As I prepare for bed, the popular vote count stands at 53% to 47%. I'd call that pretty darn good forecasting.
I mention the popular vote because it is not reflected in the overwhelming electoral vote (338-158-42). And had McCain won the five "battleground" states, he would have been the candidate to surpass the magic 270 electoral votes. Those five states are dubbed "battleground" for a reason: the votes there are, in the main, very close, especially when compared to the votes in the non-battleground states.
- Florida (27 electoral votes) : Obama, 51% to 48% with 99% of the votes counted
- Indiana (11 electoral votes) : Obama, 50% to 49% with 99% of the votes counted
- Missouri (11 electoral votes) : McCain, 49% (leading) to 49% with 100% of the votes counted
- North Carolina (15 electoral votes) : Obama, 50% (leading) to 50% with 100% of the votes counted
- Ohio (20 electoral votes) : Obama, 51% to 47% with 95% of the votes counted
Democrats made gains in the Senate, picking up seats in Colorado, New Hampshire, New Mexico and North Carolina. Oregon and Minnesota remain too close to call; Alaskans re-elected Ted Stevens (R) despite his recent felony conviction.
Will South Dakota's rejection of a ban on abortion -- and Colorado's rejection of a definition of life that begins at fertilization -- finally put this issue to bed? Roe v Wade is the law of the land and has been for much of my life. As others said a few years back, Move On.
The culture wars persist, however, in social conservative insistence that a religious institution -- marriage -- should be codified so that its civil component is forever barred from a subset of committed couples. The discrimination is more blatant than that of the Jim Crow era, when laws prohibited blacks from marrying whites because they were just laws, not Constitutional amendments.
There were three Constitutional bans on same-sex marriage on the ballot Tuesday -- and they all passed. In addition, Arkansas passed a measure prohibiting unmarried couples (ie, gay couples) from adopting children. Note that the people pushing measures like the Arkansas one are the same people who, in general, want no sex education in school, preach abstinence as a way to prevent teen pregnancy and want to ban abortions.
One last thing before bed. (It's 3.30 am in Seattle.)
The genie is out of the bottle, so to speak; I think public financing, at least as it's now constructed, is dead. That said, given how out-spent McCain was, and how unpopular President Bush is, it's amazing that the popular vote wasn't more decisive. For example, in Virginia, Obama had 51 field offices to McCain's 18. Obama spent more money on TV ads in October ($100 million) than McCain had to spend for everything in September, October and November ($85 million).
So let's add that to the list of things that Democrats get to tackle while they have a trifecta.
More later on Wednesday. For now, savor this historical moment.