A small coalition of grandparents and people with nothing else to do after work altered the course of history today. If American Bridge is as influential as they say they are, "Guy Giving A Thumbs Down Behind Mitch McConnell" will be an emoji by tomorrow morning. And a freak early snowstorm could dampen turnout in conservative parts of Maine, but Paul LePage can still tell Al Gore jokes to keep warm. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, November 4th, 2014::
OBAMA LOWERING EXPECTATIONS, WHINING A BIT - All that remains is the president's word choice -- we've had a shellacking and a thumpin' and the American people are ready for a fresh gerund. Stephen Collinson: "Even before the polls close in the midterm election, President Barack Obama is sounding gloomy about the Democrats' chances of hanging onto the Senate. 'This is probably the worst possible group of states for Democrats since Dwight Eisenhower,' Obama told WNPR radio in Connecticut Tuesday afternoon while polls were still open. 'There are a lot of states that are being contested where they just tend to tilt Republican," said Obama, seemingly reconciling himself to a grim night for Democrats that could turn his final two years in the White House into a painful experience." [CNN]
HuffPost's Election Results page is excellent.
EARLY EXIT POLLS ARE HELPFUL... - ... if you're the kind of person who gets all their financial advice from Goldline commercials. Ariel Edwards-Levy: "First, an exit poll is just a survey. Like other polls, it is subject to random sampling error, so differences of a few percentage points between the candidates in any given state sample are not terribly meaningful … Second, the networks almost never 'call' truly competitive races on exit poll results alone. The decision desk analysts require very high statistical confidence … They usually only achieve that confidence for relatively close races after the exit pollsters obtain the actual vote results from the randomly selected precincts at which interviews were completed (and from other larger random samples of precincts) and combine all of the data into some very sophisticated statistical models." [HuffPost]
This guy giving a thumbs-down to Mitch McConnell at the voting booth was America's Sweetheart for a while today.
RAND PAUL COOL WITH DC WEED - Though of course we'll have to check back with him later. Niels Lesniewski: "As District of Columbia voters are seemingly poised to approve a ballot item to allow cultivation and possession of small quantities of marijuana for personal use, the Republican in charge of a subpanel with D.C. oversight says home rule should prevail. 'I think there should be a certain amount of discretion for both states and territories and the District, you know,' Sen. Rand Paul said outside his polling place at an elementary school here. 'I think really that when we set up our country, we intended that most crime or not crime, things that we determined to be crime or not crimes, was really intended to be determined by localities.'" [Roll Call]
Citylab has a primer on ways Congress would interfere with the city's pot initiative.
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Hang your heads in Downerness at this story: "A teacher at a Louisville, Kentucky, Catholic school has resigned rather than take paid leave after parents raised concerns about her trip to Kenya, half a continent away from the Ebola epidemic in western Africa, WDRB Channel 41 TV reported. Susan Sherman, a religious education teacher who is also a registered nurse, was recently on a mission in Kenya in eastern Africa. When she returned, St. Margaret Mary school requested she take a precautionary 21-day leave and produce a health note from her doctor, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Louisville." FYI: Kenya is not near Liberia, Seirra Leone, or Guinea. Africa is not a country. Ebola isn't spread through magic. [Reuters]
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INCONVENIENT SNOWSTORM FOR PAUL LePAGE - Who of course believes climate change is a hoax. Kate Sheppard: "Some commenters have noted that the snowstorm may pose the biggest electoral concern for Maine's incumbent Republican Gov. Paul LePage, as it affected the more conservative central and northern part of the state but dropped only a little bit of snow in the more liberal region of the state near Portland. LePage is locked in a tight reelection bid against both Democratic challenger Mike Michaud, and Independent Eliot Cutler. HuffPost Pollster's average heading into Tuesday's election had LePage and Michaud neck-and-neck, at 40.8 percent and 40.3 percent, respectively. Cutler looks likely to carve off a double-digit percentage of voters as well." [HuffPost]
Here is a video of Martha Coakley pouring a beer for some dude and then inserting her pinky finger into said beer. HuffPost Hill political analysis: WTF
LAME DUCK CONGRESS WILL BE LAME, NOT WATERFOWL - If regular Congress is disappointment shrooms, then lame duck Congress is disappointment black tar heroin. Mike McAuliff: "The top concerns voiced by voters in poll after poll this election were the economy and the stagnating middle class. So, freed from election concerns, what will Washington do to address those problems during the lame duck session in the weeks before the start of a new Congress? A quick survey of congressional insiders offers this answer: Very little. 'Yeah, I think that's a fair assessment,' said a senior Senate Democratic staffer who spoke on background in order to offer candid remarks...There is certainly blame to go around. While the House insists it passed more than 40 bills that GOP leaders say create jobs, most of them are actually anti-regulation measures that would do little, and which a Democratic-controlled Senate would never approve. And the Senate has been its own special case. Republicans in the minority there have specialized in delay and obstruction, while Democrats have done their best to freeze out GOP measures and avoid politically damaging votes." [HuffPost]
THIS ELECTION COST A LOT - Paul Blumenthal: "[Kay] Hagan's re-election race, like [Hillary] Clinton's 2000 bid, was in the process of becoming one of the most expensive Senate races in modern U.S. history. In 2000, while her husband former President Bill Clinton still occupied the White House, Hillary Clinton squared off against then-Rep. Rick Lazio (R-N.Y.). The two candidates spent a combined $70.4 million on their campaigns. Adjusted for inflation, that would be $94.2 million in 2013 dollars. (Clinton was also boosted by at least $6 million in soft money from Democratic Party committees, but at the time it was not necessary to report this spending publicly.) In the neck-and-neck campaign between Hagan and Republican state House Speaker Thom Tillis, a combined $111 million has been spent thus far, crushing Clinton and Lazio's inflation-adjusted total." [HuffPost]
FAST & FURIOUS NEWS DUMP - Susan Ferrechio: "The Justice Department has turned over more than 64,000 pages of documents congressional lawmakers were seeking as part of their investigation into the botched gun-running operation known as Fast and Furious. The material was handed over to the House Oversight and Government Reform panel late Monday in what aides describe as an election eve 'dump.'" [Washington Examiner]
"10 Painfully Awkward Photos of Politicians Trying to Act Normal on Election Day"
EVERYTHING IS MORE DISENFRANCHISED IN TEXAS -Texas Observer: "It’s another election season in Texas. Another year that we’re on track to maintain the nation’s most dismal voter turnout. One difference this year is that voters are now required to present photo ID at the polls, the result of Republican-authored legislation ostensibly to deal with the diminishingly small number of voter fraud cases. It’s difficult to say what effect the voter ID requirement is having, though even some Republican state officials apparently knew that more than half a million registered Texas voters—disproportionately Hispanic and African American—lacked the credentials to cast ballots but didn’t bother to tell lawmakers. One thing is certain: Very, very few Texans have gotten election identification certificates (EIC), the new state-issued form of photo ID for those who don’t have it—340 Texans, to be precise." [Texas Observer]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a baby playing video games.
JOE MANCHIN'S PISSED AT NO LABELS - Sam Stein: "The result of the closely fought Senate race in Colorado won’t be known until late on Tuesday evening. But already, the contest is causing political sniping in Washington, D.C. Multiple national Democratic sources have told The Huffington Post that Senate Democrats are furious with the non-partisan group No Labels for having actively supported Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) in the closing weeks of the race. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), the sources added, is particularly upset about the work No Labels did to defeat Sen Mark Udall (D-Colo.), and is seriously considering leaving his leadership post with the group as a result. 'Senator Manchin 100 percent supports Senator Udall, and does not agree with the approach No Labels is taking in Colorado,' said Manchin spokesman Jonathan Kott." [HuffPost]
- Twenty-nine things to send to your friends who don't vote.
- Fun facts about the hagfish.
- Your 10th grade physics teacher would want you to watch this video of someone dropping a bowling ball and feather in the world's biggest vacuum chamber.
- Icelandic man has some strong opinions about daylight savings.
@michaelroston: Need to repeat that I am rooting for a 50-50 Senate finish strictly for all of The @Onion’s “Diamond Joe Biden” coverage that will result.
@timothypmurphy: It's important for journalists not to vote, otherwise people might accuse them of having a bias.
@PaulBlu: I predict that the candidates with the most votes will win tonight. Except in Louisiana and Georgia.
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