Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Night (or, Apocalypse Not)

I wanted to get down some observations before this thing is called.

- The first outrage of the day was a batch of wildly inaccurate exit polls, all skewed for Kerry. Whoever is responsible for that, get ready to wear your ass for a hat. Hundreds of bloggers are probably fashioning your new ass-hat even as I write this.

- Thune pulled ahead of Daschle about an hour ago, as the returns from the heavily Democratic precincts east of the Missouri river began to peter out. No returns yet from mostly Republican Pennington county, but Thune has a 5000 vote lead.

- The cyber-donks are sinking into a funk. Even Daily Kos is unable to put up a show of bravado, with nothing to celebrate yet but Obama's fish-in-a-barrel victory over Keyes in Illinois. That contest was so hopeless they probably didn't even bother to turn out the Dead Vote.

- Fox and Drudge just called Florida for Bush, after long hesitation.

- The "international observers" are providing comic relief. The Polish observer has been griping that Florida doesn't use paper ballots, like Serbia does.

- The only thing that has really surprised me in this election season: Ralph Nader's very low numbers. I would have expected him to do much better, considering the tepid enthusiasm that Kerry inspires. Kerry won't be able to claim that Nader swung the election - in fact, I haven't heard anybody claim that.

- Drudge is calling it for Bush. Cue the fat lady.

- The internet has been sagging under the load all night. Servers are porking out, giving rise to rumors of hacker attacks.

- Fox is riding high in the election coverage, but their website is updating at something less than the speed of light. They need to coordinate better with their on-air coverage.

UPDATE (11:30): John Thune will win, though no one has called it yet. Last time, Shannon county held out their reporting until long after everyone else was done, then produced an overwhelming majority for Johnson that blew away Thune's lead.

They won't be able to do that again. There aren't enough people in the entire county to erase Thune's lead, which is over 7000 now. Still, not a single precinct in Shannon has reported, and everyone else is almost done. There is no excuse for this. The stunts that go on out there won't stop until some more people go to jail.

UPDATE (1:25): Calling it a night. Every other county in the state is almost completely counted, but Shannon County still hasn't reported a single precinct. Thune's lead can't be overcome this time, no matter how creative people get, so it's just weird, not relevant. Daschle hasn't conceded, though, or even come down to talk to his people.

Kerry is nowhere to be seen, either. John Edwards was sent out to make some remarks that were as worthless as they were short. Kerry loses class points here. But what else can he do? The Democratic Party is not forgiving to its losers. Does anybody know if Michael Dukakis is even still alive?