10:43 ET — PBS’ Lehrer says CBS and Fox call Virginia for Obama.
10:42 ET — ABC calls South Dakota for McCain.
10:38 ET — NBC and MSNBC call South Dakota for McCain. 207-138. Chuck Todd says we could have Nebraska splitting it’s electoral votes for the first time.
10: 27 ET — The other Big O weighs in. WABC’s Dave Evans, reporting from Obama HQ in Chicago, Ill., talks to Oprah Winfrey, who doesn’t hold back on her Obamamania: "I feel like I’ve been pulsating all day and now I’m in, like, full vibrational mode."
10:14 ET — MTV is still lacking any sort of real-time election coverage. With Obama at 207 and McCain at 95 electoral votes respectively (according to CNN.com, my only current source of up-to-the-minute election coverage), MTV can’t even donate a corner of their screen to an electoral vote counter. What’s going on here MTV? Can’t our youth still get their dose of Paris Hilton while knowing where our country is headed in the next four years?
10:14 ET — On MSNBC, Chuck Todd says of Florida, "Don’t expect us to call this one until all the votes have come in. This is one we’re going to let go all the way.
10:09 ET — MSNBC projects Mississippi to McCain
10:08 ET — On PBS, talk about how they are waiting on Florida — speculation. 51% Obama, 48% McCain as of now. Amy Walters thinks Obama will win state
10:03 ET — MSNBC reports Mccain ahead by about 9,000 votes in Indiana with 87% votes in.
10:01 ET — From Comedy Central’s election party: 10 o clock and all monitors (and eyes) turn to The Daily Show. You can barely hear it over the screams and applause in the room.
10:00 ET — MSNBC calls Iowa for Obama
10:00 p.m. ET — Watching WABC, I’ve eaten a Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookie each time anchors Bill Ritter and Liz Cho say the word "historic." Halfway through my third package. (Kidding.)
9:55: ABC News’ Bianna Golodryga reports on the youth voters gathering virtually on Facebook and Twitter (ABC and Facebook have partnered on election coverage this year). Charles Gibson reiterates that the network will not make a call until one of the candidates reaches "the magic number" of 270 electoral votes.
9:56 p.m. — Sway reporting for MTV from Chicago, Il. — speaking with hip-hop artist Common about the election and hopes for Obama as the next president comes closer.
9:43 – CBS has a clip of Hank Williams Jr. performing, and mention of some "very pungent" lyrics about Obama, says Greenfield. WSJ columnist Peggy Noonan discusses just how angry Americans are about the current state of affairs. "It’s a bad, bad time to be a Republican," she says.
9:37: ABC goes remote to Kogelo, Kenya, Obama’s "ancestral home." Unfortunately, ABC correspondent Dana Hughes is talking but no sound is coming.
9:37 — CBS’ Schieffer says it’s "virtually impossible" for McCain to pull it out. "I just think you can’t find the numbers on the map for John McCain to win," he says.
9:33 — CBS gives New Mexico to Obama, 199-124. Pennsylvania Sen. Robert Casey discusses how Obama won the state, and how his basketball game was earlier that day. Greenfield calls it "an astonishing moment" in American history and tells the story of passing a weeping African American man during a civil rights march in the ’60s.
9:30 Starting with the Obama win in Pennsylvania, firmed with the Ohio win and reinforced with the way the close race in Florida is looking, the chatter on MSNBC seems to have turned toward the assumption that this election is going Obama’s way.
Conversation turns to a post-mortem tone. Examples:
Gene Robinson: “Everybody is concerned with the economy. Obama came to them with a message that they responded to. … John McCain with his handling of the economic crisis gave a lot of people the feeling that he was not the one to bring relief.”
Rachel Maddow: “The American people don’t believe the Republicans can help with the economy.”
9:28 Lehrer shows a map with states colored red and blue if they were called for McCain and Obama, respectively.
After watching CNN earlier (since PBS didn’t start coverage until 9:00 p.m.), this map seems beyond basic. It can’t move, or expand, or float. It’s just a map. Lehrer mocks the map, "Can we see the map one more time. I’m so impressed with it, we spent a lot of time on it." Hey, at least this guy has a sense of humor.
McCain projected to win Louisiana
9:26: Joe Scarborough doesn’t officially call Florida for MSNBC but says “it looks like Florida will also go Barack Obama’s way."
David Gregory: Louisiana goes McCain
9:24 Charles Gibson breaks into local coverage with “major projection to make”: Obama carries Ohio.
9:22 MSNBC calls Ohio for Obama.
9:20 Analysis, analysis and more analysis. Lehrer delivers on this promise. Discussion of Obama winning Pennsylvania with Stuart Rothernberg and Amy Walter, Editor in Chief of Hotline. Obama projected winner in Ohio says Fox News, say Jim Lehrer.
9:11: MSNBC’s Chuck Todd: As optimistic as Obama folks might be right now in North Carolina and Florida, they’re very much wound a little bit tight when it comes to Virginia, Ohio and Indiana right now.
9:10 Fox News’ Chris Wallace asks Bret Hume, "Why don’t you come over here, big boy?" recognizing an odd middle aisle between the two anchors. At that, Hume rolls his chair over to sit next to Wallace to go over some data.
On NBC, NY Gov. David Patterson compares Obama to Henry V. Brian Williams doth not protest.
9:09 — "If Republicans can’t beat a lunatic like Al Franken, we’re in bad shape." –Republican consultant Alex Castellanos on CNN
9:04 MSNBC calls:
Rhode Island Obama
9:00 ET: PBS finally starts 2008 election coverage in Los Angeles. Finally. Doesn’t look like the technology bug has bitten PBS. There are no holograms here, oh no. An old-school style Election 2008 graphic opens the show.
Jim Lehrer explains how the coverage will be:
"This is a one-stop approach. The News Hour itself will not be calling races."
He says all of projections will be announced as soon as they’re made and that they come from the AP and major TV news organizations that are using official exit poll numbers.
Instead, he says this show will have updates from battleground states, historical perspectives, analysis, etc.
He updates by saying where the candidates stand now:
Obama — 103 electoral voted and McCain with 69.
9:00 ET — NBC calls:
Rhode Island: Obama
North Dakota: McCain
Arizona: too close to call: Amazing
Colorado: Too early to call (not enough data in)
Electoral Count: 175-70
At 9:01, CBS gives Kansas, North Dakota and Wyoming to McCain and Michigan, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and Minnesota to Obama. Obama 174, McCain 100.
WCBS cuts in at 8:55, with Gov. Paterson saying how he never expected to see a black president in his lifetime.
At 8:45, Dan Bartlett discusses the risky choice of Palin as McCain’s VP candidate.
At 8:49, Couric quotes an unnamed McCain aide saying "At this point, we need a miracle."
Schieffer seconds the miracle concept. "I think they do need a miracle," he says. On the Palin Factor, Schieffer credits Couric for exposing her lack of experience in a recent interview. "She made a terrible impression" on CBS Evening News, he says.
As the night wears on, the team at MSNBC is living up to expectations. David Gregory remains the guy with evermore straight-ahead delivery and Chris Matthews grows edgier. Not long after giving a member of McCain’s campaign no word edgewise, Matthews brings on Republican Tom Delay, the former majority House leader.
Delay tells Matthews that it looks like Nancy Pelosi is going to be “the most powerful speaker in a generation.”
“As you well know, Chris, it’s the one who controls the purse strings and, that’s the House of representatives, that gets things done,” Delay says. “And they’ve been waiting for 14 years for this moment.”
Delay goes on to indict the Democrats, “and the damage they’re going to do to our economy in the short term is going to be unbelievable right off the bat. You failed to mention they’re probably going to double the minimum wage in the next six months.”
Matthews asks who is going to be the boss, with the power united with one party, Nancy Pelosi, the speaker, or Barack Obama if he wins the presidency?
Delay says it’s going to be Nancy Pelosi the speaker.
“They’re going to run circles around Obama and if he doesn’t play ball they’re gonna make him look bad. They’re going to give him a little honeymoon at the beginning,” Delay says. “But over the next two years for sure nancy Pelosi will get her way and be able to do whatever she wants to do
Chris Matthews goes out there with: “You know I like the way you hate, Sir. The great thing about hating is you really understand where a guy stands. There’s no b.s. from you. Thank you for joining us.”
Delay: “I don’t hate,” with a laugh.
9:15: ABC’s Charles Gibson recalls starting his career in solidly Republican Lynchburg, Va., where Obama has pulled ahead.
9:29 With the electoral votes climbing into the high 100s for Obama, MTV still feels that Paris Hilton’s new BFF is more important than who becomes the next president of our country.