US Election 2012: Election Nerds Unite!

So tonight’s the night that hundreds of political hacks, opinion makers and general election nerds all over the world, stay up or get up early to see what happens in an election that they have no influence over, but arguable has the most effect on them outside of their own national elections, the US Presidential Election. So whats the story?

Well if you haven’t taken a nap, I hope you have tomorrow off because it will be a long night. The first polls begin to close at 2300 GMT in Kentucky and Indiana and the last poll closes at 0500 GMT (Wed) in Alaska.

But these arent the important ones. The battle ground states polls close as follows:

  • Virgina 0000 GMT
  • North Carolina 0030 GMT
  • Ohio 0030 GMT
  • Florida 0100 GMT
  • New Hampshire 0100 GMT
  • Pennsylvania 0100 GMT
  • Colorado 0200 GMT
  • Wisconsin 0200 GMT
  • Iowa 0300 GMT
  • Nevada 0300 GMT

Each state should be called based on exit polls and early results soon after.  So we should have an idea who will win between 0300 and 0500, as I said it will be a long night.

Is it just about Obama, Romney, the popular vote and the electoral college (there is a lot written about those elsewhere so I wont bother). Well it mainly is but there is plenty else going on 11 State Governors, 33 Senate Seats and all of the 435 seats in House of Representatives.

Some interesting races here to watch including can Scott Brown hold his Senate seat from Democrat Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts. Will Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana two Republicans who made bad statements on rape manage to get elected? Will Tammy Baldwin a Democrat in Wisconsin become the first open Lesbian in the Senate? Connecticut too has an interesting race with Linda McMahon (yes her from the wrestling) trying to win a seat and has spent a lot of her own money. It is highly unlikely that the Republicans will gain control of the senate, but will Democrats increase their control? Also will Maine elect independent candidate and former Governor Angus King?

In the House it is expected that the Republicans will retain control, but will Michelle Bachmann retain her seat in the Minnesota 6th? The Californian 30th, 31st and 44th  are also interesting thanks to redistricting and Open Primaries. The 30th sees two incumbent Democrats, Brad Sherman and Howard Berman battle it out. The 31st sees Republican Incumbent Gary Miller take on a Republican challenger Bob Dutton. While the 44th again sees two Democratic Incumbents Laura Richardson and Janice Hahn fight for a seat

In terms of ballot measures, four states are voting on Marriage Equality. Maine, Maryland and Washington are voting to allow Marriage Equality while Minnesota is voting on the definition of  Marriage (between a Man and a Woman).  Arkansas is voting on Medical Marijuana and Colorado, Oregan and Washington is voting on legalising it, while Montana is voting on banning Medical Marijuana. California is voting to ban the Death Penalty and to Increase Taxes to pay for education. Florida is voting to Limit Obamacare (as is Montana and Wyoming) and also on limiting public funds to abortion.

A long but interesting night ahead, and one which will show how Americans are moving on some interesting questions. Enjoy fellow elections nerds!

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The Presidential Debates

An RTÉ Radio microphone in Dublin, waiting for...
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As the Campaign gets under way the attention turns from the nomination process to the debates. RTÉ and TV3 have organisied debates on Radio and TV. No sign yet of an Irish Debate on TG4, or news if Newstalk or any other station have organised one yet.

And the debates are:

Wednesday 28th September.

1pm, RTÉ News at One. RTÉ Radio One

9:35pm Primetime, RTÉ One

Friday, 30th September

9:35pm The Late Late Show, RTÉ One

Tuesday, October 4th

9pm Vincent Browne’s Big Presidential Debate, TV3

Monday, October 17th

Time TBC Frontline, RTÉ One

Full details on Journal.ie

 

Why Fingal’s nomination isn’t worth the paper its written on

Senator David Norris
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You may read in the papers and on the internet that Fingal County Council have nominated Senator David Norris for the Presidency. Unfortunately for Senator Norris, this nomination will not count towards the four he needs.

This is because the Election has not yet been called and therefore nominations cannot be made. This is covered under the Presidential Elections Act 1993.

Under Section 16 of the act a Council is given the right to nominate a candidate. The only check on this is under Section 16 (2) which states:

A resolution under this section shall not be passed before the date of the making of the presidential election order in respect of the presidential election to which the resolution relates and, subject to sections 30 and 31 , such a resolution shall not be rescinded.

The election will not commence until the Minister Environment, Community and Local Government issues the presidential election order.

So Fingal County Council will have to re-vote on this after the presidential election order is issued.