Tuesday, November 2
2:51 a.m. - There's only one thing I'm going to call - bedtime. It's probably not going to end tonight so I'll try and get some rest. I guess I'm not alone, CBC just wrapped for the night.
I do have to say that this is almost as nervewracking as 2000. I think it's even worse because this election seems to be far more important in my mind than 2000. Never has the choice been clearer and yet we've turned away from what I consider to be the right decision.
On the TV coverage, NBC has a big map of the U.S. in "Democracy Plaza." I thought there would be a high-tech way of coloring in the map. Turns out they have people go out and paint a state red or blue once the campaign desk makes a call.
One last thought on the coverage. The CBS analyst is using a giant touch-screen that slides thumbnails of data around until he enlarges it. Kicks much butt over Russert's touchscreen on NBC.
2:45 a.m. - NBC is standing by its decisions on giving Ohio to Bush. Kudos to ABC, CBS and CBC for not making a decision on Ohio. At this point, I think it's too hasty to make a call on the election until the provisional ballots have been counted (I hope it doesn't take 11 days).
To be fair, Peter Mansbridge is talking to a CBC reporter who basically calls Kerry's route to the White House nearly impossible at this point.
Note: Those are just the stations I'm monitoring. It's interesting how the CBC has called more states than the American broadcast networks. Right now, the CBC is calling the race Bush 249-Kerry 242.
2:30 a.m. - I get back from my break to see John Edwards give the "not going to concede" speech on CBC. Missed it, but it appears things won't be decided tonight.
1:55 a.m. - ABC commentators are citing exit poll data suggesting many independent Ohio voters cited "moral values" over the economy and terrorism as the primary issue in the election.
It's interesting that this would be the election that "character" may be a deciding factor. Considering his disastrous record domestically and abroad, I guess some are ignoring Bush's considerable flaws and clutch to his persona.
What do people see in Bush? A man who is so sure of his faith and confidence that "reality-based" facts and rational objections have no meaning? A man whose "firmness" includes "flip-flopping" on issues like the Department of Homeland Security and the Sept. 11 Commission? Whose strong sense of conviction includes sitting in a classroom doing nothing while our nation falls under attack and abandoning our search for Osama bin Laden to pursue a preemptive war against a sovereign nation that actually had no weapons of mass destruction and very few terrorists?
I guess Bush was wrong when he said "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me a second time ... won't get fooled again." For the second time, America has been hoodwinked by Team Bush. I'm very worried about our nation right now. I'm taking a break from the coverage for a minute.
1:35 a.m. - Ohio. The road to the presidency leads through Ohio. Right now, nearly all the newscasts are playing a waiting game to see how things play out. Rather gave a pretty awkward reason why CBS News isn't making a call. So far, CBS, CBC and ABC are still waiting to make calls.
1:03 a.m. - NBC calls Ohio for Bush. Things don't look to plummy.
12:29 a.m. - Watching the CBC now, commentator Rex Murphy was reading viewers' comments from an expat GOP party in Toronto restaurant. The comments were alright, but the thing was Murphy repeatedly joked about the cold beer on tap and possibly indulging in it.
Canada, what an awesome country! Of course, the U.S. election is very important, but can you imagine Tim Russert doing such a thing?
12:21 a.m. - Just got back from the county courthouse. The county went for Bush in a big way -- the president won 56.06 percent of 15,964 votes cast. Sen. Kerry won 42.45 percent.
Voter turnout was extremely high -- 64.36 percent of the county's 24,804 registered voters cast ballots. It's kinda of a bummer, but I'm heartened by the fact that people made their decision. I just wish the outcome was different -- just like the national returns that I'm seeing.
My trip to get the county results is the continuation of a tradition that I've had going since 1998. I loved going down to Golden Hall in San Diego to see the returns. Compared to the frenzy of the San Diego recount, the Houghton County affair was tame in comparison.
There were still some close local races among some blow-outs. In an interesting bit of duality, voters ousted the three incumbent Hancock city councilmembers but chose to keep the three Houghton city councilmen.
8:46 p.m. - It's a little annoying when news announcers say a partisan's guess about an outcome is as good as theirs. Regardless of which party the partisan supports, they're clearly motivated to support their side compared to the hopefully impartial news professionals.
8:21 p.m. - Great, Tim Russert's upgraded his whiteboard to a TabletPC. It looks a little silly.
BTW, speaking of TV, the Vidiots over at Teevee.org are liveblogging the election and returns if you want a slightly different take on things.
8:19 p.m. - I'm about to go to the Houghton County Courthouse to see how the local returns are coming in. My hunch right now is that the county is going to go for Bush, but we'll just have to see.
I get the familiar sense of nervousness mount watching the returns come in on the networks (right now, I'm bouncing between NBC and ABC). Listening to the interviews and commentary on NPR is also vexing. It's a familiar feeling -- it happens with nearly every election and it never gets better.
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