It's Election Day
Voting is one of the greatest freedoms we have. For Idaho voters, I encourage you to vote for Jerry Brady over "Butch" Otter for Governor, and for those in the 1st Congressional District, I likewise encourage you to vote for Larry Grant over Bill Sali as our new Congressman. I've written before about why I support Larry Grant, but as good as Larry is, an equally good reason to support him is because of how bad a candidate Mr. Sali is. Despite his promise, on statewide TV, to reveal his position on Proposition 2, he still has not done so. I don't think there's any doubt that the reason for his reticence is his desire to avoid going against his New York bankrollers / leash-holders who paid petition signature collectors to get the issue on the ballot. More than 8 times as much money has been spent in support of Mr. Sali from out of state as he has collected from Idahoans -- that should tell you where his bread is buttered. He's the wrong man at the wrong time.
Update 0007 07 Nov: On Sunday, I predicted, for the record, to my son and wife that the Dolphins would beat the Bears, but since I didn't put it on my blog, it didn't really count as a "public" prediction. (And yes, I did it before the game started. I just figured that the Dolphins always seem to beat Chicago when the Bears have a chance to go undefeated -- at least, they did in 1985.) Therefore, I'll put out for public abuse my predictions for this election: I think the Dems will pick up 22 House seats and 4 Senate seats, leaving control of the chambers split -- which I think is a good thing.
As far as the Idaho races go, I really don't have a good enough feel of how us Idahoans vote in close elections to make an educated guess.
Update 1103 07 Nov: Despite my earlier threat to cast a straight Democratic ballot, I ended up voting for a few Republicans -- none in any of the competitive races, however. (I don't consider the Lt. Gov. race, where the current Governor is running for his old job, as competitive.) I voted at 10:30am (I had a 7am meeting, so I took a long lunch), and the polling place was busier than I've ever seen it by a factor of 5. Since I'm in one of the most conservative precincts in the state, I'm not sure if that's a "good" thing for Democrats. More later tonight after I get back from work.
Update 2217 07 Nov: Updates on the results as they come in are in the extended entry.
Based on the long lines reported in Idaho, I'd say it looks pretty good for the Democrats; people don't wait hours to vote to maintain the status quo. With control of the House going to the Dems, it looks like the big question here in Idaho is whether we're going to be represented by a powerless minority party extremist or someone who provides an important moderating influence on the new Democratic majority. Early returns can be found here.
Update 2240 07 Nov: The link to the Secretary of State's statewide election results page is here. Sali's ahead by about 3%, but doing much worse than Otter, so when the more Democratic parts of the state come in, it should start trending to Grant.
Update 2252 07 Nov: According to the Idaho Statesman results page, Larry Grant has a 2,700 vote lead (11.1K to 8.4K), but the SoS office still has Sali with a 900 vote lead (9.9K vs. 9.0K). Strange...
Update 2302 07 Nov: Speaking of elections, Team NAVY has taken a huge lead in the Project Valour-IT Veteran's Day fundraising drive, providing Voice-Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops. (Team NAVY got a big push when the guys at Power Line joined the team.) Now that you don't have to give money to candidates anymore, you should consider donating to this worthy cause by clicking the "Make A Donation" button to the right.
Update 2331 07 Nov: Believe it or not, CNN seems to have the most useful graphic, showing in one place how all the counties are voting. The fact that Sali's only getting 50% of the vote in Canyon County should be very encouraging for Grant supporters.
Update 2346 07 Nov: Dennis Mansfield is providing commentary and results from Republican Party HQ, and Jill Kuraitis is doing the same from where the Dems are meeting.
Update 0035 08 Nov: The Congressional race for the district that includes Subase New London is very close -- the Republican incumbent, Robert Simmons, is down by 239 votes with 97% of the precincts reporting.
Here in the Idaho 1st District, Larry Grant is behind by 1,200 votes with 59% reporting, but based on which counties are still to report, it looks like Sali might just pull it out; I doubt he'll get 50% of the vote, though, so it won't exactly be a ringing mandate in a district that voted 68% for President Bush two years ago.
Update 0050 08 Nov: Unfortunately, I've gotta work tomorrow, so I'll have to find out how it all turns out in the morning. It's looking like control of the Senate will come down to the recount in Virginia; I'll admit that I would have rather had split chambers than Dem control of both, but hopefully this will convince the national Republican leaders that they need to make some changes -- and fast.