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Before we get started

Before we get started today, a quick election day survival guide.

First, the final polls are trending to Kerry. I'm not just speaking about the public polls, but the private ones -- specifically the Republican ones. Does that mean Kerry will win? No, not necessarily. It's too close for that. But the Bush campaign has a lot of incentives to try to get this one into overtime. And we'll see various bogus stories and funny-business throughout the course of the day.

To start with, for instance, don't rely on right-wing agit-prop sites for your news about alleged instances of 'voter fraud'. Wait till you hear real information from real news outlets.

The GOP is going to be pulling this stuff through the course of the day trying either to use it to ramp up their suppression activities or lay the groundwork for challenges to what some are starting to fear won't be good results. (For more on how that works, see Josh Green's always invaluable expose of the Rove election shenanigans playbook.

Second, exit polls.

Exits come out in a several batches over the course of the day. Democrats, on average, tend to vote later in the day than Republicans. Not always, but that's the pattern, for fairly straightforward demographic reasons. And for that reason their exit poll numbers tend to get better over the course of the day. That was strikingly so in 2000. So if you see less than perfect numbers plastered around in the early afternoon, don't let that rattle you.

As we've been saying, this is all about the ground game. So get out there and vote and do the GOTV work for whomever it is you're supporting, and don't get flustered by any through-the-course-of-the-day mind games.

Federal judge rules South

Federal judge rules South Dakota Republicans and Thune campaign workers must stop trying to intimidate voters on Indian reservations in the state. Specifically, folks from the Thune camp may not write down license plate numbers of Indian voters or follow them home from the polling places.

Speaks for itself.

The excuses begin ...In

The excuses begin ...

In tomorrow's Washington Times, Cliff May says that if Bush loses it will be because of "UN manipulation" behind the al Qaqaa story.

That, and of course liberal media bias.

In Michigan phony phone

In Michigan, phony phone calls using homophobia to suppress the black vote and others telling people to go to the wrong polling places. And the polling place shenanigans are happening in Ohio too. All according to the Detroit Free Press.

Down, dirty and desperate till the last moment.

Democracy starts at home.

I guess Im a

I guess I'm a bit late with this recommendation since tomorrow the polls don't matter anymore, or at least not by early evening. But here's another excellent blog for polling analysis -- especially because it's by a guy who -- unlike most of us who chatter about polls -- actually knows what he's talking about.

Sad wagon.From tomorrows Post

Sad wagon.

From tomorrow's Post ...

Bush's aides predicted victory when talking on the record, pointing to polls showing that the race remained a tossup, both nationally and in key states. But despite the insistence that all was well, the erosion in the moods of Bush's inner circle over the past two weeks was unmistakable. Several of his close advisers said they were concerned because the president had achieved no last-minute momentum, and Democratic turnout was looking as if it might swamp the Bush-Cheney campaign's projections.

A GOP official who is privy to Bush-Cheney strategy and polling said that as the incumbent, Bush should be further ahead of Kerry in polls. "Some of them have been moving in the right direction, but it isn't enough," the official said. "Karl [Rove] is a big believer in the bandwagon effect, but there has been nothing over the past week for the president to use it to turn it around."

The reports I get from sources inside that operation paint a similar picture. <$NoAd$>In particular, the numbers aren't panning out.

House-keeping Of late many

House-keeping: Of late, many of you have written in to note (i.e., complain) that cutting and pasting on TPM has become weirdly difficult. The reasons for this are too complicated to go into (i.e., I don't even understand it myself). But the short version is that it was a trade-off with changes that were made to make the site download more quickly. We're working on a fix. But for now, if you want to copy some text for whatever reason, click on the 'print' link up at the top right hand side of the post. That will take you to a version where cutting and pasting is as easy as, well ... cutting and pasting.