“Keep the change!” Summary of updated results

More results are in now.

House (all seats up for  election): the Deemocrats [sic] got the whole can of whupass. 239 seats R, 185 D, 11 still too close to call. Net GOP gain so far: +61 seats (64 wins, 3 losses).
Senate (only third of seats up for election): 49 D, 46 R, 2 Independents [Joe Lieberman from CT and self-declared “socialist” Bernie Sanders from VT], 3 seats (CO, WA, and AK) too close to call.

Patty Murray (D) leads Dino Rossi (R) by 14,000 votes, with 62% of precincts reporting. As WA has mail-only balloting, this could take another week to shake out.
CO: Michael Bennet (D) leads by 15,000 votes, with 89% of precincts reporting. [UPDATE 3:44 PM Central: incumbent Michael Bennet (D) kept CO. That leaves WA and AK., with WA being the only real cliffhanger.]
AK: will take ages to count the write-in votes (41%), most of which (but how many) going to the GOP establishment candidate Lisa Murkowski who lost the primary, vs. 34% to insurgent GOP candidate and Tea Party favorite Joe Miller. The Dem is far behind at 24%, with 99% of precincts reporting. Only question is which Republican gets elected.

Governors (37 out of 50 up for election): as of this morning 27 GOP, 15 D, 1 Independent [Lincoln Chafee from RI], 7 too close to call yet [including FL, IL, ME, MN, OR, VT, and CT], net gain +3 for GOP.

Meanwhile, Alex Sink in FL and the Independent in ME conceded, adding two GOP governors, but Dan Malloy won an equally narrow victory over Tom Foley (R). This brings net GOP gain to +4.

Outstanding races:

IL: incumbent Pat Quinn (D) leading by 8,50012,000 votes with 99%100% reporting.
OR: Chris Dudley (R) leading by 14,500 votes with 95% reporting.
MN: Mark Dayton (D) leading Tom Emmer (R) by 9,000 votes with 100% reporting. Without spoiler Independent Tom Horner, this state too would have gone GOP.
VT: Peter Shumlin (D) leading Brian Dubie (R) by 4,400 3,500 votes, with 92%97% in.

Assuming this picture stays the same, that’s one GOP pickup and two losses, bringing the net GOP gain back to 3 governors.

Video: “Now it’s your turn to speak out”

Via Insty. “They’ve spent the past 18 months calling you names and questioning your sanity and patriotism. But today you get to vote, and that’s all that matters.”

Hora est! Today’s the day!

From the ‘right’ side of the aisle, he final prediction from Scott Elliott of ElectionProjection.com:

Senate
49 Republicans49 Democrats2 Independents
House
243 Republicans192 Democrats
Governors
30 Republicans19 Democrats1 Independents

On the left side of the aisle, Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com

Average outcome after 100,000 simulations

Updated Democrats Republicans Other
Senate Nov. 1 51.7 48.3 0.0
House Nov. 1 201.9 233.1 0.0
Governor Nov. 1 19.1 30.1 0.8

Today is the day! And remember, if it ain’t close, any level of cheating the Deemocrats can get away with won’t matter.

UPDATE: (h/t: Fenway Nation):

Krauthammer: The great campaign of 2010

A few days before the Nov. 2 election, Charles Krauthammer writes a blistering indictment of the 0bama presidency:

In a radio interview that aired Monday on Univision, President Obama chided Latinos who “sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.’ ” Quite a uniter, urging Hispanics to go to the polls to exact political revenge on their enemies – presumably, for example, the near-60 percent of Americans who support the new Arizona immigration law.

This from a president who won’t even use “enemies” to describe an Iranian regime that is helping kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. This from a man who rose to prominence thunderously declaring that we were not blue states or red states, not black America or white America or Latino America – but the United States of America.

This is how the great post-partisan, post-racial, New Politics presidency ends – not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with a desperate election-eve plea for ethnic retribution.

Indeed.

Yet press secretary Robert Gibbs’s dismay is reserved for Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and the “disappointing” negativity of his admission that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

McConnell, you see, is supposed to say that he will try very hard to work with the president after the election. But it is blindingly clear that nothing of significance will be enacted. Over the next two years, Republicans will not be able to pass anything of importance to them – such as repealing Obamacare – because of the presidential veto. And the Democrats will be too politically weakened to advance, let alone complete, Obama’s broad transformational agenda.

That would have to await victory in 2012. Every president gets two bites at the apple: the first 18 months when he is riding the good-will honeymoon, and a second shot in the first 18 months of a second term before lame-duckness sets in.

Over the next two years, the real action will be not in Congress but in the bowels of the federal bureaucracy. Democrats will advance their agenda on Obamacare, financial reform and energy by means of administrative regulation, such as carbon-emission limits imposed unilaterally by the Environmental Protection Agency.

But major congressional legislation to complete Obama’s social-democratic agenda? Not a chance. That’s why McConnell has it right. The direction of the country will be determined in November 2012 when either Obama gets a mandate to finish building his “New Foundation” or the Republicans elect one of their own to repeal it, or what (by then) remains repealable.[…]

The beauty of this year’s campaign, and the coming one in 2012, is that they actually have a point. Despite the noise, the nonsense, the distractions, the amusements – who will not miss New York’s seven-person gubernatorial circus act? – this is a deeply serious campaign about a profoundly serious political question.

Obama, to his credit, did not get elected to do midnight basketball or school uniforms. No Bill Clinton he. Obama thinks large. He wants to be a consequential president on the order of Ronald Reagan. His forthright attempt to undo the Reagan revolution with a burst of expansive liberal governance is the theme animating this entire election.

Democratic apologists would prefer to pretend otherwise – that it’s all about the economy and the electorate’s anger over its parlous condition. Nice try. The most recent CBS/New York Times poll shows that only one in 12 Americans blames the economy on Obama, and seven in 10 think the downturn is temporary. And yet, the Democratic Party is falling apart. Democrats are four points behind among women, a constituency Democrats had owned for decades; a staggering 20 points behind among independents (a 28-point swing since 2008); and 20 points behind among college graduates, giving lie to the ubiquitous liberal conceit that the Republican surge is the revenge of lumpen know-nothings.

On Nov. 2, a punishing there will surely be. But not quite the kind Obama is encouraging.

My prediction: The Dems lose 60 House seats, eight in the Senate. Rangers in seven.

Incidentally, C the K’s prediction is roughly the same as the meta-poll of Electionprojection.com : 62 House seats, 8 Senate seats, and 7 governors (6 to GOP, 1 D to Independent). Cook Political Report has 50-60 House seats (“possibly more”) 6-8 Senate seats, and 6-8 governors shift to the GOP. Rasmussen has the Senate at 48 D, 45 R, 7 toss-up ) namely CaliforniaColorado,IllinoisNevadaPennsylvaniaWashington, and West Virginia). According to another Rasmussen poll, 2/3 of the country would like to replace the entire Congress and start over. If the whole Senate were up for re-election, it would be a total bloodbath…

Remember: November 2. If it ain’t close, cheating won’t matter — or it would have to be so brazen that it cannot be successfully covered up.

UPDATE: Nate Silver (a Dem) at the NYT’s “538” blog has his own running simulation up. Snapshot now:

Average outcome after 100,000 simulations

Updated Democrats Republicans Other
Senate Oct. 30 51.7 48.3 0.1
House Oct. 30 202.6 232.4 0.0
Governor Oct. 30 19.1 30.1 0.8

“Convenient” voter touchscreen glitches

Fenway Nation has a roundup of reports of touchscreen glitches in early voting. And, surprise, surprise:

Out in Nevada, there have been reports coming in from Las Vegas and elsewhere in Clark County that voters have found their touchscreen voting machines had already checked Harry Reid’s name.

Voter Joyce Ferrara said when they went to vote for Republican Sharron Angle, her Democratic opponent, Sen. Harry Reid’s name was already checked.

Ferrara said she wasn’t alone in her voting experience. She said her husband and several others voting at the same time all had the same thing happen.

“Something’s not right,” Ferrara said. “One person that’s a fluke. Two, that’s strange. But several within a five minute period of time — that’s wrong.”As it turns out, the technicians for the voting machines are represented by SEIU Local 1107, which has supported Reid’s bid for a fifth term as senator. Perhaps even more ominously, Reid’s son Rory also happens to be the chairman of the Clark County Commission and is running for governor of Nevada.

It gets stranger, however:

In Texas, there have been reports of votes for Republican Gubernatorial candidate Rick Perry being switched to the Green Party’s Deb Shafto and votes for Democrat candidate Bill White being shifted to show Rick Perry, again using touchscreen technology.

Fenway urges everybody to ask for paper ballots instead. Instapundit, the technophile’s technophile, has been doing the same for years.

I am however wondering if “Baghdad Bob” Pelosi knows something about the election none of us do. Which makes it all the more imperative to show up and vote. In democracies, there’s generally a limit above which vote fraud cannot be hidden successfully. This means that if the election isn’t close, either the cheating doesn’t affect the outcome, or the cheating would have to be so brazen that it would come out and bring about the perpetrator’s downfall.

Let’s make sure it ain’t close, and that retail cheating or below-radar-limit wholesale cheating won’t matter.

Book: “Mad as hell: how the Tea Party movement is fundamentally remaking our two-party system” by Scott Rasmussen and Doug Schoen

I am currently (during my commutes) reading this book on my iPad.

The main author, pollster Scott Rasmussen of rasmussenreports.com, actually strikes a similar note as Angelo Codevilla in his seminal essay “The ruling class” (an expanded version of which is now available in book and eBook form). That is, of a large group of Middle America that feels ever more alienated from a political class (Democrats and establishment Republicans alike) that is both more internally homogenous than ever and more out of touch with the rest of the country in every way.

Rasmussen reiterates time and again that: (a) the Tea Party includes a substantial number of Independents and ex-Democrats alike; (b) the fact that it is likely to support Republican candidates over Democrats in elections is essentially on a “they both suck, but the elephant sucks less than the donk” basis; (c) that the GOP would be sorely mistaken to take Tea Party support for granted. Establishment Beltway GOP types know this, which explains much of their ambivalence towards the movement.

While Rasmussen does not skirt some shady and ugly things/characters that have hitched their wagon to the Tea Party train, he points out time and again that these are unrepresentative and that it in fact expresses the all-too-real concerns of a large swath of Middle America.

Rasmussen extensively quotes sources that nobody would think of as Tea Party or even small-government sympathies (such as Frank Rich [!] or Glenn Greenwald [?!?]) expressing sentiments surprisingly similar to what one can hear from some Tea Partiers.

The book appears to have been rushed into press (commercially a very smart move, as the subject matter could not be timelier), and it shows here and there in poor editing. Yet I warmly recommend it for Tea Party advocates and detractors alike — in fact, for anybody seeking to understand what is going on in American politics these days.

Hopefully, I will be able to update this mini-review once I shall be finished with the book.
And on that note, I wish my Jewish readers a spiritually fulfilling Yom Kippur and an easy fast.

Is “we suck less” enough of a GOP strategy?

Some reflections from the Lone Star State.

Sure enough, at the rate the Dems and BHOzo are shooting themselves in the foot (and  turning erstwhile supporters into foes) the best way you can do is to interfere with that as little as possible. Even the “last argument of the [naked] king”, the race/bigotry card, is losing its sway over the people.

But is “we suck less than the other guys” really a winning strategy?

The Tea Party movement seems to be a leaderless movement based around a few general principles (a return to limited government, throw out Democrat and “Dem-lite” incumbents alike, …) This is its strength and its weakness alike.

The GOP establishment, for that matter, seems to be running around like a headless chicken. Some see the Tea Party as a threat to their own personal perks: Dan Riehl on many occasions expressed his frustration with professional politicians who are not necessarily unhappy with the GOP being in the minority as long as they enjoy perks and easy money. (Nor, shall I add, is the phenomenon of “America’s Ruling Class” limited to the Dems. I am sure some “Country Club Republicans” would rather see the GOP lose than “the wrong kind of people” being catapulted into office.)

Others realize (rightly) that any GOP insider involvement with the Tea Party movement would just be messing up a good thing, and decide that when they can neither lead nor follow it is best to stay out of the way.

Yet others seem to be in the following mode: “Let’s see what we have to work with in November, then we’ll come up with a plan”. This is too close for comfort to the “1. Make Internet startup company. 2. ?  3. Profit!” strategy. It is also quite unlike the November 1994 takeover of Congress, fueled not just by voter discontent but also by a clear message (Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America”). The closest the GOP has to a Gingrich (regardless of the man’s personal flaws) this time around is Paul Ryan, and his message is at best half-hearted.

Don’t get cocky, guys. Any victory that is less than crushing will be spun away by the Dems and the lamestream media (88% of whose campaign contributions went to 0bama in 2008). We don’t just have to win: we have to win so big that they can’t ignore it. And this, I am afraid, will require more than just saying “we suck less”.

Goldman-Sachs pours water on Dem electoral hopes

James Pethokoukis (via Insty) looks at the wishful economic thinking engaged in by the Democrats.

There is a statistical relationship called Okun’s Law (really more of a rule of thumb) between GDP growth and job growth. A simple Okun analysis leads to the conclusion that the unemployment rate rose higher than was warranted given the severity of the Great Recession Why? Perhaps businesses, fearing another Great Depression, panicked and just hacked their workforces to bits. Okun’s Law was suspended, but only temporarily perhaps.

If one buys this theory, then eventually there should be some payback for that psychological overreaction. At some point soon, unemployment should fall way faster than what the rate of economic growth would indicate according to Okun’s Law. At least this is what the White House —  and congressional Democrats hope. And if they are right, the job market might well unexpectedly strengthen right into the November midterm elections, helping avert the worst for Democratic House and Senate incumbents. No Republican tsunami.

But a brand new study from the economics team at Goldman Sachs throws cold water on all this. Their analysis is that the deviations from Okun’s Law were within the historical norm, so no sharp rebound (bold is mine):

It is a common belief that employment and hours worked fell more sharply during and after the 2007-2009 recession than can be explained by moves in real GDP, or in more technical terms, that “Okun’s law”—the empirical relationship between jobs and GDP—broke down during and after the recession. Many forecasters believe that this implies a large amount of pent-up hiring, as the “error” in Okun’s law proves temporary and firms hire aggressively in order to return staffing levels to more normal levels relative to production.

In contrast, we have argued that the relationship between employment and GDP remains quite similar to past cyclical norms, and that employment growth will therefore follow GDP growth without a “special hiring dividend.” … The bottom line is that there is no convincing evidence for a breakdown in Okun’s law, and hence no particular reason to expect a large amount of pent-up hiring during the recovery. … Overall, we see no evidence for any meaningful deviation of the unemployment rate from its historical relationship with real GDP.”

And here is a chart to help visualize the point:

goldmanchart

Bottom Line: Unemployment of 9.5 percent or so for the rest of the year seems baked into the cake (this is what the Fed and the economic consensus see) unless GDP growth starts to boom. And good luck finding forecasters who believe that. So far, this recovery has fit into the slow-growth, New Normal paradigm. Although it was a deep recession just like in 1981-82, the recovery has only been half as robust. Voters may not blame Democrats for the Great Recession, but they will likely hold them accountable for the Not-So-Great Recovery.

JWF: Wall Street fatcats skip 0bama fundraiser

Not just Jews waking up to the fact that they’ve been had? JammieWearingFool:

Hard to believe, isn’t it? You get trashed on a daily basis, demonized by the socialists, the media and union goons, and there’s actual surprise when you don’t line up like lemmings to pony up cash for the people who hate you and want to ruin you. But look at the bright side, Democrats. You still have empty heads like Sarah Jessica Parker on your side.

Wall Street bigs snubbed President Obama last night at a big-bucks campaign fund-raiser at The St. Regis hotel in Midtown.

The gala — where tickets went for as much as $50,000 a couple and whose proceeds were going to Democratic candidates — featured stars such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Democratic Party regulars but few, if any, executives from the city’s leading financial institutions.

That was no accident, according to Democrats on Capitol Hill and Wall Street sources who say those in the financial industry are tired of being the punching bag for Obama and Democrats crafting legislation to tightly regulate them.

“They may support individuals, but not the party,” one House Democratic lawmaker said.

“I think there’s been some pushback from the [financial] community.”

Other Democrats said that, indeed, Wall Street money has dried up for the party, and an official from one of the major investment firms confirmed that its people were staying away from The St. Regis.

“We won’t be attending,” the official said.

More evidence of Lincoln’s Law in action. And, courtesy of Robomonkey (graphics) and “Lucius Septimius” on C2 (concept), here is a motivational poster for 2010:

“Spengler”: Jewish donors outraged by 0bama

I generally advise caution about Israel National News (the online arm of the stridently pro-settler Arutz Sheva [“Channel Seven”] radio station), but the person being interviewed by Gil Ronen makes me sit up and take notice. David Goldman, a senior banking figure in real life, had a secret online life as the mysterious columnist “Spengler” in the Asia Times until he outed himself. He is currently the online editor of First Things magazine. The interview is an absolute must-read.

If senior journalist David Goldman is right, the correct word for describing the way a growing number of US Jews feel about President Barack Obama is not ‘anger’ but ‘rage’ – white-hot rage, at that, and a conviction that they have been swindled.[…] In his lecture [at Judea and Samaria College in Ariel], he quoted a top Jewish campaign donor who used the word ‘sociopath’ to describe Obama. In an interview with Israel National News, he predicted a possibly dramatic ‘train wreck’ for the Democrats in the November mid-term elections, with Jewish fundraising for Democrats drying up and a possibly high turnout of anti-Obama evangelical Christians.

INN: The recent McLaughlin group poll shows US Jewish support of Obama at about half its level in the 2008 election. Is this an accurate reflection of the mood among US Jews?

DG: When the American Jewish Committee conducted its annual poll of American Jewish opinion in February, just before Obama provoked the diplomatic crisis [over construction at Ramat Shlomo], 55% of respondents approved of Obama’s handling of relations with Israel, slightly less than the 57% that approved of the Netanyahu government. American Jews were under the mistaken impression that Washington and Jerusalem were on the same track. But 61% opposed any compromise on Jerusalem, while 75% agreed with the statement, “The goal of the Arabs is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction of Israel.” Support for Obama, in short, was a mile wide and an inch deep before he provoked the diplomatic crisis with Israel.

The outrage among Obama’s erstwhile Jewish supporters, reflected daily in Marty Peretz’s ‘The Spine’ blog at the New Republic, is heightened by the sense of wounded self-esteem felt by clever people who have just been swindled. I have spoken privately to several large Jewish contributors to Democratic campaigns who express a sense of outrage that I never have heard before. Jewish contributors to Democratic campaigns are selectively funding Republicans, for example Mark Kirk in Illinois, who is running for Obama’s Senate seat, as a warning. Democratic Congressmen trying to defend Obama have been booed off the dais of meetings at traditionally liberal Reform synagogues in several parts of the country. If the train wreck proceeds as program[m]ed, the change in attitude within the American Jewish community could be dramatic. [Emphasis mine – Ed.]

This also is reflected in the harsh tone with which centrist liberal Jews have criticized Obama–for example Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, Alan Dershowitz, and former New York Mayor Ed Koch.

INN: In the conference at Ariel you quoted contributors who used the word “sociopath.” Is this actually the word they used? What makes Obama’s broken promises different from the campaign double-talk we are used to from politicians?

DG: The actual phrase I heard from one important player in Jewish Democratic circles was, “Sociopath is too nice a word to describe Obama.” That was a Kiddush [festive synagogue event] conversation, so no names, of course. The difference is the magnitude and depth of the deception. In July 2008, the press was full of reports of Obama’s anti-Israel connections, including the fact that his foreign policy advisor in his Senate office was the odious Samantha Power – who proposed international military intervention to end the ‘Israeli occupation’ – as well as Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was an official campaign spokesman, along with many others.

Obama gave assurances to the Jewish community which were so persuasive that Martin Peretz announced in his ‘Spine’ blog that Obama could be trusted. Brzezinski and Power were shown the door (Power after she made inappropriate remarks about Hillary Clinton) and the Jewish community was satisfied that Obama was as reliable as, say, Bill Clinton. Obama has extraordinary gifts of persuasion, and has been profligate about employing them. He persuaded some very wealthy and sophisticated people that he was on their side, and then turned on them.

INN: Ed Koch has predicted the Democrats will suffer a ‘tsunami’ in November. If this scenario materializes, how much pressure would this create on Obama to change his Middle East policies?

DG: The President, not Congress, controls foreign policy. That said, politics is always a factor – but it is not the only factor.

Many observers are predicting a crushing defeat for the Democrats in November. Dick Morris, the former Clinton advisor and Fox News commentator, claims that the Republicans will take both Houses of Congress. The fact that Democratic fundraising among Jews will be a tough sell contributes to the problem, but is not a decisive factor; there are enough other reasons for the Democrats to lose, starting with high unemployment and the fact that Obama has failed to create any middle ground with the Republicans and is perceived as too far too the left to suit the national mood. Obama almost certainly has resigned himself to a bad interim election; his best play is to spend the next two years running against a ‘do-nothing’ Republican Congress in the hope of winning a second term in 2012.

If Obama attempts to impose a settlement on Israel prior to the November elections, it will give the Republicans a stick with which to hit him. American support for Israel is running at all-time highs, with 64% supporting Israel according to Gallup vs. 18% sympathy for the Palestinian Arabs. And if he forces a crisis in diplomatic relations with Israel, it will become a significant factor in 2012. Not only will Jewish fundraising dry up (with some going to Republicans), but evangelical Christian support for Israel may become a factor. The evangelicals are an amorphous movement without centralized leadership, and the big question regarding their weight in elections is turnout. If they are highly motivated by an issue close to their concerns – and Israel is such an issue – they can be an important factor. Evangelicals comprise roughly 28% of the electorate, and a big change in turnout could shift 2% to 3% of the national vote to the Republicans – probably a winning margin.

That is why many Democrats are warning Obama against pursuing a confrontational strategy with Israel. The degree of Obama’s ideological fervor in support of conciliating the Muslim world surprised the political world, as did the ferocity of his diplomatic approach to Israel. It is hard to avoid the conclusion – which I have long believed – that Obama has a profound personal commitment to reconciling America with the Muslim world which will override the usual political calculus. Given that he had a Muslim father and stepfather, was raised for four years in Indonesia, and has written with passion about his sympathy for the traditional identity of Indonesian Muslims, this is not surprising.

Obama’s personal impulses are in conflict with his evident political interests, and it is impossible to predict how things will work out. There are other considerations as well. American troops are supposed to start leaving Iraq in the summer, and the country well might explode. Iran will make progress towards acquiring nuclear weapons, and reinforce its presence in Iraq, Gaza, Lebanon and elsewhere. Obama’s policy in the region may blow up in his face in the advent of the November elections. He has some incentive to make Israel the scapegoat for this failure, by arguing that if only Israel were reasonable in dealing with the Palestinians, the US could win Muslim support in other parts of the region. This is entirely specious, in my view, but the probability is that Obama will stick to his guns.

Read the whole thing. Perhaps American Jews are waking up from the Kool-Aid after all. It is high time that 0bama gets reminded of Lincoln’s Iron Law: “You can fool some of the people all of the time; you can fool all of the people some of the time; but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”