TONIGHT, I ATTENDED THE D.C. GATHERINGS OF BOTH the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee, as well as two other good parties.
When I left my house tonight, I thought Kerry had won — based on exit polls, gossip, spin, Zogby, and others in the DNC and RNC with whom I have spoken. I think that the RNC is stunned that a huge turn-out is just as good for Bush in some parts of the country as Kerry. This is new.
Although Kerry’s big party is in Boston tonight — and Bush’s is here in Washington — the DNC party was pretty interesting, packed with lots of folks glued to CNN waiting for any news. The Republicans at the Reagan Building and International Trade Center were glued to country western music and Fox News during the break.
But seriously, I had this computed that Kerry was in pretty good shape and could forfeit a lot of ground to Bush as long as he won Ohio, or Florida. The latter is in Bush’s corner, and Ohio is not looking good.
As I walked out of the DNC party of the Capital Hilton tonight, one guy outside said he was leaving because everyone else was — Kerry had lost Florida, he said, and was about to lose Ohio. The RNC Party in contrast seemed to be just gathering a head of steam.
Without Ohio, I just don’t believe that Kerry wins. Bush has done very well on the popular vote as well.
All I can say now is that I think we must all consider what a very large turnout validating George Bush’s presidency means for the country and the world. I think it is a testament to democracy in action, but I also think that we may need to reconsider what our social compact between government and citizen is.
I’m going to watch this for a while on TV — but more on the blog tomorrow.
The early pundits, pointing to Kerry, are wrong — and I was wrong to get swept up in the euphoria.
Bush has not won — but as James Carville intimated in some comments tonight — Kerry is now climbing the hill and Bush is in the dominant position.
— Steve Clemons