Vote 2008

HP’s Big Election Night Liveblogging Special

Staying up to watch the big vote on telly in the UK? Or are you a citizen who has voted today and is now sat at home with tv and laptop? Or one of Harry’s Place’s hundreds of readers cast across the globe, taking in the historic election in your own country?

The regulars at HP, along with friends in the U.S and possibly a few surprise guests, will be liveblogging as the results come in Feel free to share your election night, as it happens, in the comments box underneath. This post will be updated throughout the night.

Stick around.

David T says:

At my son’s primary school, Obama won the election, by a margin of two to one. My five year old son informed me that he had voted for McCain. His reasons were twofold. First, he had heard that Obama had said that he would be the first man with brown skin to become President: and my son thought that it was wrong to say you should treat somebody differently because of the colour of their skin. Secondly, the parent of a schoolfriend had met Obama, and had told the friend that he was ‘a liar’. So, on that basis, McCain had his vote.

Charles Kelly in Miami, Florida says: Just spotted a rather lonely figure on Collins Avenue holding a ‘Clinton Democrats for McCain-Palin’ sign — it will be interesting to see if there are many of that category in the mix tonight – somehow I think he was referring to Bill Clinton Democrats, but there are more likely to be a section of Hillary supporters who haven’t been able to bring themselves to vote for Obama. Did Sarah Palin scare them all back into the Democrat camp though? I suspect yes. My predicted theme of the night is going to be the Republicans surrendering the center ground – a particularly odd state of affairs when they picked a candidate whose main strength was his appeal to independents……

Nick in Bloomington, Indiana writes: This a campus-town deep in Red territory – I’ve seen nothing but Obamaniacs prowling around urging everyone to vote. Lots of placards popped-up all over the place overnight and balloons marked ‘vote” have been tied to every conceivable lamp-post, fence, external-fixture, and building. Most people seem to have voted, but I met one person who declared she wasn’t voting because she favored neither of the candidates. The NYT has designated Indiana the ‘canary in the mineshaft’ which will either sing of an Obama landslide or a McCain comeback.

Tinbasher in Cleveland, Ohio writes: At least we’ve got somebody with reasonable working class credentials from something approaching a bellwether state in the rust belt. News from the wife earlier in the day, as she was spoiling her ballot with some third party candidate, had her claiming a mere five minutes to cast her vote without a single glitch at some fire station in Elyria. Obviously no Black Panthers wielding sticks round our neck of the woods. The only thing you need to know this evening is that no Republican since Lincoln has become President without winning Ohio. Not only that, the most accurate polling barometer of the state – the Columbus Dispatch – has Obama up on McCain 52% – 46% as of their final poll. And in the modern era, the Dispatch poll has proven to be 100% correct (apart from the 2004 effort they had as a tie.)

Sunder Katwala at 10.14 says:

I’ve done a quick selection of what I thought were some of the best, lasting pieces from the campaign; would be interested in what others would nominate.

Mikey at 10.36  reminds us of great political ads of past Presidential campaigns:

Tinbasher at 18:09 EST: Indiana and Kentucky have closed. Here’s your top 10 reasons to ignore exit polls.

Brett says: I see Greg Palast is still pushing his “How McCain Could Win” line. Now, as I’ve said in previous posts on the subject, I don’t give this sort of scare-mongering much weight. But it did make me think that the anticipation and expectation of an Obama win is now so high, that a loss for him at the polls could be positively dangerous. The anger on the streets of America, the kneejerk anti-Americanism in the wider world (particularly from the far-Left), the conspiracy theories… oh, I can harldy bear thinking about it….

David T at 23.43 notes that the BBC reports “90% say candidate’s race not an issue”

Charles Kelly: CNN calling Vermont for Obama and Kentucky for McCain – neither a shocker. Indiana will be the first big clue.

Tinbasher: PA, MA, NJ, NH for Obama – according to network ‘calls’

Michael Weiss in New York City: This will be a short night. It’s already over for McCain. He needed Pennsylvania.

Gene: This one is satisfying. Republican Senator Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, who tried to smear her Democratic opponent Kay Hagan as a “Godless American” (don’t ask), has been defeated.

Michael Weiss in New York City: The only surprise so far: McCain did better among evangelicals in South Carolina than Bush did in ’04. No doubt Palin’s contribution to what is shaping up to be a whopping defeat for the GOP.

Gene: MSNBC and Fox have called Ohio for Obama. That state, as you may recall, was carried by Bush in 2004 and was the difference between victory and defeat for him. I think we can call it a night in terms of the ultimate outcome. Congratulations to President-elect Obama.

Michael Weiss in New York City: And the saddest pol of them all on this historic night… Hillary, who will never be president.

Michael Weiss in New York City: How over is it? John King on CNN just hypothetically gave McCain every Midwestern state left, leaving only Washington, Oregon and California for Obama. He still doesn’t get to 270. Ouch.

Tinbasher: Ralph Nader concedes and predicts an Obama landslide…

Gene: North Carolina looks close. But I’m pleased to see that in my sister’s home county (Guilford), which Kerry won with just 51 percent of the vote in 2004, Obama is ahead with 61 percent.

Charles Kelly notes: The popular vote stands (at the moment) at McCain 49%, Obama 50%. Worth remembering that when all those gushing ‘Obama generation’, ‘sea change in America’ type pieces start appearing in the coming days. It is, of course, a huge night for the Democrats but it is also worth remembering that half of American voters were content to have Sarah Palin as vice-president of their country.

Also CNN’s hologram interviews are ridiculous. They have just called Virginia for Obama – first Democrat win since 1964.

Shabba Goy writes: CNN have called the whole thing for Obama. Well, we realised that a good while ago, but this is as near to official as we are going to get before McCain’s concession speech.

Shabba Goy adds: McCain’s concession speech was the man at his best – an honourable gent. Struck the right notes.

Gene: Obama’s victory speech was subdued for a good reason. Just think about the enormity of the job he faces.

David T: It looks rather as if California’s Proposition 8 – the ban on gay marriage – will pass. Very sad. The LA Times says that black people and church goers are more likely to have voted for the ban.

S.O.Muffin says:

What an exciting, wonderful conclusion to an exciting festival of democracy.

Two observations:

• There is definitely an unconditionally anti-American minority in the world, comprising all kinds of fundamentalists: left-wing, right-wing and religious. They were against Bush and they will be against Obama not because of their specific policies but because of what they represent. But this is a minority. Most of the world public opinion has always had fascination with United States, its culture and dynamism and all she represents. This goodwill mounted after 9/11 when (few shrill, nasty voices apart) the world stood together with America – and this goodwill has been squandered by an ill-tempered, myopic, dishonest, stupid administration. It is thus so important (and I hope that even McCain’s supporters will acknowledge this) that the President-elect is not just an altogether different commodity to Dubya but also an eloquent, intelligent individual who can reach to disappointed friends of America and regenerate this goodwill.

• Where will GOP go? Elections, for better or worse, are won at the centre. Some parties, in some periods of their existence, are governed from the extremes. And once they lose power or get hammered in elections, there is a natural tendency of their supporters to veer even further to the extremes. (Remember Labour in early 80ties?) Will this happen to the Republicans? Will they try to reconnect with the centre and the zeitgeist of the American people, or will they become a more pristine version of the Palin Tendency?

Eric Lee asks: Will Obama be a Roosevelt or a Clinton?

David T observes: Al Franken loses to Norm Coleman