Dear Reader: I realize it's not Tuesday and have seen some people with their head in a fog this morning, I beg your dispensation at being late. Actually it's been two weeks and a day since my last confession.
I confess that I missed confession here two weeks ago because I was not in an especially confessional mood. We had just put down one of our cats of some 14 years and it was a sudden and totally unexpected event. I've never been good in dealing with the loss of a pet.
Last night I confess was all about the election. Once I was home I was pretty much zoned into returns. You have to understand my political history to understand the nature and degree to which elections are an obsession to me. During the 14 years that I served on the Democratic Committee including the time I was Chairman of the County Democratic Party I considered myself the consummate vote counter. I elections I was excellent at projecting were needed votes were and how to turn them out.
My blog post from early yesterday indicated my last best assessment on the potential outcome of the presidential election based upon a number of varying polls, my recollection of 2008 returns and what I anticipated the turnouts would be like. Don't get me wrong I'm no Nate Silver. I'm not boy wonder, but I am better then average with such projections.
The results of my election picks were not bad. I was under the impression that Florida would be won by Romney even as I felt the numbers there were tightening. And while I believed we would win Virginia, I started doubting myself last night. There was no need to doubt in the end. Ohio I never really questioned and even as I watched it tighter at one point - once I was able to the the county by county returns and realized most of the Republican counties were 100% reporting or mid to high 80's and the Cuyohoga County (Cleveland) was only reporting 30% with Obama polling 70% to 29% Romney, I figured the slow counting reflected high turnout and recalling that Obama build up a roughly 200,000 vote margin there 4 years ago, I knew in the end the lead would hold.
So yes I was feeling a little nerdy last night. I confess this but with the caveat that this is about as nerdy as I ever get.
I also confess it was fascinating how many people were overly anxious in the early going. In reality I expected that the word would not come as quickly as it did. The worst "general" election nights I have suffered through are of course 2000 but also 1968 (my very first and while I was not old enough to vote in this election I spent a sizable amount of time each evening and on weekends working in the campaign.)
But seriously, there were several people on Facebook that I felt were about to lose it by the time of 9PM poll closings. I'm not trying to make fun of anyone that messaged me during this time (there were several) but I only hope that my responses served as a calming voice of reason. It's easy to be a little calmer if you see early states going to the opponent that you never believed or counted on having in your path to victory. Meanwhile, I'm sure a more casual viewer gets a little shaky to see the other side have six or seven states called for them and your candidate just one.
I confess that more important then calling any state right is the victory. I don't always have happy predictions. But it's twice as nice to be right and have your candidate win.