Around 3:15 a.m. last night (this morning) I decided to take a short nap and get back up at 5:00 a.m. to continue the election night (morning after) fun. As with most election nights, there were some “happy” moments and some “not so happy” moments.
Some of the races are still not settled as of this morning. I heard some election offices had problems operating their abacuses…
Nonetheless, here are some of my thoughts and observations surrounding Election Day 2012 and, as always, I try to be brutally honest (I know you enjoy that).
Lines and Delays:
Montana looked pretty bad with all the long lines for same-day registrants. Let’s hope there are more people ready for the increased traffic next election. Hopefully the legislature will provide some additional funding for extra Election Day personnel for the next Presidential election.
Come on Montana – you are better than this!
I was surprised how easily Barack Obama won the Presidential race over Mitt Romney. It was basically over around 9:15 p.m.
I thought that Fox News might go dark when the race was declared for Obama. It was interesting to see the three folks hosting Fox and Friends this morning have that far-off look in their faces – possibly they were in a state of shock – they had no answers.
Karl Rove’s prediction of Romney getting 285 Electoral Votes (EV) was way off. Right now Obama has 303 EVs and Romney has 206. I was hoping Romney would end up with 47% of the vote. You are correct; I do not care for Mitt Romney.
Nate Silver is now the go-to-guy on election night.
Before last night, the Democrats controlled the White House and the U.S. Senate while the Republicans controlled the U.S. House. Today, the Democrats control the White House and the U.S. Senate. The Republicans control the U.S. House (It’s the same).
It’s time for compromise boys and girls. We need it now.
Republican Steve Daines easily won the U.S. House (At-Large) race over Democrat Kim Gillan. Daines has never held elective office.
It will be interesting to see how many Rehberg staffers Daines will ask to work for him since they are out of a job in January. It will also be interesting to see if he moves or opens an office in his hometown of Bozeman. Since U.S. House members only get so much money (less than senators) for staff and offices, will Daines close one of the current Rehberg offices in Billings, Helena, Great Falls, or Missoula to open one in his hometown, or try to have five state offices?
There are many decisions for the congressman-elect to make in the next 55 days.
Tester Topples Another Republican:
Jon Tester has taken out Montana’s top Republican in two straight elections (Sen. Conrad Burns and Rep. Denny Rehberg). Tester has another notch on his tractor…
This election was amazing considering the economy, unemployment, and the fact that Jon Tester voted with Obama 95% of the time (Rehberg claimed). How in the heck could Rehberg lose?
I think Rehberg lost it because he aligned himself with the Tea Party. It looked to me like a desperate attempt to keep his job instead of being more in the middle. Rehberg became Congressman “No.” One of my right-leaning friends said the Rehberg campaign showed a lot of cockiness and arrogance. Rehberg had several miss-steps in his public life (Boat accident, lawsuit) and Tester capitalized on them.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) had their fingerprints all over the Rehberg campaign, from running ads to staffers. Their record in Montana is not too good. In the next senate election in Montana, the NRSC should stay away and just send money. The NRSC got their clocks cleaned across the nation last night – so everyone should get a pink slip.
But the biggest thing is that Team Tester ran a perfect campaign (Hopefully the bonuses they receive are large). Political operatives should take note about how Tester won this race facing the longest of odds. The Tester campaign staff was accessible and friendly to this blog. They were also vicious to Rehberg. Although I’ve written about Tester in a negative tone a few times, his campaign was always feeding me information. Rehberg’s wasn’t.
Some may point to Libertarian Dan Cox receiving 6% of the vote (so far) and say that harmed Rehberg. I think the alignment with the Tea Party and the firefighter lawsuit may have hurt him more.
Rumors will start about Denny Rehberg taking on Max Baucus (he lost to Baucus in 1996). I think Rehberg is done. He looked beaten three days before Election Day.
By the way Senator Baucus you are now on the clock for 2014.
Some Democrats think this is the time to take Baucus out in a primary. There have been rumors of someone doing this at least the last three times Baucus has run. Baucus can handle it. If he wants to run again, he will. Looking at the Republican field with the top Republicans in the state now being Steve Daines and Tim Fox, Baucus should not have too many worries if he wants to run again.
I’ll write more about the other major races later.
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