#Decision2012: Random Election Night Eve Thoughts

VoteCan’t believe tomorrow is the day.

If you’re like me, you didn’t early vote and will line up at the polls first thing in the morning. Here in NC, the polls open at 6:30 and I plan on being at mine at 6, to get it out of the way … and to hopefully avoid the ambush of liberal candidate volunteers standing as close as they legally can to the polling place shoving literature in the hands of people who don’t want to be rude.   Every time I go in the afternoon, I receive what amounts to a folder full of flyers on behalf of candidates for whom I will never vote.

Maybe not if I vote in the early a.m. We shall see … assuming the Lord doesn’t have other plans, and assuming I actually get up at 4:30 to get ready for work, eat breakfast, and head out earlier than normal.

As far as how NC will swing tomorrow in the Presidential race, things have looked pretty good for Mitt Romney since the beginning of October. He has not trailed in any poll since the beginning of that month, and has been in just a  handful of ties.   Here are the final NC numbers.  I’m cautiously optimistic that this state will flip back to red again but it will all depend on – you guessed it – turn out.   Team Obama made some last minute sales pitches here over the last several days, with Jill Biden visiting Huntersville and Asheville on Friday, Bill Clinton in Raleigh on Sunday, and Michelle Obama here in Charlotte earlier today. Political junkies will note that then-candidate Barack Obama himself had an election eve campaign rally in Charlotte back in 2008.   If Romney/Ryan end up losing tomorrow, I’d still like for this state to go red again in spite of that – it would be a small consolation considering the embarrassment many of us felt after it went to BO in 2008.

In terms of the national landscape it’s one that – for me – is “too close to call.”  Several “battleground states” have tightened up, with some surprisingly coming into play as possible GOP pickups (PA & NH, for example). The more expert prognosticators are putting their reputations on the line with advance predictions of how things will go tomorrow in terms of not just the Presidential race, but also House and Senate races, as well as the Governorships.  The only one I feel reasonably comfortable in calling is the NC Governor’s race. Pat McCrory (R) has had double digit leads over Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton for months now and, barring a last minute surge, McCrory will likely be only the 3rd GOP Governor in this state since 1901.

I have officially stopped looking at election projections, by the way. They are making me crazy.  Something else making me crazy is the fact that we have a third party candidate on the ballot here, as do most other states. Bob Barr (Libertarian) did have an impact on our results here in NC in 2008. He got roughly 25,000 votes.  McCain lost by 14,000, BO’s smallest win margin.

NC Presidential Election Results - 2008 - via the NYT
NC Presidential Election Results – 2008 – via the NYT

Do NOT underestimate the power of third party candidates in close races this year.

On to the notable “down-ticket” races in NC:

The National Republican Congressional Committee is betting on three, and hoping for four.

The GOP-controlled legislature in Raleigh set the table for a rightward shift in the state’s congressional delegation by redrawing several districts to favor Republican candidates.

Two Democrat incumbents – Rep. Heath Shuler in the 11th and Brad Miller in the 13th – decided not to run again, with Republicans favored to take their seats. That leaves two vulnerable Blue Dog Dems: Rep. Larry Kissell in the 8th and Mike McIntyre in the 7th, each busy distancing themselves from Obama and highlighting their votes to repeal Obamacare.

If both lose – McIntyre has the better shot at survival – the delegation will go from 7-6 Democratic to 10-3 Republican.

What are things looking like in your state?   What are you seeing and hearing?

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