CNN's GUT CHECK for November 7, 2012
November 7th, 2012
05:37 PM ET
8 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for November 7, 2012

CNN's GUT CHECK | for November 7, 2012 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING: ROAR… A record number of women will represent their states in the new U.S. Senate, CNN projects. Democrat Heidi Heitkamp will win the Senate race in North Dakota, CNN projects, making a total of 20 women in the 100-seat chamber come January. She will be part of the 53-seat Democratic majority, with 45 Republicans and two independents. Elizabeth Warren will be the first woman senator to represent Massachusetts, and Mazie Hirono will be the first female U.S. senator from Hawaii and the first Asian-American woman in the Senate. Other women who won Tuesday night were Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Tammy Baldwin, who will represent Wisconsin. Deb Fischer, who won her race in Nebraska, was the sole Republican woman elected to the Senate Tuesday.

DEVELOPING: A DAY AFTER ELECTION, FISCAL CLIFF JOCKEYING BEGINS… Speaker of the House John Boehner in press conference today: “There is an alternative to going over the fiscal cliff in whole or in part. It involves making real changes to the financial structure of entitlement programs and reforming our tax code to curb special interest loopholes and deductions. By working together in creating a fairer, simpler, cleaner tax code, we can give our country a stronger, healthier economy. A stronger economy means more revenue, which is what the president seeks. Because the American people expect us to find common ground, we are willing to accept some additional revenues via tax reform.

(Answer below)
What was the most expensive Senate race of the 2012 cycle and did the side that committed the most money win?

MARK (@PrestonCNN) & MICHELLE (@MJaconiCNN)
What caught our eye today in politics

What caught our eye today in politics

One of the reasons we created this product was because so often conventional wisdom is wrong. Last night proved it. Here are five myths that were indeed busted by the awesome power of the American electorate:

1.) Elections Don’t Matter. From whom people are allowed to marry to the world markets to shaping the Supreme Court to the negotiations of the “fiscal cliff,” Americans proved they are willing to stop their routines (and even stand in line!) to pave their future.

2.) Young People Don’t Vote. You would think the establishment would have learned in 2008 that you shouldn’t tell the younger generation what they aren’t going to do…. but it didn’t. One of our personal pet peeves is the frequency of “wise men” telling groups of students that “young people don’t turnout.” We are happy to report that the youth vote actually INCREASED as a percentage of the electorate from the much heralded 2008: 18-24 year-olds made up 11% of the electorate, up from 10% four years ago.

3.) White Men Rule the World. While, yes, white men dominate the hallways of traditional power, the power of women and demographics at the ballot box posted a clear warning: the future is theirs. White men made up 34% of the electorate, down 2% from 2008. Women (and women’s issues) flexed their muscles from the House to the Senate to the presidency.

4.) Fox News is Good for the GOP. Alex Castellanos said it best on CNN last night: “I think my silent majority I hoped would be there is not only silent, but invisible.” The false confidence propped up by the Fox network and simultaneous attacks on the mainstream media and political establishment – from polling to debate moderation – seemed to come up short and render even one of the smartest of political wise men, Karl Rove, incredulous. Republican candidates have often cited other networks (ours included) as being fairer to them than Fox News but now the question is being debated in the context of damaging the future of the conservative political brand.

5.) Social Media is just about Binders & Big Bird. We have partnered with Facebook this election cycle and have learned so much from watching as social networks spread news about politics and voting. Now, the veil is finally being lifted on the innovative use of social media by the Obama team. Time’s Michael Scherer got a peek at their tactics, “Online, the get-out-the-vote effort continued with a first-ever attempt at using Facebook on a mass scale to replicate the door-knocking efforts of field organizers. In the final weeks of the campaign, people who had downloaded an app were sent messages with pictures of their friends in swing states. They were told to click a button to automatically urge those targeted voters to take certain actions, such as registering to vote, voting early or getting to the polls. The campaign found that roughly 1 in 5 people contacted by a Facebook pal acted on the request, in large part because the message came from someone they knew."

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Analysis: Why Romney lost
Before Republicans went looking for answers Tuesday night, some of them went looking for the remote. When it became clear around midnight that President Barack Obama was safely on the way to re-election, a handful of cranky and inebriated Republican donors wandered about Romney's election night headquarters, angrily demanding that the giant television screens inside the ballroom be switched from CNN to Fox News, where Republican strategist Karl Rove was making frantic, face-saving pronouncements about how Ohio was not yet lost. – Peter Hamby

Leading Drudge: Own It
Stocks eased off their lows but remained deeply in the red in a post-election selloff Wednesday, triggered by worries over the looming "fiscal cliff" and as fears over Europe's economy reemerged. The Dow tumbled below 13,000 while the S&P 500 broke 1,400 – both for the first time since early September. – JeeYeon Park

Leading HuffPo: ¡VIVA OBAMA!
President Barack Obama scored himself a second term in the White House on Tuesday, nabbing nearly all of the key battleground states and proving, resoundingly, that his message about lifting the middle class resonates with the majority of Americans. – Jennifer Bendery and Sam Stein

Leading Politico: President Obama's reelection: 12 takeaways
It’s over. And the 2012 presidential race pretty much played out as predicted by public pollsters and observers. Except it was a better night for President Barack Obama in certain significant respects than was anticipated. – Maggie Haberman

Leading The New York Times: Obama Wins a Clear Victory, but Balance of Power Is Unchanged in Washington
After $4 billion, two dozen presidential primary election days, a pair of national conventions, four general election debates, hundreds of Congressional contests and more television advertisements than anyone would ever want to watch, the two major political parties in America essentially fought to a standstill. – Peter Baker

The political bites of the day

- O’Reilly: ‘It's not a traditional America anymore... The white establishment is now a minority’ -
FOX NEWS’ BILL O’REILLY DURING ELECTION NIGHT COVERAGE: “It's a changing country. The demographics are changing. It's not a traditional America anymore. And there are 50 percent of the voting public who want stuff. They want things. And who is going to give them things? President Obama. He knows it. And he ran on it. Whereby 20 years ago, President Obama would have been roundly defeated by an establishment candidate like Mitt Romney, the white establishment is now the minority," O'Reilly added. "And the voters, many of them, feel that this economic system is stacked against them, and they want stuff. You're going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama; Overwhelming black vote for President Obama. And women will probably break President Obama's way. People feel that they are entitled to things, and which candidate between the two is going to give them things?”

- Ryan shifts focus to Wisconsin, Congress -
PAUL RYAN IN A WRITTEN POST ELECTION STATEMENT TO THE PRESS: “I am immensely proud of the campaign we ran, and I remain grateful to Governor Romney for the honor of being his running mate. I look forward to spending some time with my family in the coming days and then continuing my responsibilities as chairman of the House Budget Committee and representative of Wisconsin's First Congressional District.”

- It is ‘so simple,’ Reid says -
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID AT A POST ELECTION PRESS CONFERENCE: “I had a conversation this morning with the Speaker. It was a pleasant conversation as all my conversations with him are. And he is going to do an event this afternoon at 3:30 or so and I think we should wait to see what he has to say there. I have a fine relationship with him. My staff works well with his staff. This isn’t something that I’m going to be drawing lines in the sand. He is not going to be drawing any lines in the sand, I don’t believe and I think we need to work together.”
Reporter: Do you think a deal is possible?
Reid: “Of course. I mean it is so simple. We know what the issue is.”

- West is not conceding just yet -
TIM EDSON, ALLEN WEST’S CAMPAIGN MANAGER, IN A WRITTEN STATEMENT TO THE PRESS: “This race is far from decided and there is no rush to declare an outcome. Ensuring a fair and accurate counting of all ballots is of the utmost importance. There are still tens of thousands of absentee ballots to be counted in Palm Beach County and potential provisional ballots across the district.”

Gut Check Full Service: The Florida Democratic Party calls on West to concede… “Even though the numbers show a “clear defeat” for Tea Partier Allen West, he's stubbornly refusing to concede in Florida's 18th Congressional District — even in light of overwhelming news reports projecting victory for Democrat Patrick Murphy. On a conference call with reporters this afternoon, Florida Democrats called on Congressman West to respect the democratic process and the results of the election, so that the people of Palm Beach and southern Florida can move forward with their democratically chosen elected Representative.”

- Don’t light up just yet -
THE DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION IN A WRITTEN STATEMENT TO THE PRESS: “The Drug Enforcement Administration’s enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged. In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I control substance. The Department of Justice is reviewing the ballot initiatives and we have no additional comment at this time.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less









When candidate and outside group spending are added together, the Virginia Senate race, pitting Tim Kaine against George Allen, was the most expensive in the country. Outside groups on their own totaled over $50 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Republican-leaning outside groups spent more than their Democratic counterparts in the state – $30 million to $20 million. Nonetheless, Allen, the Republican, lost the race.

The second most expensive Senate race was in Massachusetts between Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Republican Scott Brown. Though outside spending in the race was small – both candidates agreed to not allow outside spending – the candidates’ campaigns spent $70 million combined.

(why aren’t you in it)

Congratulations to Doug Adams (@DAatNBC) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question correctly. Especially impressive brain power after such a late work night.

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Tips or comments? Send them to Michelle; send complaints to Preston, because he is already in a bad mood. We also want to give a shout out to Dan Merica, who runs our Twitter account @gutCheckCNN and enriches this product every single day.

Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Obamacide: The Death of a Country

    I just heard new senator Tim Kaine complain about all the new taxes that are going to kick in on January 1 and how they must be avoided? What the heck is that?! Finally the Democrats get all the taxes they have been demanding and now they don't want them?! What's going on??? How are Republicans supposed to work with a bunch of kooks that say they want something one minute then don't want it the next?

    PAY ALL THOSE TAXES NOW. No kicking the tax can down the road to our kids. If the Democrats want a huge welfare state, then let's get the taxes to pay for it NOW. NO BORROWING. Everybody must PAY.

    November 7, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    How's all that "unmber one priority" stuff workin' out for ya, GOPers?

    November 7, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  3. Jessica

    Hello, Whine-One-One?

    I need a WHAAAMBULANCE dispatched to my location immediately!

    Where are we located?

    We are located at Foxcon News,
    please send multiple WHAAAMBULANCES....

    November 7, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  4. Shane Anderson

    What a waste ill never vote again,

    November 7, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  5. cbp

    Instead of jockeying for positions, instead of playing the blame game, instead of playing this game of "You did it to me and now I will do it to you," and instead of trying to always figure out why someone lost and why someone won, we need to move on already. We do not have the luxury of playing all these games. Instead our leaders in both the GOP and the Democratic Party (Yes that means you, Sen. McConnell.) need to sit down and map out plans for getting people back to work, for getting people into homes instead of being homeless, for feeding the hungry and for getting people the medical help they need to become part of society. We need to get the private sector(Are you listening all you donors to those rich PACS.) to do more to help us solve these problems. WE need all politicians to come on board.

    The President will not be seeking re-election so the Republicans could cooperate now. We need to monitor this situation. If nothing happens and they stonewall once again then we need to let our wishes be known. We are not the TEA Party or any other political group. WE are the citizens of this great country and we need to show that we can lead the way to a better America and a kinder world.

    November 7, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  6. Gurgyl

    Who elected this nasty animal??? Liar that caused all this. Did GOP ger this benefit of doubt???

    November 7, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  7. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    After all that money the republicans spent to get their candidate elected....wasted! CNN huge support of Romney...wasted! Glad to see CNN with egg on their faces....they so deserved it. 20 time the articles on Romney, and always playing up the etch-a-sketch man and now he is down the tubes! Awesome

    November 7, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  8. zanny

    Result of last nights election: Irelevant Republicans
    – Karl Rove, Rudy Guiliani, Dick Morris, Dick Army, Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Alan West, and half of Fox network.

    November 7, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  9. deb

    I think O'Reilly is off the mark. The "50%" he is referring to feel that the wealthy shouldn't get big tax cuts at the expense of them. In other words, the middle class shouldn't have to hurt in order to make the rich richer. How is that "wanting stuff," in the sense that O'Reilly is eluding to?

    November 7, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  10. LandSlide

    Here is another: polls, scientific or other, means crap!

    November 7, 2012 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  11. Name

    I need a reminder why the electoral college is the vehicle we utilyze fot choosing our president, as opposed to a pure popular vote

    November 7, 2012 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  12. mmi16

    I dare advertising and local media to say they did not make money off the election cycle.

    November 7, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  13. Paul

    If america would legalize cannibus that would take care of our "cliff" problem and help with the baby boomers medicare

    November 8, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  14. My Panties and Your Panties

    I am sending a bunch of Texas salutes to Senor Obama.

    November 8, 2012 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  15. J.V.Hodgson

    The media and pundits like the drama that nothing has changed either electorally or balance of power wise.
    May I respectfully beg to differ.
    1) Republicans can no longer argue the one term President case for its opposition to anything.
    2) In regard to the popular presidential vote in a democracy a one vote majority normally wins. Obama has won this yet again. If we claim to be a democracy that has a system of built in checks and balances, at this level a win by one vote is as valid as 2m or 5m. because our system chooses to give said majority no specific power or influence.
    3) Obama has a big win in those areas ( battleground states ( high population) where theoretically they have diverse populations and not those of pure red or Blue states. Obama 7/9 won, a democraticly speaking huge win.
    Hence 303/206... with the forever ponderous late finisher Florida 29 still undecided currently democratic.
    4) Then lets get to the checks and balances bit:-
    House looks like 201 Dems ( 194) 234 (242) Republicans thats a 3.3% loss of votes in the house for Republicans
    Senate Dems 55 (53) ((both inc independents likely to caucus Democratic)) Republican 45 ( 47) almost 4.5 % loss of votes.
    You can parse, analyse,spin, select statistics, to say you have not lost.....but by any "DEMOCRATIC MEASURE" Republicans have lost the popular vote, lost votes in the House and Senate, and lost the electoral college. Thats like 4-0 win in any sport, the winner gets to crow and the loser to make excuses/complain.
    Working accross the aisle is a two way street that automatically implies compromise ( both sides) but Boehner is already digging in on no tax rate increases when he knows the commander in chief ( military and economy) has said tax rates on the rich going up = a veto if not, and if you pursue that path we go over the fiscal cliff.
    Time for Pelosi and Reid to make that part clear and yes we' ll look at spending cuts ( not increases) the rest is negotiable and we can find an accross the aisle compromise, but not one thats going to take 2 year to see if we can agree. Fiscal cliff first then long term strategies.
    To get Republicans to understand Obama simply says that's my leadership in play, now congress get the compromises sorted out.

    November 8, 2012 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  16. Namedj

    the dow did'nt sink over the fiscal cliff ! it fell because Obama got reelected ! Can' t u all hear that sound? It's the sound of money leaving this country.

    November 8, 2012 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  17. Donkey Party

    Leave it to O'Reilly to keep up the right-winger dogwhistle, racist narrative. Let's hope and pray Fox News becomes extinct with the GOP.

    November 8, 2012 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  18. The_Mick

    "BILL O’REILLY DURING ELECTION NIGHT COVERAGE: “It's a changing country. The demographics are changing. It's not a traditional America anymore. And there are 50 percent of the voting public who want stuff. They want things. And who is going to give them things? President Obama." +++++ What a spin! The hard-working Asian-Americans, our highest average income group, voted nearly 80% for Obama. They know that America has NEVER been a selfish nation with no cares for the under-privileged or no desire to enforce fairness in commerce.

    November 8, 2012 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
  19. MarieMD

    I still can't believe that Wisconsin went blue and the lyan altar boy's district voted for him again. He IS part of the BIG problem in government.
    Let's see what he does now that his twin, Akin, is no longer around.

    November 8, 2012 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  20. WinterBeardOn

    I guess this means I won't see Binders Full of Women riding Horses and carrying Bayonets en route to attack Big Bird.

    November 8, 2012 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  21. GMC123

    The news is becoming scarey. Still talking about being in a recovery while talking about taxes are going to increase for EVERYBODY

    November 8, 2012 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  22. daniel

    My best time in the election night was to see the Republican camp switched to CNN from FOX news, it was hysterically laughable. Well, now American has spoken, Obama is your President, you better get use to it, it is bitter pill to swallow at this point you've no choice but to live with it.

    November 8, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |