How to Know Early if the Democrats Are Screwed

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 2 2010 12:01 PM

How to Know Early if the Democrats Are Screwed

There are at least have a dozen excellent guides to election night out there, with information on how quickly you will know if the Republicans are outperforming the polls, if Democrats or hanging on, or if -- no fun -- everything is going exactly as Nate Silver predicted.

Here's what I'm watching.

Advertisement

7 p.m. ET This is when all of the polls are closed in Kentucky and Indiana. Just as we knew that Obama was going to win when the networks couldn't call Indiana -- in an instant it was clear the "Bradley effect" was a myth -- and just as we knew that the Democrats were winning the House when Democrat John Yarmuth started winning in Kentucky's 3rd district, we will know a lot after 7 this year. If Yarmuth is struggling, against a Tea Party candidate who beat the NRCC's choice, Democrats are basically doomed -- they are losing in an urbanized district which has been steadily trending toward them. It matters a bit less if Ben Chandler is struggling in the 6th district, as Democrats are going to struggle in many such mostly rural districts. Democrats can still hold the House if they lose the 8th district of Indiana being vacated by Brad Ellsworth. But in the 2nd district, Joe Donnelly has run one of the fiercest "I'm not like Pelosi" campaigns of the cycle, and his opponent Jackie Walorski only caught fire after Mike Huckabee and other national Republicans started to see if they could play here.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Jurisprudence

Scalia’s Liberal Streak

The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.

Scotland Votes to Remain in U.K.

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

Can Democrats Keep Counting on Republicans to Offend Women as a Campaign Strategy?

Culturebox

Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
The Slate Quiz
Sept. 18 2014 11:44 PM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.