Election Day Roundup

I just returned from my polling place — things were awfully quiet in this corner of Baltimore — and thought I might do an Election Day roundup. First, if you’re looking for an interactive election map to keep track of results, the Huffington Post has a good one.

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Deal Hudson presents “Five Things We Know About the Catholic Vote.” Here’s the first and most important:

Candidates and parties should focus on the religiously active Catholic voters, not those who are only self-identified.  Those Catholics who attend Mass regularly are the voters most likely to be motivated by their Catholic values and worldview.  Without this distinction, the Catholic vote will not appear much different from the general electorate.  When Jody Bottum, former editor of First Things, argues that there is no Catholic vote, that’s because he ignores this basic distinction.

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Michael Tanner at the Cato Institute says the Republican civil war between fiscal and social conservatives, delayed for the election, should begin soon after. 

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Eugene Robinson phones in yet another column about the “racism” of the Tea Party.

At a recent campaign rally in Paducah, Ky., Senate candidate Rand Paul, a darling of the tea party movement, drew thunderous applause when he said that if Republicans win, “we get to go to Washington and take back our government.”

Take it back from whom? Maybe he thinks it goes without saying, because he didn’t say.

So if I understand, the phrase “Take back our government” has never been used in a campaign prior to the election of an African American president? That’s a pretty shaky claim, especially when a simple Google search returns thousands of instances of that very thing (many coming from 2008 Obama voters).

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James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal dug up two very different quotes from liberal Catholic writer E.J. Dionne. It seems Dionne’s opinion on an election’s significance depends primarily on whether or not he approves of the result.

Above all, it is time to celebrate the country’s wholehearted embrace of democracy, reflected in the intense engagement of Americans in this campaign and the outpouring to the polls all over the nation. . . . Barack Obama’s sweeping electoral victory cannot be dismissed merely as a popular reaction to an economic crisis or as a verdict on an unpopular president. . . . In choosing Obama and a strongly Democratic Congress, the country put a definitive end to a conservative era. — E.J. Dionne, Washington Post, Nov. 5, 2008

Much of the post-election analysis will focus on ideology, on whether Obama moved ‘too far left’ and embraced too much ‘big government.’ All this will overlook how moderate Obama’s program actually is. It will also pretend that an anxiety rooted in legitimate worry about the country’s long-term economic future is the result of doctrine rather than experience. . . . The classic middle-ground voter who will swing this election . . . has always been suspicious of dogmatic promises that certain big ideas would give birth to a utopian age. This voter is looking for simpler and more realistic things. — E.J. Dionne, Washington Post, Nov. 1, 2010

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If you have election result predictions, please add them to the comments section below.

Brian Saint-Paul


Brian Saint-Paul was the editor and publisher of Crisis Magazine. He has a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Religious Studies from the Catholic University of America, in Washington. D.C. In addition to various positions in journalism and publishing, he has served as the associate director of a health research institute, a missionary, and a private school teacher. He lives with his wife in a historic Baltimore neighborhood, where he obsesses over Late Antiquity.

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