Midterm Elections

Again, No Signs of a Tsunami Just Yet
November 02, 2010

The release of exit poll data is maddeningly scattered, but I gather some of the numbers are creating great consternation among Democrats. I don't quite see it.  So 41 percent of voters self-identify as conservative? So did 39 percent in 2006, and 44 percent in 2002. (Pew's final poll, which predicted a 6-point Republican advantage, about average, projected that 46 percent of voters would self-identify as conservative). 18 to 29-year-olds are 9 percent of the electorate, half of the percentage in 2008?

EXIT POLLS: A Wave, But Not a Tsunami?
November 02, 2010

So CNN just released the first bit of actually revealing national exit poll data: President Obama's job approval rating is 45 percent positive, 54 percent negative (looks like no one is ambivalent). Comparing this to some of the final polls, the final ABC/Washington Post poll, which gave Republicans only a 4-point advantage in House voting, had the Obama ratio at 46/52. The final Gallup "low-turnout" estimate, which gave Republicans a gigantic 15-point margin, had the Obama ratio at 40/56.  So based on this one data point, it looks like a wave, but maybe not a tsunami.

Not the Best Economic News Team on Television
November 02, 2010

At 5:00 I'll be tuning into Glenn Beck, a rich, sumptuous meal for the modern connoisseur of crazy media. So a rather bland, easily digestible appetizer seems like a good choice in the meantime. No point getting the fried tortellini and the bruschetta and the penne alla vodka. "CNN Newsroom," the garden salad of late-afternoon TV. Alas, as soon as I tuned in, Brooke Baldwin made the mistake of attempting to talk about the economy in a cogent way. Over shots of stock ticker displays, she said, "We've been talking a whole lot about jobs, jobs, jobs, with regard to this election.

Students Are Having Trouble Voting. (PLUS: Dirty Tricks in Colorado and Arizona.)
November 02, 2010

Troubles with voter registration have been some of the most common today—many of them involving students. In South Carolina, Common Cause, an organization run by former Congressman Bob Edgar, D-Pennsylvania, has received reports that students at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina were not allowed to vote because their voter registration addresses did not match the addresses on their driver’s licenses.   A similar problem has also surfaced in Michigan, where a group of University of Michigan law students—election protection volunteers—discovered that some of their University of Mi

Scott McAdams Tries to Charm Alaska to Death
November 02, 2010

It's still early in the day in here in Alaska, where voters are just heading to the polls. But all week it has been clear that Democratic Senate candidate Scott McAdams is in a bind. “The most disappointing part of this race is that people, instead of voting the issues, are actually voting their fears,” says McAdams's spokesperson, Heather Handyside.

In Defense of TV News
November 02, 2010

Jack Shafer, in what I can only assume is a direct personal shot at me, comes out strongly against election-night TV coverage: [Prior to] projected winners, the network talent have almost nothing to do besides stretch their thin material. They chat with one another, crochet scarves outside of camera view, and switch to those interminable "two-ways" that anchors conduct with correspondents camped out at the "victory" parties of the candidates.

Where Obama Went Wrong
November 02, 2010

This is not exactly an election post-mortem or even a pre-mortem. It's more a chance to take a step back and think about the Obama presidency, here in the few hours while all of us are waiting for the voters to render their midterm verdict. If you read this blog regularly, then you've spent a lot of time reading items that support or defend what the administration has been doing. This is not accidental. I tend to support its goals and I tend to think it's doing a good job, at least on the issues I cover most closely. The story on health care reform is obviously a huge part of this.

Voter Intimidation in Texas (and Elsewhere)
November 02, 2010

We've just received the day's first official update on voting irregularities. Many are of the same type that Election Protection has been seeing since 2001: Understaffed polling sites, late poll openings, poorly trained poll workers, and malfunctioning machines are the most common. But there have also been disturbing reports of voter intimidation that folks here are still trying to confirm. Volunteers have heard news of foul play from people—yet to be identified—who are trying to stop voters from getting to the polls altogether.

Mine Eyes Will See No Glory
November 02, 2010

I'll be spending the remainder of this afternoon and evening watching election night coverage and blogging about it here. Think of it as an ultra-concentrated reenactment of the Chilean miners' ordeal. I am the miners, and the mine is the inky blackness that is televised election coverage in this nation—a muggy, cramped space a mile from the real world that’s jam-packed with mostly horrible people saying pointless things which seem designed to make regular people angry. Now, I know what you're thinking: "That's a ridiculous, insulting, offensive comparison, Jesse.

Voter Intimidation? Voter Fraud? Read About It Here.
November 02, 2010

Voting isn’t going smoothly everywhere today. To provide you with an up-to-date sense of what irregularities voters say they are facing across the country, I’ve set up shop in the command center of Election Protection, a nonpartisan coalition of legal groups that monitors voter complaints as they come in. About 100 volunteers in D.C.—there are 2,000 volunteers nationwide—started manning the phones here at 5:30 a.m. and for the last couple of hours, they’ve been ringing constantly.

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