5:39 Numbers have been on TV for about an hour an and a half now. Some observations:
+ DPP's worst performances --in Taipei city and Taoyuan -- are looking like 36% of the vote. Best performances are hardly over 55% in Chia-yi County. Kaohsiung, Pingtung, and other places where the greens are leading are still split almost 50:50.
+ Percentages at this time are about what I thought before I started to pull the numbers closer in the final week. Apparently, a lot of the "change" in electorate mood was in my head. Numbers stand at about 41%:59% for Ma at this moment.
+ Ma's rapidly nearing the 6.5 million mark of getting more than half of the voters. It's a lock. Hsieh is stuck at 4.5 million at this moment.
+ Turnout was slightly lower than expected, closer to 70% than the predicted 75%. That's a good deal lower than 2000 and 2004 where you had 82% and 80% respectively.
+ Referendums won't be counted until after the presidential election, so it'll be a while before we know what happened.
+ I already got too drunk last night to do it again tonight.
5:49 The current lead is about 1.6 million votes. The KMT itself was predicting a lead of 1.3 million. They outperformed even their own expectations.
+ Ma's leading in 20 cities and counties, with Hsieh leading in 5 -- all south of Yunlin.
+ Taichung didn't go well for us.
+Ma's already crossed the 50% threshold for voter turnout.
5:58 Jiande li 建德里, a small area with a few hundred voters, is historically uncannily accurate at producing over all results. This election was no exception. 215 votes for Ma to Hsieh's 147 , so Ma got 59% ... identical to the current margin.
6:01 Goddamn it, why couldn't the DPP run a real campaign? Why did they basically give the economic issue to Ma by using fear mongering as their only response? And why didn't they spend more time talking about Ma's real flaws and leader sip issues? Why talk about a green card for two months when you don't have any proof?
6:09 Most stations are putting a little victory stamp by Ma's name or otherwise calling the election for him. TVBS is basically live broadcasting the Taichung KMT headquarters celebration. Most other statiosn are doing analysis and trying to avoid being too boring when reading large strings of numbers.
6:16 Thanks to everyone commenting. I also think there's been an absurd amount of blame for everything bad that's happened in the last 8 years on the president -- political, economic, social, everything. Where else in the world does the president get blamed for old people committing suicide?
6:20 Nothing is going to happen until we see just how badly the referendum did, I think. I will force myself to stop posting until we start seeing some referendum numbers.