Hello! And welcome to the Iowa Live Blog for the 2012 presidential election. No, wait! Don’t go! It’ll be fun, I promise. OK, I don’t promise it will be fun but at least it might be mildly interesting. As of the morning of November 6th the New York Times has Obama with an 85.7% chance of winning the state so anything might happen. Overall, the same forecast has Obama with a 91.6% chance of winning reelection. In fact, Irish Bookmaker ‘Paddy Power’ is so certain that Obama will win that on November 5th they started paying out on bets. That’s right, if you bet Obama would win the election you can already collect your winnings.
Of course, there’s still a chance that this election could end up being contested. The United States electoral system is known for its vulnerability to corrupt practices and disenfranchisement. Although, you know you’re in trouble as a candidate if your only hope of winning is relying on rigging the election.
Anyway, since this is the internet, let’s steal some content from somebody else. Here’s Harry J Enten of The Guardian and his ‘definitive’ guide to the swing states:
Iowa (10pm ET)
Real Clear Politics average: Obama +2.0pt
2008 result: Obama won by 9.4pt
2004 result: Bush won by 0.7pt
Swing counties with 50k+ population: Polk (+5.1), Scott (+5.0), Woodbury (-10.0)
This state is where the primary season begins, and it likes to keep Americans guessing. It's a mix of old heartland liberals in the east and very conservative evangelicals in the west. This was one of only two states that voted for Al Gore in 2000 and George W Bush in 2004. No state has better mirrored the national vote since 1992 than Iowa. Early voting suggests a tight race, while polling gives Obama a small advantage. Obama won his first victory outside of Illinois here and would like to win where his national candidacy began. Iowa has historically not been decided until very late in the evening.
What? The polls don’t close until 10pm ET and the state has ‘historically not been decided until very late in the evening’ As soon as Obama wins his electoral majority, I’m off to bed, Iowa or no Iowa.
Neither of Iowa’s senators are up for reelection. The state has a total of four congressmen, who are currently forecast to split two Democrat and two Republican. Although, one of those Democratic seats looks pretty close, so look out!
Finally, before I go I want to leave you with this joke I came up with for the election season: Why can’t Mitt Romney tell us the details of his tax policy? Because he found it written on two golden plates in his backyard and he can’t show them to anyone. Zing!
PolicyMic will be covering the 2012 election from the state of Iowa live. For live updates, bookmark and refresh this page.
UPDATE (7:44 EST) OK, Policymic, brace yourselves for all the breaking news form Iowa, as it happens. So far, the new is... Iowa polls close in three hours. Great. I've scoped out the Iowa abc affiliate and as you would expect, no news yet.
Meanwhile, three states have declared: Kentucky and Indiana for Romney and Vermont for Obama. No surprises so far.
Strap yourselves in folks, it’s gonna be a long night.
UPDATE (7:52 EST) If you weren’t yet convinced that Obama was going to win, it turns out that six months ago politicalastologyblog.com forecast an Obama victory. Even the stars themselves want Obama to win! If that’s not scientific I don’t know what is.
UPDATE: (8:01) From the BBC’s live coverage:
1949: Jonny Dymond BBC News, Boston
says: "Virginia is a place that Obama can afford to lose, but Romney really must win it if he is going to put his curtains up in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Republicans would have been looking for a clearer indication that they are going to take the Virginia - a state that Romney has visited repeatedly over the last few weeks. A dead heat is not good news."
UPDATE: (8:04) Romney projected to lose his home state of Massachusetts. Not good news of the Republicans.
UPDATE (8:10) Live coverage of Iowa election begins! I know, try to control your excitement.
UPDATE (8:19) Obama at 57 vs. Romney at 40. Still no news from Iowa. Florida still too close to call. At least somethings happening in Florida.
UPDATE (8:29) University of Iowa’s ‘Iowa Electronic Market’ predicts Obama victory 63.8% probable with Romney at 38.9%. Note that that’s the forecast for the national result, not the result for Iowa itself.
UPDATE (8:39) I’m you’ve all seen this by now but Iowa has a 6.6% chance of providing the decisive Electoral College vote. Ohio has a 49.8% chance but you never k now! Iowa’s vote may still be the one that pushes one candidate over that crucial threshold (but I doubt it).
UPDATE (8:48) Iowa by the numbers. Did you know Iowa is 91% white?
UPDATE (9:07) breitbart.com predicts a Romney win in Iowa. What a shock. </sarcasm>
UPDATE (9:13) NBC just said this Congress will be more partisan. MORE partisan? Are they going to start physically fighting each other?
UPDATE (9:31) Here are the most recent polls I could find for Iowa. It looks pretty clear Obama has the advantage. It looks like Florida's were all the action is right now. Only around a thousand votes in it.
UPDATE (9:36) BBC comentator suggests Wisconsin will follow forecasts and go for Obama. That would mean both Romney and Ryan would lose their home state.
UPDATE (9:45) Apparently, Obama’s vote share would be 3.3% higher if he were white. Also, 15 minutes until polls close in Iowa!
UPDATE (10:00) Iowa Polls Close (finally)! Exit polls to follow shortly
UPDATE (10:07) Iowa women favor Obama (59%/40%) and Iowa men lean towards Romney (53%/44%)
UPDATE: (10:10) Over 65's in Iowa split 50/50 for Obama and Romney
UPDATE: (10:11) 63% of Iowa moderates voted for Obama. Full exit poll data can be found here.
UPDATE: (10:16) 11% of districts reporting and Obama leads 61% to 37%.
UPDATE: (10:20) 29% of precincts reporting and it looks like the Democrats hold on to Congressional District 3
UPDATE: (10:28) 24% of the vote is in and Obama leads 50% to 40% with the Libetarian on 1%. I'm no libertarian supporter but it's good to see a third party candidate make some headway.
UPDATE: (10:32) Forecasts expected Districts 1 and 2 would remain Democratic. So far Democrats lead in all four but we only have a small percentage reporting in most districts between 1% and 11%).
UPDATE: (10:40) District 2 has a Democratic incumbent and was forecast the closest of Iowa's for Congressional races. So far, with 17% of precincts reporting the Democrats lead 66% to 33%
UPDATE: (10:45) The all the urban areas of Des Moines, Omaha and Iowa City seem to be leaning to Obama. 31% reporting acorss the state and Obama leads 57% to 42%.
UPDATE: (10:48) Looks like the first results are in and with 100% of the votes counted Palo Alto County goes to Romney (55% to 44%).
UPDATE: (11:04) 42% reporting. Obama 55% Romney 43%
UPDATE: (11:19) CNN is calling it for Obama. Still no formal results from Iowa but Obama comfortably ahead.
UPDATE: (11:21) Well, Iowa has formally been called for Obama and it looks like he has secured re-election. What a shock! (not!).
Also, I haven't formally been tracking it but it looks to me like the average of the state polls and by extension Nate Silver and the NYT have called every state correcttly. I'm sure someone will verify if this is correct by tomorrow but if it is that's pretty impressive. I know who I'll be listeing to in 2014/16.
UPDATE: (11:33) Just waiting for the phone call and the speeches now. Still no results from the Iowa Congressional races but we know the Senate remains Democrat and the Congress Republican. Let's hope there's no sudden twist or recount.
UPDATE: (12:27) I was waiting for the concession speech but it looks like Romney and Rove are going to hold out until the last votes in Ohio are counted. The Iowa congressional races split 2 for the Democrats and 2 for the Republicans (as predicted). Goodnight everyone.