US Election 2008: Live results


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11:00pm: CNN declares Barack Obama President-elect
10:01pm: Democrats are +4 in the senate.
10:00pm: stephentaylor.ca decision desk calls the presidency for Obama, even before the California polls close and lucrative pharmaceutical ads run.
9:58pm: FNC projects TX, UT for McCain. Obama projected to win IA.
9:51pm: Why so slow on projecting Obama as President? It’s over.
9:46pm: CNN projects NM for Obama.
9:33pm: CNN projects OH for Obama.
9:22pm: CNN projects WV for McCain.
9:18pm: CNN projects McConnell (R-Sen) winning in KY.
9:11pm: Levin (D-Sen) wins MI.
9:10pm: CNN has better exit poll data than FNC.
9:09pm: Johnson (D-Sen) wins SD.
9:08pm: Inhofe (R-Sen) wins OK.
9:08pm: Barrasso (R-Sen) wins WY.
9:01pm: FNC projects ID KS, ND, WY for McCain.
9:00pm: FNC projects MI, MN, NY, NM, RI, WI for Obama.
9:00pm: Polls in central US close. CNN projects RI, NY, WI, MI, MN, NY for Obama, WY and ND for McCain.
8:56pm: CNN projects AL for McCain.
8:50pm: Obama at 71% in OH.
8:45pm: US House of Representative so far +1 for the Democrats.
8:42pm: Mark Pryor (D-Sen) wins AR.
8:30pm: FNC projects GA for McCain.
8:38pm: CNN late to the show and projects PA for Obama.
8:35pm: Frank Lautenberg (D-Sen) wins in NJ.
8:34pm: Susan Collins (R-Sen) wins in ME.
8:32pm: John Kerry (D-Sen) wins in MA.
8:32pm: Dick Durban (D-Sen) wins in IL.
8:31pm: Jay Rockefeller (D-Sen) wins in WV.
8:31pm: Lamar Alexander (R-Sen) wins in TN.
8:28pm: CNN calls NH for Obama.
8:17pm: Obama leads by 250k in FL with 30% reporting
8:16pm: Correction… Dole (R) loses in NC.
8:12pm: NBC, ABC call PA for Obama.
8:02pm: CNN describes african-americans as a stronger voting block for Obama than registered Democrats.
8:00pm: McCain gets OK and TN. Obama gets MN, DC, IL, MD, CT, DE, MA, and NJ.
8:00pm: CNN projects fresh round of states 8-2 Obama-McCain.
7:55pm: CNN calls SC for McCain (44%-55% Obama?!)
7:34pm: Dole (R) re-elected in NC.
7:32pm: FNC calls Daniels (R) re-elected in IN.
7:28pm: Georgia leads for McCain. He should take it. 1,650 votes reported with McCain at 71%. 2.41% MoE, 19/20 (if the sample was representative, which it is not!)
7:24pm: McCain will take IN.
7:17pm: McCain leads in FL 54-46.
7:14pm: Star Wars hologram on CNN. WTF? (CNN title: “CNN’s Jessica Yellin via Hollogram from Chicago”)
7:12pm: McCain leads in VA.
7:10pm: So far GOP (-1) in the Senate.
7:08pm: FNC calls Linsey Graham (R) for Senate in SC.
7:08pm: FNC calls Mark Warner (D) for Senate in VA.
7:07pm: FNC calls Vermont for Obama.
7:04pm: McCain leads Indiana. Indiana hasn’t gone Democrat since LBJ.
7pm: CNN calls Kentucky
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US Election 2008: Linkstream

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Electoral College: Data from electoral-vote.com: Obama 353 | McCain 174 | Tied 11
Candidates vote: Palin, Obama, McCain, Biden
Electoral College: Prediction from fivethirtyeight.com: Obama 348.6 | McCain 189.4
Voting problems: Twitter Vote Report
Get out the vote: Voter turnout above 60% a safe bet?
Voter Intimidation: Black Panthers brandish nightstick outside of polling station in PA (FNC followup)
Get out the vote: Freebies a ploy to get out Democrats?: Bush/Cheney webmaster
Get out the vote: Free Starbucks, Free McDonalds, Free Krispy Kreme, Free Ben&Jerrys for voting
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Obama takes early lead

…and a very small lead at that. In the county of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire polls open on election day at midnight and close one minute later. This year, 21 eligable voters of the 75 person county showed up to cast their ballots and Obama leads with 15 votes to 6 for John McCain. Voter turnout for the county was 100%.

The county however usually has a Republican bias. The people of Dixville Notch picked Republicans in 2004, 2000, 1996, 1992, 1988, 1984, 1980, 1976, and 1972.

Of course, the county is not a representative sample but shows some early good news for Barack Obama.


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John McCain’s party

Last night, I sat a few rows behind elected delegates on the floor at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul Minnesota where Senator John McCain accepted his party’s nomination for President of the United States.

In all, the night was somewhat less charged than the previous; the night that featured Governor Sarah Palin saw speeches from Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson and the Alaskan Governor herself. Last night featured a handful of moderately important senators and governors, but the speech by Cindy McCain who would be first lady sucked all of the oxygen out of the room. It nearly put me to sleep. Mrs. McCain clutched the microphone tightly with both hands and read her speech awkwardly from teleprompters telling the audience about her warm feelings about her husband. McCain ran in 2000 and had an extended run, obviously in this primary season, yet Cindy McCain is still not ready for prime time.

John McCain’s speech was direct and outlined his case for President. His record of military service and sacrifice for country is incomparable, he says, to that of the “community organizer” from Chicago.

For some time, I was confused by the McCain campaign’s lack of ability, or want, to match Barack Obama’s brilliant and attention-gathering campaign. Why was McCain not responding directly with massive rallies, trans-Atlantic trips, and buzz-generating speeches? Was it a factor of the campaign’s failure to reach voters? Perhaps. But, I think that the McCain campaign may have had a strategy of letting Obama’s star burn bright while they would sustain and build their campaign reliably and with a moderate tone. Why would they do this? I think that John McCain’s campaign did this purposefully to allow the election to become a referendum on Obama. If Obama got more attention, the question would be “is this the change we’re looking for and do we take a chance on him”. The difference in experience between Obama and McCain is striking and therefore when the ballot question has been defined, McCain is able to step in to answer the specific question they intended to shape on Barack Obama.

In my opinion, the most effective lines from McCain’s speech were:

“I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn’t my own man anymore. I was my country’s.

“I’m not running for president because I think I’m blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need. My country saved me. My country saved me, and I cannot forget it. And I will fight for her for as long as I draw breath, so help me God.”

The speech ended using a method that caused a crescendo of applause for the Senator:

“I’m going to fight for my cause every day as your President. I’m going to fight to make sure every American has every reason to thank God, as I thank Him: that I’m an American, a proud citizen of the greatest country on earth, and with hard work, strong faith and a little courage, great things are always within our reach.”

crowd rises to their feet and applauds.

“Fight with me.”

louder

“Fight with me.”

almost literally says “louder”

“Fight for what’s right for our country.”

“Fight” is an action word that evokes a call to action and a sense that McCain and the crowd are doing this together.

“Fight for the ideals and character of a free people.”

Each “fight for” line enunciates values important to Republicans and to those who can put McCain over the top in November and elect him President in November.

“Fight for our children’s future.”

“Fight for justice and opportunity for all.”

“Stand up to defend our country from its enemies.”

“Stand up for each other; for beautiful, blessed, bountiful America”

Fight, now stand up. Literally stand up. Cheering louder.

“Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight.”

Elections are about engagement for participating in making a change that one can believe in. Each “stand up” emphasized with pause to get the crowd to get even louder and build excitement.

“Nothing is inevitable here. We’re Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.”

Message of unity and common purpose in order to act together to elect McCain.

“Thank you, and God Bless you.”

Here are some of my photos from McCain’s speech last night:

Being a non-partisan international observer of the process was still quite exciting. Americans do these events and speeches like nobody else. Barack Obama addressed a stadium of 80,000 in Denver and both racked in millions of viewers. McCain, however, had a slight edge in TV viewership.

I’m going to the Republican National Convention

I’ve been enjoying this week’s coverage of the Democratic National Convention on CNN (the only network anchoring coverage from the floor). Whether you agree with Democrats or not, you must admit that they’re putting on a great show and the stars of the party have woven some fantastic speeches together.

Therefore, I’m very excited to be headed to Minneapolis St. Paul on Sunday to attend the full week of the Republican National Convention.

I’m intending to blog the convention top-to-bottom and to bring you guys the behind-the-camera perspective of the greatest political stage show on Earth (a label that could apply to the RNC or DNC though Obama’s address in Mile-High Stadium to about 80,000 might raise the bar well above terra firma (or at least mare supra)for the GOP. Wi-fi has been intermittant to non-existant at the Pepsi Center according to some reports, so hopefully the RNC will have it humming along through the convention.

If any other folks (observers or reporters) are heading down to the RNC from Canada or if you’re a delegate/blogger from the US, I’d love to hear from you. I’ll be available via Blackberry during the convention and even if you aren’t able to make it, I’d be happy to share my thoughts about the goings-on and nomination of John McCain as the Republican nominee for President of the US.

DNC by the numbers

I have a bit of an embarrassing confession to make. I subscribe to an unhealthy amount of polling information via email and RSS. Polling companies in Canada and the US send me daily information on a number of topics, whether it’s the horse-race of McCain-Obama, the demographic breakdowns of perceptions on the US economy, or Canadian attitudes towards arctic development (and those are just from today)

I’ve been watching the Democratic National Convention with some interest over the past couple of days. If you’ve been following my twitter feed, you might have seen some of my live reactions to speeches by Michelle Obama, Mike Schweitzer or Hillary Clinton. The data from day 2 has just hit my inbox and newsreader and the numbers provide a look at the success/failure of the stage-managed political super-rally in Denver, Colorado.

In a comparison of keynotes of Michelle Obama vs. Hillary Clinton (though Clinton’s wasn’t technically a keynote), Nielson polling data shows that the NY Senator beat Mrs. Obama with 26 million viewers vs. 22.3 million. Further, in ratings, African-Americans are watching the DNC in larger proportions than white viewers. Black viewers were 1.4 times as likely to be watching the DNC than the population as a whole. This year at the DNC, African-Americans make up a record of 24% of all delegates. US Census records from 2000 show a 12.9% African-American population in the US. Though the Democrats reserve delegate spots for racial minorities and women, the television ratings suggest unprecedented high political engagement and interest among African-American electors. Higher voter turnouts reflect healthy democracies and it is exciting to watch the American contest unfold this year.

Comparing the second days of the 2004 and 2008 DNC conventions, the 2008 convention had five times the television viewers. This is particularly important for Hillary Clinton as she’ll likely be running for President in 2012 if Obama fails to get enough votes in November.  She still remains quite popular among Democrats with an 80% approval rating.

McCain’s strategy is the wedge

As the Democrats assemble in Denver this week and kick off their National Convention today, the campaign of the presidential campaign of Republican John McCain is to capitalize on Barack Obama’s decision to tap senior senator Joe Biden as hiss running mate.

Biden’s selection as the bottom half of the Dem ticket this cycle for President is sure to anger some former supporters of former Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton.

McCain is releasing an ad titled “Debra” which features one such angered supporter, a former delegate for Ms. Clinton. The ad presumes that there is division among Democrats moving into the week-long party in Colorado.

The convention is to feature a speech by Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton titled “securing America’s Future” where the former President will speak about the economic records of his administration versus that of the current Commander in Chief. While it is unexpected that the former President will take an open shot at his wife’s former rival, Republicans will be looking for any hint of dissention to show that Obama is not ready to lead as support isn’t solid even among left-wing partisans.

Therefore, as McCain is expected to name his choice for VP just after the Democratic Convention to change the channel as GOP activists assemble in Minneapolis-St. Paul for their convention, look for McCain to name a conservative Republican such as Romney or Huckabee to emphasize unity in his own party.

Like Obama, McCain not only has a challenge capturing independents but he faces a battle in invigoriting his own base to get out the vote in November. Obama’s choice of Biden and the added foreign policy experience that the Dem ticket sorely needed will reassure independents but will sour part of his base, especially the working class and women that supported Clinton. McCain’s challenge lies in invigorating his base. He is already stronger among independents than Obama (being a centrist Republican vs. liberal Democrat Obama) but in this, he faces a challenge exciting the GOP base, much of which consists of evangelicals which turned out for Bush/Cheney in 2000 and 2004. Look for McCain to make a nod towards the base by selecting a conservative’s Republican such as Romney or Huckabee. McCain is messaging on Democrat division with Obama’s passing on Clinton, therefore the Republican ticket will likely show McCain emphasizing his party’s unity by looking towards the right rather than the centre.

Call the Parliament Hill window police

Spotted in Hedy Fry’s 5th floor office window at the Confederation Building on Parliament Hill:

I’m not sure how Fry qualifies as a veteran, but she’s got the sign and she’s showing her support for the presumptive Democratic nominee for President!

Flashback from the Hill Times:

Conservative MP Rob Anders was recently forced to remove a “pro-life” sign from his East Block office window on Parliament Hill after receiving a formal letter of complaint from a Liberal Senate political staffer and after the chief government whip told him to take it down.

The large blue and white “Defend Life” Knights of Columbus sign could clearly be seen for a few weeks before it was removed on July 2 and one day after abortion rights activist Dr. Henry Morgentaler was named to the Order of Canada among 75 for one of Canada’s highest honours.

Amélie Crosson, an assistant to Ottawa Liberal Sen. Jim Munson, sent a formal letter of complaint to Mr. Anders, all MPs, Senators, assistants, party leaders, whips, and party caucus services, on June 27 after she noticed the sign on June 23 while walking to work.

Ms. Crosson told The Hill Times that in her 10 years on the Hill, she could not remember ever seeing a sign in a window before and after she found out whose office it was, she sent a letter of complaint to all MPs.

“All of us who work here are passionate about politics and specific political issues, but if we all start to decorate the exterior of our windows,” she wrote, “in no time, our Parliament Buildings will look like a collection of university frat houses.”

UPDDATE: I’ve received an email from Team Fry. It has been reprinted with permission from it’s author Tim Campbell.