Election Night Open Thread

by Kieran Healy on November 3, 2004

I know you’re all getting your election night news from CT anyway, so chat away if you like. The “BBC has a nice flash application”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/americas/04/vote_usa/map/html/default.stm that’s feeding off AP Projections and the latest returns to give a good overall battleground map. “CSPAN”:http://network.ap.org/dynamic/files/specials/election_night_2004/us_map_govsenhouse/index.html?SITE=CSPANELN&SECTION=POLITICS&reload=true has a good map as well.

For the key swing states, there’s “The Florida Department of State Count Page”:http://enight.dos.state.fl.us/20041102_SUM_PRE.html and the “Ohio Secretary of State Count Page”:http://election.sos.state.oh.us/results/SingleRaceSummary.aspx?race=PP.

*Update*: So things are moving along nicely. It’s 7pm, I’m on my 3rd cocktail, and the closest thing to solid food I’ve seen since lunchtime is a bowl of Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk. I feel just like “Wonkette”:http://www.wonkette.com, except without the pathological desire to get fired from whatever job I have at the moment or the desperate, aching need to sell out to any television network whatsoever. The Food Network. “CMT”:http://www.country.com/. Please. I don’t care. I can’t keep attending panels and affecting a superior attitude to “these losers”:https://www.crookedtimber.org/archives/002787.html.

*Update 2*: The Republican legal strategy in Ohio “seems to be premised”:http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/week_2004_10_31.php#003921 on the idea that the fewer votes that are allowed to be cast, the less voter fraud there will be. This is like the old Argentinian strategy that, in order to keep the support of the silent majority, you have to keep the majority silent.

*Update 3*: It’s turning into a real nail-biter. Big Republican turnout in Michigan. Arkansas and Missouri to Bush. No clear resolution in Florida, and Ohio has Bush ahead. Florida is gearing up to count absentee votes till Thursday and the Republicans are already tying up the courts in Ohio in an effort to suppress the vote. It’s going to be a long night — possibly lasting till later this week. On the other hand, people are still in line to vote in places like Columbus and Oberlin. So I’m not giving up yet.

*Update 4*: I wonder whether you could do a county-level analysis of where the electronic voting machines were, to see whether that predicted any discrepancies between the exit poll data and the results as recorded. Tricky. (Mini-update: looks like the final exit polls were a negligibly different from the result, so never mind about that.)

*Update 5*: Well, looks like it’s going to be Bush — though Kerry is right not to concede until the votes have been counted in Ohio. It’s frankly amazing that the country is so evenly divided. I mean, what’s it going to take to break the deadlock in this country?



Kieran Healy 11.03.04 at 12:37 am

Virginia’s still too close to call at 7:30EST. That’s good.


jet 11.03.04 at 12:43 am

Is that BBC map widget working for anyone else, I just get a blank screen.


eszter 11.03.04 at 12:43 am

Thanks, Kieran, that’s a neat and helpful map. I’m curious, where else are people getting updates? In a bit I’ll be heading off to an undergrad election night gathering where at least three TV channels will be on and we’ve been promised red and blue snacks and drinks.:) Next, I will watch The Daily Show live special at 9CST. I’ll wrap up the evening at a colleague’s little election night partay (very much hoping that there will be a reason to be in party mood).


chris waigl 11.03.04 at 1:27 am

The BBC Flash animation looks very nicely done, but it seems their server is having a hard time standing up to the demand.


Greg Restall 11.03.04 at 1:29 am

If the BBC map doesn’t work for you (for some reason it was locking up the browser on my machine), this CSPAN map might be useful.


Kieran Healy 11.03.04 at 1:34 am

Thanks Greg, I’ll put that link in the main post. Glad to see Melbourne is watching this race as well as the real one!


Jeremy Osner 11.03.04 at 1:36 am

The CSpan map does not work in FireFox but does work in IExplorer; perhaps the same is true of the BBC map.


bob mcmanus 11.03.04 at 1:40 am


a little behind but complete, and I am watching several house races tonight

MSNBC with sound off and closed captioning on



Jason 11.03.04 at 1:40 am

The CSpan link from comments works for me (Mozilla) but not the link from the main post.


jet 11.03.04 at 1:44 am

Thanks Jeremy, but apparently I only needed patience. Now it loads immediately.


andrew cooke 11.03.04 at 1:52 am

nyt has a map too, but is more conservative. does anyone know how they decide what states to show as “certain” when? by that, i mean: what statistics do they use?

for example, they might calculate a bayesian likelihood for each party, with a prior based on recent polls and assume poisson/gaussian distribution of partial results, then display when a likelihood exceeds some level. would that be the way to do it?

(for the bcc map, it prompts you, asking if you want to update – you have to click on “yes”. the prompt is mid/top right and not obvious at first).


Kieran Healy 11.03.04 at 1:54 am

Eugene Volokh is “getting tetchy”:http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2004_11_00.shtml#1099445355. Oh my.


dsquared 11.03.04 at 2:09 am

Bush back up to 40% on Tradesports; anyone know anything we don’t?


dsquared 11.03.04 at 2:12 am

Bush-Florida appears to have been the big move; it’s shot up from under 50 to 75. Any Floridians know any news?


dsquared 11.03.04 at 2:17 am

Michigan “too close to call”. Not good.


Walt Pohl 11.03.04 at 2:17 am

The Bush campaign claims they are doing better in the actual tallies in Florida than they are in the exit polls. I wonder if anyone else thought of the same one-word explanation for this: Diebold.


Kieran Healy 11.03.04 at 2:17 am

Early returns from Florida were leaning to Bush, but no-one knows which counties they’re from and the Palm Beach and Broward are nowhere near reporting.


Andrew Reeves 11.03.04 at 2:25 am

Those numbers in Florida have me thinking one thought:

So what exactly *does* happen when a first world government defaults on its debts?


dsquared 11.03.04 at 2:38 am

Bush keeps nudging up you know; more like 45% now. This election was 50/50 and remains 50/50, and we shouldn’t have got carried away by the “Wisdom” of fucking “Crowds of Halfwits Who Read Slate”. I still think that in a 50/50 jump ball, Bush wins by 20 electoral votes. Dark pessimism etc.


Kieran Healy 11.03.04 at 2:42 am

Yes. No surprises so far and all the swing states in play, with Bush looking fine in Ohio, Florida, etc. As “Contrapositive”:http://contrapositive.blogspot.com/2004/10/election-night-cheat-sheet-as-promised.html says in his Cheat Sheet:

bq. If the Democratic nominee has taken Pennsylvania and at least one of New Hampshire and Maine–and if things are either split or not yet decided in Ohio and Florida–the contest now enters the nailbitting phase on both sides.

And that’s where we are right now. The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul.


dsquared 11.03.04 at 2:46 am

Dimblebore has just told me that half the fucking polling stations in Florida are still open !!!!!

1) There is no way we are getting a result any time in the next two hours. I’m staying up, but I will have to stop drinking in order to be sober for the morning.

2) Lawsuits. The Ohio republicans are apparently arguing against extra voting machines!


dsquared 11.03.04 at 2:49 am

And now we’re back to 50/50 on Tradesports and IEM.

The one bright spot here is that between us, me and Brian could have absolutely strip-mined the betting markets. CT called Bush as a Sell @ 52, then as a Buy @ 20!


dsquared 11.03.04 at 2:54 am

Hey, I just remembered I had an account at IG Index (it has been dormant ever since the missus found out about my spread-betting losses). They’re quoting Kerry at 45 mid and Bush at 55.


asg 11.03.04 at 3:04 am

LOL @ “Eugene Volokh getting tetchy”. If Bush is re-elected it may be worth visiting Slate regularly again, just to see how much more deranged Tim Noah can get.


dsquared 11.03.04 at 3:05 am

Bush ahead in precinct counts in Florida and Ohio, 5 points each. This is close, but it’s slipping away.


jet 11.03.04 at 3:47 am

What does it mean to the left if Bush wins be a decent margin and the Rep’s pick up seats in the Senate and House?


gthistle 11.03.04 at 3:49 am

For the moment, the BBC Flash results for Mississippi show 188.96% Bush, 41.3% Kerry, with 43% of precincts having reported. Careful, there…. (Vote count is 265k Bush, 189k Kerry.)


Kieran Healy 11.03.04 at 3:50 am

What does it mean to the left if Bush wins be a decent margin and the Rep’s pick up seats in the Senate and House?

Well, I guess it means you guys get to take full and complete credit for whatever happens in the next four years.


asg 11.03.04 at 3:51 am

Somehow I think that would have happened even if Kerry had won.


Hypatia Cade 11.03.04 at 4:04 am

The NY times is being very conservative about calling states, but is calling more rapidly for Kerry than for Bush…. are they more of a liberal rag than I thought. Every other media outlet is calling states pretty rapidly. (That said, the times is giving the most detailed coverage I can find which is makeing me naseuous).


Kenya 11.03.04 at 4:08 am

CNN has a good tool that shows results by county so a better guess can be made about the precincts that have reported. (It makes a difference if the votes are from Pensacola or from Miami.)



micah 11.03.04 at 4:38 am

With 97% of the vote in Florida, it’s time to call it. There are a lot of absentee ballots left, but Bush has it. It’s down to Ohio and Wisconsin.


Christian Murphy 11.03.04 at 4:40 am

Here’s one way that it could still be won by Kerry. If Bush wins Florida and Wisconsin…

204 + 27 + 6 + 10 + 9 + 5 + 7

… and Kerry wins Ohio, New Mexico and Nevada…

188 + 20 + 17 + 17 + 5 + 18 + 5

K: 270 B: 268
[Going from the CSPAN site]


John Quiggin 11.03.04 at 4:51 am

Kerry has just pulled ahead in Wisconsin as the first Milwaukee ballots have come in


toby 11.03.04 at 5:06 am

C-SPAN has Kerry on

Ohio: 48% after 70% tallied
Wisconsin: 50% after 49%
New Mexico: 48% after 68%
Nevada: 50% after 5%

Kerry must win Ohio + either
* Wisconsin; or
* New Mexico + Nevada


Jeremy Aarons 11.03.04 at 5:10 am

Ohio isn’t looking good for Kerry, with Bush over 100k ahead with 74% of precincts tallied.


Kieran Healy 11.03.04 at 5:12 am

Kerry just pulled ahead in Michigan as well, 51-48.


toby 11.03.04 at 5:23 am

Bush 126,000 ahead in Ohio after 76% tallied.


Shai 11.03.04 at 5:27 am

“Ohio isn’t looking good for Kerry, with Bush over 100k ahead with 74% of precincts tallied.”

yeah, the spinmeisters from the left on cnn werent looking too happy after seeing that and are talking as if it’s already over – because it probably is unless we’re missing something about the precincts counted. without ohio kerry is screwed.

tv’s off. i can actually finish my homework now…


chris waigl 11.03.04 at 5:27 am

This one’s good for all electoral vote experiments: http://www.mydd.com/popup.html


John Quiggin 11.03.04 at 5:30 am

If Kerry does win, it will be under the worst possible circumstances. A minority of the popular vote, a hostile Congress and the need to prevail in a vicious legal dogfight in Ohio. The Republicans will be out for impeachment from Inauguration Day, if not before that.


toby 11.03.04 at 5:31 am

CSPAN has Bush pulling away in Ohio. Now leading by 130,000 (that’s 51/48) after 79% tallied.


toby 11.03.04 at 5:41 am

Ohio: CSPAN has Bush leading by 127,000 (that’s still 51/48) after 82% tallied.


Kenya 11.03.04 at 5:48 am

Cuyahoga Co. (Ohio) is running 65 to 35% in favor of Kerry with 3/4 of the precincts reported.


h. e. baber 11.03.04 at 5:50 am

God help us. Bush has won–I’ll bet on that now. 4 more years of this shit–with the deficit bulding, social programs and safety nets dismantled, affirmative action and equal opportunity regulations trashed and the US set firmly on the path to Third World status. How could things go so wrong? Good night. I am going to drink myself to sleep and cry.


toby 11.03.04 at 5:54 am

Ohio: Bush pulling further ahead: margin out to 140,000 after 84%.


Kenya 11.03.04 at 5:57 am

Undying optimist here… Ohio has closed to about a 100,000 range with urban precincts still coming in. In addition, there are an undetermined number of provisional ballots and absentee ballots. If this gets down to a 20,000 range and the Kerry campaign can sweep the Midwest, I think the Kerry campaign will wait til tomorrow.


poupon 11.03.04 at 6:16 am

It’s amazing how fast you pseuds turned from ‘Kerry is going to win’ to ‘Bush cheated’. Congratulations on not disapointing.


brkily 11.03.04 at 6:18 am

they are stealing it, every way they can. the exit polls show it.


andrew 11.03.04 at 6:23 am

After four years of this administration 51% of voting Americans want George W Bush to lead the nation and, to a significant extent, the ‘world order.’

Am I allowed to be anti-American yet? Just a little bit?


Shai 11.03.04 at 6:42 am

“It’s amazing how fast you pseuds turned from ‘Kerry is going to win’ to ‘Bush cheated’. Congratulations on not disapointing.”

it’s more likely you don’t know how to read


Chris 11.03.04 at 6:46 am

Congratulations to the USA.

You just chose between whiny destructive carping and bumbling actions for good, and chose well.

Now if we had had 4 more Clinton years, would the Starr Republicans have grown up? And will we see a decent left?


Kenya 11.03.04 at 6:47 am

Exit polls are notoriously unreliable. When the respondents believe they will give an unpopular answer, they often give the “acceptable” answer even if it is not true. L. Douglas Wilder’s election to governor is the best example that comes to mind.


John O'Brien 11.03.04 at 7:30 am

The vote, if Kerry doesn’t win it, will have much more to do with the heartland’s drooling lust for a couple year’s worth of our gross national product, than anyone dares to mention. The Elephant in the Livingroom is crunching civilians under its endangered hooves like peanut shells, yet only The Lancet seems to notice. The oil under the ground will still be there anyway, even if we bomb the last Iraqi to pieces; their blood will only sink in an inch or two into the dirt and will be blown away with the hot dust. They chose that those years of wealth will have a United States armed guard daily covering the spigot, maybe their son. (It can be a tough logistics problem, that with the dead bodies, but the nazis solved that and these guys are taking their cues. See Neiwart) That’s all they have ever cared about, is the oil. When in the first days of the invasion they occupied the Oil Ministry and its wells & pipelines, and nowhere else,they were stating by their armoured body-language that looting is encouraged anywhere else. The error the left made was to think that cheney and rummy simply hadn’t planned for the occupation. What if this was the plan? Anarchy in the country means no Iraqi lever to control the oil, no money. The bushies don’t even really contest this.
Sadly, I think it may be a mistake to think that more than half the bushvoters are really stupid; I think as Doonesbury indicates that they like Smirky McGod feel properly Roman and entitled to their gasoline. The greedy eyes may yet have it in this election, while they steal the right to vote from people like me in Ohio and Florida. But there are a lot of us who will contest this election, perhaps for decades, but certainly for longer than the next four more years.


SomeCallMeTim 11.03.04 at 7:35 am

Look, they’ve won. It’s time to accept it, batten down the hatches, burrow into our beds, and pray that the coming winter isn’t a nuclear one.


Walt Pohl 11.03.04 at 7:38 am

Sorry, poupon, but I was the only one suggesting that Bush is stealing it. I know that people of your ilk think everyone to the left of you is identical, but tragically no.


bryan 11.03.04 at 7:58 am

Great, Bush wins! Now hopefully the rest of the world can get over the illusion that 2000 was an aberration, specifically the EU, and start working together to get out from underneath the American thumb.


toby 11.03.04 at 8:17 am

Ohio: CSPAN says Bush still 127,000 ahead. BBC says Dems claiming 250,000 votes yet to be counted. Bush only needs approx 60,000 of these.


Clark Goble 11.03.04 at 8:31 am

It’s 1:30 here (MST) and it looks like Bush takes NM, NV, and IA. With a Bush victory nearly a statistical certainty in OH, that gives Bush I believe 288 electorial votes. (I’m slightly sleepy – so forgive me if my addition was wrong)

I’m surprised. I voted for Bush, albeit very reluctantly. But even though I thought Kerry a horrible candidate (thus my vote for Bush) I truly thought the Democrats would have had an easy win. Even with Kerry’s flubs all summer, I still thought he’d win it handily and perhaps in a landslide. When the exit polls gave Kerry so many important states this afternoon, I figured it was over. Color me surprised.

The big loser? The poller. Ought we give them much attention from now on?


toby 11.03.04 at 8:36 am

Ohio: Bush’s margin now out to 144,000


John Isbell 11.03.04 at 9:57 am

Hey Kieran.


dsquared 11.03.04 at 1:01 pm

hey, looks like Nader cost the Dems New Mexico!


rps 11.03.04 at 2:39 pm

What does it take to break the deadlock in this country? If an incompetent bumbling idiot Republican can win in a close election, I assume any halfway competent Republican who can avoid getting us into a quagmire and negative job growth will win in a landslide.

On the other hand, the Republican candidate might personally rape every single undecided voters’ mother before their very eyes while pouring sugar in their gas tanks and defecating on the Bible. Given what we saw this year, it seems that this is what it would take for the Democrat to win. If we couldn’t win in 2004, I don’t see how we can even come close in a normal year.


Nat Whilk 11.03.04 at 2:42 pm

Walt Pohl wrote: “Sorry, poupon, but I was the only one suggesting that Bush is stealing it.”

All those posters at the DailyKos are you?


Tim 11.06.04 at 4:00 am

Why such hatred of our good President? What has he done to harm or diminish your life, personally? Do you realize how ridiculous you sound?

President George W. Bush is a brave and principled man who is trying his best to make this country safe for all of us. You should at least appreciate that, if nothing else.

In any case it is so enjoyable to see all of you pinheads broiling in all your hatred and rage. It’s all over except for the shouting!

Don’t worry, you’ll win another day.

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