We are really up against it

Posted on by Laurie Garrett

A record 8 Senate races are too close to call, says the Washington Post, so it is impossible to say which party will control the Senate. One estimate makes it 11 toss-ups which theoretically could give the GOP, if they took all 11, a majority of 54 versus 46 seats --- not enough to override Presidential vetoes, but enough to ensure passage of a Ryan Budget Act. 

If all those went Dem, the Party would hold a 57 versus 43 majority. Yesterday’s poll from WAPost/ABC finds Obama 48% versus Romney 47% -- with margin of error, it's a dead heat.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced many voting sites around NJ will have no electricity on Nov 6.

Bloomberg endorsed Obama, citing climate change, showing unexpected ways that Frankenstorm may prove to be the “October Surprise.” Republican candidate Mitt Romney may pay a price for having called for elimination of FEMA, the Federal emergency agency that has so far proved vital and strong in response to Super-Storm Sandy. The Democrats have wasted no time in slamming Romney’s anti-FEMA position.

The Washington Post calculates Obama has a lead on the Electoral College but fully 95 Electoral College votes are a toss-up! Liberal Huffington gives Obama a clear lead in Electoral College votes. 

Romney released a Spanish language campaign yesterday that features Obama's face in silk screen against a red background, with Che, Castro and Chavez around him --- it has come to Red Baiting

A pile of new SuperPacs have suddenly surfaced in hotly contested areas --- all pro-GOP.

NOAA has forecast a Nor'Easter slamming the entire east coast from Maine down to Virginia, maybe North Carolina, on Election Day. While they carefully note it won't be as bad as Sandy, that's sort of like saying "I'm going to throw you off the roof of my house tomorrow, but it won't be as bad as the time I threw you off a skyscraper." 

Most polling volunteers are senior citizens --- how will they get to the voting sites? In NYC it will be something of a miracle if we have subways, electricity and full bus service by then.

This is going to be insanely wild.......

THE BIG MESS: after November 6:

1.) OHIO ballot snafu could mean the final results will not be known until after November 16th.

This may only matter for very tight races, but what race in Ohio isn't tight? This could be Florida chads all over again -- especially given the State elections boss' insistence that he will only count "legal ballots." Lawsuitshave already been filed in Ohio claiming this voting "snafu" is actually a deliberate scheme to disrupt the national elections, carried out by Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted.

2.) CT, NJ, RI, DE -- the Frankenstorm-ravaged states -- could see legal claims related to the inability to make voting accessible to citizens displaced from their homes by storms. In addition, lack of electricity and confusion could deprive tens of thousands of people of their right to vote. For very tight races backed by Super-Pac money this could spawn legal claims. For example, the Chris Murphy vs. Linda McMahon Senate battle in Connecticut is neck and neck: Will the loser sue, claiming a key voter constituency was unable to vote? 

3.) In New Jersey voters are urged to simply go to their County Clerk's Office and vote, but does the average person even know where said office is?  Moreover, the Internet Gap is wide in NJ ---the real "haves" and "have-nots" of 2012. So much info is now distributed on-line, but residents of poor areas complain that they don't have computers -- and even if they do, the electricity isn't working.

4.) A record number of Federal officials will be watching poll sites across America, looking for illegal voter intimidation or fraud. This comes in the wake of a slew of scare tactics used to intimidate voters in Democratic strongholds -- especially Latinos and African- Americans. Some of the most egregious actions have unfolded inFlorida.

5.) Both parties are deploying armies of lawyers to polling sites, looking for any hint of impropriety or procedural problems. Will we be hearing about the "margin of litigation" and Supreme Court challenges?  

On top of all this, yours truly has to fly to West Virginia to speak at Marshall U on Nov 5, and hopefully get home to vote on Nov 6 --- will LaGuardia get shut down? 

(Hey Marshall U fans – I’ll be speaking at 7pm, November 5, on bioterrorism.) 

Man, this is a freaking nail-biter. As unbelievable as it may seem, the GOP could actually sweep -- House, Senate, White House. Conversely, it's possible Obama could stay in WH and Dems could lock a solid majority in Senate, though the House is out of Democrat reach.


And then, of course, there are Sequestration and the fiscal cliff, looming minutes after the election dust has settled.