/ US election time frame
Is it worth staying up til 3 am? so 10pm Eastern time? or will nothing be decided by then?
> Is it worth staying up til 3 am? so 10pm Eastern time? or will nothing be decided by then?
There will be lots of exit polls by then, which are usually reasonably accurate. Given that it's only the result in about half-a-dozen states that matters (and they're mostly in the east), it wouldn't surprise me if we get a decent picture by midnight our time.
Supposedly that's a very real possibility this year as its so tight.. at the moment the last polls I saw were suggesting Obama had the slightest of leads.. but almost impossible to call..
Yeah true Tony, good point re the swing states.
Aye its exciting.. I like a good election..
> Supposedly that's a very real possibility this year as its so tight.. at the moment the last polls I saw were suggesting Obama had the slightest of leads.. but almost impossible to call..
I don't like the lack of a returning officer in the elections to give a definitive result. Instead the TV networks vie with each other to be the first to call each state based on a mixture of votes counted and there own exit polls. Thus in 2010 Fox jumped the gun by declaring Florida, and thus the entire race, well before it was clear. This prompted Gore to concede, only to retract an hour later. Huge mistake by him, made worse when the state governor decided to halt the recount.
Given that this race is likely to be just as close, lets hope they've improved matters to ensure that all the votes are actually counted
I'm going to stay up until around 2-3am at least (and hope that there's a clear indication by then).
Eight years ago I watched until the point when one pundit said "that's it, John Kerry will be the next POTUS". Great, I thought, I'm off to bed... was somewhat disappointed when I awoke a few hours later.
It does look very tight, but I'm more confident now that Obama will at least win the Electoral College.
Here's the new yorker's most recent poll of polls map http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2012/11/cassidys-count-obama-looking-good-final-we... Admittedly it's from last Wednesday/Thursday however in the intervening period of time things have only tended to drift Ob's direction and there's supposedly a more up to date one coming out later today.
The most recent NYT/538 poll gives a good graphical indication of the way things have moved:
Deja-vu in Florida ?
I think even in those states unaffected the TV has shown Obama being presidential..
Romney started campaigning again pretty quickly didn't he, I wonder if that back fired as Obama put the election to one side..
Mass is democrat
I think what the main polsters are saying now is not so much that it gave him a lift in any of the undecided/questionably states, as very few of them have been seriously affected, is more that it's taken over the media and significantly blocked Mitt from getting his message across and possibly swinging it in the final week before the election. In saying the above Ob has gotten massive gains out of it in the effected states though all of these would have been considered democrat strongholds in the first place anyway.
On the other hands the economic and jobs figures that have come out in the last week have definitely given Ob a lift nationally and help to counter some of Romney's arguments.
just looking at the electoral map, surprised by a few of them, thought Maine especially may be republican.. and NJ solid Obama.. NH the only swing state in them according to that..
When he took over in a global recession an increase in unemployment was unavoidable..
Obama 297 Romney 241
I'll be up until 1am or so - exit polls converted into electoral college votes should give a good idea by then of whether I set the alarm for very early o'clock to see the final results come in.
Just as a general comment, not directed at you, Iain, the overall popular vote is, on the day, less meaningful than the more complex maths of the Electoral College; a wonderfully American system though.
Aye Tony was seeing that, he was pretty defensive of that too, saying basically, look if you do good you deserve praise.. he's quite outspoken but even the NJ academics I know, which are to a man democrat, quite like him personally, just not his politics..
Well, I'm still going.
Iain - you still kicking?
> Well, I'm still going.
> Iain - you still kicking?
Me too ;-)
Me three. But I'm cheating too.
CNN calls it... Obama should take Florida, too.
Let's see what the legal challenges look like though.
Bed in 15 mins...
I've just won a pound on this one, but there is no merit as Bob Dylan told me yesterday and he's always right: On the BBC timeline:
"1802: Musician Bob Dylan said Barack Obama would reclaim the presidency by a "landslide", the Miami Herald has reported. Mr Dylan was in the middle of playing his song Blowin' in the Wind on Monday night in the US state of Wisconsin when he made the prediction. "Don't believe the media. I think it's going to be a landslide," he said."
The latest tally is Obama 290, Romney 203.
There's still one more state to declare - Florida (big surprise!). Apparently their machines can't count.
Did anyone, other than the Republicans, actually believe Mitt Romney had a chance?
Most of the press and TV channels in Britain and France have been telling us it would be very close for weeks, after the first TV face to face many said Romney was favourite. Even this morning you'll find phrases suggesting it was a tight thing, in the same articles that give the actual results - 303 to 206 with Florida not yet included. Very curious really, did they feel the need to make it seem more exciting?
I thought Obama would shade it, but he won most of the swing states.
The swing after the first TV debate was huge, it was something like a 10% swing, however I do think Hurricane Sandy really helped sway the Obama doubters.
He's now got 4 years to make changes. Its his last term, nothing to lose, so like Blair in his final term I think we'll see a quite driven president.
> Did anyone, other than the Republicans, actually believe Mitt Romney had a chance?
Other than the Republicans? You mean, the Democrats? It's a 50.3% to 48.1% split in the popular vote at the moment, so it was pretty close.
However, it now looks like Obama has taken Florida, so in the Electoral College, he wins by a substantial majority 331-206
They are still counting in some places, but this gives up-to-date figures:
But our system is far from perfect.
Does anyone know voter turn out numbers?
It is quite weird. For example, California is nailed-on Democrat, so the Presidential candidates hardly bother going there, but it has 55 electoral college votes - about one fifth of the total needed.
I was also wondering whether the number of electoral college votes are ever adjusted as state populations vary.
Suggests it does.. based on census data.
Thanks for that. It also seems that the numbers of electors is set for the next elections. The two states with the biggest changes - Florida and Texas - are also the ones where the population changes are most heavily skewed in favour of the Democrats. Or at least, the party which gets most Latinos, which this time round was the Democrats by a big margin.
That's quite close, just over 2% according to the BBC but what matters in their electoral system is the number of electoral college votes and there Obama has a landslide - it seems he will win Florida too which would make 332 to 206. Some contest this way of comparing but that's their system - In Britain governments are formed with between 30 and 40% generally, what matters is the result within the electoral system after all.
France uses a system of "grand electors" for the Senate, various people like local councillors and such like vote for senators, not the public.
It's not as daft as it looks, it dates back to the origins of the USA when the smaller states were scared of being swamped by the bigger ones. So as to deal with their fears and get the most possible states to join the Union a system was set up which favoured the smaller states a bit.
In the EU there is a similar sort of over-weighting of small countries in terms of votes, for much the same reasons I imagine.
Interesting. The map indicates the usual demographics of the result. Can only imagine that the Republicans are glad it's not decided on an IQ count as they won the "flying saucer" states.
Utah! Isn't that the place where you can have several adolescent wives?
The election of the resident is just that - an election of one person (and his VP). You can't have a 50.8% Democrat, 48.1% Republican president - you get one or the other. The proportional element comes with the elections to both houses of the Congress.
The proportional element comes with the elections to both houses of the Congress.
Senators are two per state too, so not proportional at all. Only Representatives are based on population.
Yup, you're right - apologies for that one.
Mmmm. I'd never thought of it like that. Mind you, from listening to the media you'd be forgiven for thinking the country didn't exist outside London.
Everybody does but I don't see how that is the case in the USA, anymore than in Britain, but an electoral system has a past and the voters and parties adapt to it... The reasons are rarely as random as they appear to people from elsewhere. My main criticism of the US system is the way so much money is needed, over a billion dollars for each candidate, that seems to be a more severe limit on democracy than the electoral college system, which effectively gives more value to the vote of smaller states, not a bad idea perhaps?
> My main criticism of the US system is the way so much money is needed, over a billion dollars for each candidate, that seems to be a more severe limit on democracy than the electoral college system, which effectively gives more value to the vote of smaller states, not a bad idea perhaps?
agree here.. I think it should be limited, 1 billion each is incredible.
Adelson spent something like 100 million himself - although it seems just about everyone he backed lost.
Have you watched Obama's victory speach, he's good. I think the republicans are in trouble as the younger generation are turning to the democrats, maybe that changes with age/wealth gained..
But his speach played on ethic minorities, gay lesbian and it being a United states.. I think he's a superb talker when his energy is up.
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