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Election Night Observations

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9:20 p.m. There have not been any shockers on Election Night so far, but there have been a few surprises on the presidential race:

1. Ohio being called so quickly for Barack Obama (about 90 minutes after polls closed) and North Dakota being called so quickly for John McCain (the minute polls closed).
2. Virginia remaining so tight of a race, when Obama may be performing above expectations in North Carolina and Indiana.

10:30 p.m. In a bit of a surprise, in South Dakota it appears Initiated Measure 11 is going to fail - an initiative which would have outlawed abortion with exceptions for reported rape, incest, and health / life of the mother.

11:45 p.m. Minnesota voters have not disappointed tonight -- in the face of a Democratic landslide at the top of the ticket, the Gopher State may again have a 'lone man standing' on the GOP side: in 2006 it was Tim Pawlenty, and in 2008 it may be Norm Coleman. However, Coleman's lead is very tenuous, given the number (and location) of precincts that have yet to report.

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2 Comments


  • Stop them before they poll again! The Humphrey Institute record on election polls is horrible. The primary was a debacle and now they missed the presidential race by double and appear to be wrong on Bachman and Coleman. Stop Stop the madness.

  • FYI: this blog, which is a Humphrey Institute blog, correctly projected the Coleman victory, Paulsen's victory in the 3rd CD, and the DFL failing to reach 90 seats in the State House. Smart Politics correctly projected the Bachmann race in the 6th CD would be the closest U.S. House race in the state, although I was on the wrong end of that one.

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    Remains of the Data

    Which States Have the Longest and Shortest Election Day Voting Hours?

    Residents in some North Dakota towns have less than half as many hours to cast their ballots as those in New York State.

    Political Crumbs

    No 100-Year Curse for Roberts

    Defeating his Tea Party primary challenger Milton Wolf with just 48.1 percent of the vote, Pat Roberts narrowly escaped becoming the first elected U.S. Senator from Kansas to lose a renomination bid in 100 years. The last - and so far only - elected U.S. Senator to lose a Kansas primary was one-term Republican Joseph Bristow in 1914. Bristow was defeated by former U.S. Senator Charles Curtis who went on to win three terms before becoming Herbert Hoover's running mate in 1928. Only one other U.S. Senator from the Sunflower State has lost a primary since the passage of the 17th Amendment: Sheila Frahm in 1996. Frahm was appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat earlier that year and finished 13.2 points behind Sam Brownback in the three-candidate primary field. Overall, incumbent senators from Kansas have won 29 times against two defeats in the direct vote era. (Curtis also lost a primary in 1912 to Walter Stubbs, one year before the nation moved to direct elections).


    The Second Time Around

    Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


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