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Just in case you're watching the returns

Many Commonwealers will probably be in bed by 10 PM. Just in case you're not one of them, feel free to chime in.

About the Author

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.



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Watching the Newshour at 7:30: Stuart Rothenberg says Murdoch (Ind) and Aikens (Mo) will not lose, if they lose, because they are pro-life, but because they are insensitive. He said it with some vehemence. True?

Yes, it is true that he said it with a certain vehemence.Evidently, M's Democratic opponent in Indiana is a pro-life Democrat. So both candidates for the U.S. Senate in Indiana are pro-life.

Obama: Illinois (surprise!), Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine...Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Rhode Island,Romney: Oklahoma!! West Virginia, Georgia....

Romney: Arkansas, Tennessee... Ahead in Virginia and NCObama: Ahead in Florida, Ohio

The cat has George Will's tongue.

Florida looking pretty good for Obama right now. If he takes it, can't see how Romney wins.

NewsHour: The exit polls are not indicative of anything....or so I conclude, ie, health care....

Oh for Pete's sake CNN, you use the big buildup to project Utah?

Warren wins!

Matt, which channel is Will on? I have to see that...

Warren (Mass.) win and Mourdock (Ind.) loss in Senate.

Utah...big surprise..Like Kennedy winning Mass.Where did you see Warren winning, Matt?

And the inevitable Akin loss in Mo.

And Murphy over McMahon! Senate is looking like it will stay on Dem side, with some gains too? Big Sherrod Brown margin in Ohio I think also bodes well for the president. But....

So glad for Warren. She is the real Mckoy. Brown made a big mistake by ridiculing her. Doesn't he realize that everyone in Mass. wants to go to Harvard. Fox News is conceding (almost) "Romney needs an inside straight." No one mentioned the bishops. At least not in my surfing. Hopefully, the Republicans will tell them to stay away too. Barack got them in two big ones. They better invite him to CU.

Tammy Baldwin looking good! California's 55 electoral votes will remain solidly in Obama camp. Glad Warren and McCaskill kicked butt.MOS:

Looks like Obama is in. Next time the Dems. should work harder to get the House back. How are the Tea Partyers doing?

Will's on ABC. Sort of. He's there on the set, but he looks like he'd rather be anywhere else.

JM: if the Boston Herald declares for Warren, that's serious.

Quote of the night, Stephen Prothero:"God's will in this election seems to be the defeat of those who invoke God's will."

Iowa called for Obama, and Denver Post has called Co. for O (but that seems a bit early?).

At this time, Romney can't lose another state, not OR, NV, CO, FL, OH or VA, to have any prayer of a chance. Ob aa has it and will get over 300, hopefully 319.

Oregon too and now Ohio. Which I think is it.

274 EVs at 11:14.

Yeah Ohio!! Yeah Nuns on the Bus!!!!And special thanks to Nate Silver!

Thank you, Ohio!

This thing's over.

So much for the late night. Dems also retain control of Senate.

Way to go Tammy Duckworth in Illinois!I'm glad to see that my birthplace ... SW Wisconsin ... was solidly in Obama's corner. Ditto on Eastern Iowa where my sisters live.And, all of you bishops who tried to scare people (Morlino in Madison in particular): nyah nyah nyah!

Is this a great country or what!

CNN has predicted a win for Obama :-) :-)I'm starting to feel like I felt when he won the first time -- proud of the American people. The racists lost again. :-)

Tuning in on Fox News, just for a change of pace, they are urging Romney to make a concession speech. So happy about Chris Murphy.

Happyn Days Are Here Again!

Correction:Happy Days Are Here Again!

Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame (to the chagrin of a number of alumni, including the bishop of Peoria, and some alumnae)! Tim Kaine, a very decent man, succeeds in keeping Virginia's Senate seats in Democratic hands, despite lots of GOP money.But a national election costing over two (or is it three?) billion dollars! Sad and shameful.

Waiting to hear Romney 'talk' at12;55 EDT. will he consede? i say no..he will say. "we will wait till the morrow' @1253

I'm wrong... Romney is doing a gracious concession.. good form..

Governor Romney graciously concedes.

Best thing I have heard from Romney say and I am not saying that sarcastically and as a criticism.

HuffPo had Obama leading Romney among Catholic voters 50-47. Maryland approved same-sex marriage by referendum. After the Fortnight, the lawsuits, the homilies, and everything else, can the bishops acknowledge the vox fidelis? Can they see this stuff is counterproductive? Tomorrow morning and all that follows will be interesting.

For the first time Romney sounded authentic to me. Wonder if Obama will ask him to help in the next four years. He made Hillary Secretary of State, after all.

Yay :)

"It was a good night for pot smokers".One of the election commentators just said that. Colorado has legalized recreational use of marijuana. And a couple of other states legalized it for medical use.

John Page wrote: "But a national election costing over two (or is it three?) billion dollars! Sad and shameful."I hope many more people raise this question, though I'm afraid I see few signs of it. In the few weeks (or perhaps only days?) remaining to us before Big Money launches the 2016 campaign, should we not ask ourselves whether there might be a better and more efficient way of choosing our leaders than modeling the process on major league sports competition? I suspect $2-$3 billion is an underestimate for the campaign as a whole, and I suspect that most of it finds its way into the pockets of consultants, lobbyists, television networks and other such riff-raff. Surely there are better uses for it, and not for a minute do I believe that all the blame can be put on Citizens United, terrible though that decision was. Add that misspent wealth to the way the campaign has tied the hands of the White House and Congress, and prevented any forward movement on the great issues confronting this country. Is this really the best we can do?I hope our news media will get the US election analyses out of their system quickly, because another very important election (though that's hardly the proper word for it) is about to take place in China, and its ramifications for us are bound to be important. Perhaps they could spend some time educating us on the subject.

I wish I could sing "Happy Days" with Helen. But I have very mixed feelings this morning about the election. This was not an election year where I took the long philosophical view. As someone who hasn't been able to afford an individual health insurance policy for five years and goes without what can't be paid out of pocket, who will retire in less than a decade, whose savings were decimated when both Raber and I were laid off in our 50s, and with a kid about to enter college, I felt my political choices were pretty clear. OTOH, I am not optimistic about much. We are still embroiled in a foreign conflict in a region that remains politically unstable. I remain skeptical about the national will to make Obamacare work, and I do not see it lowering health care costs (it hasn't in Massachusetts, where an individual policy is $400+ per month). We have a huge deficit, crumbling infrastructure, energy and climate issues, and a nation more deeply polarized by race, class and religion than ever. The make-up of Congress, whose approval rating dipped almost to single digits in the last cycle, is largely unchanged and still seems deeply divided philosophically.This is not a day to celebrate victory, but to sober up and start grappling with grim realities.

Well, I am going to sober up! Wait till you see what PM Netanyahu has been saying about Iran.In the meantime, I am relieved and even a bit cheerful-feeling that none of the scenarios about recounts, contestations, and the lawyering up by both sides came to fruition. No chads, no Supreme Court intervention, no uncertainty about who's president. Now just back to duking it out in Washington. Why do I think Mitch McConnell is still out to destroy Obama? Will John Boehner get deposed by Eric Cantor? Etc....

"But a national election costing over two (or is it three?) billion dollars! Sad and shameful."That is unfair. Federal government expenditures are nearly $4 trillion with almost $1 trillion in non-defense discretionary spending. Given the probability-weighted rates of return on election spending, interested parties do not spend enough on Federal elections. To take a salient example, look at the UAW. They spent only a few million dollars in the 2008 election cycle and were able to convert themselves to a public employee union, similar to what was done by home health workers in CA, and get nearly $100 billion transferred to them in 2010 dollars through the end of their loss carry forwards and then further amounts which are incalculable after they begin to pay taxes again.

Jean Raber:I agree. There are a lot of issues that must be addressed. (Of course, things weren't very good when FDR and the Democrats chose this song as their campaign song in 1932.)Until I heard the results from Pennsylvania, I had some anxiety that my song for the evening would be Big Girls Dont Cry.

I'm going for "It's A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood" We should all try and be like Mr. Rogers and things will work out.

Irene, I preferred the days when Mr. Rogers could wring millions out of a guy like Sen. Pastore:

I agree with Ed G: Romney's concession speech was one of the most gracious I have heard in a long time. Good on him.And here's a more contemporary version of HDAHA: (I like Glee from time to time)

Jean, that was so sweet! If Mr. Rogers were still around, he could definitely get a divided Congress to address the fiscal cliff.

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