2008 - %3, November

8:00pm Poll Closings

| Tue Nov. 4, 2008 8:47 PM EST

Despite the fact that Obama was ahead with 1 percent reporting, CNN called South Carolina for McCain around 7:55pm. A bunch of safe states that closed at 8pm went for their respective candidates. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Deleware, DC, Maryland, and Illinois went for Obama. Oklahoma and Tennessee went for McCain. Three of Maine's four electoral votes were also called for Obama. In a bit of a surprise, the entire deep South can't be called yet—even deep-red Alabama. Obama 77, McCain 34.

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"You're a Terrific Hologram"

| Tue Nov. 4, 2008 8:20 PM EST

"YOU'RE A TERRIFIC HOLOGRAM"....Wolf Blitzer is now talking to a holographic Jessica Yellen. "We've beamed you in," says Blitzer. "It's like I followed in the tradition of Princess Leia," replies Yellin, in an old school reference to R2D2's projection of Leia in the first Star Wars movie. And sure enough, the shimmering aura around Yellin really does look like that.

"You're a terrific hologram," says Blitzer when the segment ends. And with that she fades out.

Sheesh.

Who Wins the Giant Nerd Demographic? CNN

| Tue Nov. 4, 2008 8:08 PM EST

Was that Obi-Wan who just appeared in a CNN segment with Wolf Blitzer? Nope. It was reporter Jessica Yellin, appearing via hologram. That's right, CNN has incorporated a hologram into its coverage tonight.

Jumping the shark was nuking the fridge. Now it's hologramming Jessica Yellin. As in, Dude, that show has nothing left. It has totally hologrammed Jessica Yellin.

PS — I'm probably being too hard on CNN. I mean, they beat NASA and the DOD to this technology. That's something. Right?

7:00pm Poll Closings

| Tue Nov. 4, 2008 8:01 PM EST

The networks called Kentucky for John McCain and Vermont for Barack Obama. Indiana and South Carolina, which were called immediately after polls closed in 2004, are still too close to call. Indiana being a close race portends a tough night for John McCain. George W. Bush won that state by 21 points in 2004. Virginia is too close to call, too, but Mark Warner will, as expected, be the next US Senator from Virginia. That's the Democrats' first Senate pickup of the night.

Good News for McCain!

| Tue Nov. 4, 2008 7:51 PM EST

GOOD NEWS FOR McCAIN!....CNN says that McCain is ahead so far, 8 electoral votes to 3. I predict that this will be his last lead of the evening.

Final Numbers

| Tue Nov. 4, 2008 7:51 PM EST

FINAL NUMBERS....Apropos of nothing in particular, here are the final pre-election approval ratings for George Bush from the Fox News poll. Hard to believe, eh? Even after the almost unimaginable incompetence and calamity of the Bush presidency, topped off by the biggest global financial crisis since the Great Depression, 63% of Republicans still think Bush has done a fine job. If he hadn't sold them down the river on immigration hardassery, I'll bet that number would be more like 80%. I don't really know what that means, but it can't be good for the immediate future of the party. Apparently you have to be even worse than George Bush to lose more than half the GOP rank and file. That's just plain scary.

Anyway, I feel like today, now that it's finally in its death throes, I should have some kind of summing up of the catastrophe that has been the recent Republican era in American politics. As always, though, I just can't do it. It's too big for me to get my hands around. For now, then, I'll satisfy myself with merely documenting those final throes as they happen. They start in just a few minutes.

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McCain and Palin Face Off

| Tue Nov. 4, 2008 7:08 PM EST

I love the internet.

Starbucks Wants You to Vote, Too

| Tue Nov. 4, 2008 6:09 PM EST

Has E-Day made you jittery yet? No? Starbucks would like to fix that for you.

Maybe I'm just a sucker for sans-serif, but I find the voting PSA below to be oddly fetching. Your lukewarm takeaway? Go vote, get a hot steaming cup of joe free with new president:

MOJO VIDEO: Obama Supporters On Their Hopes for a New Administration

| Tue Nov. 4, 2008 5:35 PM EST

Barack Obama concluded his campaign for the presidency on Monday, November 3, with a rally in Manassas, Virginia. The event's location was one final sign that Obama has made good on his promise to expand the electoral map for Democrats — Virginia has not voted for a Democrat in 44 years and yet Obama holds a five point lead going into Election Day. The supporters Mother Jones found appeared touched by the unique appeal that may allow Obama to win red states like Virginia tonight. They were convinced Obama would heal the nation's wounds, end the nation's wars, and fix the nation's economic troubles. When asked for a way a President Obama might disappoint them, few could think of anything to say.

— Tay Wiles and David Corn

Scientists Vote Obama

| Tue Nov. 4, 2008 5:26 PM EST

Barack Obama has captured the lion's share of visible support among scientists, reports AAAS. "It's an enthusiasm chasm," says Michael Stebbins, president of the Scientists and Engineers for America Action Fund, which created a YouTube channel for scientists to explain their choice. As of press time, 22 videos have been posted, all by Obama supporters.

Bernice Durand, a physicist who worked for antiwar candidate Eugene McCarthy in 1968, has jumped back into the political fray for Obama. Since September, she's worked with more than three dozen scientists who've placed articles or letters in 50-plus newspapers in 20 states, most of them considered still up for grabs. The scientists have also appeared on radio shows and been interviewed by reporters covering the campaign. "On issues of science," says Durand, "on support for research, and on [Obama's] interactions with the scientific community, there's no contest compared to McCain," she says.

Nothing like the disaster of the past 8 years and the potential for so much worse to motivate scientists to finally step out from behind the wall of science and claim their rightful—and much needed—voices in society.

Julia Whitty is Mother Jones' environmental correspondent, lecturer, and 2008 winner of the PEN USA Literary Award, the Kiriyama Prize and the John Burroughs Medal.