Well, here we are. After just shy of four years living with the current president, I can say that his most remarkable accomplishment has been to raise the reputations of George W Bush, Warren Harding, and Franklin Pierce, if only relatively. Forty-four men have been president of the United States, one for only a month, and one who was never elected. Someone had to rank 44th in that list. It makes stack ranking so much easier when the most recent addition goes straight to the bottom.
I don't know that I'll stay up until 2am like I did last time. But I'll hang in there as long as I can. (All times US Central Standard, UTC-6.)
I am not calling any races; that's illegal in most states before polls close. I am, however, making a first prediction:
If we start there, we win with any other state on the map. And I think we're starting there.
17:00 CST: Polls have closed in the eastern portions of Indiana and Kentucky. Nothing to report yet; the rest of both states have yet to finish voting.
18:00: Polls have closed in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, Virginia, and Vermont, plus the eastern part of Florida. I'm confident only in two: Indiana (R) and Vermont (D).
18:05: The Associated Press calls Vermont for Biden and Kentucky for the president. No surprise there. The New York Times projects Mark Warner (D-VA) will go back to the Senate. No significant reports of poll disruptions reported.
18:13: I'll be updating the map at the top of this post as the night goes on.
18:42: Polls closed 12 minutes ago in North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia. The AP has called West Virginia for the president and Virginia for Biden. Still no surprises.
19:00: Polls in 21 states and DC just closed, including here in Illinois. NPR believes Biden leads in Florida. Everyone knows Biden won Illinois. The AP called West Virginia for the president a few minutes ago; again, no one died of shock.
19:31: Arkansas, unsurprisingly, goes to the president. Meanwhile, no one knows nothing at this point.
20:01: Another 14 states with big Electoral Vote delegations have closed their polls. New York's 29 votes go to Biden; Wyoming's 3 and Kansas' 6 go to the president, as do Indiana's 11. NPR says Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, and Ohio all lean Biden, while Florida leans the other way. The Chicago Tribune thinks Kansas, Missouri, and Pennsylvania will also break our way. Sadly, Amy McGrath has lost her challenge to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Also, the AP's website now displaying a generic 500 error. Oops.
Now Parker needs a nice, long walk, so I don't have to think about the election for half an hour.
20:45: Back from a nice walk, I hear we have our first pick-up in the Senate, in Colorado, which also has gone to Biden, and Kansas has slipped back into play.
21:01: Iowa, Montana, Nevada, and Utah have closed. Republicans have filed suit to stop vote counting in Clark County, Nevada, because they can't win there without cheating.
21:05: Keep in mind: we won't know the results in Wisconsin, Michigan, or Pennsylvania until tomorrow at the earliest.
22:01: The West Coast and Idaho close; no surprises. All of the surprises will take days to count. So far tonight, Parker and I have walked for more than an hour, I've had only two beers, and I just can't stay up until midnight waiting for the results this time.
Counting will take a long time. And smaller, rural precincts can always report their results before larger, urban precincts. No one has gotten close to calling anything on the brown portion of the map at the top of this post. As I said to one of my friends, we're not fucked yet. The whatever from high atop the thing hasn't even taken off its pants yet.
We did lose the Alabama US Senate seat, so we're still at 47-53, even though 13 million more people have voted for Democratic US Senators than for Republican ones. (We knew Doug Jones would lose, though. Again: no surprise.)
I will say that Biden will win the popular vote by millions more votes than Clinton won in 2016, and if he winds up losing the Electoral College, people will be unhappy. Very unhappy. Minority rule has to end. I'm still pretty confident it will end in January, but until then, we just won't know.
So, I'm going to bed. I expect I'll wake up around 3 to clean up some poop (not mine), and if that happens, I'll check the map. But Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Florida won't have results tonight.
We're not fucked yet. The whatever from high atop the thing hasn't even taken off its pants. I'm going to chill for eight hours and come back in the morning.
02:51: I don't know what woke me up. I thought someone on my "OK to disturb me" list texted, but that wasn't the case. In any event, this is not the map I wanted to see in the middle of the night, but (if you recall) it's almost exactly the map I predicted earlier. Except for Pennsylvania.
We still don't have final counts for the Democratic strongholds of Milwaukee, Detroit, Philadelphia, or Atlanta. Also, no one knows what "100% reporting" means in those areas, because no one will know the total number of early and mail-in votes until they're all counted.
Mark Kelly won the special election for US Senate in Arizona, giving us a second pick-up. But Joni Ernst (R-IA) won re-election, which says something about Iowa, and possibly the whole race.
Of course the president went on TV to claim victory earlier. And of course Biden went on TV to say we have millions of votes left to count. And it also seems clear that, regardless of the Electoral College, Biden will have won millions of votes more than the president, by a margin considerably larger than Hillary Clinton won four years ago.
I will also say, the whatever from high atop the thing definitely has a "hey, baby" look in its eye.