A little bit past two in the morning and Prop. 8 is still leading, now by about 290,000 votes. Based on the precinct reporting, it looks like there’s another 1,850,000 votes to count. Looking at where the rest of those votes are coming from and how those areas have already voted, it looks to me like Prop. 8 will eke out a narrow victory. I’m no statistician but that’s what seems to be the likely result.
Yes, I do think Obama’s draw of socially conservative churchgoing African-American and Latino voters is what put “yes” over the top. Corroborating this is the abortion rights restriction measure, Prop. 4. That’s failing, although not by as wide a margin as I’d thought. Voters are more socially conservative despite being overwhelmingly for Obama — who is not particularly liberal on social issues.
But as I wrote before, I think the “No on 8” campaign got complacent. They could not devise, or rather implement, a good strategy. And they could not neutralize the lies that the “Yes on 8” campaign — a well-funded, well-organized, and cleverly-machined effort — was able to circulate. Their margin of victory was not much, but looks like it’ll be enough.
That means we’ll have many more years of the culture wars to deal with. Are you all looking forward to that as much as me?
On the Senate side, it looks like the 111th Senate has 56 seats firmly for the Democrats (counting two independents who caucus with the Democrats), and 40 firmly for the Republicans. Four seats remain too close to call — in Alaska, Oregon, Minnesota, and Georgia; all are showing advantages for Republicans but only in Georgia is the difference greater than one percent right now. Those could break all for the Democrats but it looks likely that they’ll split evenly. Which means we’ll get Al Franken from Saturday Night Live in the Senate along with Ted yes-you-really-were-convicted Stevens, who apaprently will have serve part of his Senate term while also serving another term of an entirely different kind in Lompoc. This is guy I want to see as the lone figure of Republicans salvaging victory.
The only place I can find total popular vote reports for the entire race is Fox. Oh, everywhere is showing percentages rounded off to the nearest integer, and not reporting third-party votes. Fox, at least, is giving precise numbers, which is what I need to know. Obama 52.27%, McCain 46.44%. That would be a 5.83% margin of victory for Obama with about 85% of the votes counted nationally — if that trend holds, that means I’m out a bottle of scotch.
So let’s review. I get a Democratic President who appeals to social conservatives. Who will have a dominant party in Congress near, if not at, the point that the Repubilcans will be rendered functionally impotent. And I’m on my way to losing a bottle of scotch; yes, there’s a glimmer of hope left to win that bet yet so there’s no point conceding that yet. I took the points for a reason. And Californians will have, on the strength of a campaign built on defrauding the voters and elaborate rationalizations to cover up simple bigotry, written discrimiantion into the state’s Constitution. We should be ashamed of ourselves.
I don’t mind the booze all that much if I lose that bet. I feel like drinking some now, actually. But losing Prop. 8 does hurt a little bit.