Just before leaving for chorus rehearsal around 7pm, the election results were showing Bush in a comfortable lead, both in electoral votes and the popular vote. At that time, I figured it would be pretty difficult for Kerry to catch up. When I got back home around 9:30pm, and saw the big red splotch across the US map, that pretty much convinced me that Bush was going to win. However, I did stay up for a while longer to see if there was going to be any controversy in Ohio, and just to sample how the different networks handled the election coverage. (I also had a bit of piano practice left to do.)
Thinking about the generally Republican victory, I was reminded of an argument my father had with his mother around the time of the 1972 election. His mother was a lifelong Republican and had no intentions of changing. Perhaps this was understandable because the Republican party had historically been opposed to slavery, and his mother's grandparents were slaves. But my father was furious with her for voting for Nixon, claiming he was unfit to be President. It's possible that there is a fair amount of loyalty to the Republican party for similar reasons. Also, my impression is that many Republicans had less faith in Kerry than Bush to protect the US against terrorist attacks. Homeland security, especially in the heartland, tends to be one of those non-negotiable things.