Political Animal


November 06, 2012 6:13 PM Election Results Live-Blog: Intro

By Ed Kilgore

Polls just closed in most of Indiana and in Eastern Kentucky. No results just yet. Exit polls are in with the consortium’s media clients, and we’ll soon see some revealing leaks, though none just yet. Overall turnout looks to be nearly as high as 2008, at least in the battleground states, and higher in some key areas for both sides. There’s been a lot of talk about voter irregularities, especially in Pennsylvania and Florida. And there’s even more buzz that the Romney campaign is making the Keystone State, not the Buckeye State, its Gettysburg.

I’m half-listening to MSNBC, and its initial “hints” from the exits indicate a “wrong track” number significantly down from earlier in the year. Now Chuck Todd is suggesting we’ll know, well, everything, by a bit after 9:00. He’s also suggesting that if North Carolina, as much as Pennsylvania, could be key.

I have to say, with all the sources of information we have in 2012, there was less real information over turnout patterns earlier today than I’ve seen in years. I don’t know if it’s a matter of Secretaries of State keeping their mouths shut; polling-place confusion that made it difficult to determine turnout from the length of lines; or just local irregularities, but we don’t know a lot more right now about the shape of the electorate or the last-minute dynamics of this election than we did before polls opened this morning.

So we’re just going to have to follow the results, with some additional hints soon from the exits.

UPDATE: Big hints from CNN, which usually is the first to show exit poll data: racial composition of the electorate very similar to 2008, so no super-boost in white voting (candidate percentages will, of course, be key. And then there’s this pro-Obama surprise, via Think Progress: under-30 vote similar percentage of vote as in 2008. Obama won’t get as high a margin, but this is part of the “discouraged Democratic base” we have been hearing about.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Karen on November 06, 2012 6:22 PM:

    The first returns show Mourdock ahead of Donnelly', 4,155 to 3,045. I know no details other than that number.

  • DJ on November 06, 2012 6:28 PM:

    Exit polling suggests the electorate resembles that of the 2008 election.

  • schtick on November 06, 2012 6:33 PM:

    I'm hoping I won't have to start making arrangements to move out of the country after tonight. My polling place was packed all day and it's the most people I've seen voting there ever.

  • Anonymous on November 06, 2012 6:51 PM:

    @schtick: that sounds like a good sign to me

  • howard on November 06, 2012 6:51 PM:

    i think there was an important aspect of the "enthusiasm gap" that has been missed:

    speaking personally but hardly uniquely, i have always thought of obama as a centrist, and therefore, i've never had any special enthusiasm for him.

    but by god i'm enthusiastic about kicking gop butt.

    and i suspect that is true for many.