Since 2004, I have provided live election night coverage for every election and race in which I am eligible to vote. My system for providing this coverage has evolved over the years. It began with a cumbersome manual process, and it is now a fairly sophisticated and semi-automated system.
This year, I made a large number of improvements to the system. It is now much more robust and flexible. I made these improvements so it would require less year-to-year hacking going forward, but they also made it possible for me to go through my past coverage and put the results into the system and normalize how the results display.
Now that all of my election coverage data from 2004 to present is all in the same system, I can also offer a consolidated election archive. On that page, you can select (using the drop-down) any election I have ever covered here on the site, and see the results of the races I was following and the coverage I provided. Enjoy!
Donald Trump (R) is the President-Elect of the United States.
It still doesn’t sound right, does it? The election was nearly two months ago and yet its outcome is still somehow . . . unsettling. Don’t get me wrong; I am thrilled that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) didn’t win. I had the usual concerns about her policies and judgement, and about her dangerous and improper handling of classified material, but the deciding factor was my expectation that she would appoint decisively anti-liberty justices to the United States Supreme Court . . . a court that already has us hanging in the balance between freedom and subjugation. There is more on this in my presidential election endorsement.
And yet, as you can read in that endorsement, I am no fan of Trump’s. Though I am cautiously optimistic that some of Trump’s worst tendencies will be blunted by conservatives and libertarians in his administration and in Congress, I still fear that he will push the limits of executive authority, play fast-and-loose with the law, and operate well outside of the limits of the U.S. Constitution. So I celebrate that we will likely be spared—for now—a decisively anti-liberty Supreme Court. I celebrate the apparent end of the Bush and Clinton political dynasties. I celebrate the peaceful transfer of power. But I do not celebrate Trump’s win in-and-of itself. (And I certainly do not celebrate the absurd overreaction to the outcome by those on the political left, or their petulant efforts to de-legitimize the outcome of a [mostly] free and fair election.)
Eight years ago, I felt about the way I do today. Then, as now, we had a politically inexperienced president-elect who came to power in an angry, frustrated America. Then, as now, we had lofty promises of long-overdue changes, and a vow that the new administration would seek compromises and common ground across political party lines. Then, as now, we were promised that America would disentangle itself from foreign affairs and tend to our own house and our own people. And then, as now, even though I harbored a long list of disagreements with the president-elect, I welcomed him, and offered my hopes and prayers for his safety and success.
But now the hard work begins. Beginning next month, Trump will have to govern. . . . Continued
Per Off on a Tangentpolicy, candidates are listed alphabetically by last name. Winners are denoted with (w).
President of the United States
Hillary Clinton (D) Electors: 232
California (55) Colorado (9) Connecticut (7) Delaware (3) D.C. (3) Hawaii (4) Illinois (20) Maine (3) (split) Maryland (10) Massachusetts (11) Minnesota (10) Nevada (6) New Hampshire (4) New Jersey (14) New Mexico (5) New York (29) Oregon (7) Rhode Island (4) Vermont (3) Virginia (13) Washington (12)
Donald Trump (R) Electors: 306 (w)
Alabama (9) Alaska (3) Arizona (11) Arkansas (6) Florida (29) Georgia (16) Idaho (4) Indiana (11) Iowa (6) Kansas (6) Kentucky (8) Louisiana (8) Maine (1) (split) Michigan (16) Mississippi (6) Missouri (10) Montana (3) Nebraska (5) North Carolina (15) North Dakota (3) Ohio (18) Oklahoma (7) Pennsylvania (20) South Carolina (9) South Dakota (3) Tennessee (11) Texas (38) Utah (6) West Virginia (5) Wisconsin (10) Wyoming (3)
I voted this morning at my polling place in South Riding, Virginia. If you are eligible to vote, you should do so too.
There are many important races and issues on the ballot across the United States. Here in Loudoun County, Virginia, we are voting for electors for president, our House representatives, two statewide ballot issues, and four local ballot issues.
Take the time to research the candidates and issues on your ballot and make informed choices. Don’t let anybody tell you that your vote doesn’t matter. Don’t let anybody tell you that your choice is wrong. If you choose to vote ‘third party,’ don’t let anybody tell you that your vote is wasted. No informed vote is a wasted vote.
And let’s respect one another. I’ve made my choices—and I encourage you to read my reasons why—and you are free to make yours. I may not agree with you, but as long as you have seriously considered your choices, I respect them. I hope you’ll offer me the same courtesy in return.
Please come back to Off on a Tangent this evening for live results from the presidential race and the other races in my area, as well as a live blog with notable results from around the country.
One of the persisting oddities of the United States’ political system is the Electoral College, which is an representative body that exists only to elect the President of the United States. Each state has a number of electors equal to its combined congressional representation in the House of Representatives and Senate, and the District of Columbia also has three electors of its own. To be elected president without throwing the contest into the House, a candidate must receive a majority vote of the electors.
This system is established in Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution:
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
The intent of the founders was that the Electoral College would be an elected body something like the House. The idea was that communities would choose a locally-trusted representative to use their best judgement to cast a vote for president. Those representatives would gather in the state capitols to cast their ballots and transmit them to Washington. In Federalist #68, Alexander Hamilton wrote that, “A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite [to choose a president].”
As a compromise, it was left to the states to decide how electors would be appointed. Most held the district-by-district elections that the founders envisioned, but some chose appointment by the state legislature. . . . Continued
Scott Bradford has been building web sites and using them to say what he thinks since 1995, which tended to get him in trouble with power-tripping assistant principals at the time. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from George Mason University, but has spent most of his career (so far) working on public- and private-sector web sites. He is not a member of any political party, and brands himself an ‘independent constitutional conservative.’ In addition to holding down a day job and blogging about challenging subjects like politics, religion, and technology, Scott is also a devout Catholic, gun-owner, bike rider, and music lover with a wife, two cats, and a dog.