Chuck Todd, lord help me, just brought up an interesting point. If our method of electing a president is confusing to foreigners when you try to explain it to them, maybe it should be changed. He’s right. The Electoral College is a poor leftover from a time when only landholding men could vote, and when it took George Washington the same amount of time to travel 100 miles as it took Julius Caesar. The Electoral College has been the source of the most egregious violations of the will of the American electorate. The time when the president should be elected by direct popular vote is long past. Any concerns that candidates would focus too much on urban issues is belied by the fact that America’s largest cities equal a far smaller percentage of the population than would be needed to win an election.
As it exists, right now, the majority of votes that are cast in this country today will have little effect on the outcome, because they were cast in states whose electoral votes were not in doubt. Doing away with the Electoral College would make a Republican vote in New York, and a Democratic vote in Utah, matter.
The House was just called for the GOP, which is no surprise. That chamber has been gerrymandered to death. There will be no Democratic majority in the House until either demographic changes make it inevitable, or the courts call bullshit on the gerrymandering.
A pile of states were just called, and none of them are a surprise. The current tally of electoral votes is 70-some for Clinton and 60-some for Trump. It’s still too early to get concerned either way.
Over in the Senate, Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, has fended off a challenge from former governor Ted Strickland. Strickland was a decent governor, taking over from a GOP administration that was on the wrong side of the law on multiple occasions, but he was blindsided by the tea party movement. He was a true casualty of Obama hate.
Pat Leahy wins reelection in Vermont, as he was always going to. Besides being the Batman franchise’s best guest star, he’s also popular back home. He can keep that seat for as long as he wishes.
Rand Paul won reelection, as well. I dismissed his chances at being more than a one-term senator back in 2010, because he was such an uncompromising libertarian. Senators who spend their terms in conflict with just about everyone in the chamber tend to not get reelected. But, despite Paul’s refusal to support just about anything the government does, ever, he got the trust of enough Kentucky voters to win another term.
Florida, believe it or not, is counting its votes quickly. They’ve already reported results from 17% of districts. Back in 2012, Florida couldn’t be bothered with reporting its results before 11pm. Thank goodness our most schizophrenic state is showing some stability. Otherwise this night could be unnecessarily lengthy.
Trump wins West Virginia. No surprise, there. West Virginia used to be reliably Democratic because of the presence of the mining unions. But those jobs have been gutted by changing extraction processes. Much of West Virginia is isolated by geography. It’s always been socially conservative and the unions exercised influence that outweighed what the population really desired. West Virginia is the prime example of the devastation wrought by America’s transition from the Industrial Revolution to the Information Age when communities are unprepared. Such is life.
Ohio and North Carolina are about to close. In my picks column, I wrote that Ohio is probably out of reach for Clinton. It’s so disappointing to me, personally. I haven’t lived in Ohio since 1999, but I still have strong social and familial connections to the state.
North Carolina going Trump would be a fairly significant blow to Clinton’s night. It, and New Hampshire, going for Trump would basically require a Clinton win in Florida to stop Trump from winning. That’s why NBC’s reporting on Hispanic turnout in Florida is significant. An extra 4 million Hispanic voters could represent a net gain of 2.5 to 3 million voted for Clinton. Fingers crossed.
Not even 7:01 and some states are being called. Indiana and Kentucky to Trump, Vermont to Clinton. No surprises there at all.
What a shitshow. The stakes in elections this century always seem to be high. The 2004 election, as a friend reminded me this afternoon, really did a number on me. I couldn’t fathom how so many people could take an honest look at the performance of George W. Bush as president and decide he had earned another term. The man was incompetent, and some of his people were war criminals.
Now here we are in 2016 and the most unqualified major party candidate in American history will probably find 60 million Americans voting for him. Incredible. That’s 60 million of our fellow citizens who are incapable of recognizing the danger Donald Trump represents to the United States and the world.
Only a couple of minutes before some real returns start coming in. New Hampshire is making me nervous, but NBC just reported Hispanic turnout is up by 4 million in Florida. If that is accurate, this night is probably already over.
And they’re off! Polls have now closed in eastern Kentucky and in most of Indiana. Those two states are solidly in the red, but Democrat Evan Bayh’s race to get back into the Senate is very important for control of the upper house. Hopefully there will be reporting shortly after the remaining polling sites in Indiana close at 7.
I just returned from voting. My district in NYC has been good to me since I moved to this neighborhood. There has never been a line. In contrast, a buddy in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (elevation 16 feet above sea level and flat as a pancake), had to wait 90 minutes to vote. Out in San Francisco, another friend waited 5 minutes. This is only the most important day in our country, and it comes around every 4 years. No need to get it right.
The Oval Office Thunderdome desk hasn’t been all that busy this election cycle, but that certainly isn’t because of a lack of subject matter. This election has been among the most anguished in all of American history. Much of the electorate is in disbelief that someone with as many disqualifications for public office still has a shot at winning the Oval Office. Continue reading “Missile Test Predicts! 2016 Degenerate Gambler Edition”