I don't want to seem casual about the elections, but at least on the national level things pretty much turned out exactly as predicted months ago, didn't they? Besides, the weather here isn't allowing much time for reflection; snow and wind are on the way, and it could be ugly.
Megan McCardle made a similar point about the elections.
We've all known for a while that Obama was going to win, wistful dreams notwithstanding. But everyone's watching as if this were the seventh game of a tied world series.
I think this interest was the result of several factors:
- The obvious historic election of an African-American to the Presidency. This added a certain element of uncertainty. Would hidden racism not reflected in the polls pop up and alter the outcome?
- The media's continuing hype efforts. Actually admitting that the race was over would have been bad for ratings. On the other hand, it also combated complacency and probably helped get out the vote.
- Fatigue/relief. After two years of this, people wanted to see the end.
- The shenanigans of the last two Presidential elections led people to believe that such high jinks are going to the the norm, so they wanted to see what would happen.
- Eight years of an administration with complete disregard for any law that didn't serve it's agenda fostered concern that it would stop at nothing to snag this election for it's allies.
I think these last two served as partial motivation for early voters. They hoped that voting early would get them in front of any Election Day irregularities.
But in the end, the line held. As John McCain said in a very classy concession speech:
My friends, we have — we have come to the end of a long journey. The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly.
Now I'm off to get out my overshoes and snow shovel. Actually that's a positive thing; in some countries I'd be arming in anticipation of post-election violence.