But by 8 pm, it began to become apparent that the blowout some in the media and the Obama camp had been predicting might not be materializing. New Hampshire — where pre-election polls had seen Obama up 10 points — was too close to call, a repeat of what had happened almost a year before in the primary between Obama and Clinton. Missouri and Ohio were also too close to call, with McCain showing unexpected strength among working-class and Catholic voters. Just as in 2004, Florida was showing unexpected strength for the Republicans, despite the housing crisis. Then Minnesota began to report and, in a huge surprise, that race, too, was too close to call.
Eventually, McCain won New Hampshire, Florida, Missouri, and Ohio. And he sealed his narrow victory in the Electoral College by winning out west in Colorado — and Nevada for good measure.
“Colorado was the key,” said one GOP official early this morning. “It wasn’t pretty, but we always thought we could surprise there. Bush won it by almost five points last time. And an anti–affirmative action proposition on the ballot brought out our voters.”
Obama conceded around noon today, promising that, though the revolution he promised had been temporarily derailed, “we are the future.” Right now, however, the immediate future belongs to John McCain.
Whoa, that was scary! Note to self: never listen to Limbaugh before bed time . . .
To read the “Presidential Tote Board” blog, go to thePhoenix.com/blogs/toteboard. Steven Stark can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ODDS: same as last week