Election 2010

Democracy In Alaska

Voter intent is hard to measure: "U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski's campaign on Thursday accused observers for rival Joe Miller of making petty challenges in the counting of voters' write-in ballots in an attempt to tilt the Alaska Senate race in their favor…. Shortly after the second day of write-in ballot counting began in the race, a Miller observer challenged a vote for Murkowski that appeared to have her name spelled and printed correctly, though the 'L' in 'Lisa' was in cursive handwriting." [Via]


An Elegy For Nancy Pelosi

"Congress is a funny, insular place. Mastering it the way Pelosi did is an art that is much more a liability than an asset with voters. Her outspokenness, her unapologetic liberalism, and — yes — her gender, made her a rich target for Republicans, especially when the economy collapsed. But she refused to back down." —Steve Kornacki writes Nancy Pelosi's political obituary.


Names of the Dead

"As of this writing, the House GOP’s net kill count stands at 59. The party defeated these incumbents: Rep. Bobby Bright (D-Ala.), Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), Rep. Harry Mitchell (D-Ariz.), Rep. Betsy Markey (D-Colo.), Rep. John Salazar (D-Colo.), Rep. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.), Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-Fla.), Rep. Jim Marshall (D-Ga.), Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho), Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.), Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-Ill.), Rep. Phil Hare (D-Ill.), Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.), Rep. Frank Kratovil (D-Md.), Rep. Mark Schauer (D-Mich.), Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), Rep. Travis Childers (D-Miss.), Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.), Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.), Rep. Harry Teague (D-N.M.), Rep. Michael [...]


The Nonstop News Cycle Summed Up In One Image

I hear that!


Harry Reid's Internal Numbers are +4 to +8

"The internal Reid numbers for the past three weeks show that Reid has actually had a lead ranging from 4 to 8 points (and last week, the National Republican Senate Campaign Committee had a similar internal poll showing Reid six points up)." Nevada, Nevada, what will happen today?


The Rally to Restore Sanity in Pictures: Arianna's Bus to Magicland

Did you have things to do this weekend? Such as go to work, or perhaps rally to help get out the vote in tomorrow's election, for instance? If you didn't make it down to D.C. for the non-political political comedian rally, our photographer Stephen Kosloff shows you what you missed—including Arianna Huffington learning for presumably the first time about transportation by bus. In the immortal words of the Huff herself, let the [PICTURES!] [SLIDESHOW!] begin!


Egos, Eggheads and Erections in the Steel Cage of American Politics: A History of the Celebrity Candidate

Very Recent History: The Rise of the Celebrity Candidate -- #url#

Politicians Are Political

Younger readers may not remember George Nethercutt, the Washington lawyer who defeated House Speaker Tom Foley in the 1994 Republican congressional wave. Nethercutt ran a campaign that loudly trumpeted his approval of terms limits and vowed to serve a maximum of six years before returning home. As is so often the case when naive idealists achieve office, Nethercutt at some point learned that term limits were a terrible idea, for him at least, and successfully ran twice more for the seat he had promised to relinquish after three terms, which you can chalk up as a victory for hypocrisy or stupidity, depending on how you view the world. Will [...]


"Let's Make This Quick, I'm Sure We Both Want To Go Smoke The Hell Out Of A Pack Of Cigarettes"

"President Barack Obama makes an election night phone call to Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) from his Treaty Room office in the White House residence a couple of minutes after midnight, Nov. 3, 2010."


Let's Do This Thing! It's Election Night! Let's Meet and Discuss!

You guys, I'm literally ill with excitement. Tonight is that magical night when the punditry cycle is silenced—okay, briefly muted—by actual facts and events! It all begins now. Obviously we are all grown-ups so we know that the exit polling numbers are just for giggles. We pay them no mind. Also obviously, tonight we are watching, with great interest: Nevada (10 p.m.), Florida (polls close at 7 p.m.), Delaware (polls close at 8, also just for laffs), and California, (11 p.m.). Also at about 9:01 p.m., Carl Paladino's ass should be handed to him and we can all move into a stage of missing him then forgetting him. What [...]


Will We Even Have a Tea Party in Six Years?

"Local tea party groups are less organized and politically active than previously thought—and… much of the grassroots organization that swayed primaries was coordinated and financed by large national groups led by Republican insiders." —You don't say.


Exactly How Did We Get Christine O'Donnell Again?

I knew Christine O'Donnell before you did. And by 'you' I mean 'people in general.' (And by 'knew,' definitely not like that guy that didn't sleep with her several years ago.) I knew Christine O'Donnell because I drive to the Eastern Shore of Maryland a couple of times a year and I had seen her advertising on the first day of fall, 2008. Anyone who pulls off of US 95 onto Route 1 has a vague impression of the names of Delaware's political candidates. Their signs are everywhere. But O'Donnell's was the only one with the candidate's headshot on it.


David Brooks Battered

"Has there been any indication that Barack Obama does not believe in the 'old-fashioned bourgeois virtues?' Has the man been anything but bourgeois to a fault? Has he not believed in 'order' so deeply he's sacrificed his presidency to its maintenance? Has he not been so 'self-disciplined' that he's regularly accused of being robotic? Let's leave aside the inflammatory rhetoric of 'personal responsibility': Has Barack Obama ever been accused of being late? And if not, where the hell does 'punctuality' come from?" —Yowch. The Times David Brooks gets severely beaten down for writing a sentence that is "either frankly racist or frankly forgiving of racism."


American Voters Become The Internet

"The Obama administration cut taxes for middle-class Americans, expects to make a profit on the hundreds of billions of dollars spent to rescue Wall Street banks and has overseen an economy that has grown for the past four quarters.

Most voters don’t believe it." —You know what? I get this. The economy still sucks and a lot of people are hurting. And yet… America is now the "PICS OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN" nation. Even when you show it the pics, it's all, "THOSE ARE SO PHOTOSHOPPED!" There is also probably a goatse analogy in here, but I don't want to overdo it.


Inside Ron Johnson's Victory Party: Reason Concedes to Ron Johnson

The miles of Highway 41 in Wisconsin north of Fond du Lac feature a lot of billboards. Somewhere just before the town known as "Sawdust City," a succession of billboards advertise both the Supreme adult gift and lingerie store and "All Life Is Precious" anti-choice abortion messages. This juxtaposition of open sin and Christian values has historic president in Oshkosh. The raging alcoholic for whom the city is named died in a drunken brawl in 1858, years before the Menominee chief could see Oshkosh become the annual home to the Christian music event, LifeFest.

Soon, the night will be summed up by John Boehner crying over my [...]


Russ Feingold At Rest

There will be plenty of political eulogies forthcoming on behalf of Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Anyone Who Cared About the Influence of Money in Politics and Oh Sure, Civil Liberties, Too). This won't be one, precisely—or at least not a eulogy on behalf of his politics. If you were forced to adopt the standard pose of a central-casting "secular progressive," sure, you'd admit Feingold's defeat hurts more than most of the others dealt out last night by the hydra-headed beast that was Congressional Bloodbath XXVII: The Inchoate Reckoning. (Republicans won the anti-banker vote? [Whistles, moves on.])

But let's think about Feingold for a moment, instead of ourselves.


Nevada's Total Voters Today: Maybe 7 Percent of the State's Population?

Turnout looks to be still "good" in Nevada, but perhaps lower than predictions, which were for 190,000 voters at polls today in Clark County, says the county's registrar of voters. (Clark County has 2 million residents, and the state has 2.6 million residents in total. For your reference, there are between 800,000 and 900,000 registered party voters in the state, and early voting accounted for about 310,000 voters.)


I Voted, But I Have Really Good Eyes

Here in New York, where we have changed ballot systems, voting may be a slightly more confusing process than usual. The state has switched to some kind of ludicrous Scantron form, which is much less satisfying than pulling levers and hearing that awesome clank once you've done your part for democracy. I'm sure it's all a temporary stopgap until we're all voting on iPads or whatever, but if your polling place is crowded—it's possible, I guess; I went at 10:30 and it was only slightly busier than it was during the primaries—you will probably have to wait for a bit while the volunteers explain the process to the elderly people [...]


Breaking? Some People Think Harry Reid Will Win

"Somehow a lot of pretty sharp people think Reid's going to do this thing." You heard it from Talking Points Memo first: "a lot" of "sharp people" are predicting a Harry Reid win in Nevada.


Bill Clinton Says You (And His Staff) Are All Liars

"I didn't ask Kendrick to leave the race, nor did Kendrick say that he would," is the statement just sent out by Bill Clinton's press office. For those not playing along, he means Kendrick Meek, the Democratic Senate candidate in Florida, who's not winning against an Independent (Charlie Crist) and a Tea Party candidate running as a Republican (Marco Rubio). He does know that this was in the Times today, I assume: "Matt McKenna, Mr. Clinton’s spokesman, said the former president had concluded that Mr. Meek’s candidacy was struggling and was urging him to drop out and endorse Charlie Crist."