Rumors of a rush from the Cleveland area for Kerry yet to come.

Wisconsin has Kerry with a 15,000 vote lead. Didn't catch the number of precincts in.

11:43pm Fox calls New Hampshire for Kerry. Bush closing in Minnesota, but Kerry's lead is impressive at this point.

Republicans retain control of the Senate.

Gosh... how to keep awake and interested at this point? I'm just sittting here waiting for Ohio to report in. Let's see....

Fox news projecting Ohio for Bush!!! Get ready for the new Florida folks. Kerry can't win without it.

Current Fox tally is Bush 266, Kerry 211.

11:55 pm How much longer can it be? Not long now. New Mexico puts Bush over the top at this point. Or, as far as I can tell, any one of the remaining outstanding states.

Wow, are the libs going to be angry tomorrow. Especially after building their hopes up with those exit polls (was that your plan, you sick sadistic K-LO?!). And d*mn! I'm going to owe Flash a beer. It will be my favorite beer I have ever bought anyone other than myself, incidentally.

Some talk now about recount laws in Ohio. Thanks Al Gore. This is now expected.

But we have many more states yet to report, and Bush may put it out of Ohio's shennanigan reach.


12:15 am Weird vibes on the air now. Fox is sheepish at being so far out in front on the Ohio call. But the other networks seem the same about not having called it yet.

I heard Tom Brokaw say it seemed very unlikely that Kerry could win by this point. He seemed melancholoy over it. And then I turned to CBS for some levity. Dan Rather was barking challenges at is own reporter about what state the Bush camp hoped to pick up in addition to Ohio to win. The poor reporter was clearly flumoxed by Rather's attitude, and eventually agreed the Bush camp had hopes for New Hampshire. Which is bunk. They wrote that state off already.

12:20 pm No chance to wait up further. Looks like Bush is headed for a win. Wake me if otherwise.


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