Presidential Campaign

Presidential Campaign

Ohio is Curtains

The Fox News decision to call Ohio for Obama virtually guarantees a victory for the Democrat.

If FoxNews is correct, the election is over.

Florida still remains in play, with Obama clinging to a three-point lead with half the vote counted. It would appear that Obama is going to win, although not by the margins that had been predicted.

The Polls Were Wrong

One thing is clear: The polls were wrong!

Obama may still win, but he is not winning by the margins the polls predicted. In state after state, it is obvious that McCain is doing better than was predicted. The exit polls also appear to be wrong.

Until we see how McCain does in North Carolina and Florida (he has to win both to win the election) we cannot see how the race will go nationally, but it is clear that this is no blowout as the polls had predicted.

All Eyes on Florida

In Florida, Obama is ahead. He is leading by five with 40 percent in.

But he had been ahead by 11 percent. With McCain doing better than expected in Kentucky and Virginia and perhaps in Georgia, it looks good for him, but Florida is the fly in the ointment.

Keep focused on Florida. See if McCain continues to close.

What We're Looking at Right Now

Right now, here is the situation:

McCain is doing 4 points worse than he should in Indiana (40% in)

McCain is doing 7 points better than he should in Virginia (35% in)

McCain is doing 6 points worse than he should in Florida (35% in)

McCain is doing 7 points better than he should in Kentucky (40% in)

Down-Ballot Races

One issue that has not been talked about much is the degree to which the "Obama Effect" — first-time voters who support Barack Obama — will lead to those folks casting their ballot for Obama and then walking out of the voting booth.

Some numbers in the North Carolina Senate race suggest there may be something to it. The most recent numbers, pulled from at 7:48 p.m. with a whopping zero percent of precincts reporting, show Obama has 7,127 votes, while Democratic Senate candidate Kay Hagan has 6,917 — a difference of -210 votes. Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) actually led John McCain by five votes, 6,693 to 6,688.

Contradictory Information from Indiana and Kentucky

A Republican is supposed to carry Indiana and Kentucky. If he ties in the national race, he is supposed to win each of these two states by nine points apiece.

So what is happening? With 13 percent of the vote in, McCain is winning Indiana by three points, five less than he should. But he is winning Kentucky, with 14 percent of the vote in, by 11 points — two points more than he should.

We need to watch these two states closely. Once half or more of the vote is in and we can begin to figure out what is happening, they should give us a clue to what is happening nationally.

Kentucky could be biased against Obama because of his comments about bankrupting the coal industry yesterday, but let’s watch these two states to figure out what is going on.

Early Kentucky Results Indicate Big National Win for Obama

Only 9 percent of Kentucky results are in, but Fox News is predicting that McCain will win Kentucky by three points.

That is horrible news for McCain. In a national race that is tied, the Republican should be carrying Kentucky by nine points. If McCain is winning it by only three, it indicates a possible national loss in the neighborhood of six points.

Early Extrapolating

Based on the very early exit polling, it looks like a huge Obama win.

I don't have access to exit polls, but Fox News reported that white men in Indiana voted for McCain by 10 points. That probably means that he is tied among white women. That means he is probably losing Indiana by two to three points.

A Republican who is tied nationally should win Indiana by nine points. So this would suggest a 12-point Obama margin.

Very early, but I'll have more once a state closes its polls and the tallies begin. It is possible, from one or two states, to project the national voting.

Lincoln … FDR … Kennedy … McCain … Obama …

Hard to believe that this night is finally upon us. After two long years, a billion dollars spent, hundreds of stump speeches delivered, thousands of polls taken, and 27 million 30-second political ads aired, it is still difficult for me to come to grips with the fact that this election cycle is about to come to an end.

Cold-turkey withdrawal is going to be ugly. Let me know if anyone is plugged into a local Political Junkies Anonymous (PJA) group they can recommend.

Given the incredibly tricky anti-Bush-anti-Republican political landscape that John McCain has had to navigate over the past year, it is amazing to me that he is not down by 15 points right now. But, as I write this, despite all the Obama-friendly polls, very few of the cable news pontificators are ready to count McCain out just yet. Me neither.