Following the US Elections

I know some people complain about how much coverage the election President of the USA is getting in Australia, but it has the potential to have a very significant effect on the future of the entire planet, so I think it’s worth following. Even though Barack Obama now seems to be doing the inevitable tilting to the centre that happens once every primary is concluded, he seems to me to have a real prospect of steering some much needed new courses and just as importantly shifting some of the attitudes toward the USA from the rest of the world – and vice versa.

Perhaps not quite so globally significant, but still very important, are the elections for the US houses of Congress. The Democrats are on track to substantially strengthen their hold on the Senate, as well further improve their already strong hold on the House of Representatives. While there is a fair bit of good coverage on the US elections, I have found the Democratic Convention Watch site the best for maintaining a solid overview of all of the contests.

While it is obviously pro-Democrat, it still presents information about the state of play in the various contests in as fact-based a way as possible, rather than try to just give their spin on everything.

They maintain a continually updating forecast of the potential Senate results, based on a consistent formula applied across a spread of continually update polls, as well as doing a similar projection for the House – and of course a track of the likely Presidential result too. They currently have Obama over McCain by 301 electoral votes to 237, although with a lot of states in or near the ‘toss-up’ category there is still plenty of margin for the reverse result to occur.

I have seen a few US blogs get slightly excited about the outside prospect of the Democrats reaching the crucial 60 mark in the Senate, which would enable them to stop filibusters on appointments or controversial laws, but this seems improbable as things stand. Still, given how finely balanced the US Supreme Court is at the moment, the Senate result is a crucial adjunct to the Presidential contest in shaping future appointments. The DemConWatch site is a good way to keep a broad overview of the progress of the overall contest, as well as get some specific and easy to comprehend details on some the crucial individual contests.

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