Man Without Qualities

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Sea-change Tonight?

A couple of minutes ago, the Fox News election team pronounced this an election of no change. The Man Without Qualites cannot agree. At this point in the evening, compared to 2000 there is an apparent serious reduction of the African-American vote across the country. Further, a key "proxy election" (the Florida governorship) is now being called to Jeb Bush with a spectacular 19% margin. It is hard to see how a Democrat can do well in almost any close election without a vigorous African-American turnout. Sununu is carrying precincts in southern New Hampshire which were expected to go Democrat. Liddy Dole has won in North Carolina over what many observors thought would be a very close race but wasn't. So far all of the major trends are moving Republican, and fairly strongly. Obviously, Democrats are being elected, but it's hard to find a breeze or current that hasn't turned in the Republican direction to the extent any reasonable margin of pre-election error might have allowed. With so many "close" races, that's a disaster for the Democrats.

If these voting patterns hold, this will be a very big Republican win.

With Erskine Bowles now added to the Clintonian boneyard with Reno, Reich, McCall, Cuomo and others, the evening is already a disaster for Terry McAuliffe and Hillary Clinton.

Indeed, it now seems likely that following this election the Republicans will makes historical gains in both the House and Senate giving them control both houses of Congress and allowing huge numbers of Republican federal judges (probably including replacement of several aging Supreme Curt Justices) to pass through committee and confirmation, and that none of Gephardt, Daschle or McAuliffe will retain any national or party leadership roles.

Is that a "status quo" election?

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