Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Obama 303, Romney 235 and last-minute details

-- The only changes from October 23 are giving the two remaining tossups, CO and NH, to the President. Here's what the map will look like later on this evening. This site has it the same. So does this one. Or you can go with Dick Morris' version. If you're on LSD.

-- Senate prognostications are gelling around a pickup of one to three seats for Democrats. Nobody is predicting the House changes hands. Republicans will feel justified in continuing obstruction if the President doesn't win the nationwide popular vote. They will obstruct anyway, naturally.

-- Outside of Harris County, the two Congressional races most worth following are Nick Lampson's and Pete Gallego's. I never mentioned them before because I focused on the county and statewides here, but if there's a small blue wave as in '08, they will be carried into office. Hope that happens; they'll both be outstanding Congressmen as compared with their counterparts.

Here again -- if anyone still needs some progressive bipartisan suggestions -- are the Brainy Endorsements, Part I for federal and statewide races, and Part II for the statehouse and the courthouse. Thanks to Neil Aquino at Texas Liberal for linking to them frequently as well. Update: Charles has a good aggregation of late breaking local news to note, none of which is duplicated here.

Speaking of Harris County... the news gets better. I am not attributing this source for confidentiality, but am excerpting his e-mail.

The numbers (from Harris County VAN data, of EV and mail ballots)  look quite good -- especially if our people voted Straight-D or at least went through the ballot and if VAN correctly scored people as Democrat vs. Republican.  The "hard" and "soft" Democrats accounted for 43.9%, the "hard" and "soft" Republicans accounted for 30.6%, and the "non-partisans" accounted for 25.5% of the early voting/mail-in ballots.  The Democrats outvoted the Republicans by nearly 100,000 and there are not enough Republican voters left in Harris County who haven't voted (~70,000) to make up the difference.

And if this news doesn't soothe you, then -- as the therapist suggested here -- practice your breathing exercises, draw a hot bath, have a Xanax and a glass of wine, and read Nate Silver again. Reality has a pronounced liberal bias.

-- I would like to see Jill Stein get to 3% in Texas and 5% nationally. That last number will qualify the GP's presidential nominee for federal matching funds in 2016, an important and historical milestone. Five percent for any statewide Green earns the party ballot access again in two years, and I think that's assured.

-- Also can't wait to see what effect Libertarians have on a few races locally, in Texas, and across the country. When the GOP melts down after their losses hit them, it could spell the end of the Republican Party as anything except a fringe far-right movement, and the Libertarians stand to benefit the most. Oh well, I suppose some moderate Republicans might become Democrats, too. A consolidation of conservative corporatists in the mushy middle.

The Texas iteration of Republicanism might be poised to exert itself nationally, given its strength here. Lone Star conservatives are under the impression they are doing everything right, and could decide to try to take over. That's a delicious recipe for electoral disaster, as the TeaBaggers -- from Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell in 2010 to Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin in 2012 -- have repeatedly demonstrated. Hope that happens, too.

-- Nick Anderson and Jeff Greenfield speak for me: "Hey undecided voters, how about you just sit this one out":

It’s a plea directed to those of you who are still uncertain about which way to vote. And it’s as simple as it is heartfelt: Stay home.


The overwhelmingly likely reason (you're still undecided) is this: You have the reasoning power of a baked potato.

OK, I grant that you may be of the small minority of concerned citizens who are genuinely torn and who have not yet evaluated the relative worth of health care reform notions, the vagaries of the tax proposals or the respective approaches to the increasing power of the renminbi.

But I wouldn’t bet a nickel on it.

The odds are you’ve just been too busy obsessing about the misfortunes of the Kardashians, or the quality of your ringtone, to spend any time thinking about who might be the better president.

Well, that’s your right. Unlike the Australians, we don’t compel people to vote, and it would likely be a First Amendment violation if we tried. A refusal to vote can be seen as a statement that the electoral system is rigged, meaningless or so thoroughly corrupt as to deserve contempt. (“I never vote,” one citizen said long ago. “It only encourages them.”)

Kris G, I'm looking at you.

Men and women in my lifetime have died fighting for the right to vote: people like James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, who were murdered while registering black voters in Mississippi in 1964, and Viola Liuzzo, who was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan in 1965 during the Selma march for voting rights. In these days of early voting, we’ve seen people waiting in line for hours to exercise the franchise. Countless others, who have never had to fight for it, have spent real time either trying to decide how to cast their vote or donating their time to persuading others.

So if you’re one of those folks who have stayed utterly disengaged through all of this, do the honorable thing: Honor those for whom the vote really matters by staying home.

You’ll be doing yourself—and the country—a favor.

No shit.

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