Tuesday, November 4, 2014

LIVE BLOG: Election Day 2014 — AP calls race for Snyder

Posted By on Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 9:53 AM

___________________________________________________________________________________________________UPDATE (11:15 p.m.): Barring a complete goof, a la the Rashida Tlaib "call" in the state Senate primary race earlier this year, Rick Snyder has won his re-election bid, according to the Associated Press.

At this point, Schauer hasn't conceded. But it looks like that's how things are going to shake out. if anything changes by morning, blame everyone else for messing things up. We're calling it a night here, all. For a recap:

Governor: Rick Snyder (R)
U.S. Senate: Gary Peters (D)
Michigan Attorney General: Bill Schuette (R)
Michigan Secretary of State: Ruth Johnson (R)
Wayne County Executive: Warren Evans (D)
Macomb County Executive: Mark Hackel (D)

Godspeed. Vote again next time. 
___________________________________________________________________________________________________UPDATE (11:07 p.m.): Gongwer, too.

That might be a wrap, ya'll. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________UPDATE (11:03 p.m.): Nevertheless, another outlet called it for Snyder. This time, it's Lansing-based MIRS.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________UPDATE (10:54 p.m.): Schauer's tightened the gap: With 53 percent of precincts reporting, he's down 8 points from Snyder. 

Specifically, in Detroit, Schauer's carrying a 92.5-6.5 percent lead, but that's about as much of a gap as Virg Bernero carried in 2010. In Wayne County, Schauer has 68-30 percent lead, with a nearly 40,000 vote spread.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________UPDATE (10:35 p.m.): Multiple outlets are reporting that Mike Bishop has won his bid for the U.S. House of Representatives. MT's Jack Lessenberry had some words about the newly-elected congressman and his pal, Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel "Matty" Moroun in this week's Metro Times

One of his best boys was former Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop. Four years ago, Bishop promised to allow the Senate to hold a vote on whether to form a public-private partnership with Canada. But Matty didn't like that.

Suddenly, Moroun poured more than $150,000 in contributions to political candidates and committees under Bishop's control. Guess what. Mikey went back on his word!

Nicely done , District 8. 
___________________________________________________________________________________________________UPDATE (10:28 p.m): More results! With 37 percent reporting, Snyder still maintains a 10 point lead on Schauer. Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence has also taken her district for the U.S. House of Representatives. 
___________________________________________________________________________________________________UPDATE (10:12 p.m.): John Dingell may be leaving D.C. for good, but his wife will take his seat, according to The Associated Press. With 23 percent of voting precincts reporting, Debbie Dingell has a commanding 61-34 percent lead over challenger Terry Bowman. The Dingell dynasty will now reign for over 80 years.

Now, here's a tweet from John Dingell's Twitter:
___________________________________________________________________________________________________UPDATE (9:57 p.m.): Associated Press says U.S. John Conyers'has won his race, making him the Dean of the U.S. House in light of John Dingell's imminent exit. MIRS calls the Trott/McKenzie race in favor of Trott.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________UPDATE (9:50 p.m.): Some back-and-forth on WXYZ's and the Freep's decision to call the governor's race. Note: The Associated Press hasn't weighed in, yet. 

Lon Johnson, the Michigan Democratic Party chairman, reportedly says its way too early in the night, as nothing from Wayne County has been reported yet.

Here's how the Freep's story kicks off:

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder coasted to victory Tuesday in an election to decide whether the Republican had earned a second and final term or Democratic challenger Mark Schauer gets a chance to undo much of what Snyder did in the last four years.

We're just the casual observer here, but "coasted to victory" feels like a potentially big overstatement if this thing swings the other way when Wayne County results start pouring in. 
UPDATE (9:39 p.m.): Polls are mean to be taken seriously before Election Day. They're seen as a way to judge how close a race actually is. You may recall, this past weekend, polls indicated that the race between Schauer and Snyder was neck-and-neck

Then, you see, with more results coming in, people now have questions — such as, why is Snyder up by 14 points, and why has he been declared the winner before 10 p.m.?

If Snyder maintains this kind of lead, this can perhaps be part of the answer. From Nate Silver's 538:

That would be fine if Mitchell released the full data from the first poll. But it didn’t.

A pollster should release its work regardless of whether it thinks the results are right. Outliers happen even to the best pollsters. They are supposed to happen. And, of course, a pollster has no way of knowing whether a result is an outlier. Sometimes when a poll appears to be an outlier, it’s the first survey to pick up real movement in a race. And sometimes when a poll fits neatly into previous surveys, all the surveys end up being wrong.

That followed a gaffe from Mitchell when he, more or less, called for a redo because he simply didn't think the results were accurate. That, 538 points out, can be quite problematic. 
UPDATE (9:25 p.m.): On the local front, two Oakland County communities joined others municipalities that have decriminalized the possession of marijuana. Berkely and Pleasant Ridge, welcome aboard!
UPDATE (9:12 p.m.): If the Freep's current projections are to be believed, the Michigan Republican Party had a knockout year: The newspaper's currently projecting Snyder will be re-elected, and that Secretary of State Ruth Johnson will hang on for a win.
UPDATE (8:59 p.m.): WXYZ making a "projection" that incumbent Attorney General Bill Schuette will survive his reelection bid against challenger Mark Totten.

Also: WXYZ and The Associated Press have called the Michigan congressional race for Peters. 
UPDATE (8:50 p.m.): MIRS, the Lansing-based political newsletter, has called the U.S. Senate race for Gary Peters — with only five percent of the state's precincts reporting.

Oof ...
UPDATE (8:45 p.m.): In the least surprising news of the night, WJR has reportedly called Wayne County for Warren Evans. 

With 4 — count it, four — percent of the precincts in, Snyder has a 57-42 percent lead on Schauer. 
UPDATE (8:41 p.m.): It's still early, but: more results! With 2 percent of precincts reporting across the state, Snyder leads Schauer by roughly 40,000 votes; Peters currently has a lead of about 30,000 votes on Lynn Land. 

In Oakland County, David Trott is up about 16 percent on his main opponent, Democratic nominee Bobby McKenzie. The two are duking it out for outgoing Santa Claus U.S. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Milford). 
UPDATE (8:28 p.m.)
: This is the portion of the night that involves a lot of waiting. So in the meantime, here's a review of last night's episode of "The Blacklist," a likely catalyst for Clickhole's hilarious parody, "Spaderville." 

click to enlarge "I hope you voted, goddammit." - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • "I hope you voted, goddammit."
Spader lives. 
UPDATE (8:16)
: With one precinct reporting, Schauer is up 72-27 percent. Call it a night, folks. (Kidding, of course.)
UPDATE (8:02 p.m.): Some food for thought: Michigan's U.S. Senate race was the fifth meanest in the nation, according to the Center for Public Integrity

"Kansas, Iowa, Michigan and Colorado are also notoriously bitter affairs, where about 60 percent of the attack ads that aired were political ads," the Center reports.
UPDATE (8:00 p.m.): Polls are closed! Expect some election returns coming in shortly. 
UPDATE (7:40 p.m.):
Here's Snyder this evening talking with reporters at the Marriott in the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit, courtesy of the Detroit News

“One of the challenges we had in this particular race is there was millions and millions in outside special interest money coming in against me, and we simply didn’t have all of the resources to counteract that,” Snyder told reporters early Tuesday evening. “I mean, literally it was a million dollars a week for a month there, again largely lies with respect to education cuts and other things. We responded the best we could.”

Here's the Freep from last year, talking about a bill Snyder signed that doubled campaign limits and protected the secrecy of issue ad donors:

The bill doubles campaign donor limits, to $6,800 from $3,400 for candidates for statewide office, to $2,000 from $1,000 for candidates for state Senate, and to $1,000 from $500 for candidates for the state House.


[Michigan Secretary of State] Ruth Johnson, who like Snyder is a Republican, announced Nov. 14 she would seek rule changes to require public disclosure of issue ad donors. Almost immediately that same morning, a Republican-controlled Senate committee amended SB 661 to include wording that would prohibit such a change. The full Legislature later approved the amended bill.

As you were.
UPDATE (7:03 p.m.)
: Less than one hour until polls close. Hurry on over to your precinct if you haven't already!
UPDATE (6:54 p.m.): The Hill, a Washington D.C. newspaper, highlighted the rather odd Michigan U.S. Senate race between Gary Peters and former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land. As the Hill notes, early on, Michigan appeared to be a state the GOP was poised to retake

Barring any ridiculous change of events, that won't happen. The piece highlights some of Lynn Land's attempts to break through, to no avail, and recalls a pivotal moment back on Mackinac Island in May. 

Instead, Land’s most memorable moment on the campaign trail was in May, when she burst out in a scrum of reporters, “I can’t do this. I talk with my hands,” as they asked her questions. Since then, story after story has portrayed Land as hiding from the media, with national reporters traveling to Michigan to find unannounced campaign events.

And that's basically the sentiment that has stuck ever since. 
___________________________________________________________________________________________________UPDATE (6:30 p.m.): President Barack Obama, who was in town on Saturday to campaign for Schauer and U.S. Senate candidate Gary Peters, told a local radio station host today that Michigan is "coming back" — because of Democrats. From The Detroit News:

"Michigan is a bellwether state and the fact is no where have we seen the importance of politics more than in Michigan because six years ago the auto industry was on the verge of collapse and we stepped in," Obama told Frankie Darcell, a radio host at 92.3 (WMXD) in Detroit that also broadcasts on another station in Philadelphia.

He hailed the state's economic progress, but said Democrats were responsible.

"The state is coming back and we've got to continue that progress. The only way we continue that progress is if we have a strong Senate and a strong person in the governor's office in Michigan and Mark Schauer is an outstanding individual. I know him. He is somebody who has fought for us. We now have to have his back — and Gary Peters who is running for Senate — this is a guy who knows what it means to fight for working families."

Peters was the only Democratic congressional candidate that Obama campaigned for this election cycle. 
___________________________________________________________________________________________________UPDATE (6:04 p.m.): This is new: A pink party bus equipped with dance polls delivered uncertain voters to the polls today, MLive reports

Detroit's Vote Mob organized the ride, MLive says, "and had lined up as many as 30 voters whom they planned to chauffeur round trip and assist at the polls, if necessary
UPDATE (5:55 p.m.): Orlander Brand-Wiliams of The Detroit News reports that voter turnout in Detroit is close to 40 percent, potentially spelling trouble for Snyder's re-election efforts. 

UPDATE (5:41 p.m.)
: Ever since he became the wunderkind of election picks, many have taken a liking to Nate Silver. His outlet 538 focuses intently on delivering data-driven takes of the day's news. If you're a politico, chances are you know one of the biggest races at stake this evening is the U.S. Senate, and whether or not the Republicans will retake control of the chamber.

Silver's crew comically crunched numbers on themselves and found there's a 94.2 percent chances they'll call at least one Senate race wrong.

UPDATE (5:34 p.m.): Take this for what it's worth: Dennis Lennox, a GOP name here in Michigan, tweeted this minutes ago:

___________________________________________________________________________________________________UPDATE (5:18 p.m.): Courtesy of the fine folks at Engage Michigan, this dropped into our inbox on short notice: A number of Detroit precincts have actually been changed today. 

If you used to vote at St. John the Great Baptist Church on Schaefer, Bates Academy on W. Seven Mile, Macdowell International Prep Academy on W. Outer Drive, or St. Louis the King Academy on St. Louis Road, and you haven't voted yet, you should check out this list here
UPDATE (5:15 p.m.): Not sure where to vote? This site should come in handy: yourfuckingpollingplace.com.

Hurry, you have less than three hours left! 
UPDATE (4:57 p.m.)

On Nov. 1, 2006, CBS News asked, "Should Journalists Abstain From Voting?"

On Feb. 8, 2008, Mike Allen of Politico.com asked, "Should journalists vote? Yes, no, sometimes." 

On Nov. 3, 2012, a writer for the Austin Business Journal stated, "There'll be no voting with this job." 

Three days later, the journalism industry gurus over at Poynter curated a bevy of reasons from journos and why they don't vote. 

And, today, Buzzfeed riled up social media sites with a simple poll: "Should journalists vote in elections?" 

For whatever reason, this becomes a buzz topic among the media every election cycle, probably as a way to kill time until election returns start pouring in. It is a dumb question. Of course, journalists should vote. Any ethical argument otherwise is absurd.

Does it open up reporters to accusations of bias? No, reporters will always be accused of being left-leaning commies with an agenda. Is it fair — nay, possible(!) — for a reporter to objectively cover the candidate who won if they didn't vote for them. Yes; any support in favor of that mind-numbing argument is painfully thin. A reporter is a person, and a person will have opinions. They can handle covering a candidate fairly

If this is such a concern to readers (it's not), it is perhaps more prudent to ask, "Should a reporter report? Yes, or no?" Any reporter contemplating whether they should forego their right to vote should probably consider that one as well. 

UPDATE (4:15 p.m.): Chances are you won't see a better Election Day photo today. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) cast a vote for himself earlier in the day, and, as seen here, was elegantly photo-bombed while doing do.

click to enlarge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell picked a ripe time to vote today. - VIA TWITTER
  • Via Twitter
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell picked a ripe time to vote today.
UPDATE (4:00 p.m.): Sure, you gotta be sick of campaign ads — especially some of the downright worst ones of the election season. If it makes you feel any better: campaigning for the 2016 election will likely begin within the next seven or eight months. Hoo-ray ...

Anyway, this won't make you feel so hot: If the 2014 Midterms are any indication of how often political ads play during commercial breaks on TV and radio, the 2016 presidential election will likely be awful. CNN reports that a station in Grand Rapids, WZZM (ABC affiliate), played more political ads than any other lone station in the country. That proud stat comes courtesy of the Republican research firm Echelon Insights, CNN says. The total number of ads? 1,820, "not counting any last-minute changes." 

How fortunate for Grand Rapids. 
UPDATE (3:10 p.m.):
OK, folks. We're less than five hours out from when polls close. Interestingly, there's been a focus on the GOP's efforts to attract Detroit votes. Here, as you'll see below, is a campaign sign from the Republican nominee in the Wayne County Executive race, John Dalton.

The sign, oddly, is featured on a lonely stretch of Fort Avenue in Detroit. Feel free to debate how helpful the location was for the sign (there's not much going on around here). But, points for effort: Wayne County is historically a Democratic powerhouse, which Dalton certainly was aware of.

Dalton answered a few questions for us about why he was running back in July.

We're willing to wager that Democratic nominee, former Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans, will find out around 8:05 that he won the race.

11 a.m.: This afternoon, we'll head out to the polls and chat with some voters, hopefully bump into some candidates, and wildly gauge what the election results may be. 

There's plenty of reasons to vote today: It's a tight race for the governorship, Michigan's wolf hunt will be decided, and voters will select their next state representative and senator. Go vote. 

In the meantime, check back later today. And, follow along here later tonight as we'll continue the live-blogging on election returns.

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