/ US election time frame

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IainRUK - on 05 Nov 2012
So when will it start to get decided tomorrow?

Is it worth staying up til 3 am? so 10pm Eastern time? or will nothing be decided by then?

MG - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to IainRUK: Only a few States by then I think. Better off sleeping.
EeeByGum - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to IainRUK: Is it really that exciting? After all, Peter Snow sadly doesn't do the Swingometer any more.
tony on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to IainRUK:
> So when will it start to get decided tomorrow?
>
> 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.
woolsack - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to IainRUK: Don't they have several weeks of counting badly stamped chads?
IainRUK - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to woolsack:
> (In reply to IainRUK) Don't they have several weeks of counting badly stamped chads?

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..
tony on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to woolsack)
> [...]
>
> 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..
>
In the national polls it looks very tight, but Obama seems to have a decent majority in the swing states - or at least enough of a majority to make him favourite. The New York Times has him at about an 83% chance of winning against Romney's 17%.
Chris the Tall - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to IainRUK:
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
J Brown - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to IainRUK:

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.
Frank4short - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to IainRUK: As of last week the New Yorker's resident poll counter had it extremely close. Though when the electoral college votes were counted as opposed to the popular vote it put Obama in a lead that was virtually unbreakable barring some major shift or feck up on Obama's part. In the intervening period of time all indications are that there has been a further swing to Obama as a result of Sandy. Which has not only given Ob a boost it's also, critically, denied Romney the airtime required to get his point across sufficiently in any of the swing states.

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.
tony on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Frank4short:

The most recent NYT/538 poll gives a good graphical indication of the way things have moved:
http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/state-and-national-polls-come-into-better-alignm...
IainRUK - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Frank4short: Yeah I think Sandy helped, it allowed Obama to lead and look a president. 9/11 similarly gave Bush a big lift early in his presidency..

Chris the Tall - on 05 Nov 2012
IainRUK - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Frank4short: NJ and Mass have Republican governors don't they? Not sure on Maine.

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..
MG - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to Frank4short) NJ and Mass

Mass is democrat
Frank4short - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to Frank4short) Yeah I think Sandy helped, it allowed Obama to lead and look a president. 9/11 similarly gave Bush a big lift early in his presidency..

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.
IainRUK - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to MG: OK.. I just knew Romney was MASS governor..

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..

IainRUK - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Frank4short: There was a graph the other day showing the trend in unemployment as it's now the same level as when BO took office (which the republicans were pointing out.. but for the last 2.5-3 years its gradually declined from something like 10-11%.. so shows a continual yet gradual improvement.

When he took over in a global recession an increase in unemployment was unavoidable..
MG - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to IainRUK: Some States (e.g. Mass) can vote very differently for Governor and President - local vs national politics.
tony on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to Frank4short) NJ and Mass have Republican governors don't they? Not sure on Maine.
>
New Jersey has the Republican governor Chris Christie. In the week before Sandy, he was berating Obama for everything. In the week of Sandy, he was Obama's best mate, praising him as highly as he could.
MG - on 05 Nov 2012
Right let's have your bets! Mine is

Obama 297 Romney 241
AndrewHuddart - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to IainRUK:

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.
IainRUK - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to MG: I think Obama to shade it.. no idea on actual numbers..

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..

IainRUK - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to hindu: I reckon I'll try 1-2 am and see how its going..
AndrewHuddart - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to IainRUK:

Well, I'm still going.

Iain - you still kicking?
Minneconjou Sioux - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to hindu:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
>
> Well, I'm still going.
>
> Iain - you still kicking?

Me too ;-)
Helen R on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

Me three. But I'm cheating too.

Nearly nearly....
J Brown - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to Helen R:

Obama Wins!
AndrewHuddart - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to J Brown:

CNN calls it... Obama should take Florida, too.
Let's see what the legal challenges look like though.

Bed in 15 mins...
AndrewHuddart - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to Helen R:you lose points for time zones,..
Doug on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to hindu: just got up, turned on PC with some apprehension, seems Obama has won bare something very bizarre (seems Karl Rove is disputing figures for Ohio)
Bruce Hooker - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to Doug:

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:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20009190

"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.
IainRUK - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to hindu: I lost wifi signal... followed it on my phone til around 3 am.. wasn't the same..
tony on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to IainRUK:

There's still one more state to declare - Florida (big surprise!). Apparently their machines can't count.
Minneconjou Sioux - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to IainRUK:

Did anyone, other than the Republicans, actually believe Mitt Romney had a chance?
Bruce Hooker - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

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?
IainRUK - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker: Americans themselves seemed concerned. I was just chatting to one then and she said she was relieved at the outcome.

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.
Doug on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker: have you seen any figures for the difference in N of votes, rather than electoral college votes ? (or maybe they are still counting in some places)
tony on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
>
> 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
tony on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to Doug:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker) have you seen any figures for the difference in N of votes, rather than electoral college votes ? (or maybe they are still counting in some places)

They are still counting in some places, but this gives up-to-date figures:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/election-map-2012/president/
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In reply to IainRUK: Does anyone else wonder how the world's main democracies have such skewed voting systems - where Obama can get a landslide victory from actually only getting a percent or two more votes.
IainRUK - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to Submit to Gravity: yeah the thing is he can win the swing states by just the odd 1/10 of a %, win those 5-10 states and its a huge swing.
But our system is far from perfect.

Does anyone know voter turn out numbers?
tony on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

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.
Doug on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to tony: Thanks, so quite close
IainRUK - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to tony: http://www.thegreenpapers.com/Census10/HouseAndElectors.phtml

Suggests it does.. based on census data.
tony on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to IainRUK:

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.
Bruce Hooker - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to Doug:

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.
Graeme Alderson on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to IainRUK: BBC map shows how close it was in some states. But check DC and Utah for the extremes

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20009195
Bruce Hooker - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
> (In reply to IainRUK) Does anyone else wonder how the world's main democracies have such skewed voting systems - where Obama can get a landslide victory from actually only getting a percent or two more votes.

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.

In reply to Bruce Hooker: I have a problem with any democratic stsytem where certain people's votes just don't count.
Hugh J - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to Graeme Alderson:
> (In reply to IainRUK) BBC map shows how close it was in some states. But check DC and Utah for the extremes

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?
IainRUK - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to Submit to Gravity: But then we would do what London wanted?
tony on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker) I have a problem with any democratic stsytem where certain people's votes just don't count.

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.
MG - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to tony:
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.
tony on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to MG:

Yup, you're right - apologies for that one.
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to Submit to Gravity) But then we would do what London wanted?

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.
Bruce Hooker - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker) I have a problem with any democratic stsytem where certain people's votes just don't count.

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?
IainRUK - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Submit to Gravity)
> [...]
> 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.
In reply to IainRUK: NYT article on Adelson this morning says altogether USD 6bn was spent, which is totally nuts. Oh, to own shares in Ohio television stations!

Adelson spent something like 100 million himself - although it seems just about everyone he backed lost.
IainRUK - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to TobyA: Wow.. not seen a value that high quoted, I've seen 2billion a fair bit.

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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