A number of little snippets of interesting information are being generated. The same thing happens after every election. Different analyses and comparisons are performed. Their relative importance and discussion then help to generate Conventional Wisdom. Sometimes it’s correct and sometimes it’s not. Here are some updated results from all manner of contests along with some analyses I’ve seen.
As of 5:30P MDT, Barack Obama has won with 52% of the national vote, compared to 46% for John McCain. That 6% is significant. Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 and got only 3% more than Kerry in 2004. Barack Obama has “won” 349 electoral college votes so far, compared to 162 for John McCain. That’s called an @$$ whooping, plain and simple. There are three areas that are not final yet: MO, NC and NE-2. If the current leads hold up, Obama would win NC’s 15 EVs, McCain would win MO’s 11 EVs and McCain would win NE-2’s 1 EV. That would generate a 364-174 total. That’s more than 2-1, which is quite impressive. Moreover, McCain won’t win a single state Kerry won in 2004, while Obama has made serious inroads across the country into states Bush won. Those include OH, IA, IN (!!!), VA, FL, CO, NM, NV (and maybe NC). Obama put the South and Mountain West in play. So far, Obama has garnered 63,859,336 votes compared to McCain’s 56,377,274 votes. Now, McCain did get a lot of votes, there’s no doubt about that. But it’s 6,000,000 fewer than Bush got in 2004, while Obama’s total is 5,000,000 more. That’s an 11,000,000 vote differential out of 122,000,000 cast (1/11th). There are still votes out there to be counted, so these total will shift around for days.
Democrats so far have picked up 5 Senate seats: in NC, VA, NH, CO and NM. Republican candidates currently lead in GA and AK (seriously? AK voters want a convicted felon representing them?!) and MN (very, very narrowly) while a Democrat leads in OR. Georgia could very well go to a recount. MN is very likely to go to a recount. AK and OR need some more votes counted. It might take weeks to get all these races sorted out. Even if the races break 3-1 R-D, Democrats will have 55 Senators and Republicans will have 43. After hyping their “bipartisanship” up so much on the campaign trail, Republicans have an opportunity they really meant it. I have no doubt those 43 Con Senators will do everything in their power to slow down or halt President-elect Barack Obama’s agenda. There is also the little annoying problem of Sen. Lieberman. He definitely deserves to be removed from his Committee Chairmanship. If he wants to support the Republican so badly, let him do it. He’ll only make himself that much more irrelevant. I should also mention the fact that a President Obama could easily tap a Senator or two to replace someone should they accept a position in his administration. For that matter, IL and DE need new freshmen Senators.
Democrats have also picked up 18 seats in the House so far. That gives them 254 votes right now. A number of races still need to have all their votes counted or are waiting to occur in the next month or so. The final numbers will wait until then. Republicans are looking at a substantial sub-200 member caucus. Again, substantial gains in the Rocky Mountain West were gained. New political realities are making themselves known.
One of the interesting analyses that I’ve come across is the change in voting pattern per county between 2004 and 2008. 22% of U.S. counties voted more Republican in 2008 than in 2004. They can be easily described: counties in AZ and AK (duh), OK, AR, LA and west of Appalachia went more Republican this year. The remainder of the country, 78% of it voted more Democratic in 2008 than in 2004. That’s freaking awesome! This country is not center-right, as the corporate media and Cons would have us believe. The country is actually moderate to left-leaning. It’s not the country’s fault uber-Cons took over the Republican party, pushing it further and further right year after year, decade after decade. It’s those folks who can point to Democrats and complain about how liberal they are. When they’re that extreme right, it makes sense that Democrats are more liberal than they are. The question is: which group advocates for policies that a majority of Americans actually support? The 2008 election has shown us that when you engage more Americans, Democratic positions clearly match their goals.
There is plenty more to point out and discuss. As time permits, I’ll do so.