Barack Obama completely thumped John McCain in the electoral vote, winning now by 349 electoral votes to 162 for McCain, with 26 votes currently unassigned due to the closeness of the race in Missouri and North Carolina. He also won the popular vote by 52.4% to 46.3%, with 1.3% divided among third party candidates. Pretty good work, I'd say. A lot of people, particularly in places like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and the upper Midwest, have said that if Obama was white, he would have had this thing in the bag months ago. As it is, he had it in the bag anyway. Whatever people who are still afraid of him may think, I think they will be proven wrong. Or proven right, but not how they think. Diana believes that the average American wants everything to improve without having to sacrifice anything for it, for things to get better without anything actually changing. Of course this is impossible, and Obama knows this; he just called for a new spirit of sacrifice for the greater good in his victory speech last night.
All I know for sure is that, somewhere, the spirits of Jack Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Martin Luther King, and Bobby Kennedy are smiling and tears are streaming down their ghostly faces.
That said, a mountain of work still needs to be done. The Republican Party, as presently constituted, will not die an easy death. The radical wing of the party will probably gain more influence; I would rather this didn't happen, but it's something that I and everyone else has to prepare for.
As far as specific results on the down ticket races, some of them were very disappointing. Gary Trauner didn't win in Wyoming, which sucks. Bob Lord, Judy Baker, Joe Garcia, and Dennis Shulman seem to have all lost. Charlie Brown in CA-04 is stuck in an extremely close race. Dan Maffei and Eric Massa did both win in New York though. The biggest, and most pleasant, surprise of the night (apart from the enormity of Obama's victory) was that the voters of Idaho's first district elected Walt Minnick, the Democratic candidate, as their new representative. This is mildly personal for me. My grandmother grew up in Post Falls, a village in Northern Idaho. This place is also where the Aryan Nations camped out in the 90s. It is vindicating to see that this place has, maybe, begun to turn around.
Senate races are crazy business. Al Franken and Jeff Merkley might still win, but it will probably be close, although Minnesota will be closer than Oregon. The populous counties in Oregon still have to finish counting their votes. Jeanne Shaheen, Kay Hagan, and the two Udall boys all won. Lunsford and Musgrove lost. Martin may have to face Chambliss in a runoff election in December.
Oh, and Alaska seems to have decided that it wants to be the new capital of crazy people. WTF mates? You seem to have reelected one convicted felon to the Senate, and another one to the House of Representatives, and your governor is a woman who believes that the end of the world is coming and that this is a good thing! WTF mate?! I mean, sure, vote for who you want to, but good god, against a rogues gallery like that, we still lost? I realize Ted Stevens is an incumbent and brings home the bacon in spades, but for heaven's sake, the man was convicted! Does that mean nothing?! *fumes* ... okay, Alaska ain't as bad as all that. Realistically that Congressman and Senator were incumbents of extremely long standing, but still...
Anyway, more later.