Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election night

[newer posts first]

OK, one more thing. Is New Hampshire the strangest state in the country? Its primaries relaunched the presidential bids of ... John McCain and Hillary Clinton.

Obama's acceptance speech. Not bad, but at some point the soaring rhetoric is going to need to be attached to specifics. The kind of thing that Hillary Clinton was better at. Goodnight.

That was a bizarre concession speech from McCain. A huge portion of it anchored to the idea that the only reason blacks should feel disengaged from the political system is that there hasn't been a black president, and now that there will be, all sense of disengagement is obligated to end, continuing economic exclusion (as seen in Katrina) notwithstanding. Also, he never made eye contact with Todd Palin in the extremely cursory handshakes.

So it's a strangely information starved night. An extreme and understandable reluctance of the projection teams to make predictions based solely on the exit polls. And yet as things fall into place, especially with Ohio, the prospect of an Obama win becomes clearer. All that yelling about military voters in Virginia may not matter much.

One might call the electoral college a disaster waiting to happen, except that the disaster already happened in 2000. God forbid it happens again. But these very strong yet short of majority showings by Obama in e.g. Kentucky are setting it up.

The Republicans seem to be setting up uncounted military postal votes as their cause celebre [see here and here]. If they even matter, then going that route in legal action would mean having to carefully count all postal or absentee votes. Unless we get some more Bush v Gore-style legal theorising.

If the pundits know like the rest of us that exit polls are structurally flawed, why do they quote their findings on non outcome questions like issues as if they are more reliable than the voting question? If it is a bad sample, it is a bad sample for all questions.

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