Sunday, November 02, 2008

Endorsements & Predictions

Ceci n'est pas une endorsement -- But it might not be a bad idea:

(Photo Credit: Linda Davidson, Washington Post; Brenda Waters at an Obama rally in Virginia Beach, VA, 10/30/08.)

We've spent the weekend gazing into our crystal water bowls here in Roxie's World, kids, and here's what our crack team of canine/queer political analysts, prognosticators, and make-up artists (as in, "When we have no idea what to think, we just make something up") is prepared to say about Tuesday's general election. We expect our smarty-pants legions of loyal fans to offer up a few predictions of their own in comments, so put on your pundit caps and have at it. Plan to spend Tuesday evening right here with us, downing cocktails and half-priced appetizers at Ishmael's, the seedy yet cozy bar around the corner from the global headquarters of RW Enterprises, LLC. Polls close in the battleground states of Indiana and Virgina at 7 p.m. Goose is predicting that we'll know who the winner is by 8:13. Moose, who studies these things much more carefully, thinks Chris Matthews will explode from the effort of not declaring Obama the winner by 7:51. I predict both moms will be drinking Boston Sidecars, a delicious beverage they tried for the first time last night, and may not even notice when the election is called, but, here, without further ado, are Roxie's World's Endorsements, Predictions, Hunches, and Gut Feelings about Election 2008 (praise dog it will soon be over!).
  • We endorse and predict the defeat of John McCain and Sarah Palin as president and vice president of the United States. McCain has run an ignoble and at times incoherent campaign that has offered voters half-hearted calls for a continuation of economic and foreign policies that have proven to be tragically unsuccessful in the past eight years. He deserves to lose, and he will.
  • We endorse and predict the defeat of Republican candidates up and down the ticket in blue states, red states, purple states, fuchsia states, and magenta with islands of cerulean states in a repudiation of the party that is fully deserved and in our judgment long overdue. The tidal wave will sweep Elizabeth Dole (NC) and John Sununu (NH) out of the United States Senate, and it may well drown Norm Coleman (MN), but we don't see Dems quite getting the 60 seats they need to have a filibuster-proof majority.
  • With all our paws and toes crossed, we endorse and predict the (bare) defeat of California's Proposition 8, which calls for amending the state's constitution to disallow same-sex marriage. Latest poll shows the No vote at 50%, but 3% of likely voters are still undecided. This one will hinge on turnout, which is why we don't want Tweety to call the election too early and make Dem voters think they don't need to show up in California.
  • With an acute sense of conflict between our convictions and our self-interest, we endorse a No vote on the Maryland state ballot measure that would legalize slot machine gambling -- but we predict the measure will pass and won't be broken-hearted if it does because we are sick and tired of the slots issue being used as a way to avoid dealing with the state's revenue problem. Pass it, and then let's face up to the realities.
What, you want more? You want us to go out on a few limbs and make some really bold predictions about toss-up states and the really tight races? Why? So you can come back here on Wednesday and force us to dine on crow casserole again, as poor Moose had to do after her predictions about the Texas and Ohio primaries proved to be so wildly incorrect? Ah, what the heck. It's not like any of the real pundits ever has to pay for being wrong. Here we go.
  • Popular vote, presidential election: Obama is going to make it over 50%. We'll say he's going to get 51.2% -- and if he does, every one of our loyal readers has to promise to tell five friends that Roxie's World is the best darn political blog in the nation. Deal?
  • Electoral vote, presidential election: UVA's Larry Sabato is predicting Obama will come up with 364 electoral votes to McCain's 174. He probably has a whole team of researchers and incredibly complicated metrics (whatever those are) to help him come up with his predictions. Moose read the paper this morning, and she's gonna give Obama 347 to McCain's 191. Why? Because that's what editor Nate Silver predicted in Wa Po's Crystal Ball Contest, and she liked his picture.
  • Toss-Up States: North Carolina is Gobama. How do we know? Because the Moosians in the Tar Heel State, who changed their party registrations to vote for Hillary Clinton in the primary, have decided to stick with the Dem in the general. Moose's home state of Indiana will keep us up late on election night, no matter how early the polls close. As it was in the Dem primary, the Hoosier state will be a nail-biter. There has been some great analysis on why the reliably red state is up for grabs this year, and Moose got a little teary over an Indy Star story about 80-year-old Birch Bayh stumping for Obama in her native state, but we have a hunch McCain might eke out a win here. If he doesn't, we reserve the right to change our predictions about the scale of Obama's popular and electoral victories.
  • One Close Race: What the heck. We think Gov. Christine Gregoire will pull off re-election in Washington. Sabato and most of the Post pundits are with us on that one.
Closing Thoughts: It's been a long, strange journey, hasn't it, fellow citizens and loyal fans? We've trudged virtually together through the snows of Iowa and New Hampshire and the searing sun of, oh, you know, those really hot states. As we approach the moment of decision, the moment when the magic and the majesty of democracy will assert itself in millions of individual acts of choice and, yes, hope, we want you all to know that, though we never officially endorsed Barack Obama's candidacy, we will celebrate his triumph, should it come, and welcome his presidency as an historic achievement and a vital political opportunity -- for the Democratic party and the American people. In the days to come, we will not hesitate to hold our party and the nation's leaders-in-waiting to account, to urge them to be bold and just, to move quickly to demonstrate that they deserve the faith that is about to be placed in them. Tonight, though, as we contemplate the scale and significance of the transformations about to occur, we pause to savor the sense of amazing possibility and close with the words of former Wa Po writer Donna Britt, who came back to her old paper this morning to offer these thoughts on the possibility of the United States electing its first African-American president:

For one shining moment, let's call a halt to our red-blue bickering and predicting. Rather than glancing back at our racist past or peering into our uncertain future, we'll allow ourselves a brief celebration of now. We'll be brave and reckless enough to be happily surprised by one undeniable change:

Against all sensible odds and reasoned predictions, untold numbers of Americans of every persuasion have opened their hearts, minds and souls to the possibility that a black man is the best choice to lead them. Whatever happens, an immeasurable amount of light has illuminated our darkness. Once such doors have been pried open, it's hard shutting them as tightly as before.

That's a change worth believing in.

Amen, sister. Vote early and often, kids, and we'll see you back here on Tuesday. Peace out.


  1. Thanks, Rox, for not smacking Sarah Palin around but for simply declaring the John McCain deserves to lose. And I do hope that Al Franken wins, though I realize the chance doesn’t look that great. Cal Prop 8 is one of the main reasons we have to keep Tweety and that pompous A who thinks he is Edward R. Murrow from calling this too terribly early. But you KNOW they are going to call it before the polls close in Cal-eee-FORN-YA, and that is a problem for defeating Cal Prop 8. Mmm. . .if one of the candidates in the race for the presidency would urge his voters to make sure they vote even if they live in a state where voting is still going on after the election has been called, and in doing so would say that they must vote to defeat Prop 8, I’d be thrilled and be more willing to believe that he’s going to be brave and demand real change. And it seems to me that asking for his voters to vote against Prop 8 requires neither much courage nor effort so I don’t understand the silence. Surely if we are loud in urging him to suggest his voters vote NO on Prop 8, he will respond.

    Now, about your prognostications, Rox: Think you are correct on the popular vote, though your margin might be off. . .in either direction, by the way. I have no prediction on the electoral vote itself, though I can’t imagine it’ll be anything other than what could be credibly called a landslide, most likely with a CAPITAL L.

    And AMEN to Donna Britt’s article and your pointing our attentions to it, Rox. As always, you are the wisest among us.

    Oh, and though I stand by my prediction of 8:13 p.m., I’ll be happy to be proven wrong if it means we’ll know on the early side of my guesstimation.

    Here’s to saying to the Bush-Cheney administration, and with the most pleasant of smiles, “don’t let the door hit ya on the way out. . . .”

    Tuesday’s going to be a celebration and we should embrace it and revel in it.

  2. Anonymous2:13 AM EST

    Wait! It's not over yet! You still have one day to phonebank from home against Prop 8. (Just remember that there's a 3 hour time difference with California, and don't do like my human's alma mater out there did and call at a perfectly reasonable time in the calling time zone (9:30 p.m.), which resulted in our getting a sudden and LOUD donation-seeking phone call at what my human called "12:30 in the @#$%^ morning!!!" That is, don't do that in reverse. Let the poor dears get up and get through a mug of Peets House Blend. Better yet, make a dozen phone calls at 10 p.m. our time, 7:00 p.m. their time.)

    Here's the link.

  3. I'll pull a "Price is Right" and one-up Martha's prediction by guessing 8:14. Philosophy majors can be so sneaky. Of course, if PA is called RIGHT when it closes (8pm I think?) and then we get good news from Virginia just a few moments later, I think we can all get sloshed and call it a night.

    Of course, I'll be stuck in 1120 Susquehanna, running Joseph Miller's projector until 10pm, so you better believe I will be screaming in silence, wishing I could be watching Chuck Todd and his magical touch screen.

    I'm not sure if Roxie was a fan of Tim Russert, but I would like to add to your wonderful entry a slightly sad note -- with all the bloviating by Matthews and Olbermann (folks who I both love and completely understand the hate surrounding them), we could have really used the hard-edged pragmatism of Mr. Russert, gotcha-man though he may have been. There's a whiteboard-shaped vacuum in my heart this year.

  4. There oughta be a law against a political animal such as yourself being kept away from the teevee at a moment of such high drama and momentousness as tomorrow evening is likely to be, Eitan! If we didn't know that SQH is a wireless building and that you, unlike the moms, have an iPhone, we would be concerned that YOU might be the one exploding from the pressure of the situation. At least you'll be able to drop by Ishmael's from the screening room.

    Yeah, we had our issues w/ Russert, but we will miss him tomorrow night. He had it all over Tweety and He Who Looks in the Mirror and Thinks He Sees Edward R. Murrow.

  5. You better believe that I'll have my MacBook Pro juiced up, and that I'll be huddled in the corner of the projection booth in SQH, frantically hitting commmand-R on Huffington Post and Politico for the entire duration of The Long Goodbye. Luckily, class will be over by 10pm, and I doubt the election will be called before then.

    Either way, the next four years will be good enough to make up for the four hours I had to bite my fingernails and scream in silence.


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