Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 2, 2010

ELECTION NIGHT, FIRST THREAD.... And so it begins...

7:03: It looks like some news outlets are already calling Kentucky's U.S. Senate race for right-wing ophthalmologist Rand Paul (R), and Indiana's U.S. Senate race for corporate lobbyist Dan Coats (R). Neither result is a surprise.

7:05: More U.S. House races called: Indiana's 5th, Indiana's 6th, and Kentucky's 5th. All are safe "red" seats, all have been called for Republicans; and none of this is even remotely surprising.

7:11: Two races to keep an eye on at this early hour are Baron Hill's (D) race in Indiana's 9th, and Ben Chandler's (D) in Kentucky's 6th. Both are centrist Dems in "red" districts, and if both lose, it may be evidence of a catastrophic night for Democrats. Something to keep an eye on.

7:15: We'll be hearing plenty about this tonight and tomorrow, but CNN has a report on an interesting tidbit from the exit polls: 43% of today's voters have a favorable opinion of Democrats, while 41% have a favorable opinion of Republicans. America is poised to replace an unpopular party with an even more unpopular party. Is there any modern precedent for such a result?

7:17: The AP is calling South Carolina's U.S. Senate race for Jim DeMint (R) and Vermont's U.S. Senate race for Pat Leahy (D). These are two of the safest incumbents in the country.

7:21: Maybe it's just me, but I still find it odd that Kentucky would elect to the U.S. Senate an odd, self-accredited ophthalmologist who doesn't know much about public policy, the state he lives in, or even his own political ideology. Sure, we knew he'd win, but that doesn't make this any less bizarre.

7:25: Indiana will replace Evan Bayh (D) with an old, wealthy Washington insider, who left Indiana more than a decade ago, and who's spent several years as a corporate lobbyist. This, of course, is evidence of the public's desire for a fresh, new perspective in Congress, with senators who can relate to regular people.

7:33: Multiple outlets are calling Ohio's U.S. Senate race for Rob Portman (R). Another expected result.

7:38: Way back when -- say, a year ago -- I thought Portman might have real trouble in Ohio. He didn't just occasionally vote for the Bush agenda that did so much damage to Ohio, Portman's most recent experience in government was serving as Bush's budget director. When we consider an era in which the Republicans turned huge surpluses into massive deficits, Portman was at the center of the policymaking process. For that matter, he was Bush's trade rep, in a state where Bush's trade policies aren't exactly popular. Now, he'll be a U.S. senator. Hmm.

7:47: It looks like Marcy Kaptur (D) won, as expected, in Ohio's 9th. That's the race that got interesting when we learned that her Republican opponent spent his weekends dressing up like a Nazi -- just for fun.

7:55: Looks like John Yarmuth (D) will hang onto his seat in Kentucky's 3rd. This was one of those keep-an-eye-on races -- if Yarmuth lost, it made the likelihood of a catastrophic, run-for-your-life night much more likely. But according to the AP and others, he's won re-election.

Steve Benen 7:00 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (26)

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Comments

Replacing the unpopular with the more unpopular.

Picking the morer evil?

Sanity has exited the sphere.

Posted by: Kill Bill on November 2, 2010 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, I love it when you go all snarky. My goose bumps get goose bumps! ;-)

Posted by: MsJoanne on November 2, 2010 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

I find it odd that Indiana & Kentucky close their polls before states father east. Why not keep them open till 7 EDT, or even 9 like in California.
It's almost like they want to make it harder to vote.

Posted by: MobiusKlein on November 2, 2010 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

"Is there any modern precedent for such a result?"

More Americans are much stupider than ever before, and the stupid is self-reinforcing and unfortunately, self-replicating. It's otherwise known as a death spiral of dumb.

Posted by: bluestatedon on November 2, 2010 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

"More Americans are much stupider than ever before, and the stupid is self-reinforcing and unfortunately, self-replicating. It's otherwise known as a death spiral of dumb."

Yes and Republicans talked like this after '06 and '08 too. I guess you have to be on the side of stupid these days to win an election.

Posted by: Sean Scallon on November 2, 2010 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

I think that poll result is catching some people who say that they have a favorable opinion of Democrats, but Obama and/or their local candidate is too far left to be the kind of Democrat they favor here and now.

Posted by: FlipYrWhig on November 2, 2010 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

Bob at Blue Bluegrass makes an interesting point.

It’s the stench of millions of dollars in money being thrown by anonymous contributors, including the very people who are rightfully being investigated for wrongdoing by Jack Conway. That money by itself is equal to the entire amount that Conway has raised and spent in the general election. Think about that. That means that hidden funding has in effect rolled Conway back to zero in fundraising, by single-handedly matching his spending. That’s the real issue.

I doubt if this is the only, or even the main reason for the victory. (I still blame the Democrats for not Nationalizing the Election and using the many insane statements and positions of the main candidates against all of them.) But it may be a factor.


Posted by: Prup (aka Jim Benton) on November 2, 2010 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

What I like about that question is that the math says there were four percent of voters who had no opinion on either party -- After they voted! Makes me wonder what they did in there.

Posted by: JMG on November 2, 2010 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

Snarked not stirred

Yep.
Snark is the antidote to rampant jiggery-pokery.
More of this please.

Posted by: koreyel on November 2, 2010 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

What always irritates me about midterm elections is that only about a third of registered voters bother to vote, and how many Americans are even registered to vote? We always end up with a Congress chosen by a tiny minority of Americans.

Posted by: Speed on November 2, 2010 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe it's just me, but I still find it odd that Kentucky would elect to the U.S. Senate an odd, self-accredited ophthalmologist who doesn't know much about public policy, the state he lives in, or even his own political ideology. Sure, we knew he'd win, but that doesn't make this any less bizarre.

What's even crazier is that he'll pick their pockets, deregulate mining like crazy and deprive them of any chance at decent health care--and then they'll re-elect him. How many times did they send Bunning back to DC?

Posted by: dr. bloor on November 2, 2010 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

What I like about that question is that the math says there were four percent of voters who had no opinion on either party -- After they voted! Makes me wonder what they did in there.

They were busy congratulating themselves on how they decide who to vote for based on the _person_, not the party. [gag]

Posted by: FlipYrWhig on November 2, 2010 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

And to top it off, my election night orgy was canceled.

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on November 2, 2010 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

What's even crazier is that he'll pick their pockets, deregulate mining like crazy and deprive them of any chance at decent health care--and then they'll re-elect him. How many times did they send Bunning back to DC?

They just hate brown people more than they hate black lung disease and dying in pain and poverty.

Posted by: Frank on November 2, 2010 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

What's even crazier is that he'll pick their pockets, deregulate mining like crazy and deprive them of any chance at decent health care--and then they'll re-elect him.

I often wonder how much self-esteem matters in one's politics.
I suspect more than we realize...

When you don't think very highly of yourself...
Being stepped on by the rich isn't so bad.

Posted by: koreyel on November 2, 2010 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

kurtrex1453 - i always love your comments..... :)

Posted by: just bill on November 2, 2010 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

Re your 7:21---Kentucky is uber-bizarre. It's only purpose was to keep the Ohio from flowing through the middle of Tennessee---which would have put Cincinnatti several hundreds of miles closer to Appalachia. Two clumps of weapons-grade silly works the same way as two clumps of weapons-grade plutonium....

Posted by: S. Waybright on November 2, 2010 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

'We'll be hearing plenty about this tonight and tomorrow, but CNN has a report on an interesting tidbit from the exit polls: 43% of today's voters have a favorable opinion of Democrats, while 41% have a favorable opinion of Republicans. America is poised to replace an unpopular party with an even more unpopular party. Is there any modern precedent for such a result?'

I don't think it is particularly irrational. The sad fact is that when you live in a two party world, it doesn't matter how unattractive the alternative is, when the party in power fails, there is only one alternative. And make no mistake, by the only yardstick that the public gives a rat's ass about, as everyone who knows anything about politics knew two years ago, was jobs and the economy. By that measure, by settling for a too small stimulous, and creating the political conditions that made a second bite at the apple impossible, they have failed on the only issue that they are being judged on. So talking about all the other successes simply don't cut it. They are being punished because they failed on the economy. If the economy had turned around, the house would have been saved.

Posted by: SW on November 2, 2010 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

kentucky? the senate seat that replaces jim bunning? i don't see why anyone would find it odd that ky voters traded one crackpot for another.

Posted by: me on November 2, 2010 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

Here at Fox News we've decided to go ahead and call every race for the Republicans, and recommend that Obama resign immediately and kill himself.

Posted by: Conservatroll on November 2, 2010 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

Yay for Marcy Kaptur!! I grew up in Toledo and am glad they could make the obvious choice when so many plainly can't.

Posted by: Keith G on November 2, 2010 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

If you go to Z'ha'dum, you will die.

Posted by: Ambassador Kosh on November 2, 2010 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

It annoys me how conservatives who argue for small government, are never questioned about their own failure to abide by that policy when it suits them.

Sharon Angle claims to be for small government, but when it comes to abortion, she's all in favour of the state interfering. Likewise many who claim to be against "big government" seem very in favour of the government banning gay marriage. And then of course there is the vast, towering fiscal incompetence of the Pentagon, completely uncommented on by most right-wingers. How convenient. This huge contradiction is never pointed out by the media, and conservatives are never put on the spot about it.

Posted by: Relugus on November 2, 2010 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

@SW:
CNN has a report on an interesting tidbit from the exit polls: 43% of today's voters have a favorable opinion of Democrats, while 41% have a favorable opinion of Republicans. America is poised to replace an unpopular party with an even more unpopular party.
Hmmm .... but the "polls of likely voters" had Republicans up a couple or more points, especially the massively suspect Gallupaloozas (you wonder who is more on the take, them or Rasmussen?) So if EPs have Democrats ahead, that's a clue the other polls/models were incorrect and over-counted for Republicans (maybe from cell-phone effect, whatever.) In that case, Democrats might do much better than suspected, and the voters aren't quite as deranged as previous projections implied.

I'd go so far, that if the results do follow the projections based on the Republicans being generically ahead with likely voters, then it's suspicious because they shouldn't have really done that well after all.

Posted by: Neil B on November 2, 2010 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

Watching the unwashed masses behave oddly while I sip my latte and post my witty comments on Steve Benen's (isn't he brilliant?) blog.

Posted by: Potfry on November 2, 2010 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

On the night of the Titanic's sinking, the ship literally broke in half, and the stern fell back into its normal, level position on the ocean's surface. Rumor has it that the passengers still on deck after the last lifeboat left cheered, thinking that the ship had miraculously righted itself.

A handful of minutes later, they all died.

Tonight, all that cheering is coming from Republicans and teabagger activists; as time is but an exercise in futile relativity, there really isn't a whole lot of difference between an election cycle---and a handful of minutes....

Posted by: S. Waybright on November 2, 2010 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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