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The Shellacking

That was Russert's word this morning. Which seems about right after the pundits spent the night arguing over whether it was a tsunami or a wave or just a trickle. I would go so far as to say that the Democrats polyurethaned the GOP. The fact that it was a huge Democratic night got kind of lost in the details at times. George Allen seemed to be winning in Virginia. The exit polls predicted a big Democratic night, but the numbers weren't there until late.

My prediction: The news media will soon swear off actual vote totals, and will stick to the hard numbers contained in exit polls, since they're less complicated and less subject to legal challenge. If you start calling races based on actual results, you'll be up all night.

Meanwhile every hardball lawyer in the country will be flying this morning into Virginia to shake down precinct captains and pry open electronic voting machines in search of electoral hijinks. I don't see the GOP conceding in Virginia until at least March.

Bush will speak at 1 today and will make nice, I predict. He'll be Mr. Moderation. He will make no mention that a vote for the Democrats was a vote for losing in Iraq, and will note only that, early this morning, he made a congratulatory phone call to Osama bin Laden.

Here's what the real reporters are saying:

'As the election approached, the White House said it would not trim its sails no matter who won. But as they absorbed the losses last night, Bush aides said he will return to his style of governance in Texas, when he forged a strong working relationship with a legislature led by conservative Democrats. "Obviously, we are disappointed with what happened in the House," said White House counselor Dan Bartlett. Bush, he added, will reach out to Democrats at a news conference today. "He will do his part."'

By Joel Achenbach  |  November 8, 2006; 7:57 AM ET
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Next: Canvassing the Votes: A Paperwork Fandango

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