2006 Election Live Blogging

I’ve finally managed to get set up at the CNN election party on a borrowed laptop (long story). Lots of televisions and other bloggers, although the cacophony of sound from the latter is drowning out the audio from the former. No closed captioning as of yet for the suddenly hearing impaired.

I’ll be posting updates as events warrant.

(530): CNN is reporting exit poll results showing 80-odd percent of those surveyed have confidence in the election counting process. Here’s betting that number will go down in the next few days.

(538): RedState’s Mike Krempasky’s internet connection has suddenly gone away. I suspect Democratic dirty tricks. Blogger suppression!

(546): Well before the polls have closed across the state–let alone in the Panhandle–RedState has called the Florida Senate race for incumbent Ben Nelson over Katherine Harris. A bold call but quite likely correct.

(608): EXIT POLL RESULTS. Take with a huge grain of salt:

    Democrats leading:
    Virginia 52-47
    Rhode Island 53-46
    Penn 57-42
    Ohio 57-43
    New Jersey 52-45
    Montana 53-46
    Missouri 50-48
    Maryland 53-46

    Republicans leading
    Tennessee 51-48
    Arizona 50-46

(648): Major connectivity issues with aforementioned laptop have been resolved via CNN IT crew via substitution of yet another loaner laptop, install of Firefox, etc.

It occurs to me that “blogger party” wherein actual blogging is taking place is an oxymoron.

(653): Polls are about to close in several states, notably Virginia with its tight Senate race between George Allen and Jim Webb. Numbers should start hitting the airwaves soon.

(658): CNN.com:

The exit polls — by a consortium of broadcast networks and The Associated Press — showed that 42 percent of voters called corruption an extremely important issue in their choices at the polls, followed by terrorism at 40 percent, the economy at 39 percent and the war in Iraq at 37 percent.

It strikes me as incredibly unlikely that corruption is more important to people as an issue than the economy, terrorism, or an ongoing war. Granted, voters are irrational. But I’m not buying it.

(703): Dick Lugar, which would be a great name for a porn star, has been declared the winner in Indiana. This was, shall we say, not unexpected.

(706): Socialist Bernie Sanders has carried Vermont, winning the seat held by turncoat Jim Jeffords. I am pretty sure there was a Republican and a Democrat vying for the seat as well but am unable to confirm that.

(720): Watching CNN coverage of the E-lection Blog Party. It looks incredibly lame. Who wants to watch people typing on their computers? BlogStock, indeed. Lots of coverage of the coverage of the coverage at CNN’s Situation Room blog.

(740): The “blonde in leather working for CNN” is Jacki Schechner. Her phone number is confidential. As to the other “hot broads” in attendance, you’ll have to contact them directly.

Along those lines, Mary Katharine Ham is finding it difficult to blog while sitting in a coffee lounge chair in a red dress.

(810): Watching television news without sound is, strangely, not much less informative than the usual way.

(813): MANUFACTURED OUTRAGE ALERT: Who you gonna call? NewsBusters:

Not waiting for voters to finish their work, at least one CNN producer has begun referring to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi as “Madame Speaker.” CNN’s Dana Bash revealed at about 4:20 on the Situation Room how “Nancy Pelosi came into the Capitol this afternoon. Our producer Ted Barrett bumped into her and jokingly said ‘How are you, Madame Speaker?’ She smiled ear to ear and said ‘I like the title,’ but quickly caught herself and said ‘Not yet.'”

The close races continue to be, er, close:

VA SEN [35.28% IN]
ALLEN 392,816 49.39%
WEBB 392,854 49.39%

That’s about as close as it gets . . . .

(824): Jerome Armstrong knows the House candidates a hell of a lot better than I do. It’s amazing how many of these guys are totally off my radar screen.

(827): MSNBC is calling Pennsylvania for Casey over Santorum. Despite a late surge in the polls, that’s no big shocker, either. Of course, it’s unlikely we’re going to get any of those anytime soon.

(836): CNN has called NJ for Menendez over Kean. That’s also not a huge surprise, although it was a race that the GOP held out some longshot hopes for. Interestingly, the numbers show Kean ahead, albeit with only 5% reporting.

(838): Matt Sheffield says that CBS jumped the gun on Santorum, calling before the polls closed.

(846): NBC projects Democrat Sherrod Brown defeats DeWine for Senate in Ohio. Ditto on the surprise factor.

(851): Bill Bennett is really packing on the pounds. Apparently, gluttony is a virtue.

(859): Via McQ: The things you miss without sound:

Britt Hume just explained that unlike past elections when they had access to raw voting data from key precincts in key Congressional races, this time they won’t. That’s because now the vote goes to a counting house and is then released later as a whole. That means it will be more difficult to predict races early and it will be much later in the night before it is done.

Also, Dan Drezner explains the potential impact of the Britney Spears divorce announcement on the elections.

Joe Lieberman Wins(912): CNN’s calling it for Lieberman over Lamont. Even Kos knew that was happening, though, by this point.

Rick Santorum Loses Photo(916): CNN and others are using a particularly unkind shot of Rick Santorum, presumably getting the bad news.

(921): CNN TV is calling Maryland for Cardin over Steele. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if that were the result–Cardin’s the favorite and it’s a blue state–but it strikes me as going out on a limb this early. It’s a hold for the Dems if it works out that way but one of only two (longshot) chances for a GOP pickup, along with NJ, which was also a hold.

(926): Bill Jempty reports that things are not looking good for the GOP in FL-22, with Clay Shaw trailing badly.

(927): CNN is projecting Whitehouse over Chafee in Rhode Island. Again, somewhat expected but a race where the Republican incumbent was making a late surge.

(930): Fox has followed suit.

(939): Kevin Aylward polled the bloggers hanging out here at CNN Coffee Central as to our predictions several hours ago (before any races had been called). Few went out on any limbs, myself included.

(1007): Still a nailbiter in VA with 91.53% in:

    R- ALLEN 1,042,414 49.82%
    D- WEBB 1,024,756 48.98%

Fox has Talent winning in Missouri. That’s a big hold.

(1027): The pace in VA is maddeningly slow. Only another 1 percent in, although Allen seems to be pulling away just a bit.

(1032): Looking over the Maryland numbers (Steele-Cardin) with Krempasky and the numbers are mighty tight–within a percentage point–with only half the vote tallied. That’s odd for a race that was called hours ago. Still, neither of know the precincts very well.

(1112): The networks are all calling the House turning over to the Democrats. A formality, really, but a milestone.

More interestingly, WaPo has pulled back their call of Maryland for Cardin. My gut is that he still wins, but the numbers so far are looking good for Steele.

(1121): Kate O’Beirne (hat tip Krempasky) says that Virginia has already counted their absentee ballots and that they are already reflected in the totals, answering a question we had. If so, it’s looking like a narrow win for the GOP–likely enough to keep the Senate, given that Corker is almost surely going to beat out Ford and that Burns is better than even to win in Montana.

(1133): OTB calls Tennessee for Corker, a Republican hold.

(1142): JD Hayworth has apparently lost. That’s something of a surprise, at least to me. To the folks at The Onion, too.

(1145): Fox has called FL-22 against Foley/Negron.

(1209): Just finished a longish interview on CNN Pipeline with Rob Bluey and Ed Morrissey. We’re pretty much on agreement that the Republicans brought their losses onto themselves, should have fired Denny Hastert, and that George Allen has run an awful campaign. Rob thinks this may be a good thing because it’ll put the conservatives in charge of the House GOP delegation, whereas Ed and I think losing is always bad. Further, I argue that the reason conservatives did better than moderates this go-round is because the latter ran in Blue states, not because they weren’t conservative enough.

(1220): Drudge has Webb winning VA with 100% in. The state so far has Allen ahead with 99.18% in. Not sure of the status of absentee ballots at this point although, presumably, there will be a recount either way.

(1226): Drudge has now pulled back and has the VA official numbers again. Those haven’t been updated in several minutes and still have 20 precincts outstanding.

Oddly, CNN still has Webb ahead slightly although he has never led with 99.26% in. Not sure if they’ve got advanced knowledge or are making a mistake.

(1232): Never mind: For some odd reason, VA has switched the places of Webb and Allen on their website rather than just updating the numbers.

(1234): Fox has finally projected Corker as the winner in Tennessee, about an hour behind OTB.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Poll worker chokes voter.

    No word on the political affiliation of the poll worker or the voter, so we don’t know if this was voter suppression (poll worker Republican/voter democratic) or just an isolated incident (any other combination).

  2. jpe says:

    Is Domenech blogging there? He’d better keep his eyes off his neighbors’ papers.

  3. Krempasky says:

    Brilliant…and so nice to see criticism from one who blogs with only initials.

  4. RyanTrost says:

    Any chance you could get the phone number of the blonde in leather working for CNN?


  5. Triumph says:

    Watching CNN coverage of the E-lection Blog Party. It looks incredibly lame. Who wants to watch people typing on their computers?

    Yeah, like I commented earlier. At least it sounds like you got some hot broads there.

  6. Triumph says:

    Major connectivity issues with aforementioned laptop have been resolved via CNN IT crew via substitution of yet another loaner laptop

    Oh, THAT’S the reason for the “branded” laptop.

  7. James Joyner says:

    Heh. No, they gave us all a bunch of signs to put up. The laptop was the most convenient place given that I don’t have a table in front of me.

  8. Rodney Dill says:

    So when did James Carville stop looking like Billy Bob Thornton and start looking like Lurch.

  9. Mark says:

    Virginia is a nail-biter. It’s going to get even closer once the 6 remaining Arlington precints report in.

  10. Steve Verdon says:

    So if the Dems do take over the House, can we retire the “stolen election/Diebold panic button” thing?

    Just curious.

  11. G A Phillips says:

    The Terrorists win their first great victory, God help us all.

  12. sgtfluffy says:

    This is going to be an interesting next couple of years

  13. Pug says:

    So much for the “John Kerry hates the troops” strategy.

  14. LJD says:

    Not a strategy- a revelation.

  15. k knowlton says:

    Bernie Sanders ran as an Independant on the Democratic ticket – to clarify above…..