President Obama won the swingingest of all states last night, Ohio, possessor electoral votes so important that New York Times polling guru Nate Silver had written that it had a 50 percent chance of deciding the election.
As the night shaped up, the state was so critical to any hopes Mitt Romney had of staying in the hunt, that Fox News analyst and Republican mastermind Karl Rove engaged in a public display of wishful thinking after the network called the election for Obama based on the projection that he would win Ohio. Rove actually staged a mini-revolt on-air by challenging Fox’s decision to put the state in the Obama column. He claimed that with just 74 percent of Ohio precincts tallied and Obama’s lead narrowing, it was too early to make a determination one way or the other, as there were too many votes to be counted in the Republican suburbs of Hamilton County. “As they’ve started to come in, they’ve narrowed that margin dramatically,” Rove said.
“I’m going to ask you a straight-out question,” said anchor Chris Wallace. “Do you believe Ohio is settled?”
“No I don’t,” said Rove, who went on to explain there were still more “big chunks” of the Republican vote left to count.
What's more awkward than two belles sharing the same stage in the same dress? Two political candidates from the same party in a knock-down, drag-out fight to the bitter finish in November!
Granted, California was not a swing state in the presidential election. We’re so dominated by Democrats, it’s hard to imagine anybody so much as blinked when Barack Obama won here. And Dianne Feinstein’s next term in the U.S. Senate? Even loyal Republicans were calling that one for her before the ballots were published.
But even in a True Blue state like this one, there was plenty of blood spilled in the California delegation to the House of Representatives. Between the way Congressional districts were redrawn after the last US Census and the state’s new top-two primary system, the stage was set for some high-pitched theater in two Republican districts and six Democratic ones. You might think that Democratic Party leaders would gather in some smoke-filled room somewhere in California and make the decisions required to avoid one party member going up against another. That’s not how it played out.
California Gov. Jerry Brown during a rally on Monday in support of Proposition 30. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
California voters soundly passed Proposition 30, 54 to 46 percent. Many considered it the biggest measure on this California ballot.
Gov. Jerry Brown crisscrossed the state in recent weeks making his pitch, supported by union leaders, teachers and others keen to avoid the “trigger cuts” that would have hit had Prop. 30 failed. But even before the final count was in, the governor was in a buoyant mood at the Yes on 30 election night party in downtown Sacramento.
Gov. Brown had a lot on the line with Prop 30. It imposes a temporary 1/4-cent sales tax and raises income taxes on the wealthy for seven years.
The failure of Prop. 30 would have triggered $6 billion in education cuts. And the governor staked his reputation on the measure, making it his top priority. Continue reading
It's been a rough re-election season for longtime incumbent Pete Stark. (Cy Musiker: KQED)
At one time, Nancy Pelosi eagerly lay in wait to retake her House speakership this election cycle. But it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. The U.S. Congressional generic ballot shows Democrats and Republicans are neck and neck, but the GOP currently holds a 50-seat advantage. The Democrats would have to gain 25 seats to take control.
Complicating things this year in California: redistricting completed by a citizens commission instead of the Democratic-controlled legislature that used to gerrymander their own; and the new “Top Two” primary system — which sent the two candidates with the most votes in the primary to the November election regardless of party affiliation. These changes have put a dozen seats in play, a far greater number than usual.
Tuesday night, KQED will follow what are expected to be the closest House races in California. They are:
Dan Lungren (R) vs. Ami Bera (D): 7th Congressional District
A rematch in what’s considered to be one of the tightest races in the country. KQED’s Tara Siler has been following the race. She reports:
Democrats really see an opportunity here to pick off a conservative Republican, and an incumbent at that. It’s attracted a lot of money, and it’s one of the most expensive races in the country. And a lot of it is being thrown at Lungren by these outside groups.
So much has been thrown at Lungren, in fact, that Lungren is now ahead of his party in calling for campaign finance reform. Continue reading
Tonight we’ll be live blogging presidential results, U.S. Senate races, hotly contested House seats in California, propositions, select State Assembly results, and local contests around the Bay Area. Here’s a look at some races that could tip the balance between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate. Also see our presidential race live blog preview.
Senate in session, 1999. (CSPAN)
The Democrats currently hold a 53-47 advantage in the U.S. Senate, and conventional wisdom is they are going to maintain their majority after today’s election. And by conventional wisdom I mean that New York Times polling whiz Nate Silver (whom some people put more stock in than the metal silver, at this point), says there’s a 95.3 percent chance of that happening. On the other hand he also prognosticates the final Senate tally at 52.5 Dems, 47.5 GOP. What’s that supposed to mean? Is it because Barbara Boxer’s 4’11″?
(Some Bay Area liberals, who have been complaining about Boxer’s centrist ways for years, might claim he’s talking about Dianne Feinstein — who is expected to coast to victory, by the way.)
Perhaps Silver’s referring to a presumed win by Angus King, the Maine independent, currently leading both his Democratic and Republican rivals in the polls. Maine is one of the seats in play. Here’s a look at all of the races that could have a significant influence on which party controls the Senate.
Tonight we’ll be live blogging presidential results, U.S. Senate races, hotly contested House seats in California, propositions, select State Assembly results, and local contests around the Bay Area. A look at the presidential picture, below. Also see 9 Key Senate Races.
The other day one of our reporters who drew the assignment of gathering local reaction to the presidential election asked the practical question, “Should I go out on the streets or go into the bars?”
The answer, of course: depends who wins. If it’s Obama, I say our reporter should head for the celebrations in the street. If it’s Romney, hit the drinking establishments and home in on the sad sacks throwing down double bourbons like a bereft Humphrey Bogart trying his best to forget Ingrid Bergman. And don’t forget to keep your ears open for mumbling about “moving to Canada” and “goddamn Ohio.”
Meaning, of course, it’s no secret who a sizable majority of the people within the sound of KQED’s radio signal will be rooting for. The Bay Area is sort of the home field for the Democratic team, which you can confirm either by looking out your window at the political signs, checking your Facebook friends’ status updates, or browsing the 2008 election results by California county; Obama’s majority ranged from 63.5 percent in Solano to 84 percent in San Francisco. Because the left-of-left constituency here may grumble about the Democratic squad during the season, but when it comes to the World Series, everyone’s wearing the correct hat. Continue reading
PBS NewsHour will provide comprehensive, multi-platform coverage throughout Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, beginning at 5 p.m. PT, continuing through the regular PBS NewsHour broadcast until at least midnight.
The PBS NewsHour politics team will provide in-depth reports, extensive analysis and live results until the winner of the White House is announced and beyond.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The White House the prize, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney raced through a final full day of campaigning on Monday through Ohio and other battleground states holding the keys to victory in a tight race. Both promised brighter days ahead for a nation still struggling with a sluggish economy and high joblessness.
“Our work is not done yet,” Obama told a cheering crowd of nearly 20,000 in chilly Madison, Wis., imploring his audience to give him another four years.
Romney projected optimism as he neared the end of his six-year quest for the presidency. “If you believe we can do better. If you believe America should be on a better course. If you’re tired of being tired … then I ask you to vote for real change,” he said in a Virginia suburb of the nation’s capital. With many of the late polls in key states tilting slightly against him, he decided to campaign on Election Day in Ohio and Pennsylvania, where he and Republicans made a big, late push.
The presidency aside, there are 33 Senate seats on the ballot Tuesday, and according to one Republican official, a growing sense of resignation among his party’s rank and file that Democrats will hold their majority. Continue reading
Pedro Rios, Republican candidate for 32nd Assembly District. (Pedro Rios for State Assembly)
Thirty years ago, Pedro Rios was smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico by his uncle. Today he is a citizen and a Republican candidate for the 32nd Assembly District, which includes part of Bakersfield and an area to the north of the Central Valley city.
In between, Rios benefitted from President Reagan’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a 1986 law which provided a path to citizenship for people who had entered the country illegally. Rios became a citizen in 1996.
But these details were not public until late October. While his Democratic opponent, Bakersfield City Councilman Rudy Salas says he won’t make an issue of Rios’ prior undocumented status, people are taking issue with Rios’ refusal to back President Obama’s DREAM Act, a policy to allow young people who have come to the U.S. illegally to apply for legal residency.
Jose Gaspar, a columnist with the Bakersfield Californian talked to Candi Easter, chair of the Democratic Party of Kern County:
“I think it’s honorable that Rios came here undocumented and became a citizen,” Easter added. “But what I find dishonorable is his opposition to the DREAM Act,” she said. The DREAM Act is proposed federal legislation that would grant a path to citizenship for qualified undocumented youth in this country. And in fact, Rios admits he is against the legislation, saying he wants comprehensive immigration reform instead. Continue reading
Congress (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
It may have seemed like this campaign season would never end, but we can now safely report that it will — on Tuesday night. And unlike past elections where voters chose between one Democrat and one Republican, eight congressional races in California are choices between two candidates of the same party. That’s because of California’s new top two primary system.
California Report host Scott Shafer looks at these races with reporters Tara Siler from KQED in San Francisco, Steven Cuevas who reports from the Inland Empire for KPCC and The California Report’s election editor Tyche Hendricks.
Scott Shafer, Host: One thing is certain for the first time in memory about a dozen Congressional races in California are actually, well, competitive, up in the air, or even toss ups. We’re going to take a look now at some of them, starting in Northern California and working our way south. Reporter Tara Siler is covering the 7th Congressional District, the suburbs of Sacramento and beyond. Incumbent Republican Dan Lungren fighting for his life there, it’s a rematch from the 2010 election against a Democrat physician Ami Bera. So Tara, tell us what makes this race so interesting.
Tara Siler: Well, what makes it interesting is you have a four-term Republican, conservative Republican, who is fighting for his life. And he’s up against Ami Bera for the second time. And this district has changed; it’s more Democratic under redistricting. And Democrats really see an opportunity here to pick off a conservative Republican, and an incumbent at that. It’s attracted a lot of money, $8 million dollars in outside money. It’s one of the most expensive races in the country. And a lot of it is being thrown at Lundgren by these outside groups.