November 2nd, 2010
12:24 PM ET

Opinion: Why your vote matters

Editor's note: CNN's "Election Night in America" coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET tonight. Ed Rollins, a senior political contributor for CNN, was White House political director for President Ronald Reagan and chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Ed Rollins.

Ed Rollins
CNN Senior Political Contributor

Even though the American elections won't be decided until the polls close tonight, the Irish bookies late last week started paying off bettors who predicted Republicans would win a majority in the House of Representatives. And they stopped making new bets. That's a pretty definite statement!

Although I am very confident my party (Republican) will win the House, I usually like to wait until the voters have voted before taking any victory laps. Many of my pundit friends have had a field day attempting to analyze, over the last several weeks, the early voting patterns of those of you who have cast ballots already and argue what it all means. I have always been more concerned with the late counting of votes rather than the early voting.

And because so many races are so close, this is one election in which every vote can matter.

Follow the latest on the election at CNN's Election Center

There is an old saying in the business: "We only hold elections to see if the pollsters are right!" And if the pollsters are right, it will be a big night for Republicans and a lot of second-guessing at the White House.

Certainly viewers will know some trends and results shortly after the polls close. But in other cases, it will be late Tuesday and maybe even sometime Wednesday before we know the final results - particularly in the Senate, where key Western races may alter the final outcome.

Here is what's at stake: There are 37 Senate races being contested (19 Democratic and 18 Republican). Fourteen of those seats are open, meaning either the incumbent is not running for re-election or has been defeated in a primary.


Filed under: 2010 Elections • Ed Rollins • Raw Politics
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Tyrone


    Yes Republican won the house and I want to be the first Democrat to say well done! The Republican without any solution to the problem of America. And nothing but criticism and a hate and divide agenda! Republican won the house! Attack attack the policy of the Obama 's administration and President Obama and never give reason WHY! THEY STILL WON!!!!! I want to say to the liberal media and many Democrat politician! You where piss poor and gutless and handed the election to the Tea Party Republicans! The lack of Democrat politician and liberal solidarity and leadership is responsible for the election results! To think ignorance Democrat's politician voted for the healthcare reform bill. Then ran against the healthcare reform bill and President Obama and the American people that benefited from the policy! Then it was black pundits and the only black political Sunday host of" Washington Watch " Roland Martin! That did more criticism of President Obama then telling the American people the truth and benefits of his policy! The election was also a result of white Americans voting against themselves and other Americans! The same thing was done in Boston Mass. when whites voted in a Senator that they thought would vote against the Healthcare reform bill. The same policy they voted for in Boston Mass! Americans needed to stand behind President Obama and his recovery plan! If America voted for change they should be behind the President for the four years he was elected for . Not expect the change to be completed in two years!

    November 3, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  2. Max

    Subject: Shayna Krueger, 11/3/10
    In Washington State Children Services

    Dear Governor Strickland, now you see how it is when one doesn’t get any support? I told all my family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, strangers about what was going on with Shayna in Tumwater, WA. No! help from you, word of mouth does work, a single vote does count. I have been asking, and begging for your help with my granddaughter for two years. You and your wife has ignored my plea. Sir, you really showed me you didn’t care, only concerned about your own agenda, you let Shayna down. Governor if it were your granddaughter, living with a girlfriend, boyfriend foster care group, you would have called in the A Team, S.W.A.T. and Delta Force. Just because your Governor of Ohio, doesn’t make your family more important them mine or anyone else’s. Mr. Strickland, all I asked was for you to call, and find out why, that heartless governor in Washington wasn’t enforcing the Family First Laws. Your apathy is just like, Senator Cantwell’s, Kim Gabbard, Becky Smith, Denise Revels Robinson, Myra Casey, Haug Dang, Chrissy Wright, Susan Dreyfus and the head Rat in charge, Governor Geogoire. The only one caring is, Senator Pam Roach and Rep. Betty Tomlin. Thanks to you, my granddaughter will probably be in the Department System and end like Tyler Deleon’s. One more thing, I have found out in life. I don’t care how busy a person is, make time to help someone other then your rich buddies. Good Luck, I wish you well,

    Max Lawson

    November 3, 2010 at 8:14 am |
  3. Miriam Garcia

    As I sat watching the election coverage on your channel,I thought the negative ads were over at least for a few days.Then an ad paid by "Citizens against Government waste" (something like that) was done in a Chinese language and Chinese Actors with English subtitles left me in awe.I think it is destructive and fearful. We Censor commercials beneficial to women's health but it's ok to scare us into new politics. It was the one channel I thought would take more care as to what paid commercials you would air.Totally dissapointed.

    November 3, 2010 at 2:00 am |
  4. Dwayne

    Sarah Palin said John Raese was the best for the wrong state he's running in West Virginia not Pennsylvania Go Joe!

    November 3, 2010 at 1:53 am |
  5. Joe Wilkinson

    Mr. Cooper

    I am on business and forced to tune in. I am now watching your "independent/bias" panel discuss election results.

    You all continue to attack the American people for their vote. Can you please understand what happened and try to report on both sides? Your group is only re-trenching for the Democrats.

    Please discuss why this happened. Clearly the Obama agenda is not wanted. At no time have you or your pundents discussed this point.

    You can only talk about Sarah Palin and how Harry Reid won. I can't stand CNN for their continued partisan reporting.

    Disgruntled travelor...

    November 3, 2010 at 1:50 am |
  6. keith

    i love this country and think its good can use some improvement. i dont think that obamma is a socialist because he wanted health care, i dont think it was wrong to bail out gm, why are americans crying now, since Vietnam america gave it all away, gm to toyota, ford to mazda, chrysler/dodge to mitsubishi. america is a country of people who eyes are open but dont see. was it not white america that did this and why was a black man put in the gop when a black president came in place. is this modern day slavery. are we blacks still in slavery. america never had war on its land never had to rebuild, we all come from some other land. im am sure that white republicans when traveling in europe or canada will receive medical care if need be. theres too much lies. and one day we will have a great disaster and will have to change. white coporate america does not want this man to succeed. the american money is not controlled by america hasnt been in 40 years. ive been around the world.

    November 3, 2010 at 1:13 am |
  7. PY Samer

    CA Prop 23 is a lot more significant (and of import) than Prop 19. Let's get adult serious folks- Alternative fuel development in ten years withstanding two oil companies bank-rolling a referendum to undue law formulated under middle-road Schwartzneger four years ago.

    November 3, 2010 at 1:12 am |
  8. Robert Gentzel

    How big of an influence was the Supreme Court campaign contribution decision in help financing this big Republican victory?

    November 3, 2010 at 12:46 am |
  9. Tamid

    CNN just declared Jerry Brown winner for the Governor of California

    I sure feel really sorry for the state of California. I was born and raised in the state of California and I can tell you 30 yrs ago when Jerry Brown was Governor the only thing he accomplished was building freeway walls and putting the state of California so far in debt that our State income tax checks were not able to be cashed for years after he was out of office.

    Very sad day for the California people.

    November 3, 2010 at 12:25 am |
  10. Margaret Kearns

    you think its so funny that Meg Whitman tried to make a difference, lets respect her guts rather than giggle about how much she spent on the campaign

    November 3, 2010 at 12:10 am |
  11. Margaret Kearns

    by the way Jerry Brown will bankrupt us in california

    November 3, 2010 at 12:08 am |
  12. Leona Thor

    Will wonders ever cease? JB sounded drunk as he read the speech which he did not write. I find it hard to believe that after being in the Senate for so long, and helping the US to get into the mess it is in by being the party of no. If the Rep. had only met the President part way, there would be more jobs, less lost homes. I have been listening to the "Victors," and I find it courious that you so called professionals cannot tell when Cantor, JB, are lying. MM, has been there as long as Ried, I find it strange how humble the Rep's are pretending to be, when all they are doing is splitting the Country more, and soon, they will be laughing all the way to the bank. Just because he spilled a drunk tear, made all of you turn on President Obama. I am turning you off now, You turn my stomach, and are being a unrealistic as the Rep's. Just wait, you have not seen anything yet. For the new people that you are, you still know nothing about the President, the Man. You sit there and make up reasons why he is the way he is, because your don't know him, so you speculate on why he is the way he is, all because of a drunks tears. Bye

    November 3, 2010 at 12:07 am |
  13. Kathleen

    MA Resident Upset! I am so upset Deval Patrick is stil running our state! The little I have left in my check after the taxes taken now... will be gone soon. Working people in MA will hurt more very soon.

    November 2, 2010 at 11:35 pm |
  14. Daniele Wirth

    Dear Anderson,
    As a 35 year old, mother of two, and Vice President of a dental laboratory in Seneca Falls, NY I have to express my disappointment in a particular member of your panel tonight, Elliot Spitzer. I think that the decision to add Spitzer to the CNN line-up is unfortunate. He broke the law as a government official – how is that consistent with CNN's mission? How can possibly sit alongide other longtime members of your CNN commentary team? I've never watched Elliot Spitzer's show, nor do I intend to. But most nights I do end my busy day by watching your show. Tonight, however I'll look to NBC for my Election Day Coverage.

    November 2, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
  15. Joe

    Hi Anderson,

    I am watching your panel and very shocked that Spitzer and Paul Bigala seem to be the only 2 that are willing to say the truth about this election being a referandum on Obama's Presidency/Policies. What is it that the panel cannot see?
    It took us 8 yrs to get to this economic situation from a surplus
    It is easier to destroy than to rebuild
    We were loosing jobs @ an alarming rate.

    The fact is that President Obama's Policies were designed to STABILIZE an economy that was on the brinks of COLLAPSE.

    The nature of the economy had a negative effect, some of which are:
    1. job lost means no health care coverage, Obama passed health care to make sure this was not an added stress
    2. Credit card reform was also in place to assist the bad deal that Americans were getting from wall street
    3.the economy is now rebounding, though slowly i would think this is a good sign.

    The truth is that the republicans played on fear mongaring geared at primarily at seniors and forgot how America got here in the 1st place
    Please make me understand how the best political team cannot see these things

    November 2, 2010 at 11:16 pm |
  16. M. A . GHANI

    I have one question to all panel members..Do have Republican and tea party donot have any plans to create jobs? Tell to the american people how many jobs you will create in two years? Tea party and Republican parties this the last chance. If fail to create any jobs or unemployement not bring down 9.6% to 7-6%. Republican party will be minority
    in coming 40 years. I am a registard republican telling you. Take my word seriously.
    Thank You.
    Dr. Ghani

    November 2, 2010 at 11:02 pm |
  17. Tim

    Please understand this election is not about Democrats or Republicans, it is a statement on the inability of Congress to get the real hard work done...Social Security, Pension reform, the growing national debt all need to be dealt with head on. The unpopular decisions that need to be made to set this country back on a rational fiscal policy have not been dealt with by either party. Until campaign funding laws are radically changed congress will simply represent those entities that contribute to their campaign funds. Elections are won by money, not by ideals in this day and age. Congress is dominated by individuals who bear no resemblance to the people they represent. The incumbants and people well over the rational age of retirement need to go. We will continue to vote incumbants out until the monetary ties can be broken or Canpaign funding laws are finally changed.

    November 2, 2010 at 11:01 pm |
  18. Rondell. Indianapolis

    I for one have lost all hope in american politics . the electoral process is controlled soley by those who have wealth and support wallstreet and certain american corporations. I feel the mainstreet american does not have a chance. it is all about money and greed. A very dark period awaits america, and the wallstreet and corporate greed will continue. nothing will really change.America will continue to lose jobs to china and other asian countries and wallstreet will applaud. I say invest your money over seas and forget about the american dream and find another dream that is real and not rigged.

    November 2, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  19. teresa, ohio

    my votes are what most people call wasted votes:
    if political runners were an incumbent, I voted them out.

    If political runners were Dems or Rep's, I voted them out. It didnt leave me much to vote with, but, for the most part I did it. I also voted out anyone who spent all their campaign money telling me what degenerates their opponents were. I mean, really, do we want people in offices that are so belittling to their fellow workers?

    This country has been in a downward spiral for about 10 or so years. Gonna take a real shake up to fix this mess. I'm not even sure we have hit rock bottom yet.... even if "they" say we are pulling out of the recession.

    November 2, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
  20. Annie Kate


    Only if you are a Republican in Alabama does you vote count. This place is overrun with them. We have the governor's race; neither Senator is up for re-election; and our only Congress person for our district is GOP and unopposed. I didn't waste my time.

    November 2, 2010 at 9:20 pm |
  21. Roberto

    I think this election shows the divide we still have in this nation. I think anyone who voted for a republican should remember what life was like under Bush. This too shall pass in 2 years. Democrats have shown that they are the peoples party by standing up and not caring about outcomes of elections to do the peoples work. Work that has been trying to get done since Teddy Roosevelt.

    November 2, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
  22. Carol

    CNN has the poll hours incorrect for the state of MI.Our polls close@ 8pm EDT not 9as you have them

    November 2, 2010 at 8:01 pm |
  23. Julie

    Well, apparently not all votes do count as just after 4% reporting polls here in Kentucky, you all have already projected a winner, Rand Paul and clearly not all votes are counted if they stopped counting already! This is exactly what causes people to feel as though voting is futile! Stop doing this! Just because Kentucky is Republican historically does not mean that people are dumb and won't vote otherwise! To add, please do not project a winner until all the votes are counted! That is the way Fox news does it, please don't follow them!

    November 2, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
  24. Tim Gibson

    Money is thrown out the window each and every day in Washington, that is why it is important to vote and that is why term limits must be a part of the plan. No career figures to squander our nation away into exile as a world leader. We the people have failed because we stopped paying attention and when we did the ax fell hard and cut into our fiber and way of life. Out with the old and in with the new, no fear, no anger, just common sense.

    November 2, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  25. Alisha

    So the GOP wants to tighten the budget? Yet they spend over 3 billion for the election campaign? I think the GOP is more concerned about gaining seats so they can derail Obama. Way to help out the country and play as a team GOP. Now lets sit back and watch the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

    November 2, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  26. Shawn F Johnson City , Tennessee

    As a college student I believe my vote counts because im electing people that will make decisons/policies that will effect me in the future so that is why when I go to the polls I look at the two people running and I say who will help me for my future no matter what party Republican or Democrat .

    November 2, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  27. Steve Nelson

    As I voted today in NY it reminded me why we need a universal voting system, term limits and the line item veto.

    If the print on the ballot were any smaller I would have needed the Hubble telescope to assist me in seeing it. Why we cannot fund a universal system that would be voter friendly and technology simple is the exact reason why the other two issues are important.

    The more convoluted you make a ballot (small, confusing etc) the easier it is for the incumbent to stay for life. If term limits were approved ballot confusion would be less important to lifers and perhaps they might pass legislation that makes sense for voters.

    With a line item veto the money saved on pork could be used to fund the universal voting system.

    November 2, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  28. Timothy

    Not sure why NO ONE has been expressing outrage, during the elections or not, about the Christians that were killed in Iraq. We had a crazy fringe pastor in Florida who tried to burn the Koran, and many Christian churches–Catholic, Protestant, etc–spoke out noting that what he was doing was explicitly un-Christian and did not demonstrate loving your neighbor as yourself. Still, when Iraqi Christians are slaughtered no one comes to their defense. There is a veritable exodus of Christians from the Middle East as well, and a raging war in Sudan, but the world doesn't care. In this interesting time of elections, I ask you, what of the Christians in Iraq, America?

    November 2, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  29. Tyrone

    Americans and the whole world will suffer if the election results favours GOP and the partisan politics will stall washington and America's growth/recovery by years in this already stalled economy. Obama was voted in 2008 with the specific agenda and he has to be judged in 2012 and not in this midterm elections.
    Obama has made progress in every issue on the domestic (healthcare, gayrights, torture, oil spill etc) and international front (afganisthan iraq and iran) in a short time and everyone should remember that that issues faced by america are by no means a simple ones(the hole was digged big) and it needs time to resolve. (thats why we vote for a president for a 4 year term and not two years). Most of the economists have agreed that but for bailouts and stimulus we would have been in a deep hole with more job losses and the recent trend shows that a recovery is underway, although at a slower pace.
    The fact that both extreme left and right are not happy with obama shows that he is neither a socialist not a conservatist, and governing from the middle, which is what the world wants from America.
    If giving power to democrats is a mistake, then giving GOP a majority is a 'blunder' which will stall the American recovery and will put america's leadership/growth back by many years

    November 2, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  30. Tyrone


    The real story about the condition of America....IT'S BETTER UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA! The country was in horrible condition facing a recession! President Obama stop the recession with the 750 billion dollars stimulus package. Save the automobile industry and over 10,000 auto jobs! Stop many banks for going under and save police teachers firemen&women jobs! After receiving the country from a Republican President that turn a surplus into debt and started two wars! President Obama stabilize the country and then pass historical bills for the American people! Healthcare Reform...Credit Card Reform..etc.. In two years President Obama did more then any other President before him. Given the condition of the country! The lie was started by the Republican Tea Party statement LIKE: President Obama was a socialist! The government is out of control spending! The deficit is was out of control! ALL LIES...The President receive the country 13 trillion dollars in debt and increase the debt by 1.5 trillion! If he allow the Bush tax cuts to expire the country will save 2 trillion in two. Returning the debt back to where the PRESIDENT RECEIVE THE COUNTRY! Showing the country under President Obama is on the right track! BUT the white control media and the white Republican Tea Party successfully demonize anything and everything President Obama attempted to do and got done! Both know that white American( Republicans base) HEAR IT! BELIEVE IT! and REPEAT IT! and never investigate pass the idiot the racist the fool that informed them! To the detriment of America! Any idiot knows what takes 8 years to mess up can't be fix in two years! President Obama is doing the jobs of President the private sector has to do it's part! VOTE REPUBLICANS OUT OF OFFICE!!!!!!!

    November 2, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  31. Mark E. Doucet

    I have always felt one person = one vote. But this Midterm Elections make me wonder? 10% unemployment but $3,500,000+ for the election? I guess your vote = Money!

    November 2, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
  32. Mrs. M

    Hello Mr. Cooper,

    I just want to express my dissapointment at this years election campaign. Every single time an ad came on TV I literally would end up rolling my eyes before they even started to speak...all the ad's were so negative. I thought that campain ad's were to promote what the canidate stands for NOT for makeing personal attacks at each other personally.

    Mrs. M
    Chicago, Il

    November 2, 2010 at 1:51 pm |