Walking pneumonia or not, it's Election Day and I've been up and at it. A few observations as I take a break from my morning activities:
Given the new ballots and machines, there seem to be fewer problems this morning than in past elections. The fact that turnout is light has also taken pressure off of getting people used to the new voting methods.
People seem to like the new ballots better than the old punchcards, but NOBODY wants to use the optical screen voting machines. I talked to a few voters about it and the universal response was that they don't trust the machines and are worried about their votes being counted.
While turnout is light on the northside, it's not as light as I thought that it would be. I've spoken with some people in some southside and westside wards, however, and was told that their 10 a.m. counts were LOW. Advantage: Claypool, Giannoulias.
Spoke to some people in Springfield, not as much snow as they expected, but icy as can be, and schools closed. I'm not sure what that will do to local races down there, but it's got to be good for Topinka and pretty good for Alexi.
I'm off to go check out some different areas around the City. One thing I am going to take a look at is what effect all of the recent reforms has had on the old-school organizations. Two ways to measure that - one is turnout at the end of the day, but that doesn't control for inate voter incentive and decision-making. The other, maybe more reliable, indicator is to take a look at how much manpower is out in the streets. I'll update this post later.
UPDATE - 6:00p.m. First off, I HATE Blogger today. I have been unable to post for the last couple of hours. In any event, looks like turnout in what should be Stroger wards picked up this afternoon. But lakefront wards, while relatively light this morning, are pretty strong in the evening rush. Same thing with suburban Cook. I wish we would be able to go back and see a running vote count on this one as the day progressed.
For what it's worth, right now I'm calling the Board President race too close to call, and saying that it's going to turn on the last 2 hours of polling.
I have also heard that the Repub Gov's race is going to be much tighter than people were thinking. If Oberweis somehow were to pull this out, the well-coiffed guy you see dancing on Sunnyside tonight would be our Governor. I'm still calling Topinka a winner though.
After volumes of positive television and negative mail, it looks like the Treasurer's race may well turn on downstate weather, which I guess falls in the "act of God" category (Wonder if he's Greek?). Other than that, the interesting numbers to look at will be progressive wards whose organizations nevertheless went with Mangieri. If they were able to deliver their votes their way, it could tip the scales. For all the talk about the importance of a downstate candidate, if Mangieri wins, it will be because he was carried in by Chicago organizations. Ironic. Think about that one folks. For now, I'm saying that Alexi runs better than expected downstate and pulls this one out. It's the aftermath that will be interesting.
3rd Congressional - Sounds like the forces are delivering for Dan Lipinski. Look for a win but by a single digit margin.
Water Rec - Who the hell knows? In the interest of sticking my neck out just a little bit, I'll say that Shore and O'Brien are in. As far as the third one is concerned, grab the 8 Ball and turn it over, it's as good as any guess I could make.
I'm off to clean up and head back out. (Election Day is much more enjoyable when you're not under the weather.)
UPDATE - 7:30p.m. Sounds like southside turnout was real light toward the end of the evening, could be a late evening before we know what the story is with the Board President race.
Coming as no surprise, looks like my good friend David Miller is going to win in a laugher. (Won't these guys ever learn?) In light of the stunts involved in that race, look for some fallout from that contest.
No real word on anything else yet. We're getting our first results in now.
UPDATE - 8:35p.m. Still too early to tell, but the Stroger numbers from the northside are continuing to be stronger than expected. Claypool's carrying up here, but the margins aren't what some had hoped. I have no other County numbers though, so this observation is in a little bit of a vacuum.
I've talked with a bunch of folks around the City and State, and not hearing any real surprises thus far. Results are coming in slower than I'd like, but we were informed that that would be the case.
Just got a call with some numbers from Lake County where Alexi is swamping Mangieri. The early downstate numbers show him holding his own as well.
...Except for Metro East, where's he's doing a lot better than that. I know it's real early, and at the risk of embarassing myself, looking at the trends so far, I think I'm about ready to call this one done.
I'm going to make a few stops, so updates may be far and few between for a bit.
Still some real interesting House races out there. Regardless, I'll have some insights and recap tomorrow.
UPDATE - 12:30a.m. Looks like my early hunches are holding. Have a feeling that the Board President race could be out for a long while still. From what I'm hearing, the precincts that are still out should be Stroger precincts. Whether they are enough to overcome his present 18,000 vote deficit remains to be seen. The media is treating this one with kid gloves because it's so volatile. It sure as heck won't be known by the time that I go to sleep, which will be a couple of minutes after this post. I don't even know that it will be done by this time tomorrow night.
On top of everything else, I wouldn't be shocked if this one somehow winds up in court. The rhetoric over the late ballots is heating up quickly. Just has that feeling to it.
In House action, Lisa Hernandez from Lt. Gov. Quinn's office is a big winner, and I think she'll be a great addition to the House.
I can't get current numbers from Calvin Giles race and am hearing conflicting reports from people who both would seem to have good info, but it looks like he may be in big trouble.
And Sam Cahnman looks to have pulled out a big upset over the House Dem pick Chuck Redpath.
On the Senate side, Geo-Karis has lost, but deserves everybody's respect for a long career of service.
And for what it's worth, for all the Chicago/Downstate talk during the Treasurer's race, the latest numbers look like Alexi won the counties outside of Cook by 30,000 votes.
There's a bunch more I could get into, but I'm wiped out.
To everybody who voted, whoever you voted for, thank you for being part of the process.