Live-Blogging Election Night

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12.27 am. It’s been a long long slog these past five years of backing the skinny guy with the funny name. But this election, to my mind, is immensely more important than the breakthrough of 2008, after the catastrophe of Bush-Cheney. What it has done is rip open the complete epistemic closure on the Republican right about what America now is. It has revealed that Fox News, Drudge, and the rest have been engaged in a massive propaganda campaign to create an alternative reality and get the rest of us to go along.

But this president has never been a radical; he has always been a moderate; he has been immensely skilled at foreign policy, ended one war and won another, killed Osama bin Laden and saved the American auto industry, deflected a Second Great Depression and initated universal access to healthcare. He has presided over a civil rights revolution and the beginning of the end of prohibition of marijuana. He has created the new and durable coalition that was once Karl Rove’s dream.

Americans saw this. They were not fooled. And they made the right call, as they usually do. What was defeated tonight was not just Romney, a hollow cynic, but a whole mountain of mendacity and delusion. That sound you hear is the cognitive dissonance ringing in the ears of ideologues and cynics. Any true conservative longs for that sound, the sound of reality arriving to pierce through fantasy and fanaticism.

We are the ones we have been waiting for. And now we have entrenched it deeply in the history of America and the world. That matters. May the next four years make it matter even more.

12.24 am. Tweet of the morning:

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Amen. The longer argument is here.

12.13 am. Marijuana is now legal in Washington and Colorado. I repeat: prohibition has ended in Washington and Colorado. This is an amazing night for two big reform efforts against the ignorance and bigotry of the past.

12.09 am. A word to Mr Rove, Mr Romney and Mr Ryan:

11.59 pm Some dramatic news on marriage equality. It looks clear now that Maryland and Maine will bring marriage equality into effect by popular vote – and the margin in Minnesota has narrowed to 4 points against. With 50 percent of the votes in in Washington, the margin is pro-equality 52 – 48. That’s an amazing shift.

11.56 pm. Rove seems to be walking back his insistence that Ohio should not be called. Michael Barone is offering therapy at this point.Rove is being completely exposed as a tool of the Romney campaign. I just can’t tear my eyes away from the meltdown.

11:45 pm. Tweet of the minute:


11:43 pm. Nate Cohn disagrees with Rove:

There are probably 250,000 votes left in Cuyahoga County alone, and they’ll split decidedly in Obama’s direction. There isn’t a plausible path to victory for Romney in Ohio, and even if he managed to win, it’s hard to see how he comes back in Colorado or wins Nevada.

11.35 pm. We await Karl Rove’s return.

11.34 pm. I’m getting ready to go on Colbert – as Rove battles Fox News’ polling unit. Its Rove versus the nerds in Fox. This is a total meltdown on live TV. Is this what happens when epistemic closure meets reality? Some nerd at the back of Fox News being assailed by Rove? If you’re not watching Fox, you should. It’s riveting.

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11.27 pm. Rove is saying that Fox called Ohio too soon. It’s Rove vs CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX.

11.25 pm. All those people calling themselves moderates? They’re moderate Republicans and they voted for the moderate Republican running for the presidency: Barack Obama.

11.21 pm. Still silence from Dick Morris who, if his sense of shame had not been surgically removed, would resign from every gig he has, including Fox. George F Will and Michael Barone need to resign as well. It’s one thing to be wrong. It’s another thing to be so totally wrong, so utterly out of it, and yet remain as columnist and pundits with any smidgen of credibility. Accountability, please.

11.17 pm AMERICA FUCK YEAH!!!!! Absorbing the news.

11.14 pm. CNN predicts Obama wins Iowa and Fox News predicts Obama will win Ohio. Obama is re-elected.

11.11 pm. Sabato looks at the precincts in Virginia and thinks Obama will win the state.

11.06 pm. Florida’s Panhandle looks as if its vote is in, and Miami-Dade is still only 76 percent in. Call me crazy, but it looks to me as if Obama looks likely to win that state.

11.02 pm. The Denver Post calls Colorado for Obama:

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If that holds, all Obama needs is Iowa and it’s over.

10.57 pm. North Carolina looks to go to Romney. I’d have expected that state to be called a lot earlier. In Colorado, Nate Cohn sees Obama as a favorite:

74 percent of the vote is tabulated in Larimer County and Obama leads by 5 points. This is a county where Romney had to do well to compensate for Obama’s resilience in the Denver suburbs. If Obama wins Colorado, and Nevada where he was favored heading into the evening, and Iowa, he would hold enough electoral votes to win the presidency.

10.54 pm. Maine now looks set to be the first state to vote by referendum to back marriage equality. With a third of the votes in, marriage equality is winning 53 – 47. In Maryland, it’s still insanely close.

10.47 pm. The man who predicted a massive Romney landslide hangs in:

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10.41 pm. Not a great night for Sheldon Adelson:

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10.38 pm. If the votes in Miami-Dade come in as expected (the panhandle has largely voted), it’s hard to see how Romney can win Florida at this point. And if he cannot win Florida, it’s over.

10.36 pm On Fox, Peggy Noonan is wondering what is going on out there. She calls the mood among Republicans “subdued.” Hmmm. Maybe she is not in touch with the real America. Maybe she just feels her way to being wrong and then not copping to it.

10:31: Nate Cohn examines the Iowa vote:

35 percent of the vote is counted in Polk County, Iowa, and Obama has a 21 point lead. Obama only won by 15 points in 2008, and it seems unlikely that Obama will win by anything near 15 points. But Kerry only won Polk County by 5 points and Obama’s large early lead bodes poorly for Romney’s chances.

10:28 pm Silver checks in on Ohio:

Ohio has been slow to count its vote, but President Obama has gotten reasonably strong results so far in south-central Ohio, often beating his 2008 margins there. In Ross County, Ohio, home to the town of Chillicothe, Mr. Obama trails Mitt Romney by only one percentage point with about 80 percent of the vote counted. Mr. Obama lost the county by eight percentage points to John McCain in 2008.

10.23 pm. You can watch the marijuana legalization results live here. You can just stare at it if you want. For hours, if you want.

10.21 pm. Agonizingly close marriage equality vote in Maryland:

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10.18 pm. Better news for Obama in Virginia:

Unless something surprising happens in northern Virginia, Obama will probably carry the state. Romney didn’t make enough gains in rural Virginia and Obama is holding up quite well in the black belt counties of southeastern Virginia. With Obama holding up well in the Richmond suburbs, it’s tough to imagine how Romney would make huge inroads in northern Virginia.

10.10 pm. Some great exit polling on ending marijuana Prohibition in Colorado 57 – 43. Yay!

10.05 pm. The earlt results for marriage equality show it ahead in both Maine and Maryland. It’s very close in Maryland – a couple of points – but way ahead in Maine so far.

9.57 pm. In Ohio, Obama is edging Romney by four points with a third of the vote counted.

9.55 pm. Warren wins back Massachusetts and I know that because Fox News just said so. And Obama has now won New Hampshire.

9.51 pm. If Obama wins Florida – and it’s agonizingly close – it will be because of Latino support. Silver:

[E]arly returns show Mr. Obama to win Hispanic-Americans over all by 20 percentage points in Florida, and if he wins that, it’d be larger than the 15-point margin he had in 2008. If Mr. Obama ekes out a win in Florida, this will have a lot to do with it.

9.50 pm. Tweetenfreude:

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9.48 pm. Did Obamacare actually help the president? Ezra:

For 59 percent of all voters, the economy was the top issue, with both Romney and Obama voters citing the issue as important. But Obama voters were far more likely to cite health care as an important issue — 74 percent, as compared to 25 percent of Romney voters. Obama supporters were also overwhelmingly in favor of expanding Obamacare further. Far more Republicans, by contrast, called the budget deficit a top issue — 66 percent compared to 32 percent of Democrats.

9.39 pm. First open lesbian in the Senate!

9.35 pm. The GOP loses a safe Indiana Senate seat by picking the loony-right Richard Mourdock. Encouraging.

9.34 pm. Some signs of hope for Romney in Virginia:

Fauquier County, an exurban and rural county south of Washington, is 100 percent reporting and Romney won by 20 points, up from McCain’s 14 point victory in 2008. If Romney can make 6 point gains elsewhere in northern Virginia, he’ll be in a good spot.

9.30 pm. That NBC call for Warren winning was premature and now retracted. Still too close to call. But we now know that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have both lost their home states.

9.29 pm. The question at hand:

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Here’s hoping.

9.27 pm. Wisconsin goes big for Obama, which means an even narrower path for Romney.

9.25 pm. Colorado exits:

The Latino turnout in Colorado was about 11 percent, breaking 74 percent for Obama and 25 percent for Romney in preliminary exit results. At 38 percent, independents made up the majority of the state’s electorate and split 50 to 43 for Romney. Democrats were 32 percent of the electorate, while Republicans were 30 percent.

9.20 pm. I agree with Ambers. It looks to me as if Virginia will eventually go to Romney and Florida to Obama. But both will be close. New Hampshire and Pennsylvania have narrowed Romney’s path to 270 for a very rocky one.

9.16 pm. Fox calls Pennsylvania for Obama. So, yeah, all that Romney late-campaign fuss was bullshit. NBC says Warren has won in Massachusetts. Florida is nuts.

9.13 pm. It gets better:

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But it’s now back to a total tie.

9.09 pm. Women really are driving the Obama edge in the exit polls. In Pennsylvania, they are going for Obama by 55 – 43, and men going for Romney by 51 – 47.  Women are also 52 percent of the exit poll voters. Obama has an edge among women and women are out-voting men. That’s what it looks like from the exits. They are not results, however, I hasten to add. But there’s a reason the Fox crowd is looking grumpy. I love watching Tucker Carlson talk about abortion by the way. Who could drag their eyes away?

9 pm. Michigan goes to Obama. In Florida, it is like 2000. With more than half the precincts reporting it’s 49.6 percent for Obama and 49.6 for Romney. North Carolina is also very close, which strikes me as discouraging for Romney. I thought Romney would win North Carolina easily.

8.56 pm. Nate Cohn is getting excited:

According to CNN, 100 percent of Virginia’s Prince Edward County (rural and African American in the eastern part of the state) is reporting and Obama won 56-43. That actually represents an improvement over Obama’s 54-45 victory in 2008. Not a good sign for Romney.

Consistent with a big black turnout. Also:

Obama matches his ’08 performance in Lunenburg, VA, another rural county with a large black population in southeastern Virginia where 100 percent of precincts are counted. Once again, it looks like the burden is on Romney to make larger gains northern Virginia than he is in the southeastern part of the state. But in perhaps an ominous sign for Romney’s odds in northern Virginia, Romney isn’t yet outperforming McCain in the Richmond suburbs. Obama is outperforming his ’08 performance in Chesterfield County with 95 percent of precincts reporting.

And in Ohio:

We’re getting our first election day returns from Ohio, and Obama’s doing better than he did in 2008 in Erie County, where Obama leads 57-41 with 37 percent of precincts reporting. Still plenty of votes left to be counted.

8.54 pm. Tweet of the night:

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8.51 pm. Will Wilkinson checks in on the mood on Twitter:

On my rather ecumenical Twitter feed, the liberals seem nearly ready to hoist Nate Silver onto their shoulders and dump the Gatorade. Conservatives either grumbling or scrabbling for signs of hope.

8.48 pm. Micah Cohen differs with Karl Rove on the Virginia vote so far:

Just more than three-quarters of the vote has been reported in Chesterfield County, Va., an important suburban and exurban region southwest of Richmond. In the tally so far, Mitt Romney leads President Obama 54 percent to 45 percent. If those percentages hold, Mr. Romney’s performance there would match almost exactly Senator John McCain’s margin of victory in Chesterfield County in 2008: 53 percent to 46 percent. Former President George W. Bush, however, when he carried the state in 2004, won Chesterfield County with 63 percent of the vote.

8.46 pm. Here’s the religious breakdown in Florida in the exit polls:

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8.41 pm. I’m watching Fox and they seem very glum, apart from Rove who is seeing signs of better GOP turnout in Virginia counties. It’s funny to watch an entire narrative wobble: earlier they were expressing amazement that the Benghazi story did not give us a Romney landslide. But it’s still close in the critical states. I remember 2004 when I watched Bill Kristol start out grim-faced and ending up the night grinning like a smiley face.

8.36 pm. Ohio’s exit polls favor Obama so far. The reason? Weigel:

In 2008, Obama won 46 percent of Ohio whites. He’s now winning 42 percent. That’s right at the bottom of what he should be able to get to eke something out. But this poll has the black vote surging as a proportion of turnout, from 11% to 15%. If one of these numbers skews back toward Romney — like, the black vote falls to 12% — we’re at a tie. But if it doesn’t, Obama has buillt a new coalition that wins him the state, and Pennsylvania.

So far, what’s striking to me is the black turnout, which is looking much bigger than I expected. The Republican hacks told us that we were missing a white wave among Republican enthusiasts. They may have been missing the determination of African-Americans to prevent the first black president being defeated for re-election.

8.35 pm. First tweet of the night:

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8.22 pm. The exit poll for Florida shows an Obama gender gap of 52 – 47 in favor of women and Romney with a similar but slightly smaller lead among men 53 – 46. The thing is: women made up 55 percent of the voters. A reminder that these are exit polls, not results. They can and will change.

8.19 pm. Huge turnout in Virginia. Bigger than 2008.

8.16 pm. Not the party i.d. that Rasmussen insisted upon:

In Ohio, 38 percent of voters identified as Democratic in the exit poll as compared with 31 percent of Republicans. And in Virginia, Democrats had a 37-to-33 advantage in party identification. These numbers are similar to what many pre-election polls showed.

But the indies could end up behind Romney.

8.15 pm. Florida is extremely close – again, not a great sign for Romney:

In a sign of a tight race in Florida, 42 percent of precincts have been counted in Pasco County, 89 percent of Lake County, and 48 percent of Clay County are reporting and Romney is only running a couple of points ahead of McCain. Given that Obama won by 3 points and might be able to hold a larger share of his margin in more diverse areas, this is a clear sign of a tight race. Romney could overcome with big gains in the Panhandle, but these returns are an early sign of a dead-heat.

8.13 pm. The demographics are looking good for Obama, much more like 2008 than 2010.  Look at Florida:

CNN is reporting on air that in the swing state of Florida, preliminary exit polls show that white voters make up 67 percent of the electorate in the Sunshine State, down from 71 percent in 2008, and Latino voters make up 16 percent, up from 14 percent in 2008.

8.10 pm. Fox is all over Sandy as the culprit, although O’Reilly blamed the “takers” and minorities.

8.08 pm. Virginia’s is tighter than I expected. I had given it to Romney in my head. But the emerging data is not promising:

Mitt Romney leads among men 53 percent to 45 percent in the early CBS News exit poll, while President Obama leads among women 53 percent to 46 percent. Women are 53 percent of the electorate in this early exit poll, while men are 47 percent of the electorate. There is a large racial divide among voters. White voters – who are 70 percent of the electorate – are breaking 64 percent to 35 percent for Romney. That includes white women, who support Romney 61 percent to 39 percent. Black voters, who make up 20 percent of the electorate, overwhelmingly favor Mr. Obama: 94 percent to six percent.

8.05 pm. The Ohio exits give Obama a 51-48. O’Reilly is talking up Hurricane Sandy. Not good signs for Romney. Now O’Reilly’s blaming Christie.

8.04 pm. So far, the exit polls look promising for the president. CNN’s exit polls make Virginia and North Carolina dead heats.

8 pm. Green Room Colbert Report live-blogging starts now, as they say on Fox.