It’s become a cliche to say that election nights are like sports games, because there are two teams, a clear winner and loser, and lots of arguing about what should or shouldn’t have happened.
But if you’re a sports junkie AND a political junkie like me, then man, a Presidential election night is like crack cocaine: Addictive and guaranteed to keep you up for hours.
Of course there are so many important races and ballot initiatives to be decided tonight; yours truly will have the laptops and the TVs set up watching as many results com in as possible; by midnight I’ll be stalking around in our apartment and mumbling about Cuyahoga or Palm Beach County, I’m sure.
Besides the obvious (that Barack Obama will be re-elected President, sparing us Mitt Romney and a return to the policies of George W. Bush), here are six things I’ll be watching most closely: (and please, if you haven’t voted already, please vote today. You lose your right to complain if you don’t.)
1. Scott Brown vs. Elizabeth Warren, Mass. Senate: This has been one of the most expensive and nasty fights in the country, as a true progressive fights a former darling of the Tea Party. Warren should win this, but the polling is so close that I’m nervous.
2. Chris Murphy vs. Linda McMahon, Conn. Senate: Thirty million bucks really oughta buy you a Senate seat, but McMahon is just so unlikable, and so far right, that she’s alienated most of the state’s voters. If she pulls off an upset win, it’s a bad omen for the rest of the night for Dems.
3. Patrick Murphy vs. Allen West, Fla. House of Rep (18th district).: It’s really, really, really hard to be crazier than Michele Bachmann, but West has done it. From declaring that “78 to 81 members of the Democratic party are Communists,” to saying “women that support Planned Parenthood are “neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness,” West is as obscenely nuts as they come.
Me and millions of others have given Murphy a boost financially in this race; he’s got a good shot at pulling it out.
4. Richard Carmona vs. Jeff Flake, Arizona Senate: This race is a toss-up between an ex-Surgeon General (Carmona) and a popular GOP Congressman in a very Republican state. If Carmona can pull this off, then the Dems are having a very good night.
5. Marijuana maybe getting legalized: Not just medically, but altogether. Colorado, Oregon and Washington state all have ballot amendments ending the prohibition on pot this year and in Colorado, polls say it’s likely to pass. This would be a fantastic development, puncturing a hole in the “War on Drugs” and stopping the government from needlessly and stupidly imprisoning minor pot users. Of course, the federal gov’t could come in and stop states from enforcing the relaxed marijuana laws, but let’s see what happens.
6.Gay marriage on ballot in four states: Maine voters seem likely to pass a gay marriage equality amendment, which would be historically huge (first time it’s been voted into law.) In Washington, Maryland and Minnesota, it’s going to be awfully close.
This could be an historic election on so many levels, but even two of those four states allowing all people the freedom to marry the person they love would be so enormous and wonderful.
Final Wide World of Stuff predictions: Obama wins EV, 303-235, Democrats retain Senate control, 54-46.
**OK, here’s an invention the world didn’t need, but is delightful nonetheless: A machine that sorts all of your Skittles for you.
**Finally, some quickie thoughts on this week’s “Homeland,” which wasn’t as awesome as the last two episodes but really, it’s hard to keep up that pace:
— The Dana-Finn hit-and-run storyline is getting more and more ludicrous every week. Dana just somehow stumbles into the ICU and finds the person they hit? And then she somehow finds out the woman died, without knowing her name or anything? I have no idea what the writers’ payoff for this will be, but it better be good because this is a waste of the show’s time right now.
— Great last scene with Carrie and Brody; I don’t think he knew about the ambush in Gettysburg that Roya and Nazir orchestrated, but it is possible. Also, did Quinn survive the ambush? Because he sure looked like a goner at the end of the show.
— Can’t wait until we find out Virgil is actually a terrorist. Come on, two audio screw-ups while they were trying to overhear conversations? And he lost the dude who turned out to be a terrorist in the subway station? Virgil, you’re better than that.