Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What to Watch for Tonight

There now seem to be hundreds of articles about what to watch for in the presidential race, state by state, time-zone by time-zone.   This one is as good as any. But I'm always interested in what Nate Silver has to say, so this one's worth a look too.  

And here's the list of states to watch (according to poll closing times, translated to the Pacific time zone):
  • 3pm PST: Indiana (most of the state's polls close at 3pm PST, but not 'til 4pm in some parts of the state)
  • 4pm: Virginia, Georgia, New Hampshire, Florida (Western portion of panhandle closes at 5pm)
  • 4:30: Ohio and North Carolina
  • 5:00: Missouri and Pennsylvania
  • 6:00: Colorado and New Mexico
  • 7pm: Montana
Expect first waves of results to come in anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes after the polls close in that state.  Networks and newspaper websites, if they're at all responsible will not call a state based on exit poll results unless there is at least a 10-point margin between the two major-party candidates.  Again, Nate Silver explains why.  

The best real-time mapping on-line will be on the front-page of the New York Times website. On TV, CNN has the best mapping, by far.  

US Senate
Here are the Senate races to watch, with those at the top of the most likely to go Democratic and the ones at the bottom least likely to turn-over:
  • Virginia: Mark Warner (D) vs. James Gilmore (R) open seat
  • New Mexico: Tom Udall (D) vs. Steve Pearce (R) -open seat
  • Colorado: Mark Udall (D) vs. Bob Schaffer (R) - open seat
  • Alaska: Mark Begich (D) vs. Ted Stevens (R) - Stevens just convicted of concealing gifts
  • New Hampshire: Shaheen (D) vs. John Sununu (incumbent R)
  • Oregon: Jeff Merkley (D) vs. Gordon Smith (incumbent R)
  • North Carolina: Kay Hagan (D) vs. Elizabeth Dole (incumbent R)
  • Minnesota: Al Franken (D) vs. Norm Coleman (incumbent R)
  • Georgia: Martin (D) vs. Chambliss
  • Kentucky: Lunsford (D) vs. McConnell
  • Mississippi: Musgrove (D) vs. Wicker

US House (a few of the more interesting ones, listed by incumbent defending)
  • Don Young - R, At-Large, Alaska (yet another Alaska Republican under investigation)
  • John Shadegg - R, 3rd Dist., Arizona
  • Marilyn Musgrave -R, 4th Dist. Colorado (Congress's most infamous homophobe)
  • Christopher Shays -R, 4th Dist. Connecticut
  • Lincoln Diaz-Balart- R, 21st Dist. Florida
  • Mario Diaz-Balart- R, 25th Dist. Florida
  • Bill Sali - R, 1st Dist. Idaho
  • Don Cazayoux -D, 6th Dist. Louisiana (won special election earlier this year for Bobby Jindal's old seat
  • Wayne Gilchrist-R, 1st Dist, Maryland
  • Michele Bachmann -R, 6th Dist. Minnesota (recently called for investigation of "un-American" members of Congress)
  • Heather Wilson - R, 1st Dist, New Mexico
  • Steve Chabot - R, 1st Dist, Ohio
  • Jack Murtha -D, 12th Dist, Pennsylvania (famously called his constituents racists)
  • Nick Lampson- D, 22d Dist., Texas (Tom Delay's old seat)
  • Virgil Goode- R, 5th Dist., Virginia
  • Dave Reichert - R, 8th Dist. Washington (vs. top Netroots candidate Darcy Burner)
  • Missouri: Jay Nixon (D) vs. Kenny Hulshof (R) (open seat)
  • North Carolina: Beverly Perdue (D) vs. Pat McCrory (R) (open seat)
  • Washington: Chris Gregoire (incumbent D) vs. Dino Rossi (R) 
Ballot Initiatives
  • Abortion: Parental notification in California, near complete ban in South Dakota and life begins at conception in Colorado
  • Affirmative Action bans in Colorado and Nebraska
  • Assisted Suicide: I-1000 in Washington
  • Education: ban on English as a Second Language education in Oregon
  • Elections: Top-two primary in Oregon
  • Gay Rights: Prop  8 in California would overturn right to gay marriage.  Gay marriage bans in Florida and Arizona.  An Arkansas measure would prohibit gay couples from adopting or foster parenting children
  • Transportation: $10 billion for high speed rail in California; Light rail expansion in Seattle area (Prop. 1); and making traffic worse in Washington state (I-985).

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