So here we are on the eve of the 2012 Presidential Election. For those of us absolutely obsessed with the political process down south, it’s been quite a slug. At the end of the day the race is exactly where some people, including myself, felt we would be; with polling numbers pretty tight but a stable advantage to President Barrack Obama (or Bronco Bama for those of you who that just want this to be over).
In less than 24 hour Americans and Canadians should finally know who will be in charge of the United States of America for the next four years. But with wall-to-wall coverage planned for tomorrow night by all the major American networks, Canadians are left with no other option than to just enjoy the spectacle. So to build on my post from two weeks ago and to aid you in your viewing pleasure, here’s A Canadian’s Guide to Election Night Coverage.
Each of the major networks will have have some sort of gimmick planned for the evening. I’m pretty sure that at least one network will have a Hologram incorporated into their coverage (which may or may not involve Tupac). Others will probably have some sort of Social Media Analysis showcasing tweets such as “ROMNEY is THE BEST” or “OH MY OBAMA” and every single network will order their senior political correspondent to stand in front of a touchscreen waving his hands around like a broken marionette. While those gimmicks are all nice and dandy, what can Canadians do to kill time between the actual results information and the bi-partisan talking heads spew at each other… well I’m glad you asked.
First and foremost the New York Times has their 512 Paths To The White House interactive tool up and running.
This is probably the most useful and informative tool published by the media for the election. It’s a simple visual tool to show the 512 different outcomes of tomorrow night’s results based on simply tying battleground states to each candidate. For the Choose Your Own Adventure generation this is like visual crack. And even better as the results come in you can start narrowing down the options and impressing all of your online friends with your quick wit and astute observations about potential outcomes.
Of course, like every major event in pop culture most of us will be glued to our Twitter streams for the ritual of Election Night snark. Sure, you could Twitter search on which Americans are going to threaten to move to Canada if their candidate doesn’t win or you could check out Twitter’s own Political Engagement Map. Or even better swing on by to Foursquare and look at their interactive I VOTED Election day map and swanky ivoted badge.
As mentioned, this election is packed with fascinating little tidbits and story lines. I know you’ve probably heard of the hundreds of the different storylines that will be spun by pundits to make up the fabric of this election, but to me the most interesting story line about tomorrow night will be what happens to the Republican Party (GOP) on November 7th. Regardless of the outcome, the Republican Party is on the verge of existential crisis within the American political world.
Politico has a fascinating article on the potential civil war within the party, whether Romney wins or losses tomorrow night. And yes, this story has been predicted a dozen or so times in the past, but the truth of the matter is that the demographics of America are dramatically changing. Whether it’s the massive increase in the Hispanic population in once solid red states such as New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Virginia, Florida or even Texas or the shift of progressive young Americans who are no longer seeing the Republican party as a viable alternative or even disenfranchised suburban women who are constantly offended by the Republican obsession with Rape and Abortion, things are changing and the make-up of the United States will be far different in 2016 and 2020. If there isn’t a massive philosophical shift within the Republican party, this could be one of their last viable chances at the presidency.
So the interesting storyline will to be see the reaction of right leaning pundits when the results come in. If Romney loses, it’ll be interesting to see what the next steps for the party will be. If he wins, it’ll be interesting to see if moderate Romney runs the country or tea party sympathizer Romney takes the reigns.
The other interesting storyline to keep an eye on will be Virginia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
With how the Electoral College works out, everyone knows that Ohio will probably be the tipping point in the election and most networks won’t call the election until Ohio is officially declared. Unfortunately, for those of us who are impatient and have the attention spans of a nat, the polls in Ohio polls don’t close until 8:30 EST. Which means it’s going to take some time for those numbers to roll in. But on the other hand polls in Virginia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina close on the east coast, so we do have some potential indicators.
If Virginia is called for Obama, the chances of an Obama win are probably high. As I’ve said before, I think Obama has a very strong chance at Virginia, because of the NOVA region, the ground game and the Virgil Goode wild card (which would be amazing if he takes it away for Romney). But in that same breath Virginia isn’t a devastating loss for Obama.
Now if North Carolina is called for Obama early, then this thing is officially over. North Carolina has been considered a long shot for Obama by most of the pundits, but if the early voting flows the way it has for the past few weeks and Obama’s surgical GOTV comes through, then there is a strong chance Obama could sneak out a win. If that happens it’s over for Romney and it’s going to be a long night for the Republicans.
The thing to remember is that Obama doesn’t need North Carolina or Virginia to win, but Romney needs both to have any shot at winning. (it’s why the math is so stacked against Romney today)
On the other hand, if Pennsylvania, which is considered a strong Obama state, somehow goes Romney’s way it’s going to be a very nervous night for team Obama. Now I don’t believe that Pennsylvania is in play, I think this is more of a Hail Mary pass by the Romney team, but as an Albertan you can never be sure with polls.
So those are some tidbits to watch tomorrow.
I’ve been watching this election for far too long. So with no hockey and the election over tomorrow I may need to find another vice. If anyone has any ideas, I’m all ears.
Oh yes, predictions… Well if you know me and you know my track record with this site, you know I hate making predictions. BUT if I was to make a statement, I would suggest to going to 512 paths and lock in Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin for Obama and you’ll get my prediction.
… And plus who doesn’t want to look forward to events like this.
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