One billion dollars later, the time has come. Looking at the polls won’t tell you much. Rasmussen has Romney up by one, Pew shows Obama up by three, and CNN tells us there’s a tie. What it will come down to, in the not-too-far-away end, is which candidate will be able to get its voters out. Get the vote out for your candidate, there will be peace on earth; fail, and you will be held personally responsible for his failure (anyone else getting Obama’s campaign e-mails?).
For many of us, the 2012 presidential election has come to feel intensely personal. The constant reassurance of the two “very different paths” each candidate represents, by parents, news anchors, and the candidates themselves, has led to a stress-inducing apocalyptic lexicon, from which both sides get the feeling that it really is now or never. “Choose me or choose doom” seems to lie behind every campaign message. For those who have not accepted defeat, yet are too tired to wade through yet another set of contradicting poll statistics, who want it straight, quick, and painless — no promises on the last one — come get your election coverage here. On this day to end all days, let’s make politics fun again.
PolicyMic will be covering the 2012 election from the state of California live. For live updates, bookmark and refresh this page.
UPDATE 11:05 PM Excellent speech by Obama. I was surprised by the kickback to 2008 H-O-P-E, but I think he worked it.
Back in California, prop 30 is looking less bleak with 49.7% support.
UPDATE 10:40 PM Obama is about to speak, but after all the e-mail his supporters suffered through for the last couple months, I appreciate the symbolic gesture of e-mailing us first.
UPDATE 10:20 PM Even though only 21% of California precincts have reported, there are a few propositions with drastic enough results thus far that projection seems a viable option. Here's a breakdown of those selects props:
Prop 31, a constitutional amendment creating a two-year budget cycle, expanding the governnor's emergency powers and giving local governments more autonomy, among other things, is currently failing with 58% no votes.
The fate of Prop 34, which rids California of the death penalty and saves the state millions of dollars, is looking pretty dreary with 56% of voters thus far voting no.
Prop 35 is in the best position of any prop, with 82% of the vote so far. This isn't too surprising, given the general disdain for human trafficking, but may turn out to be a mistake given some analysis that the prop may cause more problems than it solves.
Prop 36, amending the three strikes law, is looking good so far with a 68% passing rate right now.
Prop 38 has been overwhelming rejected, with only 25% of voters saying yes. Sorry, Molly Munger.
Props 39 and 40 are also both looking like they will make it through the election, with 59% and 74% yes votes, respectively. Prop 39 will raise revenue from businesses by closing a tax loophole allowing them to choose their favorite way of calculating taxes, and 40 simply approves the district lines drawn by California bipartisan districting committee.
More updates to come as results roll in.
UPDATE 9:50 PM I love this map on progressive propositions across the country. Though I do think it's still too soon to call the California propositions...
UPDATE 9:25 PM Let the apocalypse commence...
For more, see The Week.
UPDATE 9:08 PM California can officially no longer be the first state to legalize marijuana. Congratulations, Washington.
UPDATE 8:45 PM Could this election have finally forced Republicans to change their tune on women's issues?
I know it's too soon to call, but I'm hoping tonight might have been the end of an era. Naive? Probably. Possible? Only time will tell.
UPDATE 8:35 PM Now that the main event has resolved itself, and I can breathe again, it's time to focus on our propositions. The California Secretary of State site is recording returns, but with only 11% of precincts having reported, the numbers still don't mean much.
As of now, however, prop 30 is behind with 47%. I'm still optimistic that won't last long.
UPDATE 8:25 PM New tweet from Erickson...
Side note, we're calling it for Obama.
UPDATE 8:18 PM
Oh, the irony.
UPDATE: 8:12 PM CNN and NBC have called Iowa for Obama. Romney might be ready to cancel his victory party...
UPDATE 8:07 PM Obama has officially won California, Hawaii and Washington. Romney took Idaho. I'm feeling good.
UPDATE 8:00 PM With polls about to close in California, it's time for a little bit more information on what the results will mean.
Most importantly, in this consistently blue state, it means 55 electoral votes for Obama, who won with 60.9% of the vote in 2008. It will be interesting to see how this number has changed from four years ago.
It also means the results of 11 propositions, many of which are quite contentions. Most notably prop 30 to raise taxes for education, and 37 to require the labeling of genetically modified foods. The ones I'm really holding out for though are 32, which prevents unions from making political contributions from payroll deductions, and 34, which could finally repeal the death penalty.
States now closed:
Only Alaska to go!
UPDATE: 7:45 PM Bit of a delay while I ran down the street to my polling station to vote. It was supposed to be a quick drop-off of my absentee ballot, but after using my own method of voter intimidation to persuade my brother to vote, I felt I had to see him through until he got out of there.
In other news, Time's election results map is calling the current numbers in at 148 electoral votes fro Obama and 159 for Romney. Nothing too surprising has been called, but Iowa, Ohio, and Colorado all seem to be leaning Democrat.
Slate, at least, has already put their chips in for an Obama victory.
UPDATE: 5:55 PM Five minutes until polls close in:
As of now, Romney's up to 76 votes in the electoral college, surpassing Obama by 12.
UPDATE 5:50 PM Interesting analysis from Joan Walsh at Salon. She writes: "To an awkward extent, Obama’s fate today comes down to white people. Pollsters and analysts agree: If the electorate that turns out in 2012 is more than 75 percent white (it was 74 percent in 2008 and 77 percent in 2010), Obama almost certainly loses. If it’s 74 percent or less, Obama wins. Clearly, if Democrats behaved like Republicans, they’d look for ways to suppress the white vote."
With all the demographic analysis that's been going on for the past month, I'm surprised (or not) that this hasn't been a more visible issue.
UPDATE: 5:30 PM Tons of new results up. Obama wins in Delaware, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Maine. Romney wins in Indiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee and South Carolina.
This leaves the electoral count at 51 for Romney and 64 for Obama.
Now this is getting fun.
UPDATE: 5:15 PM If nothing else goes right tonight, it is comforting to know that a record number of women are present on ballots across the nation today. Eighteen women are running for Senate, while there are 166 women vying for seats in the House. The previous record was 14 and 141, respectively, in 2004.
More than twice as many of these women are Democrats than Republicans, and women are opposing women in 14 of the races.
Bad news stateside, however, with only one woman running for Governor out of 11 states -- Maggie Hassan, a Democrat in New Hampshire. This guarantees a decline from the current six women governors in office. And if Hassan loses, there will be no Democratic female governor since the first time in 1996.
Hopefully, womens' wins in Congress will compensate for this loss. For the full information, click here.
UPDATE: 5:10 PM If you don't care for polls, look to Bob Dylan. He told a Wisconisn audience Monday night that Obama will win by a landslide.
UPDATE: 5:00 PM Polls officially closed in:
UPDATE: 4:45 PM Here's an interesting update: according to Politico, exit polls have revealed that six in 10 voters have said that taxes should be increased -- a sign that Romney's no tax hike pledge may not be successful in bringing him to the White House.
Back East, Obama's is leading in South Carolina, New Hampshire, and Florida, with a definitive win in Vermont. Things are looking good for Romney, with leads in Georgia, North Carolina, Indiana, Ohio and Virginia, and definitive wins in West Virginia and Kentucky.
Polls have officially closed in Ohio, and just ten minutes until Pennsylvania shuts polls down.
UPDATE: 12:30 PM Per my apocalyptic intro, here's a couple perspectives from both angles, including an optimistic Republican already fired up for 2016.
Megan Mcardle from The Daily Beast writes: "But despite yesterday's sterling advice to remember that government actually still plays a very small role in most peoples' daily lives, many of my friends and acquaintances are getting very worked up. Republicans, in particular, seem increasingly desperate for the satisfaction of an electoral outcome that does not, let's face it, seem particularly likely."
On the other hand, the popular blogger from Shakesville wrote a bit farther back: "This election feels like a referendum on every aspect of social justice to me: Are racists going to win the day and vote out our first African American president, not on his policies but his personhood? Are homophobes going to win the day and vote against marriage equality, in some or all of the places in which civil rights have been put to a vote? Are disablists/classists going to win the day and vote for Romney in the hope of overturning Obamacare and other key parts of the social safety net? Are misogynists going to win the day and vote to deny women agency and access to reproductive healthcare?"
Will we, as some pundits predict, have an exodus en masse to Canada and/or Australia depending on today's outcome? Unfortunately, probably not.
UPDATE: 12:10 PM This onion article, "The Only Name Area Man Recognizes on Ballot 'Jill Stein', comically highlights the question of how many voters are going out to the polls today simply to check the box of the only candidates they've heard of. Of course, this probably isn't much of an issue for the presidential race, but how about state legislators, municipal boards, city water inspectors, etc. Sometimes all it takes is putting a sign up with your name on it to get a vote.
On another note, check out the semi-biased, not very informative Facebook voting tracker. Sound familiar?
UPDATE: 10:19 AM The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy has brought up interesting issues with the mostly archaic methods of voting we use in this country today. Brian Stelter from the NY Times asks a question that is likely on many voters' minds. Could 2012 be the last election before we see some real nation-wide poll reform?