How is your election day going?  I voted before 8:30a (CST) and in Pleasant Hill 1 I was the 147th person to vote.  As expected we are already hearing about election day shenanigans   I’m going to be updating this post throughout the day and evening.  Later I’ll be at the Republican Party of Iowa/Tom Latham/Mitt Romney – Iowa Victory Party in Des Moines, IA.  It will be held at the Embassy Suites and if you live in the area drop by and say hi.

We also have live coverage going on thanks to Watchdog Wire.  Be sure to check that out as well.  I wanted to share your stories from election day and a few people have contacted me already.  If you haven’t I’d like to hear from you.  My email is shane(at)  You can also tweet me at @shanevanderhart or @CaffThoughts.

Updates below (times are CST):

11:00p – Last update… I’ll recap State House and State Senate races tomorrow… I’m fried.  There are still a lot of ballots to be counted in the Wiggins retention election.  The Yes folks have quite a lead right now so I suspect he will be retained, but most of the votes that need to come are in rural areas where the no vote was strong in 2010.  Anyway, good night, and like I said this morning.  God is in control regardless of the outcome of this election.

10:49p – Congressman Tom Latham (R-IA) just gave a quasi-victory speech since the crowd is thinning out.  319 out of 381 precincts reporting in he’s widening his lead over Congressman Boswell (D-IA) – 53.2% to 46.8% so it’s pretty certain even though it hasn’t been officially called.  Congressman King has expanded his lead over Christie Vilsack – 55.6% to 44.4% with 372 of 490 precincts reporting in.

10:28p – Still too early to call it, but Congressman Steve King (R-IA) has a sizable lead over Christie Vilsack – 55.4% to 44.6% with 319 out of 490 precincts reporting in the Iowa 4th Congressional Race.  Congressman Tom Latham (R-IA) leads Congressman Leonard Boswell (D-IA) 52.2% to 47.8% with 270 of 381 precincts reporting in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District race.  It looks like Congressman Bruce Braley (D-IA) and Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-IA) will also win re-election in Iowa’s 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts respectfully.

10:22p – We’ll take some good news where we can get it.  Senator Bob Kerry (D-NE) was defeated by pro-life candidate Deb Fischer (R-NE).

10:16p – CBS called Iowa for Obama.  Fox News called Obama winner of Ohio.  With that President Obama will be re-elected.

10:14p – Heard from Iowa House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer and Iowa Senate Minority Leader Jerry Behn.  Iowa Republicans will keep the House.  Behn said Republicans only need to flip two seats.

10:03p – North Carolina is called for Romney, Virginia is leaning his way.

9:43p – Some Iowa results… not looking good at the moment.

  • House District 40 – Democrat John Forbes beats Republican Mike Brown this is a Democrat pick-up.
  • State Representative Ralph Watts keeps his seat in House District 19.
  • Joe Riding (D) beats Jim Carley (R) in House District 30 – this is a Democrat pick up.
  • Republican Jake Highfill won in House District 39
  • Polk County Sheriff Bill McCarthy defeats Dan Charleston

9:20p – In Indiana we now have Governor-Elect Mike Pence.   Susan B. Anthony List sent a statement out about this news:

“Mike Pence and Sue Ellspermann are both authentic pro-life, pro-woman leaders and the Susan B. Anthony List is thrilled with their victory tonight,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Hoosier women and families will be well served by this team. Both longtime pro-life advocates, Mike and Sue are committed to protecting every human life and understand that our communities only grow stronger when we build up women in leadership roles while at the same time protecting the rights of the unborn”

Mike Pence has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2001 and has a 100 percent pro-life voting record. Congressman Pence has led the charge to stop taxpayer funding from going to America’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, and spearheaded the 2011 campaign to defund the organization through the Pence Amendment.

Sue Ellspermann was elected to the Indiana state legislature in 2010. She was featured in WORLD Magazine as an up and coming pro-life woman in politics. Ellspermann has earned a 100 percent pro-life voting record while in the legislature. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a PhD in industrial engineering from Purdue and the University of Louisville. Prior to serving in the Indiana Statehouse, Ellspermann founded a consulting business, directed the University of Southern Indiana’s Center for Applied Research and was actively involved with the Vanderburgh County Right to Life. The Pence-Ellspermann ticket is endorsed by Indiana Right to Life.

9:11p – Fox News calls the Missouri Senate race to Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) who will beat Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO).

9:07p – Montana and Utah goes to Romney.  Electoral count: Obama 163, Romney 162

9:05p – New Hampshire goes to President Obama… Ohio is definitely a must win.

8:44p – Sorry for the lack of updates, nothing really new to report.

8:35p – Congressman Pete Hokestra (R-MI) will lose his Michigan Senate race.

8:31p – New Mexico and Wisconsin have been called for the President.  I think it may be a tad early to call Wisconsin with only 2% in.  According to the map I did a couple of days ago Wisconsin was in the Romney column.  He now has to win Ohio (I had that as an Obama win).  Electoral count: Obama 158 , Romney 153

8:26p – Florida with 67% of the ballots counted has it dead even at 49.6%

8:21p – GOP picks up a Governor seat in North Carolina – McCroary will beat Dalton… perhaps a good sign for the Presidential race.

8:19p – Maine and Pennsylvania called for Obama… Electoral: Romney 153 Obama 143

8:16p – Senator Ben Nelson (D-FL) will win reelection over Connie Mack.

8:07p – New round of states called… Romney: Kansas, Texas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Louisiana, North Dakota and South Dakota.  Obama: Michigan and New York.  Electoral count: Romney: 154, Obama: 123

8:03p – From Anita Morrill in Des Moines 4 – “Just had a middle aged mother “helping ” her 30 yr old looking son first time vote. She was telling him ‘Democrat, Democrat’ until finally the poll worker reminded her that she was supposed to help, not do it for him…..”

7:55p – I apologize for the lag.  We have Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Arkansas for Romney.  Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jeresy, and Rhode Island are now in President Obama’s column.  Electoral count – Romney 88 Obama 78.

7:02p – in the race to 270, Romney currently has a 49 to 3 electoral lead, but none of the traditional blue states (except Vermont) have been called.  There hasn’t been any toss-up states called either.  I’m going to head on over to the Iowa GOP election night party.  I’ll do another update when I get there.

6:56p – Georgia was just called for Romney.

6:47p – Back for a little while… While I was gone South Carolina and West Virginia were called for Romney.

6:16p – Last update for a little bit… I have to go play chauffeur apparently my girls’ 4-H leader doesn’t care it’s election night 🙂

6:12p – Here’s why you should ignore exit polls

6:08p – CNN exit poll has a 49% – 49% split in VA.

6:06p – Polls are officially closed… KY and IN has been called for Romney, and Vermont for Obama polls.

5:48p: Tweet from a friend of mine…




5:40p: International poll watchers are surprised that the United States doesn’t expect people to identify themselves before voting.

5:36p: CT contributor Anita Morrill is a poll watcher in Des Moines 4, and she said, “Poll worker Donna absolutely checking addresses on maps and challenging those who got absentee ballots. This county will be in trouble of she ever retires!”  She said people need to show proper respect and fear to the little old ladies who are running that polling place.

5:30p: A very dedicated Obama supporters votes while in labor.  Unfortunately she’s also misguided, “I grew up on Sesame Street and PBS.  He (Romney) wants to cut that. What will my daughter grow up on?”  Really?

California sees dead people – who are still voting.  Amazing!  I’m happy to see that Vice President Biden has a fall back plan should they lose tonight.

Read more:

5:23p: Holly on the Hill who lives in Utah said via email that it appears that Mia Love is in good shape in her congressional race.

5:18p: Angela in Gettysberg, PA told me they’re using paper ballots (we do as well) apparently in other areas in PA they’re using touch screens?

5:13p: Mark Lucas just tweeted out a map that should be helpful.  It has poll closing times (EST).




509p: AP exit polling shows that economy still top concern. Not surpirsed, but check this only 25% say they are better off today than they were 4 years ago.  That doesn’t bode well for the President.

5:06p: Drudge has some exit polling info.  So far they are saying (and this is by no means conclusive) that they indicate that Romney leads in Florida and North Carolina.  President Obama leads in Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Nevada.  Toss-ups: Virginia, Colorado, and Iowa.  No word on Wisconsin.  He said that President Obama has 190 electoral votes locked and Governor Romney has 191.

4:57p: Just got off the phone with Mark Lucas, the Iowa State Director with Americans for Prosperity, he said that in his home county, Johnson County (which is a Democratic stronghold) that voter turnout is good – in that it is low.  He said the county auditor said that voter turnout is the lowest it has been in 30 years.  He said AFP just did 100,000 GOTV calls in Iowa, and yesterday they knocked on 1,100 doors in Carroll, IA.  Carroll County went for President Obama last time and they are considered a bellwether county.

 Lucas said, “Our ground effort is going very, very well and I think momentum is in our favor.”

4:00p: Here are some stories that I have received.  If you encounter some discrepancies let me know it doesn.  Feel free to also leave your story in the comments and I’ll “promote” it up to the thread.  Be sure to check back often and/or refresh as I will be updating.
From Trina  in Colfax, IA
The poll worker in Colfax is STILL not letting me sit or stand in a position where I can see who is coming in to vote prior to the person casting the vote. There is no way to challenge the vote unless I can see if the name matches my list. And I can’t see if the person already voted absentee or not. The guy is being a total horse’s you know what. The Romney lawyers thought they had the issue resolved so I went back to the poll and the jerk is still not letting me see the declaration pages as the voter is filling it out. He is only letting me see the pages of the people that have already voted. All I can hope for is that the poll workers are being honest and making people cast provisional ballots if there are any questions about their eligibility. I’m about ready to blow my top so I think it’s just better if I stay away and let the lawyers deal with it.
Nicole in Windsor Heights, IA
WH2 at 7:15 a.m. Female voter husband had trashed ballot. She was allowed to vote regular ballot(not provisional). The poll workers did contact the Auditor’s office and they gave the poll workers clearance. Full house but no lines.
Debbie in Exline, IA
In our polling place many more farmers than in prior experience, and questioning the precinct leaders on the assuredness that the vote they cast will not be able to be replicated any where else. A lot more activity in Exline Iowa!
Carole & Scott in Urbandale, IA
Scott & I went to Urbandale Precinct #9 in the Urbandale Library today with voter id in hand.  We changed our registration when we applied for an address change on our license on October 23rd.  The cards came in the mail just a couple of days later.  We got in line in our precinct and were told we were not on the list.  We were asked to go next door and see if we were on their list.  We were not on the Precinct #10 list either.  The people in that line asked us to get in a different line with someone who could go on-line and confirm what precinct we should vote in.  She agreed we should be in #9 and walked us back and put us in yet another line to fill out another form.  The person at the head of this line signed the form with us and sent us to get our ballot.  I was voter #540 at approximately 1 pm.  I think the whole rigmarole only added 15 minutes to the whole process.  Interesting being in a V line with no waiting for the first time in 19 years.  As my transplants friends like to say, “You’re not in Pella anymore Dorothy.”

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    1. It would actually be more disappointing if Obama won by just a hair, but he may win with an electoral-college blowout.

      While it’s awful that Obama won, I’m not really sorry that Romney lost. Maybe all the Romney-worship will go away now, and so will Romney himself! 😉 If in fact the GOP does survive, I think it really needed this kick in the pants tonight.

      God knows what He’s doing, of course. Our job is to keep praying that He will salvage our country and work out His purposes, no matter how discouraging things may look.

      1. The GOP lost what should’ve been easy US Senate seats. ‘Extreme’ doesn’t sell. If hope the party takes that lesson to heart but I suspect it will take another round to make it stick.

        None of the other front runners in the GOP Presidential primaries would have done much better.

        Another silver lining… Karl Rove’s star is looking rather tarnished. His organizations wasted tons of $$$. Time to put him out to pasture.

        Silver lining #2: The knives are probably going to be out for Mitch McConnell.

      2. Concerning the presidential election, perhaps the best explanation of Obama’s victory comes from a couple of political scientists who said the following earlier in the year:

        Abramowitz: “This election is going to be decided in about a dozen states by swing voters in those states. Reagan’s election had very little to do with his speaking ability or his personality. It had everything to do with the fact that Jimmy Carter was very unpopular. His approval rating was in the low 30s. Obama’s approval rating is 12 to 15 points higher. Unless his approval collapses and the economy deteriorates, I don’t think this is going to be like 1980.”

        Abramowitz: “When an incumbent president is running for re-election, the election is mostly a referendum on the president. The challenger only makes a difference at the margins, and we’re talking about a pretty small difference.”

        Nyhan: “The effect of ideology tends to be overstated relative to the state of the economy. But that’s based on a data set that doesn’t have a Bachmann- or Gingrich-style candidate. Assuming you nominate a normal, generic Republican, the fundamentals predict a closer race. Romney is more or less a generic Republican candidate. In a bad economy, that’s enough. But we haven’t seen the parties nominate someone like Bachmann or Gingrich.”

        With Obama’s approval rating at 50 percent, he would’ve been tough for anyone to beat. As for why his approval rating was so high, well, let’s not even try to explain that one. 😉

      3. Also, concerning “extreme” not selling, so many Democrats are extreme (Obama, Pelosi, etc.), yet somehow they still manage to get elected easily. 😉 I don’t think we had any “extreme” Republican candidates for the Senate this year–just some who didn’t package themselves as well as they could have. Before Akin misspoke, in fact, he was leading the incumbent quite handily in the polls.

      4. Obama isn’t extreme. Seriously. That he’s depicted as extreme when he’s actually governed as a moderate is an indication of the tone of partisan discourse and the continuing shift of the GOP to the right. I know this largely falls on deaf ears but it’s pretty much the consensus of people who’ve watch the political landscape over the past 30-40 years.

        Akin didn’t ‘misspeak’. He knew exactly what he was saying and he believed the stupid ‘folklore biology’ he spouted. His problem was that he forgot that he wasn’t talking to a closed meeting of his base. Understand that McCaskill *wanted* him as her opposition and actively supported Akin in his primary run. Her campaign knew, as did most of the Republican establishment, that he was the weakest of their primary candidates for the general election. Recall that’s why they pushed for him to leave the race and be replaced by other candidates after he had another one of his dependably inane performances.

        West is gone. So are Mourdock and Walsh. Bachmann barely squeaks by in a gerrymandered district almost perfectly designed for her. With a weak economy the GOP actually managed to lose seats in the US House and Senate. That didn’t happen because the voters thought they weren’t conservative enough. These candidates may not feel extreme to you but that’s likely a factor of the those around you and of the insulating opinions of others with whom you agree. For the majority of the electorate, these candidates and their ‘solutions’ are ‘out there.’ But keep it up. Whatever. Just don’t be surprised when the demographics and the narrowing self-selection of the party purists further marginalize the GOP in future elections.

        I doubt the Tea Party faithful will understand this message, although the cognitive dissonance required to ignore it may manifest as a slight feeling of uncertainty (which must be a new sensation for many), but the increasing number of former Republicans now identifying as Independents know.

      5. You honestly don’t think Obama is extreme???? Actually, to be fair, it’s most of the Democratic party IMO, not merely him.

        Anyway, I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one. 🙂

      6. No I think Obama has been generally centrist. The health coverage model he signed was largely in line with what conservative think tanks had proposed earlier. There wasn’t single-payer which is what the left really wanted. Shoring up the financial system in 2008/2009 was started under a Republican administration. Extending credit to the automakers when fiscal liquidity in the commercial sector had frozen solid was not anti-conservative, but actually pro business. Financial stimulus is a economy resetting technique that Reagan and Bush employed and which enjoyed GOP support (even from Paul Ran) until a Democrat employed it. Obama persecuted the wars and while he did forbid torture (which I’d argue is a core principle we should never had abandoned), he also increased drone and special forces attacks in places like Pakistan that yielded real results.

        Gay marriage & Don’t ask, don’t tell repealed? While religious conservatives may not like either, that really is the centrist position of the public now and it’s only going to get less controversial later.

        Stricter gun control laws? Barely touched.

        The Democratic party shifted right in the 80’s after the continuous thrashing of the Reagan-Bush years. They had their sojourn in the desert, regrouped and shifted rightward, moving toward the center. The GOP kept moving right, and has a difficult time holding the center today. Many candidates that do are disparaged as RINOs. Consequently, the GOP is being flushed out of New England, and completely lost California which was once a vibrant mix-up.

        But, yes, I’ll agree to disagree. And we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

  1. Obama, the world have heart for you. CONGRATULATION!!!!!!! to you and to the whole world!

  2. Oh, one more thing. I believe that if Romney would have been better for our nation (i.e., clearly the lesser of two evils), God could easily have gotten him elected. I mean, this was a lot closer than last time. But He obviously didn’t.
    (And He pulled out tight victories Bush on two occasions.)

    More than the electorate speaking, I think that God has spoken. Exactly what He’s speaking, I don’t know, but it doesn’t quite seem to be, “Rah-rah-Romney!!!!!” 😉

  3. Thanks to the tea party the GOP lost its chance to control the US Senate. This is the second time this has happened. I hope these useless tools have learned their lesson but something tells me they haven’t.

      1. And that worked out so well in 2012. Fact is, the dominant party typically loses seats in the mid-terms. More so in bad economic times. And recall also that the Tea Party nominees killed GOP hopes of further gains when people like O’Donnell converted a sure win in Delaware to a loss (same with Angle in NV). Miller in AK got beaten by his rival in the primaries who ran as a independent to defeat him). I think once the general public got a look at what the Tea Party types actually did in office, they backed away from support. Hence, 2012’s results. There will be some shuffling in the next midterm election but the shine has finally come off the Tea Party.

  4. DOWN GOES BVP !! DOWN GOES LOOSE CANNON DAN !!!!!!DOWN GOES ROBME!!!!!!DOWN GOES PROHIBITION IN COLORADO A64!!!WA I-105!!! I CALLED IT !!AND THE BIG O VICTORY!!while the rent-A-Christian fundies on the air-waves would languish on a Robme landslide, fluffing the listeners to believe it would happen…

  5. Nice recap Shane. My thinking is that the GOP is having an identity crisis and trying to figure out who they are. I think that your blog testifies to that. Candidates like Akin in Missouri and Mourdock in Indiana represent GOP candidates that do not seem to have the ability to win in states where a Republican absolutely should have beat the Democratic opponent. I suspect that the Dems will keep winning elections as long as Republicans are divided.

    1. I think both of them could have won – Akin’s response to that abortion question no doubt sunk him. Mourdock – I didn’t see polling in that race. I don’t think his answer on abortion in circumstances of rape was bad, but I’m sure it was spun all sorts of ways and it came late in the race. Indiana though isn’t as red as you think, they are much like Iowa. They’ve had Democrat and Republicans governors and Senators. They voted for Obama in 2008 so they’re more purple. Last night, Mike Pence won the Governor’s race, but the Republican incumbent Tony Bennett lost the State Superintendent of Public Instruction race.

      1. Yes, they probably could have won. Conservatives just cannot afford to give liberals any free ammunition, who will liberally (pun intended 🙂 twist their words to fit their evil agendas. A person may mean well, but the connotation of his words may be something other than what he intended. The Bible tells us to be as harmless as doves, but as wise as serpents. Serpents choose their words very carefully, not carelessly. I think the Democrats are far craftier at these matters than conservatives, but that needs to change.

      2. I just deleted a bit of a long rant against the likes of Akin (the guy that I voted for here in Missouri) and have decided that there is nothing that I can say that will not result in a war of words on your blog. Therefore I will bow out saying that I really do hope that the GOP can find a way to unite again.

    2. Also, that is just as much an establishment problem, if not more so, than it is a social conservative/Tea Party problem. The Republican Party has to stop picking moderates, but pick a true conservative who is winsome and charismatic. I’ll be blogging more on that later.

    3. Identity crisis? You betcha. In fact, the rift has gone so deep that now Mitt Romney is breaking off and forming his own party!!!!

      The title?

      Severe Conservatives

      Its motto?

      If at first you don’t succeed, try throwing a little more money at it next time. 😉

Comments are closed.

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