It’s 6:30, and I welcome everyone to the Presidential Power Election Night Live Blog. As always, I invite everyone to join in via the comments section. Now that the software glitch (that would be me), my comments should post on your screen as I post them. We’ll be heading over to the Karl Rove Crossroads Superpac Cafe (Ok, just the Crossroads Cafe) in a moment, where I’ll be joined by my colleague and co-host Bert Johnson, and where I’ll have my crack research team – Anna Esten, Sarah Pfander and Owen Witek on the computers crunching the election returns all night long. Danny Zhang – the fourth member of the team – is on the ground in Colorado, a swing state, where I hope he’ll sent us some reports.
But first – some bad news. They aren’t serving beer at the Cafe tonight! Damn you, Karl Rove!
Ok, we’ve closed the Crossroads Cafe down, and I’ll be closing shop tonight with one last warning: one the way home I already heard the dreaded “M” word being bandied about by the talking heads at NPR: yep, Obama won a mandate. The last president to claim this was George W. Bush, and his mandate got him exactly nothing from Congress. Let’s be clear – Obama’s support is diminished from 2008. This was a vote for the status quo, at best – it was no mandate. But I’ll develop this point further tomorrow.
For now, thanks for all your participation!
Alright, we are closing shop. I’ll pick up the feed at home – until Colorado is called, this isn’t over…
There are a hard corps group of students here who are worried that it is not definitely over…..we are closing shop, but moving to a classroom to continue watching the live feed.
Son of a gun. Romney is ahead in Ohio – is Rove right?
Apparently Karl Rove is still claiming that Ohio shouldn’t be called – he did this in 2000 – and then he was right! Likely that Romney will not concede tonight, pending final count of provisional ballots in Florida and definitive Ohio results.
Now what I really want is for Obama to win 50.3% of the popular vote, and I will go to sleep a happy political scientist!
Just got the students to chant, “poli sci, poli sci, poli sci” – I’m very satisfied tonight. My colleagues did well. I feel bad for the conservative pundits, however – they are getting pummeled.
CNN finally calls it, and the Rove cafe erupts
The forecast models have hit every single state so far correctly.
Ohio, Ohio1 That’s it folks – the big winner tonight? Political science forecast models.
So one of our students who canvassed in Colorado is saying that Team Obama is reporting that they have won Colorado. Meanwhile, conservative pundits are getting savaged on the internet.
So, right now Obama is up by about 30,000 in Florida. Libertarian Gary Johnson is drawing 1% of the vote – but that’s about 40,000. Is he the new Ralph Nader?
To keep our audience during our lull, we are asking presidential trivia questions.
Interesting (and perhaps troublesome) that CNN is not following through on the Wisconsin projection for Obama. It wouldn’t be the first time a network has prematurely called a state. Of course, CNN is always the most cautious state.
Finally a post gets out! Just took my audience through the demographics at the national level – no surprise. Romney’s support comes among older, wealthier, white people – Obama does better among minorities, lower-income voters and women.
Florida looks really tight – remember, if Romney loses it, you can turn out the lights. But even if he wins, he still has to run the table with the remaining toss up states.
The Karl Rove Cafe has filled to capacity – students are poised to claim victory for Obama.
I’m sorry about the slow posts, but my research assistants have the hardwire links around me, so I’m relying on wifi and the feed is soooooo
So, by my back of the envelope calculations, Romney must win everyone of the remaining swing states – that’s Florida, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa North Carolina and Iowa if he is going to take this.
Two key states coming up at 10: Nevada and Iowa. Obama is a slight favorite to win both.
There is no real way that Romney can win this if he doesn’t win Florida – with 84% in, he’s down by 15,000 votes.
And New Hampshire! Another potential Romney pickup, but one we projected that Romney would lose. All this means his alternative paths to victory are dwindling, but I can’t say any of this is a surprise.
Onward Wisconsin! It just got called for Obama – again, no surprise here, but reassuring that our forecast models are accurate.
So, exit polls are suggesting Romney is doing better among women than did McCain relative to Obama, and better among men.
So, national exit polls are showing a sizeable gender gap – Obama wins women by 10%.
Our internet has slowed to a crawl. Sarah Stroup is asking me a question but she is sending it by telegraph
Wisconsin should break for Obama – CNN is playing it conservative, but exit polls indicate Obama should take it – but of course we don’t want to call a race on the basis of exit polls.
Lots of tweeting that Obama is running behind where he should be in specific places in Virginia, like Arlington – about 10% behind.
Coming up on 9 – Wisconsin and Colorado are the two states.
Iowa and Colorado don’t report until 10 – Romney has a real shot at Colorado, but Iowa may be a stretch. So far, very few surprises tonight – actually, no surprises.
It’s easy to get excited/scared by looking at raw vote totals. so, for example, both Allen and Romney seem to be doing well in Virginia. But that reflects differences in reporting rates.
Once again we had a period with the internets down. Where’s Al Gore when you need him.
Looks like the national exit polls number won’t be released until 8:30 – that should give us a preliminary look at the national vote.
I just showed a slide of our political science forecast models – the structural ones that collectively suggest Obama would win about 50.3% of the two-party popular vote (average) and 50.6% the median vote. Those projection are looking good right now – that’s science!
On the other hand, Obama isn’t overperforming the polls – neither New Hampshire, nor Pennsylvania has been called, which they might have been had the numbers looked really good for him.
So far, the results are matching up almost exactly with what our state-based polls are suggesting. That bodes well for Obama – but the night is young.
We are losing internet intermittently here, so be patient. Fire marshals just came through to clear the stairs. The place is jammed.
AS the polls close at 8, we should see a jump in electoral college votes for both candidates. But the big one to watch is Pennsylvania. If CNN can call that at 8, that’s good news for Obama, because it means Romney wasn’t able to cut the gap there despite a late polling blitz. If they can’t call it, that’s good news for Romney.
We are also keeping an eye on the key Senate races tonight. Remember, the Democrats currently hold a 6-seat advantage if you count the independents Lieberman and our own Bernie Sanders. So Republicans need to pick up four to gain a majority.
Ok, polls closed in Ohio and North Carolina – and as expected, they are too close to call. Remember, don’t overreact to exit polls – they are adjusted as the night goes on.
Indiana goes for Romney – this is one of a the states Obama won by expanding the map in 2008, but which polling indicated he would lose in this cycle. So this is not a surprise.
Next states up are Ohio, West Virgina and North Carolina – two of them are key battleground states.
Ok, we are set up at the Crossroads Cafe – and ready to go on stage. Good early turnout, and they just sent up a cheer as Vermont comes in for Obama.
Also, a shout out to the Middlebury Republican and Democrats who helped organize this event, and who will be providing me with free beer….er…coffee, for most of the night.
Excellent – our international audience is tuned in – Midd Prof Jeff Cason, who will be on Italian television later this week, is set to give us the Italian view on the craziness. Glad to have you aboard Jeff!
All – I’m heading over to the Karl Rove cafe – I’ll be off line for a few minutes. See you at the other side.
Meanwhile, there’s already been some exit polls released – and some howlers on CNN. Wolf just asked David Plouffe, Obama’s key campaign adviser, that if Obama loses, does it all go back to the first debate? No Wolf, it does not.
That means my offer to buy a round of drinks for everyone at the Cafe if my prediction is off suddenly seems far less of a risk.