I’ve learned that Rove put money on the Nevada Senate race, where Republican incumbent Sen. Dean Heller defeated Democratic challenger Shelley Berkley. Rove’s groups also donated to Deb Fischer, who defeated Bob Kerrey in the Nebraska senate race. So that’s two wins, not zero. Of course, whether Heller or Fischer would have won without Rove’s money is not something I can measure.
Also, yesterday I said that Karl Rove’s groups all together had about a $300 million warchest to spend on this campaign. I’ve read some articles this morning saying it was closer to $400 million.
Karl Rove was the political genius of the George W. Bush era — the architect of the last Republican president’s two electoral victories. But this week, he may have had the worst election night of anybody in American politics.
“The billionaire donors I hear are livid,” one Republican operative told The Huffington Post. “There is some holy hell to pay. Karl Rove has a lot of explaining to do â€¦ I don’t know how you tell your donors that we spent $390 million and got nothing.”
I’m having way too much fun checking out the right-wing bloggers who so confidently believed in the coming Romney wave. I take it I’m not the only one.
One of the biggest losers yesterday was Karl Rove. He didn’t just lose an election; he lost his aura as the guy who could manipulate American politics to his will. He controlled about $300 million dollars; his groups were the largest single outside group trying to swing this election. Big-money donors trusted Karl to give them the outcome they wanted. Karl was the inside guy who could pull the right levers and drive the right wedges and stampede voters to vote for Republicans.
He did not deliver. He didn’t even come close to delivering. All that “smart” money was pissed away.
Karl’s meltdown on Fox News last night wasn’t really about Ohio, or Mitt Romney. It was Karl being stripped naked and shown to be a fraud, and a fool. He obviously was not expecting to lose Ohio. He is not the all-knowing guru of politics after all.
I’ve long thought Karl was overrated. If you look closely at his background, you see that he made his reputation in politics by managing campaigns that picked off Democratic incumbents in southern states by relentlessly smearing them. It was cheap and dirty politics. He became a bogyman to liberals while working for the Bush Administration, yes, but to a large extent he was riding a wave of right-wing ascendency. But that’s over, and so is Rove.
A big shout-out to Mazie Hirono, the new senator-elect (and a Democrat) from Hawaii. Although I don’t know if she practices now, she was raised Jodo Shinshu, and has said she takes a lot of her values from Buddhism.
I see that all the states have been called except Florida. And that’s fine; Florida can take the next few days to count chads to its heart’s content, and it won’t matter. That’s nice.
Later on I’ll probably write something about What It All Means, but I was struck by this column at Buzzfeed, of all places, by Ben Smith:
ObamaCare is now a firmly rooted component of the nation’s social compact. Americans appear to have accepted his campaign’s argument that he deserves more credit for a nascent economic recovery than blame for its slow pace.
And the vision of a conservative resurgence appears to have fallen short. The best the Republican Party could muster was a Massachusetts moderate masquerading as “severely conservative.” The Tea Party is a memory, an embarrassment to a party that didn’t even mention it at its national convention in Tampa. And the network that led the conservative resurgence, Fox suffered a sort of televised meltdown as the results came in, with Karl Rove berating host Megyn Kelly for calling the election, he said, prematurely.
Republicans have warned of a more liberal Obama over the coming term, an outcome Democrats hope for and consider likely. But the scale of the decisions facing the country will create an intense pressure for compromise, and now on Democratic terms.
But the 2012 election marked a cultural shift as much as a political one. Ballot measures that had failed for years — allowing the marriage of two men or two women in Maine and Maryland; legalizing marijuana in Washington state and Colorado — were voted into law. The nation’s leading champion of bank regulation, Elizabeth Warren, handily defeated moderate Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts, and the nation’s first lesbian senator, Tammy Baldwin, was elected in Wisconsin. Even climate change, which was absent for nearly the entire campaign, came roaring back with Hurricane Sandy and was the subject of endorsements for Obama and harsh attacks on Romney.
These measures were passed, and Obama re-elected, by an American electorate that Republicans had dismissed as a fluke of African-American pride and youth enthusiasm, and which a generation of pundits — Michael Barone, George Will — wrote off as a fantasy.
What I’m seeing, here and elsewhere, is a sad admission that the day when the angry white male voter ruled is over. Of course, in some states, especially the South, it will linger for a long time. But on a national level, the racial dog whistles don’t work. Putting down feminists, promising to repeal Roe v. Wade, doesn’t work. Hysteria over same-sex marriage doesn’t work. Nativism doesn’t work. The All Hate All the Time campaign doesn’t work.
Smith’s column is headlined “Welcome to Liberal America.” Heh.
Not surprisingly, Mittens is sulking and refusing to concede. However, before I turn in for the night, I want to point out that President Obama right now is just short of 270 without Ohio, Virginia, and Florida. And by my calculation, the state that could put him over the top without OH, VA, and FL, is Nevada.
Nevada hasn’t been called yet. With the states called for Obama minus Ohio, by my count the President has 265 electoral votes. Nevada has 6 electoral votes, and it is expected to go to Obama. Once he has Nevada, the President has 271 electoral votes without Ohio, without North Carolina and without Florida.
And Nate Silver believed Nevada is safe for Obama.
Right now I don’t have a sense of where Nevada is in its vote counting, so I’m not going to wait up for it.
Update: There’s no information on the Ohio government website, either. I honestly don’t expect to hear about Ohio for awhile yet.
7:55: Lots of closing coming up at 8 pm.
The independent Angus King won the Senate race in Main.
Warren-Brown too early to call.
8:15. Right now, with called states, Romney has 67 electoral votes and the President has 65 electoral votes.
Update: With 939 of 2,588 precincts reporting, Romney is ahead in Virginia, 56 to 42 percent.
Mitt has 82 electoral votes. So far, both candidates have won states they were supposed to win. No upsets.
Connecticut — Chris Murphy has defeated the wrestling federation lady for the Senate seat.
8:55: Once we get to 9 o’clock there will be only eleven states left in which polls are still open.
* There were no lines at my polling place today, but it was busy. There was no where to park so I ended up walking to the polls, in a local elementary school. It’s not far, but it’s all uphill. By the time I got there I had to sit for a while to recover. I was grateful the walk back was all downhill. If it had been uphill both ways, I couldn’t have made it.
We got Michigan and New Mexico, as expected.
We got New Jersey. I’m surprised we’ve got a projection already.
Update: Chuck Todd is saying that the President is way ahead in Hamilton County, Ohio. This is huge. Hamilton County is southern Ohio, very conservative, “Mean Jean” Schmidt country.
Update: We got Pennsylvania, as expected.
I’ve been watching the state government election return page from Virginia. Romney was way ahead early on, but it’s getting tighter.
Update: We got Wisconsin. Nate Silver said we would, but a lot of the pollsters were calling it a tossup state.
SHERROD BROWN WINS IN OHIO! A big relief!
President Obama is now ahead in the electoral vote count.
9:51: So far there are no surprises, really. Warren and Donnelly were ahead in the polls, but it’s good to see the results.
9:55: MSNBC is reporting that the Obama campaign is feeling confident about Florida.
Update: Claire McCaskill wins!
Romney and the President are now tied n electoral college votes, 162 to 162.
I just flipped over to Fox. They’re very quiet over there.
Deb Fischer defeated Bob Kerrey for the Nebraska Senate seat.
Update: The Bangkok Post is reporting that Tammy Duckworth won her congressional race in Illinois, but I don’t think I saw anything about it on television.
Virginia. A couple of hours ago, Romney was way ahead. Now, with 81 percent of the vote counted, Obama has nearly drawn even. It could still go either way.
Why We May Not Have to Wait Up for Florida, Virginia and Ohio
If President Obama wins the following states, he gets to 272 electoral votes:
Colorado, Iowa, and Nevada are too close or too early to call, and the rest haven’t closed yet, but they are all expected to go for Obama. Those states plus the states Obama already has won add up to 272 electoral votes, by my calculation.
Kaine beats Allen in the Senate race in Virginia.
With the big enchilada, California, plus Washington and Hawaii, the President now needs 27 more electoral votes to win. Mitt needs 67 more electoral votes, even after we give him North Carolina.
We got Iowa. We need 21 more electoral votes.
We got Ohio!
Obama has 274 electoral votes. It’s over.
They are real, real quiet at Fox News.
Update: Looks like a great party in Chicago.
Update: With 92 percent of precincts counted, Obama has moved slightly ahead of Romney in Virginia.
BIG UPDATE: The Romney campaign is not conceding Ohio. All the media outlets are calling Ohio for Obama.
As I said somewhere tonight, the President will almost certainly get to 270 electoral votes without Ohio.
Jeff the Flake in Arizona was elected to the Senate. Boo.
Anyway — I’m looking at Virginia, and I think Virginia will be called for President Obama some time tonight.
* Some news outlets have called Colorado for Obama, but MSNBC hasn’t yet.
First off — this video is too funny. Watch the “scary Blank Panther” politely open the door for a couple of white ladies while Fox bobbleheads declare how intimidating he is. (H/t Tbogg)
Second, there’s been some kind of nonsense in Philadelphia involving, so the rightie bloggers say, Republican poll watchers kicked out of polling places and then reinstated by a judge. Since the only accounts of this I can find are on right-wing blogs and the also right-wing Washington Examiner and Fox News, we don’t have the whole story.
Today’s the day, folks. Come by here tonight for the live blog of the returns.
I predict we won’t know returns from Ohio and Florida for many hours or even days, but I’m hoping it won’t matter.
I also predict that Chris Christie will become the scapegoat for a Romney loss. The Romney people already are painting Christie as an ingrate and a fair-weather friend (literally) to the campaign. IMO Christie has pretty much cemented his re-election as governor of New Jersey, but other Republicans will stop inviting him to their birthday parties.
Update: Nate Silver on Colbert. I get a kick out of the way the audience treats a quintessential nerd like a rock star.