too close to call?
7:56pm: the early numbers are vaguely frightening. we are up to almost 8pm central time, and it's currently overwhelmingly Bush. the red states are everywhere (except new england, which everyone but the NYTimes is willing to call blue at the moment), but nothing major yet -they are mostly states expected to go for Bush anyway. we did lose, it appears, Indiana for Bush, but polls have yet to close in most of the swing states, and we have not heard anything definitive from Penn or Florida.
will be back more over the course of the evening to continue this madness. how can anyone be expected to do anything reasonable, like work, when there's an American presidency at stake?
9:21pm: the red states continue to creep across the map. everyone is projecting more bush electoral votes than kerry at this time, except the Times, which appears to be listing only the ones they are deathly sure cannot go the other way. all the news networks are being careful about making any predictions after the fiasco of 2000. no one is willing to call Ohio, Penn, and Florida yet. what looks like the last few states with polls still open will have their polls close in the next half hour or so. then perhaps a better picture will emerge -the West Coast states might be overwhelmingly blue. fingers are still crossed, but things are not looking so bright for our Kerry Campaign.
9.57pm: it strikes me (and i am blogging this before results are known, so no one can say sour grapes later) that it seems rather strange to have an electoral college system rather than a direct election through the popular vote. after all, if the technology exists so that we know the popular vote numbers, why can't they be used? the electoral college structure is driving the incentives people have to go out and vote, which might be changing the results of the overall election. free-rider problems seem particularly likely with an electoral college system, where many people are convinced their votes don't count, because ____ always votes _____ anyway.
still too early to call most swing states, though Ohio appears to be halfway through the vote count, and Bush appears to be ahead by a small (five point) margin with half the votes to go. CNN appears willing to call Penn for Kerry, and i'm not terribly surprised. the margin there appears healthy (greater than five percent), at least for now.
west coast polls close in two minutes. come on, blue states, start showing up to this party!
11:39pm: unsurprisingly, California went for Kerry, and it looks like Oregon and Washington are going democrat too. Bush's Red Army, on the other hand, has spread across the midwest and marched as far west as Utah and Arizona. also unsurprisingly, Florida went for Bush. Ohio still remains to be called -no one wants to touch this hot potato- it has become the Florida of 2004. the margin between the two is within 130,000 votes, with 20% of the votes yet to come in.
multiple browser tabs open to keep an eye on CNN and the Times and CBSNews (rarely checked, just to keep the other two honest). every time my AIM messenger bounces up and down i swallow, fearing bad news (i'm not watching tv, i'm watching the websites, so there may be a lag) . by the next update, we'll know if Bush has it -all he needs is Ohio right now.