Election Day blogging (10 p.m. EST thread)

Join Joan Walsh, Glenn Greenwald, David Sirota, David Talbot, Digby, Paul Maslin, Rebecca Traister and Gary Kamiya as they follow the day's events.


Salon Staff
November 5, 2008 8:00AM (UTC)

Gary Kamiya (10:40 p.m. EST): Just watched Fred Barnes on Fox, talking about Sarah Palin. After complaining that the media did investigative stories on her that they never did about Biden or Obama, he said (not exact quote but close), "If you go out with her, she attracted a different kind of crowd. Working-class people, a lot of women, not traditional Republican crowds. If Republicans are going to recover, they're going to have to attract them -- and a lot more of them."

Gee, I thought Palin's fans were the GOP base. Is Barnes hallucinating back to the days when the GOP was the party of Episcopalian Rockefeller bankers? If the GOP follows Barnes' advice and decides that Palin's people are the future of the Republican Party, its long exile in the wilderness will be even longer. Because the working-class values-and-resentment voters are outnumbered, and the imbalance is only going to get worse. Statistically, Joe Sixpack is becoming a Democrat.

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Joan Walsh (10:37 p.m. EST): Fred Barnes is mad at the way the media treated Sarah Palin. In fact, I think he's mad at you, David Talbot. He's complaining that news organizations sent reporters to Alaska but ignored Joe Biden. I think you should get yourself to Delaware tomorrow.

I think Barnes will be on his way to Wasilla to comfort his snow queen. Jane Mayer's story about the role of Barnes and Bill Kristol in Palin's choice will haunt me forever. They were smitten, and they still are, but now they're sad. I think they're selling Palin 2012 T-shirts on the Weekly Standard Web site.

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David Talbot (10:35 p.m. EST): I love that McCain and his entourage are holed up in the "Barry Goldwater Suite" at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix. Very fitting considering tonight's emerging electoral map. 

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Glenn Greenwald (10:27 p.m. EST): The Republican Party's devolution into a regional party of the South takes a big step forward (or backwards, actually) as CNN projects that Connecticut's 10-term Rep. Chris Shays -- the last GOP member of Congress in New England -- has been defeated.

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Joan Walsh (10:25 p.m. EST): With Obama's wins in Ohio, New Mexico and Iowa, we don't see a road to 270 electoral votes for John McCain, and so we're calling the election for Barack Obama. We know the networks (except CBS) decided not to do that, and we understand that decision. We're not the networks, and we feel like it's our job to report the news as we gather it. Obama's early, decisive win in the East Coast and Midwest, on top of his enormous lead in large mountain and West Coast states, is enormous news, and we're bringing it to you.

My only slight reservation is that there are still people who haven't voted (even in Dade County, Fla.), and there are state and local candidates and ballot initiatives out west that still matter. (The No on Prop. 8 campaign is dear to my heart.) But I think the early recognition that Obama has won, and McCain has lost, can cut in many ways, and the story of an apparent Obama landslide has to be told.

I didn't do justice to Obama's victory in Ohio when I wrote about it earlier. I remember when the networks called it for Bush, it was around 1 a.m., and there was so much confusion about voter suppression and possible fraud, we didn't entirely believe it. The entire election came down to 118,000 votes in Ohio, and it wasn't called until the day after Election Day. Tonight's outcome, while the polls are still open out West, is just stunning. When Hillary Clinton carried the state, many feared Obama could never have her appeal with the state's working class white Democrats (or Pennsylvania's either). Obama's early win in both states is amazing. That crowd in Chicago's Grant Park knows the truth. And so does the one at the Phoenix Biltmore. We'd be silly not to acknowledge it.

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Glenn Greenwald (10:15 p.m. EST): Surveying down-ballot races involving some of the worst super-villains, Michelle Bachmann's race looks very close with roughly 15 percent of the vote in. Robin Hayes looks very likely on his way to defeat in North Carolina ("liberals hate real Americans that work and achieve and believe in God," Hayes recently said, then lied and denied he said it before he realized it was recorded).

In Pennsylvania, both Chris Carney and non-villain Jack Murtha are leading their races by fairly sizable margins, as are Blue Dogs Jim Marshall and John Barrow in Georgia. Despite all the fear-mongering from the Right about the scary Far Leftists about to be unleashed, many of the new Democratic arrivals in the Senate -- Kay Hagan, the Udalls, Mark Warner -- are quite "moderate," as are huge numbers of new House members. The one (very small) consolation for Republicans: Even if Franken wins Minnesota, it seems certain that Democrats will fall short of their 60-vote filibuster-proof goal.

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