1:29: It’s late.  I’m signing off, going to watch Obama’s victory speech, and then go to bed.  Thanks for reading.

1:18am: Since Miami-Dade stopped counting ballots, Florida will have to wait until tomorrow, but numbers look reasonably good for Obama that he will end up with 332 electoral votes.  If that’s the case, Nate Silver would have predicted it perfectly, though he is joined by a few others.

1:10am: I was surprised that Romney’s concession speech was so short.  I’m also interested to learn more about Obama’s ground game over the next few days and the strategy that went in to potentially winning 7 of 8 battleground states.

1:07am: If projections are correct, Obama will end up with 303 or 332 electoral votes.  Only waiting on FL based on aggregate network calls.

1:04am: Times and AP have called VA for Obama.

12:54am: Romney to give concession speech shortly.

12:41am: Obama looks like he’ll win popular vote.  Networks may not call FL tonight because Miami-Dade is stopping their vote count until morning.  FL looks good for Obama.  VA still very close.

12:19am: Fischer (R) wins NE Senate race.

12:18am: Hoffer wins VT auditor race.

12:16am: Still waiting on Montana (Tester v. Rehberg) and Nebraska (Kerrey v. Fischer) Senate races.

12:13am: All networks have declared Obama winner.  Just waiting on final Electoral Vote total for Obama which will be somewhere between 274-332.

12:12am: Obama declared winner in CO and Nevada.  Too see all network calls, click here.

12:11am: NY Times calls Obama winner in VA.

12:09am: Obama is catching up in the popular vote.  FL, VA, CO and NV are all too close to call, but Obama leads in all four.

11:41: Romney campaign is not conceding Ohio yet…

11:36: It’s really amazing that, depending on the CO outcome, Obama may have still have won without Ohio.

11:29: Reports are that Romney will concede soon.  Issues lingering: Who will win the popular vote?  Who will win FL and VA?

11:18: Fox News declares Obama winner.

11:16: The Obama Midwest firewall wins him re-election.

11:15: Obama wins presidency.

11:13pm: Barring a miracle, Obama will have another four years.


11:11pm: Assuming Obama wins Nevada, and with the Obama Iowa win, Romney now needs to sweep CO, OH, FL, and VA.

11:10: Since Obama wins IA and assuming he wins Nevada, then Obama needs only one more state of these 4: CO, OH, FL, VA

11:09: Obama wins Iowa.

11:04pm: Romney is “apparent winner” in NC…whatever that means?!?!

11:01: Chuck Todd says “Obama is winning every swing county.”

11:00pm: With Obama winning CA and other west coast states, and Romney winning Idaho, the count is: O 243 to R 188.

10:56pm: Kaine (D) wins VA Senate race.  Dems look very good to keep the US Senate.

10:54pm: Things look good for Obama in Colorado.  Could Obama win the Electoral College but lose the popular vote?

10:48pm: Fox News calls Tammy Baldwin (D) for US Senate in WI.

10:43pm: OK..it looks like OH, VA, FL, IA, and CO are the key states left since MN was just called for Obama.   Obama needs FL or VA or OH or IA AND CO and he wins.   Romney needs 4 of those 5 to win.

10:33pm: Still waiting for more votes to come in Hamilton and Cuyahoga counties in OH. Romney wins AZ.

10:31pm: CO too close to call. EC count: O 162, R 163.

10:28pm: Most VT state-wide races called.  See here.  Hoffer leads in auditor race.

10:25pm: In my view, tonight looks like either (a) an Obama victory after a couple/few more hours, or (b) a very long night or day or week that includes provisional ballots and legal battles in FL, OH and/or VA.

10:18pm: Ohio still not called.

10:15pm: NBC just went to break saying they’d discuss OH after.  Will OH be called?

10:07: Mccaskill (D) wins Senate race in Missouri.

10:05pm: I’m still interested in the VA and Montana Sentate races.  VA looks to be close and too early in MT.

10:00: Iowa and NV too early to call, but O leads. R wins Utah, MT.  Tied at 162 electoral votes.  VA, NC, OH (with O leading), and FL (with O leading with 85% in) are  too close to call.  If I’m at Obama headquarters in Chicago, I’m optimistic.

9:51pm: Electoral votes: O 162, R 153

9:50pm: Obama wins NH.

9:47pm: Florida: Obama 3,655,716 Romney: 3,636,173

9:44pm: As of right now, this looks like a good night for Dems.

9:43: Donnelly (D) wins US Senate race in Indiana.

9:42: Elizabeth Warren wins U.S. Senate race in Mass.

9:41pm: Donnelly (D) leading Mourdock (R) in Indiana.  MA U.S. Senate race very close; Warren with small lead.

9:33pm: Obama wins Ohio and he’s likely to win the presidency as a result of the WI victory.

9:31pm: Really amazing how close the vote is in FL.

9:30pm: Obama wins my birth state of WI and its 10 electoral votes.  I’m not surprised. VP nominees rarely deliver a state.

9:28pm: The 538 Blog keeps posting info that would be perceived as positive for Obama.

9:23pm: “Thus, early 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.— Nate Silver”

9:19pm: The PA win, coupled with too close to call in NC, FL, VA and OH is very good for Obama camp.

9:18pm: EC Vote Count: R 153; O 148.

9:17pm: Obama wins PA.

9:14: 193 vote difference in FL!

9:08pm: EC Vote Count: NBC O 114, R 153.  CNN: 152, 123

9:07: Casey (D) wins U.S Senate race in PA.  Obama wins NJ.  Menendez (D) wins US Senate in NJ.

9:06: Early vote in OH looks good for Obama.

9:02pm: US Senate races still close in VA and MA.  NC looking decent for Romney. FL is going to be a very close race.

9:00pm: Polls close in many states.  CO too close to call. Minn, AZ, WI too early to call.  O wins: NY; MI; NM;   R wins: TX; LA; KS; NE; ND, SD , WY.

8:50pm: Puerto Rican vote in FL (Orange County) may help Obama.  Hat Tip: NBC’s Chuck Todd.

8:48: tone of the election coverage is weakly expectant of Obama victory…but this will turn on dime is Romney’s numbers in VA and FL improve.

8:47: exit polls show hurricane sandy response helped Obama.

8:41pm: Obama with slight lead in FL with 58% of precincts in.

8:35pm: Northern VA  (i.e. fairfax county) results still not close to out and that is good news for Obama.

8:33pm: FL and VA results so far must be making Romney campaign nervous.

8:32pm: VA and NC too close to call, but Romney leading.  FL, NH, and OH too close to call, but Obama leading.  PA to early to call.  Murphy (D) wins US Senate race in CT.

8:30pm: Romney wins Arkansas. O 64, R 88.

8:19pm: Obama looking good in VA as of 8:14pm, and reports look good for Obama in the I-4 corridor in FL, but perhaps not good enough to win the state.  NBC talking about “status quo” election, which is good for Dems in presidency and Senate and GOP in the House.

8:17pm: Obama performing much better with the white working class voters in Ohio compared to his numbers nationwide.   The auto bailout may play a huge role in this election.

8:15pm: NH too close to call. PA too early to call.

8:12pm: VT auditor race going to be close.  Scott pulling away in Lt Gov race…incumbents are hard to beat in VT.

8:11pm: The important thing to know so far: FL, OH, VA are too close to call.

8:08pm: Obama early vote numbers looking good, especially in FL.

8:07pm: FL still too close to call.  EC Count: O 64; R 82.

8:04pm: Obama wins ME, CT, RI, MA, MD, DE, IL.  Romney wins W VA, KY, SC, OK.

7:51pm: A bunch of states close at 8pm.

7:49pm: Romney wins S. Carolina.

7:44pm: In VT, Hoffer is leading auditor race and Lt. Gov. race close.  See here.

7:34pm: EC vote count: Obama 3; Romney 24.

7:30pm: North Carolina and Ohio are too close to call as polls close in those state.   VA still to close to call. Romney wins West Virginia.  Manchin wins W. VA senate race and Ohio senate race too close to call.  I’m am curious about VT Lt. Gov race.

7:25pm: As I’m looking at early results, it could be a long night as VA and FL look close.

7:24pm: Gov. Shumlin and Congressman Welch win re-election in VT.

7:17pm: VA still too close to call.

7:11pm: VA senate race Kaine v. Allen is too close to call.  Too close to call in VA is good for Obama but it’s VERY early.

7:10pm: NC and OH close at 7:30pm.

7:07: Electoral Votes so far: Obama 3, Romney 19.  Need 270 to win.

7:05pm: Mourdock (R) slightly ahead in IN U.S. Senate race with only 3% in.

7:01pm: VA too close to call.  Romney wins Indiana, Kentucky. Vermont is first state to be called for Obama once again. Bernie Sanders projected U.S. Senator winner in VT.  Too close to call in Indiana senate race.

7:00pm: Virginia polls now closed!

6:54pm: NBC exit poll results – close in right/track wrong track numbers.  NBC’s Chuck Todd mentions that 9:30pm/10pm as times when we might have good info about winners in east coast battleground states.

6:42pm ET: I still can’t figure out how NJ allowed voting by email.  I’m totally OK with the sentiment, but how can this be managed?

6:38pm ET: Major network coverage now up and running.  Personally, I like NBC.  22 minutes until VA.

6:32pm: According to CNN exit polls, 67% of FL voters are white this year versus 71% in 2008.  If the white vote is 72% or less nationwide, this would be good news for Obama.

6:11pm ET: Early poll numbers coming in from Kentucky and Indiana, but battleground state numbers won’t come in until 7pm.  Virginia is the state to watch.  If Virginia is too close to call, that’s good for Obama…it’s hard to see how Romney wins without VA.

5:57pm ET: Report from Wisconsin – When  a voter received his ballot this morning it was already marked for Romney.  Also, official receiving photo ID complaints from Wauwatosa.  Snow and freezing rain in Northern Wisconsin may lower turnout.

5:56pm ET: CNN has started to release exit poll info.

5:20pm ET: The netwworks will start to release exit poll data soon.  Turnout seems good nationwide so far.

5:18pm: Voter appears to die, then asks “Did I vote?”

5:17pm: For my Milwaukee friends, my dad, Joseph Czarnezki, is on the ballot for Milwaukee County Clerk.

2:24pm: This is an amazing video of an electronic voting machine that changed a vote for one presidential candidate to another.  The studies I’ve read usually endorse optical scanner paper ballots.

1:39pm ET: By the way, if there is an Electoral College tie, it is governed by the 12th Amendment.   Though there could always be a faithless elector.

1:32pm ET: PA as the new OH?  A Romney win in PA would be surprising and PA has been fool’s gold for the GOP before (see McCain 2008).  Stories like this make the Obama campaign smile.  That said, Nate Silver thinks PA is a good risk for the Romney campaign to take, and I don’t think PA offers early voting to, unlike much of the country, election day is election day.

1:23pm ET: What if there is a tie?  Hat tip: My neighbor Lexi.

12:14pm ET: Another useful viewing guide.

12:02pm ET: What are the pundits predicting? See here.

11:30am ET: I enjoy live blogging the election every fall.  I hope to do so again today.So here are some early results from midnight voting.  Dixville Notch, NH: Obama 5, Romney 5.  Hart’s Location, NH: Obama 23, Romney 9, Gary Johnson 1.  I’m curious to see if Liberation candidate Gary Johnson picks off any conservative voters, and will intently watch early returns in Virginia and Ohio.   Courtesy of First Read, Here are all the final poll closing times in ET:

7:00 pm: GA, IN, KY, SC, VT, VA
7:30 pm: NC, OH, WV
8:00 pm: AL, CT, DE, DC, FL, IL, ME, MD, MA, MS, MO, NH, NJ, OK, PA, RI, TN
8:30 pm: AR
9:00 pm: AZ, CO, KS, LA, MI, MN, NE, NM, NY, ND, SD, TX, WI, WY
10:00 pm: IA, MT, NV, UT
11:00 pm: CA, HI, ID, OR, WA
1:00 am: AK

Finally, Nate Silver at 538 says things look promising for the President.


My prediction that Sarah Palin will run for President and win the GOP nomination gets closer everyday.  The Times headline reads “Signs Grow that Palin May Run.”  This is going to be a bizarre and highly entertaining Republican primary.

Herb Kohl won’t seek re-election in 2012, so I anticipate that Russ Feingold will seek a return to the US Senate.

UPDATE: Writes Politico: “The Russ Feingold-Paul Ryan campaign could be epic, pitting against one another two heroes of their parties’ bases who also have serious vulnerabilities with voters in the middle.”

See here.

I watched the Republican Presidential Debate last night on Fox News.  It was an odd night with so many candidates and potential candidate sitting out (no Romney, no Gingrich, no Palin, no Trump, no Huckabee, etc.), and I doubt any of the participants will win the nomination.  And it even odder that relative unknown Herman Cain clearly won the debate.  (His website is here, and he certainly performed very well last evening.)  This will be an interesting GOP nomination…people are announcing very late (remember Obama announced the February before the year before the election), and there’s room for some real entertaining additions to the field (e.g., Palin, Bachmann) and already interesting ones in (e.g, Paul).  I remain skeptical that Huntsman will join the field (I believe he’s positioning himself for 2016 regardless of what he ultimately decides this year), and I’m still predicting that Palin wins the GOP nomination until I see evidence to the contrary.

Is is really true that the politics of “no” are so pervasive that compromise immediately ceases because politicians can’t be perceived as agreeing with the opposing party?  In “What went wrong for cap-and-trade?” Ezra Klein, states:

So the question has to be how the Republican Party swung from a position of partial support for efforts to address global warming to unified opposition. But you won’t find the answer by looking into environmental politics. After all, the same thing happened to the individual mandate in health care, which went from being a Republican position in the 1990s and 2000s to a policy Republicans considered an unconstitutional monstrosity in 2010, and deficit-financed stimulus, which Republicans agreed with in 2009 but turned against in 2010. This “you’re for it so we’re against it” phenomenon is increasingly common in politics, and not limited to any one issue. Cap-and-trade is, for now, a casualty of the way party polarization has become policy polarization. And no one one has yet developed a reliable strategy for interrupting that process.

I earlier posted about how Wisconsin cities would begin to lose their recycling programs.  It seems now that “Gov. Scott Walker is backing away from his proposal to eliminate mandatory recycling, and instead his administration is suggesting that some localities might want to merge their garbage collection to save money.”  Full article here.

Vermont Law School Dean Jeff Shields provided commentary on VPR about the effects of a potential state-wide, single-payer health care insurance plan in Vermont.  Listen here.  I think his commentary will be concerning for anyone who ideologically supports universal single-payer healthcare.  This is because I’d describe his thesis this way: Under VT law, combined with the new federal healthcare law, most Vermonters (unlike many states) already have access to healthcare, so, in VT, the key issue is cost, and this legislation may not save money.

8:52pm EDT: I’m a Wisconsin native, and now that the NY Times has declared that today’s Wisconsin elections are a “referendum on the Governor,” I thought I’d do some live blogging.  There are two key races in Wisconsin today.  First, the Supreme Court race between incumbent Justice David Prosser and the challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg.  (For the record, I oppose elections for judges.)  And, second, the race for Milwaukee County Executive, a nonpartison race, between philanthropist Chris Abele and Republican State Representative Jeff Stone.  More details here.

I have no clue who will win these races, given the political turmoil in Wisconsin and the shifting demographics of southeastern Wisconsin, other than predict that the races will be close.

Polls close in Wisconsin in 8 minutes.

9:00pm EDT: Polls have closed in Wisconsin.

9:04pm: Another reason judges should not be elected.  See here.

9:21pm: Some Wisconsin towns and cities ran out of ballots.


Supreme Court REPORTING 1%
Joanne Kloppenburg 9,985 60%
David Prosser (inc) 6,629 40%


Milwaukee County Executive REPORTING 0%
Chris Abele 383 56%
Jeff Stone 302 44%


Supreme Court REPORTING 2%
Joanne Kloppenburg 16,868 53%
David Prosser (inc) 14,828 47%


County Precincts D. Prosser (i) J. Kloppenburg
Total 155/3630 44,267


Supreme Court REPORTING 6%
Joanne Kloppenburg 55,415 50%
David Prosser (inc) 55,300 50%
Milwaukee County Executive REPORTING 1%
Jeff Stone 2,054 60%
Chris Abele 1,353 40%

9:45pm:  With 8% reporting, Supreme Court race still too close to call.  Prosser has taken 234 vote lead.


Supreme Court REPORTING 9%
David Prosser (inc) 101,156 51%
Joanne Kloppenburg 97,422 49%
Milwaukee County Executive REPORTING 2%
Jeff Stone 3,023 57%
Chris Abele 2,285 43%

9:55pm: 11% reporting.  Prosser 51%, Kloppenburg 49%

10:00pm: Milwaukee County Executive, 7%: Chris Abele, 7,797, 58% /Jeff Stone, 5,684, 42%

10:02pm: Prosser maintains small lead with 13% reporting.


Milwaukee County Executive REPORTING 14%
Chris Abele 15,585 60%
Jeff Stone 10,487 40%

10:12pm: I’ve been trying multiple websites for the quickest results. It looks like this website is doing the best: http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/118885959.html

10:13: With 17% reporting and over 300,000 votes in the Supreme Court race is too close to call. Abele has opened up a large lead in the County Exec race, but I wish I knew what districts were reporting.


Milwaukee County Executive REPORTING 27%
Chris Abele 28,678 61%
Jeff Stone 18,216 39%


Supreme Court REPORTING 29%
David Prosser (inc) 237,031 51%
Joanne Kloppenburg 225,445 49%
Milwaukee County Executive REPORTING 44%
Chris Abele 52,344 60%
Jeff Stone 34,565 40%

10:31pm:  So far, these results are good news for the Obama re-election campaign.  A too-close-call statewide race and a, so far, “democratic” lead in the non-partison Milwaukee County race is good news from Dems as voter turnout among Dems in Milwaukee will be much higher in a presidential election year.

10:33pm: Are we in for a long wait on the Supreme Court race result?

10:38pm: Abele up 60-40 with 55% reporting.  Supreme Court still at 50-50%.


Supreme Court REPORTING 38%
David Prosser (inc) 319,941 52%
Joanne Kloppenburg 301,187 48%


Milwaukee County Executive REPORTING 60%
Chris Abele 74,319 61%
Jeff Stone 48,433 39%

10:53pm.  I’m slight confused right now, or the Stone campaign was very wrong about their chances.  See here.

10:56pm: Abele maintains significant lead with 65% reporting.

10:57pm: “We’re feeling it’s very close and it may be a long night,” said Kloppenburg campaign manager.

11:04pm: Supreme Court back to 50-50%.  Abele still up.

Milwaukee County Executive REPORTING 77%
Chris Abele 94,151 61%
Jeff Stone 60,037 39%



Milwaukee County Executive REPORTING 81%
Chris Abele 101,509 62%
Jeff Stone 62,971 38%

Results from JSONline.

11:09pm: Supreme Court race still very tight.

Supreme Court REPORTING 55%
Joanne Kloppenburg 438,201 50%
David Prosser (inc) 434,445 50%

11:10pm: Again, this is all very good news for WI state Dems, and has to concern any legislators that may be potentially recalled on both sides of the aisle, given the tone and turnout of a spring nonpartison election.  Still good news for the Dems in WI in 2012.

11:14pm: Article on the Abele win. See here.  See here too.

11:16pm: Very high turnoutAnd 70% (!!!) turnout in Madison.

11:19pm:  Report from a Milwaukee friend, “Jeff Stone gave what seems to be a concession speech just after 10:00pm [central time].”

11:25pm:  It looks like the Supreme Court race won’t be able to be called for some time.

Supreme Court REPORTING 66%
Joanne Kloppenburg 515,891 50%
David Prosser (inc) 514,475 50%


Supreme Court REPORTING 73%
Joanne Kloppenburg 559,970 50%
David Prosser (inc) 553,243 50%

11:46pm: 76% reporting, Supreme Court race still close to call.  My reports on the ground tell me that half the Madison votes have yet to be counted (good for Kloppenburg as she’s getting 72% of votes in Dane County), and still many outstanding votes is Waukesha County (good for Prosser as he’s getting 73% of the vote there).  Kloppenburg only getting 57% of vote in Milwaukee county.  Dems usually need 60% of the vote in Milwaukee County to win a statewide race.  Will the turnout in Dane County be enough for her to keep a slight lead at the end?

11:50pm: Lot of Waukesha vote out yet (very good for Prosser).

Supreme Court REPORTING 78%
Joanne Kloppenburg 583,113 50%
David Prosser (inc) 575,930 50%

11:52pm: Even the campaigns aren’t sure who’ll win this thing.  See here.

11:54pm: Too close to call.

11:57: Kloppenburg up 51-49% with 82% reporting.

12:04am: Kloppenburg still up 51-49% with 85% in.

12:10am: Race tightening.  50-50%, less than 5000 vote difference with 88% of precincts in.

12:13pm:  Unrelated to elections update from Vermont – it’s snowing, and I still have 3 feet of snow in my backyard.


Supreme Court REPORTING 90%
Joanne Kloppenburg 670,661 50%
David Prosser (inc) 668,985 50%

12:24am: 92% reporting, Kloppenburg up be less than 2000 votes.

12:30am: still too close to call, but Prosser takes small lead.

Supreme Court REPORTING 92%
David Prosser (inc) 687,274 50%
Joanne Kloppenburg 686,683 50%

12:41am: updated results.

Supreme Court REPORTING 95%
David Prosser (inc) 703,414 50%
Joanne Kloppenburg 701,624 50%

12:45am: Prosser up by less than 2000 votes with 97% reporting.

12:49am: Here are the county by county results.  http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/elections/2011/by_county/WI_Supreme_Court_0405.html?SITE=AP&SECTION=POLITICS

1:04am: Bedtime.  Below are the current results.  I wonder if there might be a recount.

Supreme Court REPORTING 97%
David Prosser (inc) 724,355 50%
Joanne Kloppenburg 722,518 50%


Environmental historian, author of great books like Changes in the Land, Uncommon Ground, and Nature’s Metropolis, and professor William Cronon has come under fire by the GOP in WI.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article about the Cronon story is here.  Does this make the argument for the need to have tenure to preserve academic freedom better?  Does this say something about the peril of working at a state institution (e.g., this case, and recent attacks on environmental law clinics by state legislatures)?  Is there a violation of university policy?  Cronon’s writing of this Op-Ed in the Times likely triggered some of these happenings as well.

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