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A good day for Sutter, and Nate Silver

November 07, 2012|By Paul Whitefield
  • Gov. Jerry Brown's dog, Sutter, went out on the campaign trail to drum up support for Proposition 30.
Gov. Jerry Brown's dog, Sutter, went out on the campaign trail to drum… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)

Wait, that’s it? The election’s over?

Here we get all prepared for recounts -- in perhaps Ohio and Florida and Virginia; or challenges because of election irregularities; or even, gasp, a tie in the electoral college, with all that that would mean; and in the end, President Obama just … wins

Just like that. Just like it always happens (OK, sorry, Al Gore.)

PHOTOS: America votes

Gee, that was, well, easy.

So who are the big winners? There’s Obama, naturally. Although is it really such a victory when it means you get to spend the next four years fighting with John Boehner and Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan? I mean, Air Force One and Camp David are nice, but c'mon.

Then there’s Gov. Jerry Brown, who managed to get his Proposition 30 tax increase measure passed, despite pundits saying he didn’t campaign hard enough blah blah blah.  (Of course, maybe they were right; perhaps it was putting his dog, Sutter, out on the stump that did it.)

And for really big winners, you have to like California’s Democrats, who are poised to gain a two-thirds majority in both houses of the Legislature.  The last time one party held that distinction? 1933.  

Then there are the -- oh, losers is such a harsh word -- let’s call them the runners-up.

Mitt Romney, of course. Although look at it this way: Are you really a loser -- sorry, runner up -- if you are missing the chance to spend the next four years trying to fix the country’s many ills while dealing with a bunch of radicals on Capitol Hill? Frankly, that beach house in La Jolla isn’t a bad second to the White House.

No, I’d say the biggest runners-up -- on second thought, these would certainly qualify as losers -- would be the Republican-linked “super PACs” and their donors, who went all-in on red to the tune of millions of dollars, and came up craps.

How bad was it?  Well, if you watched Karl Rove melt down Tuesday night when Fox News called Ohio for Obama, you know. It reminded me of the scene in “The Godfather” when former Corleone family member "Sal" Tessio realizes he’s bet on the wrong guy in the wake of the old don’s death.

In California, Molly Munger knows the feeling too, having sunk $47 million or so into her losing tax proposition. My message to Molly: The next time you feel the need to blow that much money on schoolchildren, call me; my son's tuition bill is coming due soon.

Though that’s just money. On a more, ahem, personal level, porn actors are feeling a little pinched after Los Angeles County voters approved Measure B, which requires, among other things, that adult film actors use condoms on the set. 

But on balance, if you want the biggest winner from Tuesday’s vote, it may well be Nate Silver, the New York Times’ election/statistician/uber-blogger. Though conservative commentators, including L.A. Times’ Op-Ed columnist Jonah Goldberg, were seemingly unimpressed by his skills in the run-up to the election, it turned out that Silver not only talked the talk but walked the walk.

How big is Silver? Here's what Megan Garber of the Atlantic wrote Wednesday:

The FiveThirtyEight blog, The New Republic reported this afternoon, accounted for a whopping 71 percent of all politics visits to The New York Times last week. And it's accounted for somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of politics visits in the weeks leading up to the current electoral finale. Yesterday, in the T-minus-one-day furor, 20 percent of all visits to all of nytimes.com -- the sixth-most-trafficked news site in the United States -- went to Silver's blog.

Which makes me think that we may see Mr. Silver's face cropping up quite a bit on the "Rich Kids of Instagram" website.

And that really leaves me with just one question.

Nate, what numbers do you like in this week’s Super Lotto drawing?

Hey, c’mon. There’s no reason we can’t all be winners.

ALSO:

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