Princeton Election Consortium

A first draft of electoral history. Since 2004

Comment thread #4 – liveblogging

November 7th, 2012, 12:09am by Sam Wang


7:24am: Whew. Thank you all! Various wrapup in the coming days.

1:40am: In comments, a mixed reaction. Some of you heard unfriendliness. But a few of you thought he was more relieved than anything else. It had to be an extremely hard moment for him. Here is the full text.

1:09am: Caught the end of Romney’s concession speech, in which he said he’d “pray for President Obama.” Wow, that did not feel friendly. What else was said? Enlighten me in comments please.

Heitkamp (D) appears headed to winning ND-Senate. 50.8-49.2%, with 4% of the vote left to be counted. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) is in too. Next to be counted: MT and NV.

12:24am: Bill Foster is in. A particle physicist, and also a co-founder of a company that sells most of the theater lighting in the US. Quite the dude. Congratulations, Congressman-elect Foster!

12:21am: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is not losing time in calling on GOP to stop obstruction strategy. This is really important – if you have a D/I Senator, write to him/her about the supermajority rules. In our broken government, majority rule is important for both sides.

12:02am: OK, some remaining questions. Will Obama win the popular vote? Looks like yes, but the jury’s still out.

In ND-Senate, Rick Berg (R) leads Heidi Heitkamp (D) 50.1-49.9%, with 91% of the vote counted. Right down to the wire. We’re still waiting on NV, MT, and WI.

Tags: 2012 Election

321 Comments so far ↓

  • bflobillw

    Sam, I must admit that I was on the verge of being persuaded by the Republican talking heads re their pending victory.

    Thank you for your great work. Perhaps you, Nate, and others will get more face time in 2016 than the supposed experts.

  • Pat

    I remember that in 2008, major news sites (CNN, NYtimes, etc.) would stop updating precise vote counts on their results page after a few days. Where can we find up to date result counts as they keep being refined?

  • Shawn Huckaby

    Dr. Wang, in your post-victory glow, can I ask you to statistically analyze the newest Republican meme? ie
    “the country is 50/50, so Obama doesn’t have a mandate to govern”.

    Anecdotally we heard the popular vote was depressed in the NE blue states still cleaning up after Sandy (story on NPR even now), but even more broadly we always are told that younger and poorer democrat supporters have a lower voting rate in general.

    What does the available polling data suggest about how closely the country truly is divided? If all individuals who have expressed a preference had actually voted, what would the pv percentages likely be?

    I think it would be a little bluer than the republican narrative, but I’d love your take.

    • wheelers cat

      Nate this am: Mr. Obama is also likely to win the popular vote, perhaps by two to three percentage points, once votes from California, Oregon and Washington are fully counted.

      Michael McDonald said that the 2012 vote is likely going to be lower by 2-2.5% because of Sandy.

    • Elliot

      Does anyone know/tabulate the total nationwide raw vote for House of Reps? Under Constitution, House was designed to be the most “democratic” branch of government , i.e., the one that most closely reflected the majority. Think it is important to know and COMMUNICATE whether GOP “holding” of House majority was truly a reflectionof “will of the People” or the result of partisan re-jiggering.

    • BrianTH

      That is more of a philosophical/political question than a statistical one. First, how is “the country” being defined? People who participated as voters? All people eligible to vote? All people subject to the legal jurisdiction of the United States (perhaps including children and non-citizens)? There are many possibilities.

      And what does it take to have “a mandate”? A simple majority? A plurality? A supramajority?

      And practically speaking, there is no evidence that legislators are actually persuaded they have a moral obligation to support legislation they otherwise wouldn’t support because the person proposing the legislation recently won an election by a significant margin. In other words, this argument is negating a proposition that House Republicans would not accept under any circumstances, and to the extent they can be persuaded at all to modify their tactics and strategy, it will be because they take last night’s outcome as evidence with respect to their own future prospects.

    • wheelers cat

      @Brian
      well the practical reason for the GOP to compromise now is game theory. They staked everything on full obstructionism and zero cooperation. Failed. Now Obama can let the Bush Tax cuts expire and restore revenue and there is absolutely nothing they can do to stop him.
      The GOP loathed Obama so much that they were blinded to the new American electoral reality.
      Those pundits actually believed their guts.
      They were not faking.
      So to maximize payoff the GOP now has to compromise on immigration and healthcare.
      Its a new game.

      If you like, the GOP gambled on time travel. They thought they could return to the 50s. Certainly they could get their base to vote for it.
      But time travel to the past is impossible because of closed form time curves. Carroll and Hawking agree.

    • Alan Cobo-Lewis

      @Shawn Huckaby

      You want a statistical analysis of that meme? How about an abbreviated historical analysis instead: W claimed a mandate in 2004 after winning 50.7% of the popular vote and 286 EVs. (Obama is currently estimated to have won 51.1% of the popular vote and either 303 or 332 EVs.) And of course Obama has now won the popular vote twice, which W only did once.

      Fox was pushing this meme last night at the same time as Juan Williams was expressing disbelief that the exit polling party ID results matched what the polls had predicted.

      I think Karl Rove should eat a bug.

      Next Fox will start pushing a “2+2=5″ meme (“Teach the controversy!”)

  • Nervous wreck

    Thanks for all your work Dr Wang, you and Nate nailed it. We need to hear more of you!

  • Osso

    Good morning Sam,

    Great work and it was a lot of fun….

    Our EV victory is with a margin of 63.5468% and I call that a clear victory for the good guys.

  • wheelers cat

    and FYI i have a killer hangover.
    i just love you all so much.

    WE WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Matt McIrvin

    Comments have broken 270!

  • Pat

    by the way, where can we find district-by-district results for Nebraska and Maine? Seems that the major news sites only report the presidential results by state or county?

  • Sanford Morganstein

    Great job Dr. Wang. Please keep up the good work. Geeks live.

  • SRW1

    Dr Wang,

    Absolutely phenomenal the work you have done. Even got the flickering nature of the FL outcome right.

    Congratulations.

  • Matt McIrvin

    @Pat: Judging from the county-by-county maps, I think it’s safe to say that neither state will split its electoral votes.

    • Pat

      sure sure, anyway all the EV have been called. I was just curious about the margins in NE-2

  • Osso

    Buy Healthcare Company stocks; THC, HCA et al….

    The GOP dummies have been shorting these stock hoping for an Obama defeat!

  • gilhodges

    Let me add my voice to the chorus of the grateful. Your paying of smart and conscientious respect to our intelligence — and, of course, your vital work — has been a rich pleasure. Abundant congratulations and thanks!

  • piktor

    Mr. Romney is a professional huckster, a cold shark, a pragmatist and a political dunce.

    At once Severely Conservative and-or Severely Moderate, as the occasion arises.

    Trust this man to be genuine at your own peril.

  • Froggy

    Did you know that …

    - in the last 90 years, no president has won a second term with fewer electoral votes than his first win?

    - since the depression, no president has been re-elected when unemployment is above 7.2%?

    - no presidential candidate has lost who has had more than 50% of the Gallup likely vote in the month before the election?

    Oh wait, that’s old news.

  • Bill Ricker

    Re concession speech, I though praying for the president was friendly, shaded by the Mormon acceptance of fate and devotion to the Office. Mitt’s lip-service to Bipartisanship is a good start, I hope his partisans heard something other than “the democrats should vote for our bills”.

  • Ohioan Voting Blue

    Kudos to PEC. Sam and company was spot on. As Bill Clinton so aptly put it, “it’s not magic … it’s arithmetic!”

    Last night I attended an election viewing at a friend’s house here in Cincinnati. My friend’s father was a bundler for Obama in 2008 and now serves as US Ambassador to Portugal. Everyone was nervous that Obama would not pull it out, but I calmly reassured them there was no need to worry, Sam Wang at PEC has it all figured out. If Sam could find a model that would facilitate the R’s and D’s to work together, then I would be truly amazed.

    Thank you PEC for your hard work especially when under stormy conditions. You have provided the world with the clarity that all of us were so desperately seeking.

  • Bo Levard

    As perfect an evening as I could have hoped for, right result accurately predicted. Thank-you Dr. Wang, you are a rock star. Nate, too, but you more.

  • Melissa Mc

    I’ve been lurking for months…neglecting my home, kids and family in favor of polls…thank you so much for your analysis and for returning me back to my normal life!

  • Rickey

    Most excellent job…..

  • Nathan E. Rasmussen

    “Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him” — this looks sincere to me, as a fluent native speaker of Mormonese and nevertheless an Obama supporter. I’m not saying the passive-aggressive “I’ll pray for you [because you're going to hell]” thing never happens, but it’s not at all usual in Mormon discourse.

    • Sam Wang

      Thank you. The “you’re going to hell” tone is exactly what I hear sometimes when encountering that phrase. However, I agree it is also meant the way you say. If it sounded sincere to you, then I appreciate and accept your reading.

    • Kellye

      I interpreted Romney’s “pray for him” comment as very heartfelt and sincere (i.e. love of country style vs. you’re gonna need all the help you can get, buddy).

      You, Nate and quants are such a blessing. Thank you!

  • 538 Refugee

    Could Trump be considered to have committed treason?
    The sorest losers, ranked in order:

    1). Donald J. Trump, for his tweet:

    He lost the popular vote by a lot and won the election. We should have a revolution in this country!

    Trump has since deleted this tweet, maybe after he learned Obama would not lose the popular vote.

  • Dave

    I’m a politics junkie who been and avid reader of Nate Silver and recently Dr. Wang and Drew Linzer.Kudos to your incredible accuracy.(in the recent war against the “pundents”) Now I can laugh at all the pundents who tell what they feel when I know the results before election day! *Dave

  • Moon

    When I heard that comment I felt like it had a double meaning. Romney meant it because he could kind of empathise, and because that now he wasn’t elected bad was coming and Obama needed to be prayed for.

    Maybe it was just his delivery.

    No matter the true intent, I believe the swing will swing with it and the right will run with it and we’re all a bunch of lemmings :)

  • Emory Mayne

    Point by point: The Romney Concession.

    “The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. ”

    Mr. Romney and the GOP minions have spent 1 billion dollars (est.) and the past 48 months doing just this. Yes, the nations economy is a wreck, and has been since Sept 08′ – This blurb is disingenuous at best.

    He continues..

    “Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work, and we citizens also have to rise to occasion.”

    I am going to interpret this, given his audience, as the GOP leaders ‘have to reach across the aisles.’ We as citizens (those winning the un-popular vote) have to rise to the occasion- as in suck it up, and get on with it, we lost.

    “We look to our teachers and professors. We count on you not just to teach, but to inspire our children with a passion for learning and discovery.”

    A left over line from a deceitful campaign that must have drawn a crowd reaction, but nothing to do with a concession speech. Professors? Really? This group has been labeled, libeled and scapegoats since the1960s by the GOP.

    “We look to our pastors and priests and rabbis and counselors of all kinds to testify of the enduring principles upon which our society is built: Honesty, charity, integrity, and family. We look to our parents. From the final analysis, everything depends 0n the success of our homes.”

    Further ink dripped upon from “thier,’ “our,’ “us,’ them,’ supporters well. Personally, if you have a pastor, priest, or rabbi please feel free to seek your truth. Of course I would also include ‘shamans’,’ “monks,’ ‘medicine men’ and dare I say Imams and clerics – even the Rev Wright if they float your boat. I have been fortunate to visit the Jefferson Memorial on more than one occasion; I wish every person of religious conviction could have the same opportunity. The words marbleized their give great insight into religious tolerance, and separation of church and state. Again, more ink from the well of GOPism.

    “We look to job-creators of all kinds. We’re counting on you to invest, to hire, to step forward, and we look to Democrats and Republicans in government at all levels to put the people before the politics.”

    I have long suspected that the “big businesses’ have purposefully withheld hiring for political reasons. Mr. Romney seems to have green lighted them to begin hiring. Cynical, perhaps, but I know too many friends that simply given up looking for meaning work, and survive on menial, unfulfilling employment.

    “I believe in America. I believe in the people of America. And I ran for office because I’m concerned about America.”

    Albeit the 53% of America, and Americans. The other 47% are not his concern.

    “This election is over, but our principles endure.”

    A scary thought, which was defeated!

    “I believe that the principles upon which this nation was founded are the only sure guide to a resurgent economy and to a renewed greatness.”

    The Principles of 1787 and further amended, not some convoluted extreme examination of them, – one would hope.

    A five-minute speech, and a one-sentence concession, after 48 months and 1 billion dollars in grossly inadequate

  • tarylcabot

    Concerning the filibuster, I’d be happy if they’d just end it for nominees. 90 days for all nominees & then the nomination must reach the floor.

    For legislation, make both parties actually physically filibuster, like in Mr. Smith goes to washington (believe it’s rule 22?)

  • bob mcconnaughey

    thanks for the link to act blue…spent my last election dollars in ND and Montana. Now an analyses of the most gerrymandered state in the union…i’m nominating my home state of NC where 3 DEMs are in districts where they’ll poll 75% and 8 REPS are in v. safe 55-60 % districts. 1 competitive district. And the entire state gvt. is Rep. which means more debasement of what was one of the best state university systems in the country. On the other hand, the law to make it “illegal” for any state agency to report on sea level rise will probably pass this next year, so THAT’S progress.

Leave a Comment