6:55 PM: Collateral Damage: Pat Buchanan (of course I'm watching MSNBC, I'll flip around later) says that people have invested high expectations in Obama, but do they really know what they're getting in terms of policy agenda? Buchanan's purpose is to question a liberal mandate, but I think also that the fact that the great mass of these people about to vote for Obama aren't political animals means that the McCain-Palin campaign managed to insult a lot more people than they were aiming at with all these attacks on socialism, anti-Americanism and so forth. We were all asked to accept the suggestion that the sitting Speaker of the House, the sitting Senate Majority Leader, and the Presidential and Vice-Presidential nominees of the Democratic Party, as well as large geographic swathes of the country, were anti-American, socialist, etc. Sarah Palin, by the way, advertised herself as the "first Christian" mayor of Wasilla, unlike, say, the Lutheran man she displaced for that position. Bullies insult people, but they need to know when to stop. To put it in terms that the GOP nominee might understand: you were dropping too much ordnance. Too much collateral damage. Sound familiar?
7:39 PM Watch Where You Aim That Thing: Howard Fineman reports on MSNBC that African-American voter turnout is up everywhere that the Pennsylvania state GOP ran Reverend Wright ads this week. (The McCain campaign wasn't running them.)
Indiana (admittedly it's a tiny number of precincts reporting) is going for Obama. Another Pat Buchanan moment earlier today was when he started explaining one possible McCain scenario: "Say McCain wins Indiana and..." Say he wins Indiana? If McCain loses Indiana it's the end of civilization as we know it. Meanwhile I just flipped, as promised, over to Fox and glory be: they're reporting from the same planet as everybody else. Much better graphics, even.
8:24 PM (7:24 Eastern, remember): Both Maine and New Hampshire showing 67% for Obama. Iowa isn't the only place where a whole lot of white people are voting for Obama. New Hampshire is significant as a place that's been very kind to John McCain over the years. Meanwhile Indiana and Virginia are showing for McCain. Maybe deciding to do this running post thing will turn out to be more dramatic than I thought. I hope not.
10:39/9:39 Eastern: Fox has called Pennsylvania and Ohio for Obama. By my calculations McCain can't win without Pennsylvania. Anna K. just called all excited, but also reminding that it's not over. I don't think that any unexpected states are going to flip either way, but Obama is well ahead in Florida, Virginia isn't called yet and interestingly North Carolina is actually looking stronger for Obama than Virginia. Meanwhile Louis Fortuno has won the governer's race here, and that means that the whole university administration will be replaced, which under the circumstances is good news for us professors. I'll stay up a little later but this does look like a wrap - because no surprises either way. Hundreds of thousands of people gathering along the river in Chicago, I wish we were there.
Chris Matthews reports that there are as of tonight no Republican congressmen (or women) in New England. Not a one. Not that Christopher Shays was a bad guy.