Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Night 2008 - Live Blogging

This is the Super Bowl of Politics ladies and gentleman! I will be with you all night until we know for sure who will be the next President of the United States. I will also be on AIM on my screen name JoshuaHennig. I welcome your Instant Messages and comments. Im kicking back with my Kirk's Pizza (in Marmora, NJ, awesome Pizza), Im flipping back and forth between Foxnews and CNN mostly, but I will be checking in on ABC, CBS, and NBC starting after 8pm.

*UPDATE* 7:52pm

Foxnews already has called South Carolina, West Virgina, and Kentucky for McCain and Vermont for Obama. Calling states before 8pm is annoying to me. Its early! Why give anyone any "false" perceptions? Obama is right now leading the Popular vote but McCain is leading the electoral vote by a significant margin? Please!

*UPDATE* 8:15pm

Now CNN and Foxnews are calling more states for Obama when there are less than 20 Percent of the results in! Yes some states are forgone conclussions, but still let me digest the evening. I will do my best to keep up with NJ local races when I know as well.

Interesting contrast in how CNN and Foxnews are covering the election. CNN was focusing heavily on demographics and their reporters at different locations. Foxnews is going to their plethora of analysts and playing with their touch screens to compare 2004 to 2008. NBC and ABC is doing similar to what Foxnews is doing. CBS seems to want to make calls quickly like Fox and CNN, which can be annoying because I like to see numbers and atleast 50 percent of votes are known.

*UPDATE* 9pm
The Democrats have gained new Senate seats in North Carolina, New Mexico, and New Hampshire. While CNN and CBS are projecting Pennsylvania for Obama, ABC and Foxnews are cautiously saying it might go Obama's way. This is a huge victory for Obama. McCain was expected to put up a strong fight for that state, but it looks like the cities in Pennsylvania carried Obama for now.

A major concern in this election is if the Presidency and Congress are all under control by one party. As we saw during the Clinton Administration, a Democratic President and Republican Congress got a great deal done. But when both branches of government are controlled by the same party, little good gets done (2002-2006: Republican; 1992-1994: Democrats; 1976-1980: Democrats; etc.)

*UPDATE* 9:20pmOhio might be going to Obama? Interesting since there was 200,000 "invalid voting ballots in that state...

*UPDATE* 9:55pm
This is annoying how early these networks are calling these states so early. Under 20 percent is in for Missouri, but called for McCain; under 15 percent in Wisconson but called for Obama, under 20 percent in of Wyoming called for Obama; under 20 percent in Arkansas called for McCain; and only 25 percent in Ohio for Obama! This is disgusting! It doesnt matter who wins, this is annoying and they should always wait for atleast 40 or 50 percent.

Another thought: if so many youth came out for Obama, what does this say about the next generation? McCain may have voted with Bush "90 percent of the time", but Bush only vetoed a couple bills in 8 yrs! He had 4 years with Democrats in control of Congress and 4 years with Republicans in control of Congress. So we know that the issues McCain differed with Bush (excessive spending, government waste, special tax cuts for the rich, and reform messures) makes McCain more of a moderate than a Conservative overall. So if the youth came out thinking McCain and Bush are one and the same, then there is a lot of false pretense going down in America.

*UPDATE* 10:40pm
Even though the popular vote between Obama and McCain is close, Obama has a strong lead in the Electoral Vote. Also, there have been several gains for the Democrats in the Congressional seats. If Obama does pull this off, it should not be too suprising since it is rare to have one party stay in the Presidency for more than 8 years. Remember 2000 (Democrat to Republican), 1976 (Republican to Democrat), 1968 (Democrat to Republican), 1960 (Republican to Democrat), and 1920 (Democrat to Republican).

I have a questioning thought for everyone: Remember how in 2000 Democrats said Gore should have won because he won the popular vote? How many Republicans now will say the Electoral College is "dated" and "inaccurate" because McCain kept it close to Obama in the Popular Vote but not the Electoral Vote?

*UPDATE* 11:50pm
It is official, Senator Barack Obama has been elected President of the United States. Aside from being the first African-American President elected in USA history, Obama is the first Senator elected President since 1960 (John Kennedy) and the youngest also since 1960 elected (Kennedy - 43; Obama - 47). America has choosen its next President, now we must deal with the consequences. And there are always consequences with every new President.

History predicted that a Democrat would be elected this year because of Bush's low approval ratings and the fact that Americans like some change every 8-12 years for the last 100 years. Sadly, this was an election where people saw the letter next to the candidates name instead of looking at the person who was running. It shows in all the exit polls and how different counties broke down in key states such as Florida, Ohio, Virgina, New Mexico, and Iowa. We live in a nation that is so divided on the lines of politics.

My initial reaction as a History major and Political observer for 16 years is very different than many may think. This is what America wanted and deserves. I say this because during the Primaries for both parties, I saw how the "front runners" were not always the best candidates. The most qualified man on the Democrat side (Bill Richardson) didnt even get half a look. The new Vice President was ignored as well by the democratic electorate (Joe Biden). It turned out to be a fight between different factions in the Democratic Party: Clinton Democrats Vs. MoveOn.org Democrats. On the Republican side, the frontrunners comprised of a Veteran and Bi-Partisan Senator (John McCain), a flip-floping Governor (Mitt Romney), a Republican Populist (Mike Huckabee), and a liberal Republican Mayor (Rudy Giuliani). While two men were judged excessively for their religon (Romney and Huckabee), McCain stole the moderate base of the Republican Party from Giuliani. Republicans tried to pick a candidate who could gain Democrat voters to switch teams, but it backfired because McCain forgot to appeal to those voters and focused strongly on getting the Conservatives behind him.

As we can tell by the election results, the "Conservative Base" did not come out in support of McCain like they did for Bush in 2004 and 2000, which they also did for 1980, 1984, and 1988 for Reagan and Bush Senior. Barack Obama used McCain's alliances with Bush (Illegal Immigration, tax Cuts, Iraq, Health care) against him. Instead of McCain distancing himself away from Bush, he kept saying he has a record of "Reform".

Obama initially was a "Dark Horse" candidate but showed himself as a rallying cry candidate. Yet Americans know so little about him. We have not had such a virtual unknown candidate elected President since Jimmy Carter in 1976. At last check, Obama only beat McCain by 3 million votes. That is not overwhelming margin. Bush beat Kerry by 4 million. Obama capitalized on the divided nature of American politics just like Bill Clinton did in 1992. But unlike Clinton, Obama has gotten a true majority vote (atleast 50 percent of voters) which shows that the visseral dislike of George W. Bush and his Republican collegues is deep because they lied. Republicans ignored what made Ronald Reagan great: Fiscal Conservatism.

These Republicans spent like crazy, made special spending deals with Democrats, and capitulated too much. In a simple terms, Bush and his Republicans tried to get away with being Fiscal Moderates and lost their own game. Democrats just let the Republicans destroy themselves by encouraging them ignoring their Political Origins. Why should we be suprised by a strongly left Democrat being elected President when he appealed to the emotions of a betrayed electorate?