7:17 I won’t be live blogging continuously tonight (Celtics are playing, after all) but I’ll try to post fairly often as results come in. Feel free to chime in with comments. Since I won’t have access to The Cable I’ll be relying on the various states’ websites for election info. At this point, polls have closed in Georgia and South Carolina.
I didn’t talk much about the South Carolina governor’s race, but it is an interesting test of the Tea Party’s clout. They are backing Nikki Haley in the Republican primary. You may have heard about this race because of the charges of infidelity leveled at Haley – charges she denies. The more interesting aspect of her candidacy, however, is that Sarah Palin swooped in to endorse her, and – perhaps coincidentally – her polling numbers took off. Most of her support – like that of Rand Paul’s – comes from more conservative voters who are dissatisfied with the Republican establishment. So this race is another indicator of the Tea Party’s clout. Haley needs to get 50% of the vote to avoid a runoff.
There’s also a potentially interesting race in S.C’.’s 4rth congressional district between incumbent Rep. Bob Inglis and the Tea Party-backed candidate Trey Gowdy. Inglis voted against the Obama stimulus package, but he did vote for the bank bailout (TARP) bill and has taken alot of grief for it from the Tea Party activists. Lots of Facebook links to sites like “Fire Bob Inglis” proliferated after that vote.
The other interesting test of Tea Party strength that I didn’t mention before is in the California Senate Republican primary. Although Palin has come out for Fiorina, many Tea Party activists are supporting the more conservative state Assemblyman Chuck DeVore. Although Fiorina has the deep pockets, it will be interesting to see whether DeVore does better than expected.
Finally, one thing to keep in mind when we look at the polling in Arkansas, which shows Lincoln losing to Halter: most of those polls are by Research 2000, a polling firm closely tied to the Daily Kos website which has come out strongly for Halter. Unfortunately, Research 2000 polls have been very inaccurate, in large part because their voter sample over represents younger voters.
One other thing we want to look for tonight: turnout. For example, in Arkansas’ May primary, in which Lincoln didn’t win enough votes to avoid a runoff, only 29% of the states 1.6 million registered voters actually went to the polls. I expect that number will be even lower tonight. Remember, primaries tend to have lower turnout and those who do vote tend to be more ideologically extreme. This is why the Tea Party could do surprisingly well, and why we have to be careful generalizing from primary results to the general election.
I just took another look at the final Research 2000 Arkansas poll – it had Halter up over Lincoln by 49-45%. With a 4% margin of error, and the additional bias built into the Research 2000 survey, I think that means Lincoln goes into this with a very slight lead.
7:51 nothing is showing on the Georgia or South Carolina state websites as yet, so I’m going to take a short break.
8:30 Ok, the S.C. state website has initial returns. Haley is pulling in 42% of the vote – 12% over her closest rival, but not enough to avoid a runoff. However, I have no feel for S.C. politics so I can’t tell whether this is good news for her. My sense from skimming the S.C. media is that her support is broadly distributed across the state, so I suspect this is good new for her.
9:16 Haley is inching closer to 50%, which would mean she would avoid a runoff. Meanwhile, with about 2% of the vote counted, incumbent Republican Bob Inglis – (S.C. – 4rth) – he who voted for the TARP and therefore got targeted by the Tea Party – doesn’t appear to be anywhere close to avoiding a runoff. Will the anti-incumbency bug strike again?
btw - Garnett has started off strong. Celtics up 12-9.
9:27 Ok, 1% of Arkansaas vote counted, Lincoln is up 53-47% Again, I have no sense of the distribution of support in Arkansas so am hesitant to project.
9:40 Haley is at 50% with about 9% counted. Meanwhile, the Celtics are in a funk.
9:54 With 4% in, Lincoln has expanded her lead – she’s up 57-42% I’ve been lurking on some other sites with people who know Arkansas politics and they are suggesting she’s doing better than expected. (That is, better than expected based on DailyKos/Research 2000 polls!)
Celtics are edging back into it. Down 10. make that 8. Rondo!
10:00 12% of the South Carolina vote in, and Haley is at 50%. The Tea Party Express is rolling down the tracks….
12% of the Arkansas vote in and Lincoln is holding steady at 53-47. Progressives poured a lot of money into this race on Halter’s behalf, as did labor unions, and MoveOn.org, among other groups.
10:11 Is this another sign of the Tea Party strength/anti-incumbent fervor? Incumbent Republican Bob Inglis is getting trounced by Tea Party favorite Trey Gowdy, 60%-19%, with 13% of the vote in.
Meanwhile, the Celtics could use some Tea Party magic – they are down 12 at the half….
10:16 Oops – my bad! I’ve been reporting the percent of registered voters who have voted as the percent of votes counted. Obviously they are not the same thing. So, with 29 of 46 counties reporting in South Carolina, Tea Party candidate Trey Gowdy is crushing the incumbent Republican Bob Inglis, and Tea Party-backed Nikki Haley is on the brink of winning the gubernatorial primary outright, with 50% of the vote.
So far, this is a good night for the Tea Party. We’ll see how Chuck DeVore does in California….
The Arkansas Democrat Senate race is tightening – with 44% of counties in, Lincoln’s lead has been shaved to 1%, 50-49. Meanwhile, the Celtics are cutting into the Laker’s lead as well – now down 7.
With 36 of 46 counties reporting in S.C. Haley is just below 50% but Gowdy is still crushing the incumbent Inglis.
11:00 pm. With 68% of Arkansas counties reporting, Lincoln is in good shape, with a 51-48% lead. Strike a blow for moderates – so far.
Celtics are down 6 at the end of the 3rd. The bench came through, compensating for Pierce and Allen, who are both having off nights.
With 40 of 46 counties counted, Tea Party-backed candidate Gowdy is going to beat the incumbent Inglis in South Carolina’s 4rth district -he’s up 39-27. Meanwhile, the Celtics have cut it to 3 points.
With almost all the votes counted in South Carolina, it looks like a big night for the Tea Party. Haley is at 49% in the Republican primary – not enough to avoid a runoff, but it puts her in a commanding position. Gowdy is trouncing the incumbent Inglis, 39-27, which puts him in good positioon for the runoff.
I haven’t said much about Nevada, but we are getting results now. Again, it’s good news for the Tea Party: their candidate, Sherri Angle, is leading with 30% of counties reporting, Angle is up 37%-30% over the nearest candidate. Meanwhile, the first California results are in, and Carly Fiorina looks like she’ll waltz to victory in the Republican primary.
Meanwhile, AP has called the Arkansas race for Lincoln. Strike one for moderates, and for incumbents.
In the biggest race of the night, the Celtics lose to the Lakers. They couldn’t close the deal after cutting the Laker’s lead to 2. We’ll have an update on all the races (including the Celtics’) tomorrow. But for now, it looks like a good night for the Tea Party….More tomorrow .