Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Winners and Losers

It's about three in the morning here and one thing is very clear: there was indeed a GOP surge at the end. Those likely voter screens collected the electorate that voted. Kudos to the CBS/NYT, Gallup and other polling operations that caught the wave. They were among the night's winners.

But the big winners were obviously President Bush and Vice President Cheney, who virtually ran the table. Another big winner was former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose help mattered a lot to GOP candidates all across the country. CNN's Decision Desk operation had a big night. No wrong calls and first on virtually every call that mattered. And the newly named Governor of Florida. They call him "Landslide" now.

The losers were: Democratic leaders and VNS. I suspect Gephardt will step down as Minority Leader. Former Majority Leader Tom Daschle is now damaged goods. The Macker is finished. The Democratic Committees are all broke. Now that they are out of power, I suspect the 2-1 hard money advantage that the Republicans enjoy will increase to 3-1.

Point of Clarification: A couple of people called to ask why I had slighted the Fox News Decision Desk team, which I once led. Was this some double secret message I was sending to my old colleagues? That would be a "no." I spent the evening at CNBC's Fort Lee, NJ studios and in my little work area only had access to CNN and MSNBC video feeds. CNN outperformed MSNBC, to say the least. Today, I spoke with my friend and former Fox News Decision Desk colleague Arnon Mishkin, who informed me that they were competitive with CNN all night long. So hats off to my old mates.

That said, the service I was most impressed with election night was CNN's website. It was spectacular.