7pm in the east, first polls close. Too early to call most key states, but Indiana is too close to call, which is telling, I think.

Consider this an open discussion thread, will update as things happen– I need to go put the kid to bed, so i’ll be back after a rousing Good Night Moon.

Updates throughout the night, below the fold:

7pm One thing to watch for that the MSNBC folks are prattling about (i’m flipping between msnbc and cnn) is African-American turnout. The TV people are hinting that its not just big, but Huge. As in Huge enough to swing NC and VA and put GA in play.

I won’t miss Liddy Dole.

8:10 pm child not cooperative with the whole go to bed routine… I guess he wants to stay up and watch the returns flow in, but alas, at 1.5, is a bit too young for that. MSNBC has PA for Obama, which is huge, because so many of the McCain victory combos depended on winning a blue state. He put a lot of effort into PA, and it doesn’t look like it was even close.

8:50 pm– 1: there is some sort of herd mentality among major network news producers, they all go to essentially the same shot at Grant Park, the same interview with the campaign surrogate, and then the obligatory panel of random folks, some of whom are smart, others of whom are simply gasbags. 2: I wish there was a channel with a big map of county by county results. Take VA– its too close to call because there are no Northern Virginia votes (NOVA). checking out the state board of elections website, Arlington county has 0 votes in, Fairfax has only a small percentage, and Loudoun county is dead even with 20% in. that’s crucial to know because nearly 40% of the state lives in NOVA, the DC suburbs. The key to winning VA is for the D to run up big numbers in NOVA and Richmond, run even in the ex-urbs and have a cushion to stave off the R votes in the rest of the state, the rural areas and military areas of Hampton Roads. That’s the detail you need to really know what’s up with VA.

9:25 Ohio called for Obama. Indeed, that is pretty much game over, as its next to impossible to figure out how McCain finds his 270 without OH. I am still holding out hope for VA.
I think that its important for Obama to ‘flip’ some red states blue, the more he does, the greater the ‘mandate’ he claims, the more he gets us out of this inane red-state / blue state divide, the more he can more of his agenda he can advance, the more sway he has with Congress.
Interesting thought– if Hagan out performs Obama in NC, do we say Obama had coattails for her, or that she had coattails for him?

9:50 I think Obama might squeak out VA. its very tight, but the outstanding vote is largely in Obama territory– Fairfax and Arlington, where Obama should run up huge margins. Way below the polls (which will prompt some bradley effect study for sure), but I think he might flip it, and that makes me excited. Not excited enough to look for a house over there, but certainly puts VA the road to redemption.

10:00 per Rodger’s suggestion (in the comments), its off to Comedy Central, Stewart and Colbert, for some fun, now that the election is pretty much set. The only major mystery of interest for me– does Franken pull it out in MN, which would be awesome because I’d love to see some well written, smart funny Senate floor speeches.

10:25 (I got bored with Steve Forbes on the Daily Show….) On MSNBC, Fineman is saying that Obama is winning FL with a sizable percentage of the Cuban vote. he reported that some R’s did anti-communist, castro-oriented calls to the FL Cuban community, and it doesn’t seem to have worked. This is huge, and it might, just might, allow Obama to do something interesting on Cuba policy. Clinton pandered to the Cuban community there (Libertad Act anyone?) and won the state, then Bush did the same. Obama seems to have fractured that voting block, and won the state without a majority of the Cuban vote. He doesn’t owe them anything, and so maybe he can use this opportunity to do something with Cuba policy. One can hope. In the time it took me to type this post, the other guys are in commercial and I’m back to Stewart. I’m sure you’re so interested in my TV viewing habits….

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