It's Election Day

November 3, 2009 1:39:05 PM PST
What a difference a year makes. Last November, when the presidency was up for grabs, the lines stretched down the street at my polling place.

Today, I waited for only one person to vote, and that was only because my wife walked into the booth first.

No question there's going to be more interest in a presidential race (especially last year's) than an off-year election with some local offices on the ballot. But it's slightly disheartening to feel there's not much sense of obligation to vote.

We've talked a lot about Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the richest New Yorker and the man who has spent more of his own money getting elected than any other politician in U.S. history.

But those lack of lines today do not bode well for the mayor's bid for a third term.

That's not to say that the polls are wrong and that Mr. Bloomberg won't get re-elected. But there are many who say that the Bloomberg campaign - well-run, incredibly well-financed and unquestionably aggressive - is a tad worried that over-confidence among those who are likely to vote for him will mean fewer votes than he'd like.

A guy like that, with all that money and two terms already behind him, should be re-elected with a 60 percent vote, according to many experts.

But Bloomberg has stayed in the very low 50s in the opinion poll.

This election may be a slam dunk for him, but it's not as big a slam dunk as it should otherwise be.

As for Bill Thompson, the Democrat candidate for mayor, most of his support is anti-Bloomberg rather than pro-Thompson. And, in the end, that's just not a good way to run a campaign. With Democrats outnumbering Republicans 6 to 1 in New York City, Mr. Thompson should be closer in this race. And with Mr. Bloomberg outspending his opponent by a factor of at least 16 (with $100 million of his own money), the mayor should be farther ahead.

There's also a too-close-to-call race in New Jersey, where Jon Corzine - first a U.S. Senator and now a governor - is in the fight of his political life with former U.S. Attorney and Republican Chris Christie. Independent Chris Daggett is the X-factor in the race, and his double-digit support could very well tip the election one way or the other.

Tonight at 11, we'll have the latest results on the races, and any victory or concession speeches. Throughout the night, Liz Cho and I will be reporting results as we get them. And we'll stay on the air - or at least on the set, ready to go on the air - as late as necessary until the important races are called.

Also at 11, we'll have the latest on the Yankees, as they prepare to try, again, for their 27th World Championship. When you're up 3 to 1, you have three shots at victory. And the odds, and history, are on your side that you will win at least one of those games. Tomorrow night, the Yankees go for their second chance at victory. Scott Clark leads our coverage of the World Series, at 11.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast. I hope you can join Liz and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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