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Ballot Watch: Waiting for the results that everyone tells us mean nothing; Update: GOP sweep in Va.; voting machine glitches in NY-23; Obama says he’s not watching; Update: GOP gov wins in NJ/Va; Update: Hoffman concedes

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By Michelle Malkin  •  November 3, 2009 07:05 PM

Guess it’ll be an early night for all the Democrat water-carriers in the media who have already filed their preemptive pieces downplaying whatever happens tonight after the polls close and the ballots are counting.

Here’s a bit of the Obama-as-a-factor-but-not-as-much-as-we-want-you-to-think analysis of exit poll results.

Politicker reports on the return of “It’s the economy, stupid:”

Forty-six percent of Virginian voting Tuesday, as Republican Bob McDonnell and Democrat Creigh Deeds faced off for the governor’s mansion, say that the economy and jobs are the most important issue to their vote. One in four indicate that health care reform is their most pressing issue, 14 percent said taxes were upmost on their minds, and 8 percent suggest that transportation woes were most pressing.

“The economy as the number one issue probably bodes well for the Republicans in Virginia,” says CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

Here’s another Democrat screaming about GOP “extremism” in the NY-23 race.

The Hill shows Hoffman ahead at the finish line:

Jim Geraghty jumps ahead of the pack and calls Virginia for the Republicans:

With the polls in Virginia closing in one minute, the Campaign Spot Decision Desk gets a jump on the competition and declares the winners in the statewide races: Bob McDonnell wins the governor’s race, Bill Bolling wins the lieutenant governor’s race, and Ken Cuccinelli wins the attorney general’s race.

Early turnout indicates that Cuccinelli is the winner of the 2013 governor’s race as well.

In NJ, pollster Pat Caddell blows the whistle on Democrat fraud:

Democratic pollster Patrick Caddell blew the whistle Tuesday on vote fraud in New Jersey’s race for governor, citing “chicanery” in the bitterly contested gubernatorial race between incumbent Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine and Republican Chris Christie.

“I’m convinced Christie has the votes,” Caddell told Fox News host Neil Cavuto. “The question is whether he has a lead that’s steal proof, as I call it, with all the things going on.”

“That’s rather damning,” Cavuto replied.

“Well,” Caddell replied, “you’ve got to be damning when you see what’s going on. You know, I attacked Republicans when they were intimidating voters not to vote — the American people have a right to have their votes counted right, and not played with.”

Caddell, who has conducted polling for the likes of former President Jimmy Carter, then-Sen. Joe Biden, and former California Gov. Jerry Brown, pointed to unusual absentee-ballot voting patterns in some areas of the state.

Stay tuned.

***

Here are the live-updated Va. governor’s race election results from the Virginia Board of Electionsv.

GOP candidate McDonnell wins in Va.

With 80 percent of precincts reporting:

Robert F. “Bob” McDonnell 910,309 60.50%
R. Creigh Deeds 592,662 39.39%
Write In 1,442 0.09%

GOP sweeps other top Va posts: Wins for Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Republican Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli.

***

NY-23 election results will be live-updated here.

Watertown Daily News reports that four St. Lawrence towns suffered machine glitches that may delay vote tallying until tomorrow.

In NJ, GOP candidate Christie is crushing among independents.

***

Update: 8:53pm Eastern. Via Lorie Byrd, Obama claims he’s not watching the election results. He’s watching basketball instead:

President Obama is not planning to watch Tuesday nights election returns, Obama aides Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod tell CNN.

Obama is more likely to watch Tuesday night’s Chicago Bulls game than any political coverage, according to Axelrod.

The president’s senior staff have also decided not to hold a watch party to keep an eye on election returns as they come in.

Well, of course, since the results Don’t Mean Anything, there’s no need to watch!

Perfect symbolism: The American people speak across the country on Election Day. Obama switches channel from elections to…basketball. Deliberately not paying attention — just like he did with Tea Party protests.

***

10:11pm EasternAP has called NJ for GOP candidate Christie, but not seeing anyone else calling it yet. Meanwhile, Hoffman is trailing Owens with about 20 percent of precincts reporting.

NBC, Fox all call for Christie.

10:41pm Eastern. Latest on NY-23:

Owens 49%
Hoffman 46%
Scozzafava 5%

11:20pm Eastern. Voting machine problems create court order in Fulton County NY:

NewsChannel 9 has learned voting machines in Fulton County, which is a part of the 23rd Congressional District, have been impounded, after the machines were not working property today, the Fulton County Board of Elections confirms.

The county was forced to switch over to paper ballots.

They were not planning on counting any votes Tuesday night. We’re told by the Board of Elections, the paper ballots cannot be touched until the absentee ballots are opened a week from Tuesday.

The Board of Elections says they do not know how many people voted, but there are 22 districts in Fulton County.

It’s a squeaker with Hoffman “closing in:”

The Plattsburgh attorney has 57,050 votes compared to Conservative Doug Hoffman, a Lake Placid CPA, with 54,538 votes.

Dede Scozzafava, a Republican who dropped out of the race Saturday, has 6,982 votes.

There are more than 10,000 absentee votes to still be counted.

Owens now leads in Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton and Essex counties.

Hoffman leads in Lewis, Oswego, Oneida, Fulton, Hamilton and Madison counties.

Owens is maintaining a 48 percent to 46 percent lead.

Four precincts in St. Lawrence County are having mechanical problems and total results for the county won’t be available tonight.

***

12:23am Eastern. Hoffman concedes. Stand by for more post-race analysis.

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