Former UT QB (and massive NFL flop) Heath Shuler has been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat from North Carolina’s 11th district in the western part of the state.
My favorite quote from the article above shows some down-home folksy wisdom:
‘If Heath Shuler wins, Tennessee has themselves another congressman,’ said Madison County resident Robert Reeves, a retired farmer and a supporter of Taylor for all of his 16 years in Congress.”
I’m not so sure that most of us over here really care, Mr. Reeves, but thanks.
The AP is calling the Senate race in Tennessee for Republican Bob Corker. Corker is apparently close to taking the podium at his election party in Chattanooga.
I see that 90%+ of the vote has been counted, but am having trouble verifying what’s still outstanding. Corker’s lead is pretty solid, but I don’t know that I’m 100% convinced yet that it’s completely over.
I personally am going to wait to believe it until I actually see it.
Polls closed in Tennessee at 8:00 p.m. Eastern (7:00 Central), but of course, if someone was in line at that time, then they’ll get to vote, regardless of how long it takes.
The local news stories here are that there are still voters waiting to cast ballots in Nashville and in Memphis. In what is possibly trending closer than expected, this could be very important (and a final result not known for some time). Waiting to vote more than three hours after the polls “closed” is just strange to me. Something smells funny.
More to come…
As a side note, there is apparently some significant malfunction with the tabulation of the vote in Knox County (Knoxville), where approximately 5000 votes can’t be tallied until the morning. A tech guy from the company making the eSlate voting machine is going to fly into Knoxville in the morning to fix it.
I decided to dig a little bit past the number that are out now (69% in), showing Bob Corker with a lead of 51-47% (708K to 652K). On the surface, it would seem that Corker has a decent lead with a pretty solid percentage of the vote in.
However, I dug a little deeper, showing the current count from Shelby County (Memphis) on this one. Of course, Ford is leading huge already in Memphis (2-1, about 120K-60K), but ONLY 35% of precincts are in. Depending on which areas of town are in (Memphis is a deeply racially mixed population, but those races seem to be completely isolated in their own little enclaves in the city/county), Ford could get a huge late push with the Shelby County votes.
As a side note, it looks like only a quarter of the Davidson County (Nashville) votes are in, with Jr. with a big lead there, too. If Corker is running close in the rural areas of the state, he might have trouble finishing this thing off if he has to rely on the city dwellers…
While some of the national pundits are writing Jr. off, I’m not so sure that it’s that clear just yet.
More to come…
…gridlock in the morning….it smells like…victory.”
All apologies to Robert Duvall for this take on his famous line from Apocalypse Now, but I really think our federal government functions best (that is, with the least abominable legislation) when there’s a division of power between the branches.
Looks like that’s the way it’s heading. Don’t know if the GOP can hold the Senate (which I think I would prefer solely from a judicial confirmation standpoint), but I don’t care too much that the House goes to the Democrats.
Granted, if all the Republicans there believed in passing laws that were appropriate (tax cuts, supporting national defense, etc.), I’d say I’d probably rather have them there, but with the old system of Checks and Balances, maybe there will be enough bickering and fighting that nothing much will get accomplished.
Seems to me that the public fares better when the feds can’t agree on much.
Almost half the vote in an Corker’s margin is increasing. Now up 52-47%
UPDATE: In a landslide, the Marriage Amendment is prevailing 80-20.
Right now, with about a quarter of the votes in, Corker leads Ford by about 25,000 votes. 51-48. No real indication of what areas are in, but if it’s primarily East Tennessee, then it could be closer than Corker would care for.
Interesting theory, which does seem to make some sense in the conventional wisdom of conservatives in Tennessee. As I noted in an earlier post, the Gay Marriage Amendment must pass with a majority of votes cast in the governor’s race, not independently in and of itself. Could be that some Tennessee conservatives are bailing out of the governor’s race and candidate Jim Bryson (an election they effectively planned to lose) in order to make their vote for the constitutional amendment count for more.
It makes sense to me, as I did effectively the same thing in 2002 during the constitutional amendment fight over the state lottery.
No great surprise in the race for Governor, as the national press is already calling it for the incumbent, Democrat Phil Bredesen, basically by 2-1. Bredesen appeals to the muddy middle of moderates in the Democratic and Republican parties in Tennessee, and goes to prove my point from last night that Tennessee simply won’t elect a true-right conservative.
Only 4% of the Senate votes counted, showing Bob Corker with a lead 56-43. Still early, and no real indication which locations are reporting. As someone who’s seen a lot of shenanigans in Memphis, I’d advise everyone to watch very closely. If the race is close late in the count, and Memphis isn’t in, then Ford could pull it out. There are always serious “ahem” irregularities with the vote in Memphis. If you’re interested to see some reporting on the early voting in Memphis from someone who follows it very well, check out the Voting in Memphis blog
More to come…
UPDATE: Early voting totals are out in Tennessee, and I must say that I’m quite impressed by the vote totals. It seems that just over 867,000 voters came out in the two week run-up to election day. Almost 150,000 of those came from Shelby County (Memphis), so there’s some strong sentiment one way or another from there. I’m curious as to how many of those votes are from the dead…Vote Early, Vote Often, Vote after assuming room temperature…
Wow. That was a really stupid title for the post.
Anyway, all I really wanted to say is that I think weather could play a key role in the Tennessee Senate election today. For those who aren’t familiar with Tennessee geography and/or politics, the state is divided into three “Grand Divisions,” West, Middle, and East. West Tennessee tends to trend more liberal (or traditional agrarian Democrat), largely due to the One Million or so folks in the greater Memphis area, Middle Tennessee tends to be somewhat mixed, though with the large metropolitan Nashville area, it probably leans middle left. East Tennessee, with few exceptions, is quite conservative.
There’s a large expanse between Memphis in the extreme southwestern corner of the state all the way to Bristol in the extreme northeast corner (basically 500 miles), so needless to say the weather can be quite varied.
Today was certainly no exception. West Tennessee and most of Middle Tennessee had extremely nice conditions, with no rain and moderate temps. However, here in East Tennessee, it has just been generally yucky all day. Rain, dark, bleak conditions persisted throughout the entire area.
Does weather help or hinder a particular party or candidate? I don’t know if my local polling place is any bellweather for the area, but at 6:00, there was a relatively long line to sign in, and also one to actually get to the new machines.
Polls are just in the process of closing here in Tennessee (waiting for those in line by 8pm to finish), and there’s no news results yet. I’ll give you an update when I get the first set of reasonable numbers.
I’m sure that there’s a large number of folks in the country that would have a hard time knowing how to vote properly if they were given the option of simply raising either their left or right hands for the candidate of their choice.
In my part of the world, per the federal law implemented following the 2000 elections, local politicos have chosen to use the “eSlate” system, by a company known as Hart Intercivic. To anyone who’s ever used an iPod, PDA, or anything similar could not possibly have any difficulty in operating it. Here’s an easy to navigate demo of the eSlate machines, and frankly it couldn’t be easier.
Ahh. But now we have the problem of the geezer/technophobe/idiot (not all members of a particular group are part of all) portion of society that freak out or just get hacked off by not having the “good ole days” of the punchcard ballot back. Bottom line, there’s always something that someone’s not going to like about the way we cast ballots.
In reality, voting requires our attention to detail. It requires us to consider our candidates and issues closely prior to Election Day, and the way our ballot is cast is also demanding. I am perfectly capable of casting a ballot via whatever means the local Election Commission requires, and have done so since I was 17 (ok, so I registered and voted in the 1992 Presidential election by absentee, as I would be 18 on October 30, 1992, and away at college on election day). So, I’ve voted for 15 years, and have cast ballots on 1.) paper, 2.) mechanical lever machines, 3.) paper punchcard ballots, 4.) the previously standard Shouptronic machines, and 5.) by this new eSlate pure electronic machine. Every time before I cast my ballot, regardless of the means of doing so, I review my ballot at least 3 times. This gives me the assurance that I have cast my vote as intended.
For crying out loud, people. Don’t bitch and moan on Election Day that you don’t understand, or that it’s not fair. Get your repsective heads out of your respective …(calming down)…and get educated BEFORE you vote. It’s not complicated.
Heath Shuler, former University of Tennessee quarterback (and NFL flop), is running for Congress from the 11th District in eastern North Carolina. I had posted about his running over at my semi-defunct blog Backassward.com (which hopefully will be back and running soon), back in April 2005. Here’s the post from the Google cache…
Shuler Looks to Lay Another Stinker in DC
Former University of Tennessee standout quarterback Heath Shuler is looking to renew the overwhelming success he has previously experienced in Washington, D.C.
No, sports fans, he’s not planning the long anticipated comeback to resurrect the Redskins to their former glory. He’s RUNNING FOR CONGRESS!
At least it’s not from the Tennessee delegation.
Polls seem to indicate that he’s almost a lock to head back to DC. Wonder how he’ll be received by the local folk?
Thanks to Brendan for allowing me to chip in my two cents’ worth on the big Senate race here in Tennessee to replace Sen. Bill Frist’s seat. As a conservative on most things, I don’t particularly care for Senator Frist, and the man who replaces him certainly won’t be a great improvement.
I don’t know if it has been media hype fawning over Harold Ford, Jr., or if the polling indicating an almost dead-heat horserace was accurate, but the latest polls certainly don’t seem to look good for the guy from Memphis.
The polls throughout the bulk of the election have tended to show neither candidate taking a huge lead over the other, with them bouncing back and forth, holding percentage leads within the margins of error of the polls.
However, as the resident gambling “expert” here at BrendanLoy.com, my mind tells me to follow the money. The wagering money, that is. You just can’t fade the odds too much in wagering on election contests. The latest line has Mr. Corker as a huge favorite to defeat the young Congressman. My choice, if you’re betting, bet the dog with the money line because of the potential payoff, but expect Bob Corker to be the new junior Senator from Tennessee.
While Tennessee has of late come to be a pretty solid hold for most GOP candidates in statewide races, it is far from a hard-right conservative state. There are a number of left-leaning enclaves in the state, and the “conservatives” really aren’t. Unfortunately, Tennessee has a tendency to nominate (and elect) the most limp-wristed, useless Republicans imaginable. This election doesn’t rate to be any different. We’ll elect a middle-left Republican over a middle-right Democrat for Senate, but we’ll re-elect a middle-left Democrat governor over an “According to Hoyle” conservative Republican.
I’ll be posting some real-time updates on some issues of potential interest with the Senate race, and the other relevant races in Tennessee for you folks tomorrow. Also, FYI, Tennessee has a proposed Constitutional Amendment on the ballot regarding banning gay marriage. Interestingly, Tennessee requires that this not just pass with a simple majority, or even a super-majority to go into effect. To pass, this amendment would have to secure a majority, based on the number of votes cast in the race for Governor. In other words, if 2 Million votes are cast for Governor, the amendment has to receive 1,000,001 to pass, even if there’s not a single “NO” vote against.
Thanks again, Brendan, and we’ll see what the balance of power is tomorrow night.