After nearly two years of campaigning, tonight things change. Join Riptide all night as we bring you nonstop coverage of not only the main event but also the heated congressional races as well as the state and local races. Up top we'll have the latest status of all the major races; after the cut we'll have up-to-the-minute play-by-play coverage. Don't be afraid to join the discussion by e-mailing or commenting. This post will be up top all night, but we'll have other posts appearing below as the night progresses.
President of the United States, Barack Obama vs. John McCain: Barack Obama is the next President of the United States of America. In a word: Wow.
Florida's Electoral Votes: Obama!
Dist. 21, Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart vs. Raul Martinez: Lincoln Diaz-Balart
Dist. 25, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart vs. Joe Garcia: Mario Diaz-Balart
Dist. 18, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen vs. Annette Taddeo: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
Amendment 2 (the homophobia one): Ugh, just ugh.
Others: Amendments 3, 4 and 6 are on their way to passing. Amendments 8 and 1 aren't looking too well.
County Races: Harvey Ruvin for Clerk of Courts. Property Appraiser headed for run off, with Gwen Margolis in the lead.
12:32 - Well, America did something pretty amazing tonight, and I am still in a daze, but over all the night was bittersweet. Hate to be a bummer, but let's not forget that thanks to dirty campaigning, corrupt gerrymandering and a deep partisan divide we couldn't elect a single Democrat to the US Congress in a county that broke about 60% for Obama. The hardest lose to watch was that of a smart capable man to a smarmy zealot whose legacy of redistricting is surely the only thing that saved him. The other bit of bad news - Amendment two will most likely pass. We may have overcome a big hurdle tonight, but bigotry is still alive and well in this land. Good Night.
12:25 - With the last of the votes coming, the split between Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Raul Martinez is identical to the split between Ileana Ros-Lehtnin and Annette Taddeo. Annette Taddeo's campaign was never thought to be a serious threat, but their were times when Raul Martinez was leading in polls in his race.
12:20 - Interesting tidbits from CNN's Florida Exit Polls: 22% of self described conservatives voted for Obama, he also carried Moderates by 57%.
Independents broke for Obama 42%. 12% of members of each party voted crossed party lines.
McCain actually won College Graduates, but Obama tied or won in all other groups, including people with Postgraduate degrees.
Obama won people who make $200,000 or More, slightly, at 51%.
53% of people said they were "Very Worried" about the economy, and they broke for Obama. People who weren't worried or only a bit worried went for McCain.
12:18 - Well that was a nice speech, but I am still in some sort of weird daze.
12:04 - Awww, Obama is bring a new puppy to the white house.
12:00 - Ok, Calm down. Obama is talking.
11:47 - I don't even know how to comment on this with out pissing people off, but African Americans voted for Amendment 2 at a rate of 71% according to exit polls, much higher than any other racial group. Someone could write an entire dissertation of the implications of that, but whatever.
Predictably young people supported it less than old people, meaning as all the olds die we'll regret this.
11:33 - Lincoln Diaz-Balart apparently pulled it out according to local media. So much for dead weight.
11:26 - I am glad McCain is taking the high road, and his crowd is finally coming around, ...kinda.
11:19 - Ha, McCain's Concession speech is hard to watch. Not because we're sad, but because we can tell he's sick of being king of the zealot rednecks.
11:16 - It's official. Obama wins Florida.
11:06 - Pathetic: Babalu Blog is talking about secession.
11:00 - It's official. Polls close on the west, and BARACK OBAMA IS OUR NEXT PRESIDENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's pretty amazing.
10:59 - One minute until it's official ...
10:51 - Well fuck, most people are calling Amendment 2 as passing. ALL I CAN SAY IS FUCK YOU GUYS. If you voted for this, well, there's really no other way to put it, but you're full of hate and bile and are disgusting and whatever. Florida will regret passing this, especially as it bans civil unions.
10:41 - Mario Diaz-Balart is widening his lead over Joe Garcia, though it's still close.
10:26 - MSNBC: Obama got 35% of the Cuban vote in Florida.
10:20 - Oh, I guess the Property Appraiser race is going into a run off, b/c Gwen Margolis won't likely get 50% of the Vote. So there will be a runoff election which like 12 people will show up for, if runner up Pedro Garcia even bothers, and he might.
10:14 - Just heard Raul Martinez conceded. So far his returns were similar to Annette Taddeo's share, which wasn't good news for him. So, ugh, Lincoln Diaz-Balart is going back to Washington.
10:08 - Ileana claimed victory too. She said, "This is as tough a campaign as I ever had and I probably ever will have." I wouldn't be so sure about that unless you plan on retiring anytime soon.
9:58 - Tom Rooney officially beat scumbag Democratic Incumbent Tim Mahoney up in Palm Beach according to CNN. No surprise, no surprise.
9:47 - CBS Calls District 18 for Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Congratulations Ileana. Go celebrate on a stripper poll with your Scientology friends! No surprise, and Ros-Lehtinen is our favorite of the local Republicans. Annette Taddeo fought a good fight, and made gains that seemed impossible just two years ago. We'll go over the vote tally tomorrow to see exactly how well she did, but it's safe to say District 18 may not be a sure thing for Republicans in the future.
9:39 - 50% of the returns are in on the Amendments. Two is at 62% right now. But when more South Florida numbers come in it could come in under 60%. In Broward it's only at 51% right now, with only 19% reporting. In Miami it's at 57%, which isn't great YOU GUYS, but it could bring the average down as more votes come in.
9:37 - Speaking of unofficial calls on MSNBC, dirty liberal Keith Olbermenn is trying to slyly call the election for Obama using methods of mathematical logic. But lets be honest. With Ohio, this is pretty much over.
9:26 - Joe Scarborough on MSNBC just unofficially called Florida for Obama.
9:22 - MSNBC CALLED OBAMA FOR OHIO!!!!
9:08 - Arkansas goes for McCain. This likely would have only been in play for Democrats if Hillary was the nominee, and even then...
9:00 - Minnesota goes to Obama, which is good news for my pet out of state race - Al Franken, the former SNL writer/performer who's running for Senate. North Dakota goes to McCain, which became a late in the game toss up. Nothing huge though.
8:57 - As Miami-Dade precincts reports support for Obama in the county has been holding steady at 60% for most of the night.
8:55 - Haha, how have I not seen this site before: Welcome Back America
8:50 - Riptide is taking it's official cigarette break (I know gross.) No one call Florida while we're gone.
8:45 - Ok. These still could go either way, but right now Ileana Ros-Lehtenin and Lincoln Diaz-Balart are both up on their competitors by similar numbers. At the end of the night they could be drastically different, but this is either really good news for Diaz-Balart (who was in question) or really bad news for Ros-Lehetnin (who was supposed to be safe). Interestingly no one has officially called it for Ileana yet (likely b/c they haven't gotten around to it, but you never know.)
8:43 - Obama's lead in Florida is tightening as more precincts report. We're at 41% right now, and Obama is only up 51-48.
8:38 - Herald has exit polls for Florida: 50-48 for Obama. [link]
8:36 - Our northern neighbor Georgia just got called for McCain. No Surprise, but there was some chatter (coming mainly from 538) that it could be a surprise pick up for Obama.
8:28 - With 25% of precincts in Amendments 3, 4 and 6 are all on track to passing. Amendment 1 isn't looking so good - which remember, the only thing it does is erase some forgotten law rooted in racism, but we can't pass it in Florida. Oy.
8:24 - MSNBC says Palm Beach County had wonky looking ballots again. WTF is going on up there?
8:20 - Almost 1/4 of precincts are in on Amendment 2 and it's fluttering between 59% and 60%. Remember it needs 60% to pass. Ugh.
8:18 - Not official yet, but we're pretty sure it's going to be Gwen Margolis as Property Appraiser. SO EXCITING.
8:14 - Congrats Harvey Ruvin! I have no idea what kind of process I should go to before calling an election, but I'm pretty sure you're going to be our Clerk of the Circuit Court again.
8:06 - Congratulations Reps. Kendrick Meek and Debbie Wasserman Schultz on two more years! Holding off on giving it to Ileana until someone else calls it for sure.
8:05 - With 10% of precincts reporting Amendment 2 is at 59%. Holy shit THIS and District 25 is what's going to keep us up all night.
8:02 - Florida is too close to call, but Obama is ahead. If he takes Florida, that'll be it. Case closed.
8:00 - Pennsylvania goes for Obama! MSNBCS Calls it. It should be an early night
7:54 - We're watching the MSNBC because that is the first one we could find a live stream on. I kind of miss channel flipping, but who doesn't love Rachel Maddow?
7:50 - Polls officially close in 10 minutes, but CNN has 7% of Florida Precincts reporting. 55% Obama to 45% McCain. Early numbers are coming in for the congressional races, but it's much too early to make anything of it. For examples Dist. 25 is tied 50/50 with 1% of Precincts.
7:45 - Oh, if you didn't click on the link. The early exit poll results for Florida are 52-49. Don't hold your breath though, but it's good news.
7:43 - Here's the buzz on Indiana- a) If it didn't get called early it would be good news for Obama. b) The exit polls are showing an Obama win. North and South Carolina and Virginia are still too close to call, as well. c) 1/3 of people who voted for the Republican Governor say they also voted for Obama says the AP.
7:36 - Raul Martinez's campaign just sent out a press release: "Absentee Ballot Fraud Places Election In Doubt"
Before the results of this election are announced and regardless of the outcome of the Florida Congressional District 21 election, the Raul Martinez for Congress campaign would like to make it clear that we will push forward on absentee ballot irregularities and potential fraud committed by the Diaz-Balart campaign uncovered by the Miami Herald and currently being investigated by the State Attorney’s Office.
7:33 - CNN has the first 150,000+/- votes in from Florida. 72,591 to 61,454 for McCain. But that's way less than even 1% of precincts, so it means nothing.
7:29 - Just noticed that Crystal Ball changed their rating on District 25 to "Democratic pick up" sometime before the election. Two of the other major predictors give it slightly to Mario Diaz-Balart, while the fourth leaves it at a toss up.
7:20 - The story nationally is that the black vote was about the same as in 2004. The leaked polls from Florida show a 13% black electorate, just slightly higher than 2004's 12%. However, they're backing Obama (95% nationally) a bit stronger than they did Kerry (88%).
7:07 - MSNBC is predicting the new house to be 261 (+/- 12) Democrats, which is a 26 seat pick up. They've got exit polling, but are not calling any specific races yet. Though, this is good news for Garcia and Martinez.
7:02 - First calls: Vermont for Obama. Kentucky for McCain. MSNBC calls the Virginia senate seat for Mark Warner, meaning a Dem. pick up.
6:59 - Whoops, some exit polls leaked. Here's what they say about Florida.
*13% of voters here were Hispanics (15% in 2004) and they are breaking for Obama by 55% to 45%. This is a reversal from 2004 when Hispanics backed Bush by 56% to 44%.
*Seniors (24% of voters) are backing McCain over Obama by 53% 46%. In 2004 Bush edged out Kerry by 51% to 48%.
*13% of voters are African American in Florida and 95% are backing Obama.
*White men and white women are backing McCain.
*McCain wins on experience here, while more voters see Obama as being more in touch with people like them.
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Other tidbits: A prediction of only 58 seats for Dems in the Senate, and that Obama may pull off Indiana.
6:51 - In Chicago their was a precinct in a laundromat. Someone I know in California voted at a McDonalds. Voting in Florida may be crazy, but not like that. Sadly. Indiana is tightening up as more precincts report. Kentucky should be a breeze for McCain. Their Senate race will be the big story out of the Blue Grass State tonight.
6:31 - Polls closed at 6 in Indiana and Kentucky. With just 1% of Indiana precincts reporting Obama is ahead, but the state is expected to stay red. Though, if he somehow manages to pull it out expect a call early in the night.