2008 Election Thread

I’m at an election night party tomorrow, so I’m posting the election thread tonight. I might check in on the comments via iPhone, however.
Endorsements: My support of Barack Obama is well-known to any reader of this blog so a formal endorsement at this point is unnecessary. And in the downballot races I’m generally endorsing the Democratic candidates as well. After years of failed governance, it’s time to send the Republican Party into the wilderness.
I’m no longer registered in California, but I will still endorse Yes on 1, No on 4 and 8. (I haven’t looked at the others.)
Predictions: Obama wins the Kerry states plus CO, FL, IA, NM, NV, OH, VA for a total of 338 electoral votes.
The Democrats pick up 7 Senate seats: AK, CO, MN, NC, NH, NM, and VA. Convicted felon Ted “Series of Tubes” Stevens loses in AK by a small margin; Norm Coleman barely holds off Al Franken in MN. In the House, the Dems pick up 30ish seats.
Races of interest:
Obviously, the presidential race, but I think the outcome is pretty certain at this point.
Of the Senate races, the aforementioned AK and MN races will be the most exciting. I’d love to see Minority Leader McConnell lose in Kentucky but it doesn’t seem likely.
In the House, my own representative is Jerrold Nadler (D). I don’t think he’ll have much trouble getting re-elected in solidly blue Manhattan. I don’t know much about him yet, though. Anyway, it was pretty funny to hear McCain say that New York City isn’t “real America”; my district alone (NY-8) contains such un-American landmarks as the Statue of Liberty, the New York Stock Exchange, and the World Trade Center site.
Likewise, my previous representative, Barbara Lee of CA-9, is in a pretty safe seat. I’ve moved from one of the bluest counties in America to another. But one of my past residences is the location of an interesting race:
CT-4: My old district in Connecticut, home of the last House Republican in New England. As Republicans go, Chris Shays is not that bad, but we’re still talking about a member of a party that enthusiastically supports torture. I’ll be rooting for his opponent, the awesomely-named Jim Himes.
Meanwhile, if I can stay up late enough, there are some ballot initiatives to watch in California. Prop 8 is the big one, which would actually revoke marriage from thousands of couples. It’s been close in the polls so this will give you Californians a reason to go out and vote even though the state’s electoral votes aren’t in question.
Tomorrow morning I’ll go find out just how long the lines are to vote in Hell’s Kitchen. I never had to wait very long in North Berkeley, but the population density is just slightly higher here…
Go out and vote! Then come back here and comment.

16 thoughts on “2008 Election Thread

  1. Mason

    I sent in my mail-in ballot a couple of months ago. I don’t think it had any state proposition on it, so I’m not quite sure how that kind of ballot works. It basically seemed like a state-less ballot.
    Indeed prop 8 is the big one… And, embarrassingly, I think some of my close relatives might be voting the wrong way on that one. (I haven’t talked to them about it this election cycle, but in the past, they have held a waivering stance on that—as opposed to the ‘this is utter shite’ stance that I have.)

  2. Arcane Gazebo

    Just voted after waiting 45 minutes. New York has the old-school mechanical voting machines with the levers–big hulking metal things. Clearly more machines were needed–we had only one per district (with my polling place serving four districts) so if one person took a while it really slowed things down.

  3. JSpur

    By pure coincidence, that guy in our old district happened to place a call to a friend of mine who took it, thinking it was me. I trust he will take the utmost care with the brand….

  4. JSpur

    No lines for mid-morning voting in our precinct, located in the Methodist Church on Walnut Hill Lane. Signs at the entry said no cell phones allowed. We went back to our vehicle and left our cell phones and then turned around and went inside.
    One placed one’s vote by filling in the oval next to the candidate’s name with a black Sharpie. We were voters #271 and 272 of the day, according to the counter on the ballot box.
    As we left we took a pass on the bake sale across the hall and gave the “thumbs up” signal to the folks manning the Obama table out in the parking lot.
    When I was in third grade, I went to a racially segregated school in rural Virginia, in Giles County, along the state line with West Virginia. Today I voted for a black man for President. In the words of the “Grateful Dead,” what a long, strange trip it’s been.

  5. Jonathan Adams

    F & I voted this morning at 7am; we showed up at 6:40am (just in case) but we ended up about 6-8th in line. By the time we finished voting, the line was ~30 people long. My (three!) double-sided ballots (12 state props + 22 (!) San Francisco props) were #s 14-17 on the optical scan machine.

  6. Mason Porter

    One of the times I voted in the US my precinct had an early voting thing, so I went there the week before and avoided the long lines. I think just about every vote I have ever cast has been by absentee ballot. Only that and one-two other times did I actually go somewhere to vote.

  7. Justin

    AG, typo in your senate predictions – I think you meant D pickup in OR not MN, since you predict Coleman will hold off Franken. And last I read, Merkley was favored.
    CA props – IMHO the important ones are 2, 4, and 8. 1 would be nice, too, but I don’t consider it quite as important as animal rights or stopping culture war bullshit.
    Voting – permanent absentee ballot, it’s the way to go! We voted about three weeks ago. And we even cast informed votes on all those judges. Lesleigh found some sort of Republican voter guide with endorsements on those races, so we voted the other way.

  8. Arcane Gazebo

    Justin: Yes, thanks for catching that–I did mean OR. And my House prediction is overly optimistic on account of it was late and I made up a number. I’d like to revise it down to 25.
    Absentee balloting is a great thing but I enjoy the experience of going to the polls on election day… Even if I do have longer lines to contend with now.

  9. Mylanda

    My change of voting registration came in time for me to early vote, and with early voting was held on campus it was too easy to not do it that way. For the presidential election it’s not really a single vote thing here — I mean Dukakis won this state… Mondale didn’t, but the premise is still sound. I did my best on the local elections and propositions by reading the Q&A’s from the local paper. There are however many cultural offices here too, and I decided not to guess. (Used to be one had to be a native Hawaiian to even vote for these offices, but someone complained on account that they do get public money. I however cannot properly judge an hula.)

  10. Mason Porter

    Out here there are apparently a bunch of election parties, but it’s mostly British people using it as an excuse to get smashed. (Though I am admittedly amused by the fact that lots of Brits are holding election parties for our election…)
    Based on the conversations today, I think most of the local Americans seem to be content to casually look at results on the web rather than going to the pub to drink themselves silly as the results come in. It must be a cultural thing. :)

  11. Justin

    Mason, do you know if they had such parties four years ago? I’m wondering if these parties are a consequence of the near-certainty that the candidate preferred by Brits and almost all other non-Americans is actually going to win this time.
    Doug, I thought your job was in Florida? Did you get a faculty job or second postdoc so soon?

  12. Nick

    I stood in line for people who lived on streets m-z for about 5 minutes, looking at the empty a-l line. After both I and the lady looking for my name on the list utterly failed to find me registered, a fresh set of eyes pointed out that I was square in the middle of the page. It’s a good thing there’s no visual test to vote.
    Apparently there are just shy of 2,200 registered voters in my precinct (part of Waltham, MA, and I don’t know if that includes absentee ballots), about 1/3 of whom had voted by noon, and 2/3 of whom had voted by 5pm. Not a bad showing.
    Hopefully betting on dog racing will become illegal after the votes are tallied; that was one of our propositions. Being rather fond of animals, that was a no-brainer for me.
    We had another proposition to phase out the state income tax over a couple of years. On the voter registration form, the ‘pro’ argument was impressively garbled and contained obviously flawed logic while the ‘against’ argument was rather well written. I’m ambivalent about the measure due to a lack of a good understanding of the ramifications of such a vote, but the utter shambles that was the ‘pro’ argument rather scuttled any chanced I would have had to vote for the measure. If you’re going to explain your position, explain it well.

  13. Josh

    I had a 50 minute wait myself, but it was kind of my own fault for… getting in the wrong line! The really long one! The one that’s like going into a ride at Six Flags, and you see the door into the building and say “Oh, we’re there.” And you walk into the door and it leads to a CORRIDOR where the line continues, and you think “Oh, well, we’re still almost there”, and you turn the corridor and there’s ANOTHER corridor.
    For some reason the precinct I was in had a significantly shorter line because it got its own room out of about 10 precincts, which all shared another one. It made me feel special. After I cursed the gods for getting me in the wrong line of course.

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