Mitt Romney will travel to Ohio and Pennsylvania tomorrow, because extending this campaign is precisely what Americans want. At an Ohio rally for the president, Jay-Z rapped that he's "got 99 problems but a Mitt ain't one," yet didn't heed our "H to the Izzo V to the Van Wert County" suggestion. And there were so many Floridians and Ohioans waiting in line to vote you'd think a new iPhone they can't afford had been released. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, November 5th, 2012:
Find your polling place here.
@davidfrum: Curiously enough, there's never a line at my polling place in very affluent NW Washington DC.
ROMNEY TO CAMPAIGN ON ELECTION DAY - According to a pool report, Mitt Romney and his wife Ann will vote in Massachusetts in the morning and then travel to Cleveland and Pittsburgh where they'll be gawked at by miserable, frostbitten people waiting in line eight hours to vote. Romney will smile, wave, say something awkward and leave.
Meanwhile: "President Barack Obama indicated that he will be shooting hoops on Election Day, according to an interview in People. 'I didn't play before the New Hampshire primary in 2008 and lost. I'm not going to make that mistake again!' Obama said. He played a two-hour game on Election Day 2008 in Chicago." [HuffPost's Luke Johnson]
JERSEY SORE - Jon Ward: "New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was effusive in his praise of President Barack Obama when the two leaders toured damage from Hurricane Sandy last week, turned down a request by Mitt Romney to appear with him at a rally on Sunday night in Pennsylvania, The Huffington Post has learned...The Romney rally was held at a farm in Morrisville, Pa., not more than 20 minutes from Trenton, the New Jersey capital. The physical proximity of the event to New Jersey only added to questions in the Romney campaign about why Christie chose not to come." [HuffPost]
YAY! DRAWN OUT LEGAL BATTLES OVER ELECTION RETURNS! YAY! - If there's one thing Americans want, it's to have their intra-family Thanksgiving political squabbles exacerbated by an undecided election. Politico: "A federal judge has set a hearing for Wednesday morning -- the morning after Election Day--to hear arguments about the rules for counting provisional ballots in Ohio. U.S. District Court Judge Algenon Marbley set the 11 A.M. Wednesday session in Columbus via an order issued Monday afternoon and posted here. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted issued a directive Friday that requires voters to complete the identification section on provisional ballots, rather than pollworkers. A variety of unions, a homeless-aid group and the Ohio Democratic Party say having voters fill that out themselves could lead to inaccuracies or errors. The labor groups and Democrats have asked Marbley to order the state to count provisional ballots even if that identification information is incomplete." [Politico]
Programming note: We will publish two HuffPost Hills tomorrow -- one at the usual time and one late night when lawyers in Ohio, Florida and Virginia will be filing injunctions all over the place and ruining everyone's November.
HuffPost Hill's lone election forecast: It will be legal to wake and bake the morning after Election Day in Washington state and Colorado.
HOW IT'S CALLED - Apparently election results are not accumulated by a room full of monkeys in green eyeshades punching away at adding machines. Michael Calderone: "At 11 a.m. Tuesday, representatives from five TV networks and the Associated Press will head into the 'quarantine room,' an undisclosed location with no cell phone or Internet access. That's where the National Election Pool -- ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox and the AP -- start sifting through exit poll data provided by Edison Research. Six hours later, staffers will be permitted to start sending data to their respective news organizations, while additional exit polls, especially on the west coast, keep coming in. While news outlets can begin reporting after 5 p.m. on some general trends they have observed, such as whether voters consider the economy the most important issue in the 2012 election, they're not permitted to publish or broadcast any information that suggests which way a state is leaning until its polls close." [HuffPost]
SPOTS TO WATCH ELECTION RETURNS: - HuffPost DC: "There are plenty of Election Night options for watching Tuesday's returns, including a patriotic eating contest, great deals on craft beer and jazz at the Kennedy Center with returns displaying on large monitors." [HuffPost]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Heeding word that Hurricane Sandy would be a bad storm, Daniel McGee and his girlfriend Candy Lucky raised their belongings about two and a half feet from their apartment floor here before they evacuated. When they returned to their apartment on Thursday, they discovered that almost everything they'd left behind had been completely destroyed, as the water rose to more than three feet just blocks from the beach. Sandy had rearranged the furniture and coated the place in foul-smelling slime. "It's a mess," McGee, 41, said after taking off an industrial breathing mask during an interview outside his ruined apartment on Thursday. "It's sad." McGee and Lucky, 37, lack renter's insurance, and their landlord hasn't been able to reach the property's insurer yet. "There's going to be no quick answers," McGee said. "There is so much to do here." [HuffPost]
DOUBLE DOWNER - Some people who have insurance from Obamacare are kinda nervous right now.
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EARLY VOTING STATUS: IT RHYMES WITH 'FLUSTER DUCK' - Back in the day, only white male landowners could vote in elections. The barriers to entry have since lowered but Americans who meet the original criteria are more likely to vote easily in recently renovated high school gymnasiums and city halls while those who don't are more likely to wait in line for hours to vote in an unheated dilapidated community center catty-corner to a place called "GOOD TIME QUIK FOOD" that sells both pizza and lo mein. Luke Johnson and Janie Campbell: "Chaos reigned in South Florida, where Republican Gov. Rick Scott has refused to extend a reduced early voting period despite lines lasting as long as eight or nine hours, and an emergency lawsuit from state Democrats...In Miami-Dade county, where a swollen line forced Saturday's final early voter to wait until 1:00 a.m. Sunday morning to cast a ballot, the Elections Department's workaround to Scott's decision -- four hours of in-person absentee balloting on Sunday afternoon -- dissolved into a protest when Republican Mayor Carlos Gimenez ordered operations to shut down with 180 people in line and two hours to go. Though voting eventually resumed, it was only after residents who refused to leave chanted "Let us vote!" while banging on the department's locked front door...In Ohio, perhaps the most hotly contested swing state this year, long lines were common at early voting sites on Sunday and Monday. Many of those lines were in Democratic strongholds in Cleveland and Columbus, and a good deal of the voters in line were African-American, who were 26 times more likely to vote early in Cuyahoga County -- which includes Cleveland -- in 2008." [HuffPost]
'THE POLLING CAKE IS BAKED' - The skewing is done. Nate Silver can no longer tamper with the election by saying that polls showing President Obama leading mean he'll probably win. Mark Blumenthal: "With just one day remaining in the 2012 race for president, the polling picture is now virtually complete. President Barack Obama continues to hold narrow but significant leads over Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in enough battleground states to put him over the 270 electoral votes needed for victory... Of the 10 new surveys released in Ohio since Friday, all but one show nominal, single-digit Obama leads, except for one automated Rasmussen Reports poll indicating a tie. The Pollster tracking model, as of this writing, gives Obama an Ohio lead of over 3 percentage points (49.1 to 45.7 percent)...The Pollster model also gives Obama narrower advantages in three more states, including a roughly 2 point advantage over Romney in New Hampshire, a 1.7 point advantage in Virginia and just under a percentage point advantage in Colorado." [HuffPost]
@amyewalter: After going dark post -Sandy, Gallup tracking back. Romney 49 - Obama 48. A 4 pt. shift to Obama from 10/28
Early voting update: "One day before Election Day, more than 29.9 million Americans have already cast their ballots, and based the available data, Democrats appear to have an edge in some key states... Of the five battleground states that report on partisan turnout, Democrats are leading in four, while Republicans are leading in one, according to data compiled by George Mason University's United States Elections Project." [CBS News]
ROMNEY CAMPAIGN TOTALLY CONFIDENT... NO REALLY... JUST DANDY... - Right now we are in the early stages of Team Romney's Jessie Spano caffeine pill freakout. They've just belted out their last "I'M SO EXCITED!!!" and are about cry "I'M SO... SCARED!!!" as they collapse in Zack Morris' arms. Jon Ward:"'We're going to win.' Two different advisers to Mitt Romney said this, unprompted, to a Huffington Post reporter traveling on the campaign's plane Sunday. The statement may have come from genuine confidence, but it came off more as an attempt to keep up flagging spirits and ward off negative questions in the face of the Republican presidential candidate's dimming prospects. There is a sense that the race, while close, is sliding towards a reelection for President Obama, with battleground state polls the biggest indicator. A day traveling with the Obama campaign on Friday in Ohio, followed by a day spent on the Romney plane as it hopped in and out of four different states on Sunday, did nothing to dispel this notion." [HuffPost]
@reidepstein Obama put Bruce Springsteen on the phone with Chris Christie aboard Air Force One today.
PAUL RYAN LASHES OUT AT OUR ANTI-CHRIST PRESIDENT - During a conference call organized by Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition, the Republican vice presidential candidate warned that on November 7th, the Earth might split open and pitchfork-wielding ACORN volunteers will spill forth from their hellish realm and cancel all of our Bible study groups. "This is a huge election," Ryan said. "Please know that Mitt Romney and I understand the stakes. We understand the stakes of where this country is headed. We understand the stakes of our fundamental freedoms being on the line, like religious freedom -- such as how they're being compromised in Obamacare." He added that President Obama seeks "a path that grows government, restricts freedom and liberty and compromises those values -- those Judeo-Christian, Western civilization values that made us a great and exceptional nation in the first place." [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]
Revenge is a dish best served over the phone and with a legally mandated "paid for" bumper: "Mitt Romney has been going after President Barack Obama's remark that 'voting is the best revenge,' frequently bringing it up in the final week of the campaign. A new robocall by the Romney campaign continues to hammer the president on the comment, simply playing it back paired with Romney's Saturday response...The Romney campaign has released a torrent of anti-Obama robocalls in the final days of the campaign, including one that tells Christian voters he poses a 'real threat to our religious freedom.'" [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]
CANDIDATES TO INTERRUPT BEER AND TRUCK COMMERCIALS TONIGHT - That is, both Barack Obama Mitt Romney will record interviews with ESPN that will air during halftime. The chances of Mitt Romney screaming "ARE YOU READY FOR SOME BALL OF FOOT?!?" before the campaign is over have risen dramatically. NYT: "President Obama and Mitt Romney will appear at halftime of the 'Monday Night Football' game in New Orleans between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New Orleans Saints. They will answer questions -- presumably somewhat more oriented to the world of sports than to Libya or auto bailouts -- from the ESPN studio host, Chris Berman." [NYT]
ROVE-AFFILIATED GROUP TIED TO GIANT ANONYMOUS CONTRIBUTION - Paul Blumenthal: "A 'dark money' non-profit that funneled $11 million into two ballot initiative fights in California revealed to the state's campaign finance oversight board that it had received the money after the funds passed through the hands of two other 'dark money' groups. California's Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) revealed that the Arizona-based Americans for Responsible Leadership received the $11 million from the Center to Protect Patients' Rights, which originally received the money from the non-profit Americans for Job Security. A press release from the FPPC called the scheme, 'the largest contribution ever disclosed as campaign money laundering in California history.'" [HuffPost]
If you live in the D.C. area, you've likely been bombarded with ads about Question 7 with such regularity that you might think "Question 7" is a midseason replacement on NBC. A pro-Question 7 (that would expand gambling in Maryland) web ad has gathered so much steam online that Yes On 7 campaign has put it on the radio in the final days ahead of Election Day. More than 300,000 people have viewed a spoof of the John Denver classic "Take Me Home, Country Roads." The song replaces Denver's chorus with its own: "Maryland cash / bring it back / to the state / where it comes from / not West Virginia." [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Supercut of dogs and cats cuddling.
"Vote to legalize marijuana please, HAL... Vote to legalize marijuana please, HAL": "Call it the ultimate absentee ballot. NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station have the option of voting in tomorrow's (Nov. 6) presidential election from orbit, hundreds of miles above their nearest polling location. Astronauts residing on the orbiting lab receive a digital version of their ballot, which is beamed up by Mission Control at the agency's Johnson Space Center(JSC) in Houston. Filled-out ballots find their way back down to Earth along the same path." [Space.com]
- Baboon sticks its butt in a toddler's face. Thanks, internet! [http://bit.ly/RLxICK]
- Why do we have two nostrils (or as we like to call them, "smell holes")? [http://bit.ly/Yv9X7Z]
- "Will Ferrell Will Do Anything to Get You to Vote" [http://bit.ly/U7YdIQ]
- "Dragon Baby," a short film about a ninja baby that kicks ass and takes names. [http://chzb.gr/Py2xym]
- Cat versus dog. Cat wins. [http://bit.ly/SNHF6N]
- A countdown mashup of the Internet Movie Database's top 250 movies. [http://bit.ly/SqIWNX]
- Here is a decidedly more violent supercut of every bone Steven Seagal has broken on screen. The off-screen version is still in the works. [http://bit.ly/VNNHlo]
@ntavel: What exactly does Romney mean when he promises a "BIGGER, better country"? Are we getting a new state or something? #election
@Atrios: pundits just gave up this election. no "hockey moms" or whatever. just "white dudes."
@pourmecoffee: Voting Tip: Bronco Bamma is spelled Barack Obama on the official ballot. It's the same guy.
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