It appears that the big loser of the evening is Karl Rove…

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Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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139 Responses

  1. Avatar Ramblin' Rod
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    says:

    I made the same comment (vis-a-vis the billionaire spending spree) on my FB feed. The youngsters like my niece Liked that. I think it’s pretty simple: diminishing returns. The advertising was saturated in the swing states and people tuned out.

    It’s an interesting phenomenon. The rich guys want to be able to spend prolifically in order to influence elections. The lefties fret that they’ll succeed. The right-wing political apologists make noises about how more speech is good speech and something something. Then it turns out that you really can’t buy an election for a sub-par candidate.

    At this point I’m not sure what the hell to think about CU.Report

  2. Avatar greginak
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    says:

    My guess would be that in a polarized country money can’t move large amounts of votes and the effect money does have has sharply diminishing returns after the first could hundred million dollars.Report

  3. Avatar david
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    says:

    Give Drudge credit; he’s still fighting the good fight.

    My question is: how many Republican/conservative pundits and blogger who viciously attacked Nate Silver will now apologize to the one guy who had it right all along?Report

    • Avatar NewDealer in reply to david
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      says:

      Probably zero.Report

    • Avatar david in reply to david
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      says:

      And…. even Matt has conceded. The moment the popular vote swung from “R” to “O”,
      he downgraded the tally from large font headlines to small-print upper corner.

      Good night, and pleasant dreams to all.Report

    • Avatar Mopey Duns in reply to david
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      says:

      Silver for President!…

      …of SCIENCE!

      I am just glad that the predictions of a single-state win turned out to be wrong and that there is a clearcut winner.

      I would have hated to see my favourite neighbours have a civil war.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to david
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      says:

      Of course they won’t apologize (Slate had up a “Nate Silver did nothing but assign fakey percentages to polls using some arcane BS formula. Pollsters did all the work. Also, you totally can’t even PROVE his percentages were right”).

      But on the bright side, I won’t have to listen to people mutilate probability and statistics so basic that even though it’s been 20 years since I’ve taken a stats class and five since I’ve used anything more complicated than “averaging” it makes me wince with it’s sheer wrongness.

      I swear, the last few weeks have been so bad…it’d be like listening to a bunch of people talk about football in terms of ERA and whether or not you can spike the dodgeball.Report

  4. Avatar Kolohe
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    says:

    Maybe Citizen’s United wasn’t TEOTWAWKIReport

  5. Avatar Elias Isquith
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    says:

    Tonight’s the rare moment when I wish I had a TV, because what I’m being told about what’s happening on Fox right now sounds riveting.

    I’m flattered as always by the shout-out, Tod. I’ve got to think about this a bit, of course; and I’m interested to see what the ultimate popular vote total is (and, just for the sake of it, what the numbers from NJ-post Sandy look like). My two big takeaway thoughts though are that 1. PoliSci is looking vindicated when it comes to $ spent on high-profile races being only marginally effective; and 2. Tonight solidified that we’re living in a different America than the one we grew up in and instinctually think of as our own.

    Should be a very interesting next coupla weeks!Report

  6. Avatar Michelle
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    says:

    Rove appears to be in full denial road, even though Fox called it for Obama. Maybe Karl thinks it’s 2000 all over again.Report

    • Avatar Michelle in reply to Michelle
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      says:

      Full denial mode–I hate iPad spell check.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Michelle
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        says:

        Oh, he’s walking down denial road, all right. It’s a long sad walk.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to Michelle
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        says:

        Actually, if you were watching the returns flow in, Romney was ahead in Ohio for about an hour, ahead in VA, and within easy striking distance in Florida, and his leads were increasing rapidly. This was a fun election to watch in real-time. If the trends in the counting had held, Romeny would be president.

        Amusingly, most of my Republican election-watching chat buddies were heartened by the outcome (joyous schadenfreude), because now Democrats both can’t do anything, and can’t get off the hook for Obama’s first-term decisions whose consequences haven’t hit yet because they were scheduled to take effect right after the election. If Romney had one he’d have to deal with their effects, and now he doesn’t. ^_^

        They also were keen on another doubling the income gap between whites and blacks, which made me kind of suspect that some of them were racist, even though they all voted to stop it.

        Given the outcome, I’m looking forward to much worse racial and partisan division, getting us back to Civil War levels of civility and coooperation. 🙂Report

        • Avatar Sierra Nevada in reply to George Turner
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          says:

          “Given the outcome, I’m looking forward to much worse racial and partisan division, getting us back to Civil War levels of civility and coooperation.”

          Creepy. And dead wrong. Rove will be back, but the tactics of the last two years have played out. The R’s have lost this round, and if they try the obstruction tactic this time, Obama will make the negatives stick to them. Which would be a coffin nail.

          Sorry to dissapoint, but book for rapprochement between Boehner and Obama. Things will get hairy again in 2016, but 2014 will be a relatively quiet cycle.Report

        • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to George Turner
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          says:

          George is looking forward to Helter Skelter. When did they give Charlie and internet connection.Report

          • Avatar George Turner in reply to Shazbot5
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            says:

            If Obama had lost, Charlie might’ve made his short-list for a pardon. Who knows?! 😀

            Presidents only do their crazy pardons right before they leave (unless their VP is replacing them), so there might be more than a handful of rich or high-profile inmates cursing the results this morning.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to George Turner
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          says:

          I’ve been sheparding the R’s through their late-night crazy phase, when they decide to move all their businesses offshore. 😛

          Only a few will do it, and some of the rest more as a vacation than anything else.

          My gut says they shouldn’t open the NYSE tomorrow morning, though. 😀Report

        • Avatar Kolohe in reply to George Turner
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          says:

          Mr. Turner, you’re not writing any sort of diary by chance?Report

        • Avatar James Hanley in reply to George Turner
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          says:

          Actually, if you were watching the returns flow in,
          Uh, have you actually been reading the comments here?

          Romney was ahead in Ohio for about an hour, ahead in VA, and within easy striking distance in Florida, and his leads were increasing rapidly.
          His leads were increasing so rapidly that he never was shown with more than 51% in Ohio or Florida.

          If the trends in the counting had held, Romeny would be president.
          If our first quarter lead had held up we would have won the game!
          That’s just priceless.Report

          • Avatar Michelle in reply to James Hanley
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            says:

            Yeah, he was ahead before they started counting votes from the urban areas. Then he wasn’t ahead anymore. Do the math and draw the logical conclusions.Report

            • Avatar George Turner in reply to Michelle
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              says:

              No, usually the urban returns come in first, and then rural, although maybe that’s not consistent across all states. In states where that does hold, Republicans are used to seeing a large Democrat lead in the early returns, and then they play catch up through the rest of the counting. So last night Ohio was following that pattern for most of the latter part of the counting, showing Romney down by a couple 100K, then 50K, then 28K, then 20K, then 2,000, then UP by 20K, up by 23K, and gaining, in a very consistent trend that held for almost an hour. Then he was down again by 50K in the span of about 5 minutes. There must’ve been a big block of urban votes that came in late (or, of course, the Democrats had been waiting to see how many new ballots they needed to print. 😀 ).

              Kentucky is one of the states where the Republican plays catch-up every election. Lexington and Louisville returns come in early and then the rural areas trickle in. The networks have access to better data and can take a look at how the rural returns are looking, then punch that into their models to see if it will be enough to overcome the lead established in the urban areas. Everyone gets used to seeing these patterns, and generally they only change when the state adopts new technologies (touch screen voting machines, etc), but we’re used to watching horse races.

              So, as I said, for a span very late in the election, after even Fox had called it, it looked like Romney would take Virginia, he led in Ohio, and the question was whether he could close a 45K gap in Florida with about 500K returns still uncounted, or at least close the gap enough so that absentee military ballots might put him over the top. Then his lead in Ohio evaporated and VA drifted out of reach, as Virginia is a complex state without the consistent rural/urban party mappings.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to George Turner
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                says:

                usually the urban returns come in first, and then rural, although maybe that’s not consistent across all states.

                Dude, that’s crap. Rural precincts tend to be smaller, it’s easier to get stuff done quicker, and we have modern telecommunications devices by which they can get the vote report in quickly. Look at how many urban precincts had lines still at poll closing time–they could keep other people from entering the line, but sometimes the last voting didn’t occur for up to an hour after the official closing time.

                The fricking professionals–on every channel–if you were listening to them, pointed out that they knew where in Ohio the votes were being reported from, and they knew they had most of the vote from the rural area and not nearly all of it from the urban areas. That was the Fox analysts’ response to Carl Rove!. Do you just sit down and decide to make stuff up? If you had listened to the conservative channel’s analysts last night you’d know better.

                Kentucky is one of the states where the Republican plays catch-up every election.

                Which is why it was one of the first states to be called for Romney last night!! Damn, George, you’re just priceless.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to James Hanley
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                says:

                If you had listened to the conservative channel’s analysts last night you’d know better.

                And that was the problem. I wasn’t in charge of the TV, the college kids were, and it got stuck on NBC, which might as well have been Dancing With the Stars. They weren’t even showing any numbers! Finally I left, pulled up CNN’s webpage, and just watched their raw numbers come in. I couldn’t watch Fox on the web because they wanted everyone to provide their internet carrier, mine wasn’t listed, and the few I tried wanted a login.

                BTW, the college kids are all graduating soon, and they got pretty depressed. “Darn. Looks like no jobs for us for a while.”Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to George Turner
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                says:

                Funny, I was watching it in our college’s student union, and most of the students were pretty damn happy. I tried to get a Romney cheer going, but it failed. The Obama cheer got picked up pretty quickly. (The Johnson cheer got a few laughs, the Stein cheer just got puzzled looks.)Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to James Hanley
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            says:

            That’s kinda funny, insofar as you’d expect Romney to win in a lot of early counties in Ohio and especially in Florida. Smaller counties tend to be more rural, more Republican, and count much, much quicker because they’re smaller.

            I can’t understand how you can be an election junkie — enough to stay up watching county-by-county returns and not have at least a vague mental map of which ones are heavy Republican, which ones heavy Democrat, and when they report.

            Donald Trump being the biggest idiot as he sorta forget the entire West Coast when projecting Romney winning the popular vote. Daily Kos, the Great Orange Satan itself, had a rather interesting county-by-county breakdown of Florida showing 2008 R-D percentages and what Obama needed, county by county, to hold Florida.Report

            • Avatar George Turner in reply to Morat20
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              says:

              I think the difference is how a state divides up the polling places. If it gives a dense spreading of polling places in urban areas then each polling place has a small number of votes to count, and if the rural polling places are sparse compared to the population, then each of those has a large number of votes to count. States probably vary widely on how they do it, which would probably explain our differing perceptions.

              I’m urban, and where I used to vote I’d always get confused about which polling place I voted in. There were two churchs across the street from me, side by side, and often I went to the wrong one and had to switch to the other (one was run by Chuck Colson, famous Watergate conspirator). One year I had to walk a block further to vote at the library. Three polling places within about a block is pretty dense coverage. In other parts of the state an entire county might have a few dozen. I suppose some states are exactly the opposite, since if you divided up the state into relatively equal little geographic territories, the rural ones would have a handful of voters and the urban ones would be swamped with lines stretching around the block.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to George Turner
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                says:

                The difference tends to be whether the polling is run by the county or the state. At my polling place, there were 12 booths. In Florida, for an equivalent number of folks, there would be 3 booths. And god forbid one break!!

                This is what makes things go long. That, and counting the mail. Since oregon smartposts theirs, it’s quite possible WV will find it a few weeks down the line (this is a joke).Report

          • Avatar zic in reply to James Hanley
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            says:

            And on those leads:

            Small towns are quick to count, where as large towns, cities, and big cities take a bit longer. So the results from rural OH and FL tend to come in first. And as in most places, rural areas tend to be more conservative then urban areas.Report

        • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to George Turner
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          says:

          If the trends in the counting had held, Romeny would be president.

          The numbers ain’t arbitrary. Romney was ahead because they counted the rural areas first or faster. Virginia did the same thing last time around, and gave me a scare. Same with Florida.Report

  7. Avatar NewDealer
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    says:

    I am waiting until they finally concede. I wonder if some of them ever will. Simply put, it seems like there is a large section of the Republican Party that refuses to believe a Democratic politician especially President could win an election.

    They are not budging on Ohio even though the votes are almost certainly in a county that is going to go for Obama.Report

  8. Avatar Tom Van Dyke
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    says:

    No offense, y’all, but anything written after 9:19 EST, “Shaka, when the walls fell,” must be taken under advisement.Report

  9. Avatar James K
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    says:

    The funny thing is that this is entirely consistent with the literature I have seen on the question of money and elections. Money is needed to buy into the game, but beyond that it doesn’t do much to help you win.Report

  10. Avatar Sierra Nevada
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    says:

    In baseball, when somebody judges a player off how he does in a single game or even a handful of them, stats nerbs reply with pith: SSS.

    Small Sample Size. I ain’t no fan of Rove, but it would be dimwitted in the extreme to think that this one election says anything lasting about his methods. He could be done for good, or he could run the table next time around. One thing is for sure: Rove won’t have to square off against Team Obama again. Add to that fact that the R’s solidified control of state houses (really helps with control 0f district lines) and elected a record number of Governors (the talent pool from which national candidates are drawn), and you will see that Rove has plenty of bullet points for his presentations to wealthy donors in years to come.

    That freaking turd will come out of this just fine. Damnit.Report

  11. Avatar BlaiseP
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    says:

    The big loser tonight isn’t Karl Rove. It’s M, who just called to let me know her husband S’s vehicle was destroyed by an IED in Paktika province, Afghanistan. He survived, severely concussed. I photographed their wedding.

    For weeks, S has been shot at. Told us he wouldn’t re-enlist after this tour. Well, his tour just ended. All things seem to have an ending but it’s usually just the end of a phase and the beginning of another. S won’t be the same.

    Barack Obama’s telling us he’s hopeful for our future, telling us to avoid the idealism of shirking from a fight. S didn’t shirk. I didn’t. It takes more than courage and perseverance to keep fighting, whatever he says. It takes luck.Report

  12. Avatar Jason M.
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    says:

    Good night for that skinny, efeminate stats geek conservatives hate so bad.Report

  13. Avatar superdestroyer
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    says:

    The real lesson of 2012 is that the effect of money on politics is massively overestimate but the effects of demographics of politics is massively underestimate.

    The Democratic Party knows that instead of focusing on campaign finance reform, that changing the demographics of the U.S. is how to increase their massive advantage. That is why the Democrats will push for amnesty in the form of comprehensive immigration reform and to massive increase the amount of legal immigration. Replacing whites who vote for Republicans for heavily Democratic Party voting Asians and Hispanics is the key to the future of politics in the U.S.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to superdestroyer
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      says:

      We’ve had this conversation for literallyjoebiden years. Eventually, some members of this super-sized Dem coalition you posit will realize they like tax cuts too.Report

      • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Kolohe
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        says:

        The supersized Dem coalition will continue to always like government spending more than tax cuts. When was the last time taxes were cut in Chicago or Maryland. Democrats do not cut taxes. David Axelrod realizes that limiting the tax increase to as small as group as possible is the way to maintain a one party state in the U.S. That is why Chicago taxes the crap out of commuters while keeping a massive number of people on the government payrolls.Report

        • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to superdestroyer
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          says:

          That’s simply not true. We’d very much like Glass-Steagall back, so we wouldn’t have to bail out investment banks. We’d also like all the money we spent on Iraq back.

          I could take the GOP seriously on tax cuts if they gave an inch on regulation.Report

        • Avatar Will H. in reply to superdestroyer
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          says:

          Chicago remains one of the best arguments that I can think of for not voting for a Democrat.Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to Will H.
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            says:

            *snort* you should see OUR mayor! Rahm at least has some decent work under his belt, and a sense of humor.
            OUR mayor chose to let vets stand out in the rain for two fucking hours on Memorial Day, all because he had gotten too sodden drunk the night before, and “forgot” to cancel.
            Fucking disrespectful twit.
            (We’re just about to start Phase 4 of “getting rid of da mayor”)Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Kolohe
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        says:

        It looks like Prop 30 passed and Californians will probably raise their taxes to save their public schools.Report

        • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to NewDealer
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          says:

          But will the money be used to actually help the schools or will it be used to maintain the state payrolls instead.

          State tax dollars are fungible and anyone who votes for targeted taxes at the state or local level is short-sighted fool.Report

          • Avatar Sierra Nevada in reply to superdestroyer
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            says:

            I live in California, and am familiar with school finances. If 30 doesn’t pass, the cuts will go to the bone, for traditional schools, charters, and community colleges. This wasn’t about giving administrators raises, it was about keeping the lights on in some places.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Kolohe
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        says:

        The GOP needs to be more than tax cuts, because most people realize not every problem can be solved by a tax cut.

        I don’t expect the GOP to change just yet. “RINO” is already being tossed around, “not conservative enough”, etc.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Morat20
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          says:

          That’s the beginning of the change, silly.
          First we need a GOP civil war.
          Then we get some boll weevil party again.Report

        • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Morat20
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          says:

          However, every additional tax dollar makes the Democrats stronger. As government spending increases, it creates more special interest groups that want to keep the money coming and wants additonal tax increases. California has very high tax rates and still have massive budget issues. Tax increases without spending cuts is a fools errand.Report

  14. Avatar DRS
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    says:

    On behalf of the 5.5 billion of us who don’t get a vote but have to put up with you anyway (and in particular the 35 million of us who share an international border with you), may I just say: thank you for rejecting the stupid for the second election in a row.

    Congrats on Maryland and Maine: thin edge of the wedge but a new day dawns – cue the trumpets.

    On the legalizing marijuana: as Churchill said in another context – it’s not the beginning of the end, but it is the end of the beginning. Sanity looms.Report

    • Avatar Pierre Corneille in reply to DRS
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      says:

      “On the legalizing marijuana: as Churchill said in another context – it’s not the beginning of the end, but it is the end of the beginning. Sanity looms.”

      Now Canada just needs to follow suit 🙂Report

      • Avatar DRS in reply to Pierre Corneille
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        says:

        I’m afraid that will be a post-Harper development. On the other hand, our penalties aren’t quite as draconian as some American ones for things like using rather than dealing.Report

        • Avatar Pierre Corneille in reply to DRS
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          says:

          You’re probably right, although I confess I don’t keep my watch on Canadian politics. (I should, since I’m writing a dissertation in part about Canada, but my ignorance is still embarrassing….I Canadian high school student probably knows more about Canadian history and politics than I do.)Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Pierre Corneille
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        says:

        It could happen provincially (I think BC’s got a shot), but we can’t do it until some US states have done it and the US federal government has resigned itself to that instead of trying to get in their way. If we went our own way on this, the Americans would at minimum make it incredibly hard to cross the border, at maximum close it altogether.

        That’s why I was watching the ballot initiatives so closely. With Washington legalizing, BC’s got a much better opening to do so, depending on how Obama reacts. Fingers crossed that he’ll show a measure of reasonableness and decency (he could be an ex-con instead of president if he’d been caught as a young man, yet he thinks it’s fine to put people in prison for doing the same things he did).Report

        • Avatar Pierre Corneille in reply to KatherineMW
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          says:

          This comments sounds about right, and I certainly agree with your parenthetical comment, which is one of the things that angers me at a very personal level about his robust prosecution of the drug war.

          That’s not to say that I don’t acknowledge some of the institutional pressures/incentives that might make it difficult to follow a different policy. But he has a lot of power to choose a different path, and so far it seems he has declined to do so.Report

  15. Avatar MFarmer
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    says:

    I was terribly wrong. Congrats to all the Obama supporters. The political coalition they put togther was greater than the opposition.Report

  16. Avatar KatherineMW
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    says:

    Well, I promised: Nate Silver Is Smarter Than Me. (No, I didn’t call [or want] Obama to lose; I called Virginia and Colorado to go red.)

    Same-sex marriage is 4 for 4, and marajuana (not just the ‘medical’ kind) is 2/3. It’s been a good night for liberals and libertarians.

    Big difference between tonight and Prop 8 in 2008. I suspect that Obama’s support for gay marriage had a significant role in it winning in four different blue states.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to KatherineMW
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      says:

      It’s also felt for a couple of years like the floodgates were getting ready to crack. I expect to see other SSM supporters from other states to be much encouraged by last night. I expect we will see at least half a dozen similar measures up in 2014.Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Tod Kelly
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        says:

        I’d tell those supporters to possibly wait until 2016, unless it’s a very blue state. Because, well, 2010.

        I think we might be headed, for the time being, toward a weird state of play where the Democrat’s have at least a five yard head start in every Presidential race, but are liable to big swings during the midterms when they don’t have the ability to turn out Hispanic/Black/single women/young voters at the same clip.Report

        • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Jesse Ewiak
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          says:

          , toward a weird state of play where the Democrat’s have at least a five yard head start in every Presidential race,

          If I may puff myself, see my post where I talk about the male/female demographic. I think that’s the 5 yard head start.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to KatherineMW
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      says:

      Props to Obama for being conservative enough to sway the African American vote.Report

  17. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    Here is the narrative that *I* would provide my funders if I were Karl Rove:

    This election was 2004 all over again. We went up against a fairly popular President (which some very polarized opposition) with the weakest candidate we could possibly have fielded… and yet look at his coattails! When John Kerry ran, he *LOST* seats in the Senate and House! We were able to hold the line even though we ran our version of John Kerry.

    Now, what we need to do, is find a candidate who *DOESN’T* suck and fund him. Then you’ll see what this machine is *REALLY* capable of! Get a preview in 2014! GET THE REAL THING IN 2016!!!!

    That’s what I’d say.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      “Mitt isn’t a true conservative” is much pithier.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      Republicans will lose seats in the Senate.Report

    • Avatar Jeff Wong in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      I wouldn’t have minded voting for Jon Huntsman.

      Actually, if conservatives ran on a platform of bringing back the physical 18th century version of America (forests, mountains and natural resources) and committed to restoring the world to the way it was back then (this means reversing climate change and reabsorbing all of the CO2 since then), I’d vote for them, no reservations.

      Freedom won’t matter in 2075 when Americans start looking at their fellow citizens for their food value.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      It will help that whoever runs in 2016 won’t be going up against America’s First Black President ™.

      Which is probably why, when they asked for volunteers in 2010, Chris Christie took one swift step to the rear. Richard Nixon got the only second act in American politics, and there’ll never be another one of him; whoever ran against Obama this year had to know that unless he somehow won the election, his career was over. Anyone who honestly wanted the job knew that they’d have to wait for the next go-round.Report

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