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Gordon Campbell US Election 2012 Blog - Update #7

Gordon Campbell US Election 2012 Blog - Update #7


Scoop Political Editor Gordon Campbell & Scoop Editor Alastair Thompson are live blogging the US election results as they come in at:
GordonCampbell.scoop.co.nz

3.40pm

This really wasn’t expected, but there’s a reasonable chance that Virginia will prove the decisive result today. This is an absolutely crucial state for Romney to win, and most models projected that he had to win Chesterfield County by 25,000 or thereabouts,in order to win statewide. Yet with 97% of precincts reporting, Obama is down there by only 8,000, which throws the whole context into the suburban/urban region in the north – in areas like Fairfax – where Romney is going to have to win HUGE to take the state. If Virginia goes to Obama, it’s pretty much all over for Romney.

Update 3.35pm: The Exit Poll that roared

Out of the bat tonight the Exit Polls had this election for Obama. In France they quite often simply call the exit on the close of polls based on the exit poll – however following the experience of 2004 which showed the war hero John Kerry beating the AWOL George Bush Exit Polls have become a dirty word in US presidential politics.
However tonight the Exit Poll seems to have done a better job of predicting the outcome.

And if the Exit Poll is right then Obama has won. He will win most of the battleground states based on it, the electoral college, and consequently the election.

Tonight the preliminary vote count strongly supports this assertion also. Romney looks to have too much ground to make up to win in Florida with the huge Democratic Broward and Miami-Dade County only partially counted – and if Florida goes to Obama then Obama wins.

Florida is exciting with a very close vote count right at the moment – but that is likely to be shortlived.

Significantly Ohio – thought to be contestable in the polls – is leaning significantly towards Obama. Romney appears to be wining Virginia even though the Exit Poll showed it 49% to 49% but the suburbs of Washington DC is where the big population is and urban area typically report later.

At the time of writing Colorado is Obama 30k votes ahead, but again Obama is winning here on the ground and is ahead in swing counties.

Obama seems to have also fairly comfortably won the Senate but is expected to fall short of taking the House of Representatives by the TV pundits. (Alastair Thompson)

3.15pm
The current Senate balance going into today was 53/47 to the Dems, which includes the two independents who tend to vote with them. The pickup of Maine off the Republicans by former state governor and now independent Angus King is therefore significant. King hasn’t said yet who he will caucus with (but Fox is treating it as a calamity, so we’ll assume King is as neo-Democrat as the woman he replaced, Olympia Snowe) means that the Senate looks like staying onside for Obama, if he retains the Presidency.

In other key races, Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill was leading Republican Rep. and notorious anti-woman god-bothererTodd Akin.( he of women who get raped know how not to get pregnant infamy) in Missouri.

In Indiana, Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly is still narrowly leading Richard Mourdock, but it’s really tightening up, and the George Allen (R) vs. Tim Kaine (D) race is still very, very close. At present, Allen is ahead, and this could be a Republican gain. When the time zone shifts to Nevada, look out for the other key Senate battle – i.e. the bitter, closely contested contest between Republican Dean Heller and Shelley Berkley for the Republicans.

Earlier today I mentioned Hillsborough County in the I-4 Florida corridor as a crucial bellwether. With 61 percent reporting, Obama is winning Hillsborough County 52-47. To win the state, Daily Kos computes that Obama needs to win it by…52-47. Yay.

Right now, the count is deadlocked overall in Florida at 50/50.

2.15 pm
First sign of sackcloth and ashes on Fox. Bill O’Reilly notes that Obama is doing really well among independents in New Hampshire. “That’s very good for the President.” What’s happening to America? O’Reilly laments. It’s becoming more like Europe! Where people ask what government can do for them, rather than – in JFK parlance – what you can do for yourself and your country. And…O’Reilly adds, Obama targeted those people! He’s winning by pandering to the moochers. O me miserum.

Back among the normal folks, the evidence is that Romney is not getting the traction he needed to win this. There is no sign at all of him looking likely to taker the states he needs. However, Romney is still ahead at last count in the popular vote, which could be a problem for Obama’s mandate, but at the moment his presidency is not under any discernible threat. Watch out for these races in the Senate: Brown vs. Warren in Massachusetts (where the admirable Elizabeth Warren has fought a really tough battle against Scott Brown, Donnelly vs. the celestial rape theorist Mourdock in Indiana, where Donnelly is still clearly ahead, and the Tim Kaine vs. George Allen fight in Virginia, where the Republican Allen has been ahead.

Note this from daily Kos: from Ohio results: “Our handy benchmark county chart says we need to win Hamilton County (OH) by 52-47 to win Ohio. We’re currently up 57-42 in the early vote.” Hamilton County includes Cincinnati, but also some Romney friendly territory beyond. Still looking good for Obama.

2pm
Daily Kos is reporting that in the senatorial race in Indiana, Richard Mourdock – the Republican who felt the fruits of rape were God’s will – is going to lose.

1.40pm
Still no really substantive results or trends. (Far slower than in 2008.) Romney’s lead in Indiana is not indicative, since the first returns in Indiana are always from rural areas, not from Obama’s stronghold around Gary. Amusing to see that among Tea Party supporters some 10% support Obama, while when you switch the question to Tea Party opponents, 10% of them support Romney. 1.8 provisional ballots in Ohio won’t be able to be counted for nearly a week! This could not only be a long night, but potentially a 2000.

The early Electoral College vote projection is 24 -3 to Romney right now. Not significant, given the early count locations. If you look for a moment at the exit polling in Ohio it’s a three point lead to Obama, and a deadlock in North Carolina. Again, no sign yet of a strong surge for Romney. He’s doing better than McCain – which you’d expect – but not yet enough to signal he can win this. On CNN David Gergen thinks the early signs are that Obama’s Midwest firewall in holding up.

(continuing)

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