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Devil in the Details

A Redder Senate in '06?

After the pummeling they took on November 2, Democrats consoled themselves by thinking that history will be on their side in 2006. After all, midterm elections normally spell congressional gains for the party out of power in the White House. Sure, that axiom didn't apply in 2002, or in 1998 … but it's a rule, damn it, and Dems clung to it as the election-night horror show unfolded before their eyes.

TAP Predicts

Kenneth Baer, TAP Online Columnist

Popular Vote: Kerry 50.5%, Bush 48%

Electoral Votes: Kerry 299; Bush 239

Prez on 11/3?: We will have both a president and president-elect.

Reason: In addition to the dwindling efficacy of phone polling (which made this seem tighter), there are three variables that mattered: 1) unbelievably high voter registration; 2) unusually high turnout; 3) people had the patience and the system had the capacity to process all these votes.

Purple People Watch

Florida. The good news for the Democrats is that John Kerry has made inroads into the crucial Tampa Bay media market, the state's key swing area, and looks set to improve on Al Gore's 2000 performance. The bad news is that George W. Bush has made inroads into Florida's African American community, with statewide polling echoing several national results showing the Republicans doing almost twice as well among black voters as they did in 2000. The Democratic solution is to unleash the surrogates.

Purple People Watch

Florida. After lagging narrowly in the polls for several weeks, John Kerry's acquired a narrow 50 percent to 49 percent lead, according to an October 17 poll conducted by Survey USA. Under the circumstances, the "ground game" -- get-out-the-vote efforts and legal and other battles to get votes counted -- will likely be decisive and are, in fact, already under way. So-called early voting began on Monday, and problems are already popping up. Orange County's computers crashed briefly, blocking access to the list of registered voters. Several Broward Country polling places were unable to link their computers to the database that was supposed to be used to verify voter eligibility, forcing election workers to rely on paper lists and calls to the supervisor's office to get by.