Tuesday, November 2, 2004

previous entry | main | next entry | TrackBack (0)

Open election night thread

Comment on the election returns here. Some useful links:

Florida's Secretary of State presidential vote counter;

Ohio's Secretary of State presidential vote counter;

Iowa's Secretary of State presidential vote counter

Wisconsin's Election Bard, alas, "does not provide unofficial results."

UPDATE: Megan McArdle cheers me up -- a swap of free-trader Jim DeMint for uber-protectionist Fritz Holling in South Carolina is a good thing for foreign economic policy.

ANOTHER UPDATE: James Carville just said on CNN that Bush has the upper hand -- Kerry needs to "draw an inside straight" to win.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Four idle thoughts before I go to sleep:

1) No terrorist attacks times with the election -- an undisputably good thing;

2) As Kevin Drum points out, "Here's some good news: as near as I can tell from scannng the web, surfing the news channels, and reading email from folks like PFAW, this year's election is looking pretty clean."

3) I, for one, take Jeff Jarvis' pledge.

4) Unless there are truly some massive adjustments in vote counts, the exit polls were skewed towards Kerry.

OK, TWO MORE THOUGHTS: First, I just heard Kenneth Blackwell, the Ohio Secretary of State say (quite cogently) on ABC that the provisonal ballots cannot be counted until 11 days after the election. So if it's close there, and everything else breaks as expected, it could be a long two weeks.

That said, the current numbers have Bush up by 191,000 votes with about 80% of the vote counted. Even if there are 130,000-150,000 provisional votes, Kerry would have to close the gap significantly for those votes to really tip the election.

Second, Fox News is now calling Ohio for Bush. Intriguingly, their vote totals are higher than the Ohio Secretary of State's figures.

FINAL UPDATE: Good morning!! OK, if this count of provisional ballots is accurate (link via Jim Lindgren), the total nomber of provisional votes is still less than Bush's margin of victory in the counted votes. Which means Bush takes Ohio, which means the worst he can do would be a 269-269 split, which Bush would win in the House -- which would be appropriate, since he won the popular vote by more than 3.5 million votes.

So... danieldrezner.com calls it for Bush [Yes!! You beat CNN!!--ed. No, wait!! According to CNN:

[Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell] said he could not immediately put an estimate on the number of those ballots but said 250,000 might not be out of the realm of possibility.

While he said the exact number of provisional ballots was unknown, he said it is "trending toward 175,000."

That is larger than Bush's current margin -- but those votes would have to go to Kerry by 85-15 for it to matter. This Daily Kos e-mail suggests that this is how that vote split in 2000, but that would still be an extraordinary outcome. So I'm sticking with my call.]

posted by Dan on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM


cnn has bush leading in delaware, a state they called for kerry...

posted by: dundare on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

The way vote counts are published is appalling.

Absolute numbers of votes are meaningless without either some indication how the rest of the votes are likely to fall OR how the same precincts voted four years ago. But only vague hints are given about the former and absolutely NOTHING about the latter.

Meanwhile both sides are still trying to spin the numbers and claim victory in Ohio and Florida based on their own biased exit polling.

posted by: gw on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

To illustrate what I mean and what I want those highly paid news idiots to do:

Compare http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2000/results/FL/index.html
with http://enight.dos.state.fl.us/

From comparing a few county results it appears that Bush is picking up significantly more extra votes compared to 2000 than Kerry is. Only caveat: absentee (inlcuding early?) votes aren't included in the 2004 results.

Ohio shows the opposite trend. However, Gore was several points behind Bush in Ohio - it's not clear whether Kerry will be able to make up the whole difference. In several counties Kerry seems to be picking up pretty much exactly the Nader vote - about 3 %. Bush won the state by 4 % in 2000. So it may be very close this year...

posted by: gw on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

Long night for the moulting hawks, eh Dan?

How did you like that BS the MSM tried to pull with the bogus exit polls. One final swim in the tank for their buddy Kerry, but unfortunately it looks like it won't be enough.

Well Kerry could still pull this one out with a good dose of vote fraud in a few key states. Wonder what your buddies on the Kerry legal team have planned?

posted by: Matthew Cromer on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

Based on my own county-to-county 2000-2004 comparison I'm calling New Hampshire for Kerry. :-)

So he needs to pick up one more and keep everything else to win... - still tough.

posted by: gw on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

Ohio is tough, things really don't look so good anymore. I'm just shocked. Fear. Fear. Fear. Religion. Religion. Religion. Bush/Cheney '04. Very dissappointing.

posted by: Jor on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

It must be sad for the left to have to see Kerry under perform Al Gore across the board. Nice to see that the electorate has some sense left, contra the pseudo intellectuals. Fear? Fear on the left. Bush offered hope and moving forward. Kerry was the reactionary fearmonger. Fear lost. Religion? That's about hope, too, not fear. I suspect the poster has no clue about either hope or religion.

posted by: Jag on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

Well, for Bush supporters it is time to step up and do the real work. Bush needs to do better in Iraq, in the war on terror, on budget deficits, and in reforming the upcoming entitlement mess. Hold his feet to the fire: We'll all, bluest Blue and redest Red, be paying for it if these issues aren't handled well.

PS-Your dismissive attitudes toward religion go a long way too explaining Kerry's loss, my friend. When "cultural" issues come up bigger in exit polling then economic, don't you think it would behoove liberals to start figuring out why people actually care about God? About why these beliefs inform their votes so greatly? If the Democrats keep your attitude, they can look forward to racking many more losses in the future.

posted by: Peter on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

Bush won for two reasons. One was invalid (appeal to homophobia -- and it's clear from all those narrow Southern Senate wins alone that it did have some impact). The second was perfectly valid -- the failure of the Democrats to come up yet with a coherent and convincing policy to defend this country. Had Kerry followed the advice of his advisor Graham Allison, and of George Will a few weeks ago -- that is, opposed our entanglement in Iraq primarily because it seriously hinders our ability both to prevent Iran from acquring the Bomb, and to deal with any military crises produced by the fact that North Korea and Pakistan already have it -- he would very likely have won.

One other thing the Senate Dems had better steel themselves to do, however, is to keep stubbornly filibustering any and all particularly outrageous judicial nominations Bush makes, no matter how much the pundits click their tongues at them for doing so. This is not because of Roe vs. Wade, but because of the very real possibility that Bush's judges may be willing to fiddle around further with election procedures. Combine that with the advent of paper-trail-less electronic voting machines, and you have a genuine potential for a self-sustaining dicatorship in this country. (In that connection, has anyone checked the exit polls to make sure they overestimated Kerry's vote as much in states without such machines. The possibility of untraceable electronic vote fraud -- especially in Florida and Ohio -- cannot quite be ruled out just yet.)

Those are the only two ways Bush could conceivably irreversibly wreck this country. Any other damage he may do, as with most presidents, is reversible as soon as a majority of the people get a bellyful of it. Meanwhile, let me warn people on both sides that the only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner -- and, at some point, everyone starts losing again...

posted by: Bruce Moomaw on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

You've probably noticed that my next-to-last sentence in my next-to-last paragraph should have ended with a question mark instead of a period. Sigh...

posted by: Bruce Moomaw on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

Some random thoughts, Bush has in all likelihood won. It amazes me though, that, even though roughly half of conservative publications endorsed Kerry, it didn't seem to matter at all. I know these endoresments mean nothing to the average voter, but you would think that influential conservatives are swayed by these endorsements and that translates into at least tiny changes in the electorate. I guess not. With the departure of all the sane cabinet members, I'm sure the next four years will be even better than the last. A foreign policy unrestrained even by Cowardly Colin, should be fantastic. I won't even bother with the rest. I just hope the brave conservatives who waited to the last possible minute to express distrust of Bush, can look themselves in the mirror over hte next four years.

posted by: Jor on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

Nice to see the John John's promising a protracted legal battle over Ohio.

posted by: Matthew Cromer on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

Just please let the election stand. If Kerry/Edwards send in the lawyers to throw around a host of unlikely allegations in Ohio I am going to be really dissappointed. If it happens, I predict that is the end of Edwards chances in a national election for at least a decade.

posted by: Mike on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

I don't think the problem is likely to be "unlikely allegations" in Ohio. From the news I've heard, it's more about counting the provisional ballots of the several hundred thousand voters who Republicans lawyers challeneged at the polls. Kerry-Edwards assume those ballots will go their way, which makes sense if they were challenged by Republicans.

And if you were also charactizing the allegations about Florida in 2000 as "unlikely" I think it might make sense to investigate them. There's always corruption at some levels, but the 2000 race was especially dirty in Florida on the part of Republicans (as well as other places) and in New Mexico by Democrats (as well as other places.) However, it was Florida that decided it.

So all I'm saying is: would you expect Bush to concede Ohio if he had a chance in hell of winning? No. I just hope a line is made clear in the Kerry camp about the difference between doing everything possible to get voted counted and doing everything possible to win. In Florida, both sides were out for the win and it showed. Let's hope in Ohio, both sides show some respect for democracy at its most difficult.

posted by: theDamascus on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

theDamascus - The provisional ballots were not cast because voters were challenged by Republicans. In fact, I haven;t heard one case of a challenge actually occuring despite all the media about it. What all the provisional ballots are from are when voters showed up at the polls and their name was not on the roll. So those voters instead cast a provisional ballot and in the next 11 days Ohio determines if each of those voters really was registered and eligible to vote. Kerry would have to get an extremely high percentage (75-95%) of the provisional ballots that are judged to be eligible.

The biggest legal challenge will be one that has already been fought to a degree -- whether provisional ballots count if those voters did not vote at the correct polling place. It's been ruled in lower courts that those votes only count if the voter showed up at the right place. If the Kerry camp succeeds in any legal maneuvering it will be to get this issue argued before the Supreme Court.

So what I meant by "unlikely" was that Kerry would have to win some legal challenges to count a very high percentage of those provisional ballots (nearly all) and an extremely high percentage of those ballots would actually have to have been cast for Kerry. And, it's worth mentioning, that all this would be in an effort for Kerry to be "selected not elected" in the manner of Bush 2000 and which so many Democrats have held to be illegitimate. It just seems like a very hard sell, and one which is more likely to hurt Democrats long term than to result in a President Kerry.

I'm also kind of wondering if someone like Hillary Clinton will publicly call on Kerry to concede, thereby putting herself in the leadership role for the Democrats and the very front of the line for 2008. I'd have to think it's something Democrats like her are considering.

FInally, it should also be noted that some absentee and all overseas/military ballots are still uncounted as well. From what I can gather these slightly favor Bush, but there hasn't been as much speculation on that.

posted by: Mike on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

Hey Mike, thanks for the advice, but since you apparently voted for the Apostate, we'll probably look elsewhere for advice on what we want in a Democratic leader.

For the rest of us - the country chose, and they won. As much as I would like there to be something nefarious to it, I think they just won. At the moment, I can't decide if we should plan to spend the next four years drunk or gear up for four years of defending civil rights; but these are decisions for a later day.

posted by: SomeCallMeTim on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

I realize that a number of you think of me as a far-right nutcase, and more than a few of you will expect a measure of gloating today. Not today, friends.

In the spirit of all those who pledged to abide by the election results beforehand, I'll make a little public pledge of my own here now. I vow to do whatever tiny bit is in my power (as a mouthy citizen, nothing more) to see that President Bush adopts a more conciliatory tone AND approach to the loyal opposition at home, and the respectful dissenters abroad. Terrorists and truly recalcitrant foreign "allies" can still go f**k themselves.

Let's face it folks, this race is over. Even if most of the questionable ballots in Ohio break for Kerry (and are deemed legal), there remains the niggling question of the popular vote--51% for Bush, 48% for Kerry. Raise your hand now if you're a Dem who wants to abolish the Electoral College? [sounds of crickets chirping] Thought so.

The good news is, there are feelers out from all sides of the political and cultural wars today--the MSM is noting that foreign governments are willing to give Bush a second chance and, gee, what's this, a number of them actually wanted him to win to begin with (so much for universal Kerry support abroad). Republican victor Thune and Democratic vistor Obama both gave excellent, positive, modest interviews of the "hey, we CAN get along if we try" type. Kudos to both of them. And lo and behold, the EU announces a small foray into Iraq, training police, will begin soon.

If Bush accepts these dignified tokens of conciliation and commits himself to improving relations with all these groups, I think a second term can be something to cheer about. No more swaggering Mr. Bush, no more glowering Mr. Cheney.

I'm glad it turned out as it did, but I'm honest enough to admit that I haven't a clue where we go from here. Up, I hope.

posted by: Kelli on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

Final regular tally seems to be a 43,000 vote gap.

24,000 provisional votes in Cuyahoga County alone, where Kerry won 66% of regular votes.

It doesn't look good for Kerry, but it does look possible.

posted by: Jacob T. Levy on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

The untold story of this election will be the enormous amount of voting by provisional and absentee. We will not see the popular vote percentages change much in the media since, I predict, the story will be mostly ignored, but I worked the poll and in my precinct 499 votes were cast electronically, 89 absentee ballots were dropped off on election day, and 82 paper ballots were cast. This means that over 15% of the vote had not been counted (with "100%" of the vote reported from this precinct) not including uncounted absentee ballots mailed in.

posted by: elliottg on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

Dammit, never mind. OH Sec of State has updated its numbers; they now correspond with everybody else's 130,000+ gap.

posted by: Jacob T. Levy on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

Does the no counting for 11 days apply to only provisional ballots or also to absentee?

posted by: elliottg on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

The Ohio SOS said that absentee ballots are counted first as they come in. The 11 days only applies to provisional ballots so it can be determined if they need to be counted at all, and which ones will be counted in any case.

The big legal fight, if there were to be one, would be over which of the provisional ballots are to be counted. By state law, upheld in court recently, only voters who were properly registered at the precinct they showed up at, but didnt appear on the voter roll for some reason would have a viable provisional vote. The odds of anything near a majority of the provisional ballots being valid is staggering. The odds of Kerry taking 75-95% of those votes is into the realm of fantasy. The only way Kerry even possibly wins is to challenge the paramaters of valid provisional votes, essentially arguing to count them all even if they are clearly bogus, in the wrong precinct, etc. IMO that fight would be political self conflagration for the democratic party, and a losing battle.
It doesnt help that several other states that Kerry carried are closer than Ohio, such as Pennsylvania. If Kerry pushes it, Bushs people have every right to demand similar satisfaction in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin where the margins are even closer.

posted by: Mark Buehner on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]


Right now people like Al Gore are on the phone with the Kerry campaign urging Kerry to fight for every vote by all means possible in Ohio, not in hopes of winning outright (which is probably impossible) but in order to bring the margin close enough to demand a manual recount.

Buckle up.

posted by: Mark Buehner on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

That did not turn out the way I thought it would at all.

I had figured that there were enough things for people to be upset about, nervous about or both for them to want to make a change. But in uncertain times, if people are unsure about both candidates the incumbent has an advantage. Also -- and this may have been the biggest factor -- the economy improved a little more before this election than it did in 1992, when we were also exiting a recession. So on the one issue that gets Presidents into more political trouble than any other Bush was in a little less trouble than we thought.

posted by: Zathras on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

Kerry just conceeded. Its over.

Well President Bush, be careful what you wish for. We've given you 4 more years to finish what you started, you better get it done.
I kinda feel like a baseball manager walking out to the mound in the 7th inning and handing the ball back to the pitcher. He better live up to the trust.

posted by: Mark Buehner on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."

H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

posted by: j swift on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

Seems like the big loser was the center.

Can we now drop the "compassionate" from "compassionate conservative"?.

Looks like Rove's anti-gay vote ballot initiative was the GOTV phenominon this time around. I'd like to see TradeSports on Roe v Wade. The R's owe the social conservatives big time. Will they "collect"?

posted by: TExasToast on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

TT, those initiatives represented a reaction to one interest group trying to advance an agenda that had no popular support through the courts, and beginning to have success.

Honestly, why do you care about gay marriage? Ten years ago it wasn't on the radar screen of more than about one in every 500 people; now it's a human right resistance to which is tantamount to bigotry, akin to racism and all the rest of it. All that happened here is the Democrats getting hijacked by another special interest, one which in this case -- rightly or wrongly -- is unpopular in most places. Bush got on the side of public opinion on an issue few Democrats would seek to advance through their elected representatives, and his success is somehow the voters' fault.

Well, it isn't. No Democratic politician with any sense should have reacted to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's decision on gay marriage in any other way than to put as much distance between that decision and themselves as possible. I've heard Democrats talk for months about all the things they think a President ought to do, and gay marriage isn't integral to any of them. But when any organized special interest appeals to them Democrats just can't tell them to get lost.

posted by: Zathras on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

Why are gay americans a "special interest?"

posted by: catfish on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

“TT, those initiatives represented a reaction to one interest group trying to advance an agenda that had no popular support through the courts, and beginning to have success.”


I understand this. My point was that it is my hunch (without any data) that those initiatives brought out a large number of evangelical voters who never voted before to vote against those initiatives and that those new voters voted overwhelmingly for GWB. Don’t get me wrong, I think a majority of democrats oppose gay marriage (in fact, I do) but that people who got off the sofa to vote because of “gay marriage” (in say, places like Ohio) were not very likely to support John Kerry.

I think the Democrats did the best they could to avoid talking about "gay marriage" in the same way that Republicans avoided talking about stem cells. Isn’t it interesting that the stem cell initiative was in California?

posted by: TexasToast on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

"Why are gay americans a "special interest?""

Why are Christian fundamentalists a "special interest"?

posted by: Mark Buehner on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

I agree with what you say, TT, but avoiding discussion of a subject on which one is suspected of holding unpopular views is not always the way out of trouble. Democrats strove for years not to talk about national security issues in ways that might recall McGovern's disastrous candidacy in 1972; consequently, whenever voters thought national security was a salient issue they looked on the Democratic candidate with distrust.

posted by: Zathras on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

I'm skeptical of the label special interest (in my mind it brings up specific ocupational or industry groups hoping to get an extra slice through gov. action--the Teamsters, Oil industry, etc.).

So I guess I don't really see Fundamentalist Christians as a special interest group. In fact, they are not even a single organization, but instead people who share a certain ideology or belief system who may or may not be closely affiliated with one another. The same thing goes for gay Americans, who are probably more diverse in their political and religious opinions (Andrew Sullivan, Mary Cheney, Log Cabin Republicans, etc.).

Opposing a constitutional amendment to outlaw gay marriage (and possibly civil unions) is not really tossing a special interest group a bone. I don't see how someone who does not think that homosexuality is wrong (or any of the government's business) could do much less. I really don't see what more the Democrats could give the opponents of gay marriage short of abandoning principals of social equality. Maybe some kind of federalism thing?

posted by: catfish on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

They could have leveled with them and stopped pretending their position is no different than Bush's just to get elected. How about having the debate? If the Dem leadership didnt think the gay rights opponents were a buch of bigotted bumpkins, they might have engaged them and explained all the things gay partners are denied on a daily basis. There might not have been agreement, but I promise you those people would have come away feeling a lot less ignored and belittled.
How about trying to convince people you are right?

posted by: Mark Buehner on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

You shouldn't be so pleased about DeMint's Senate victory. As Andrew Sullivan points out, he's very anti-gay.

I'd normally be pleased to see a free-trader of either party in the Senate, but not if he's also a fag basher.

posted by: Brock Sides on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

They came down from the hills, from the forks in the cricks, they crawled naked over broken glass in a blinding snowstorm if necessary, to save the world from gay marriage, and while they were there they voted for Dubya. I'll be a little embarassed if this is how we won it, but--I'll sure as hell take it.

The news is probably going to get worse for Dems. Next up, RoevWade. With RW gone and abortion going back to the states, the Dem. national candidates will no longer have validation for abortion to offer. Think for a moment what this does to a Hillary candidacy. Does anyone think ANY Dem could be a serious National candidate w/o being able to offer abortion absolution? In order to maintain competitiveness, they would have to replace "pro-choice" with an actual idea or two about dealing with substantive problems--and like, what are the chances of that?

posted by: Rocketman on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

The reason that many proponents of government recognition of gay relationships got the idea that bigotry motivates a large swath of anti-gay marriage or civil unions constituional amendment backers is because many of the arguments against gay marriage that have been put forward are bigotted. Remember, many of the loudest voices against gay marriage or civil unions were also in favor of governments being able to imprison those who practiced sodomy in their own home (see, for example the National Review after the Lawrence decision).

I think that it is obvious that the Democrats believed that they would lose by trying to push gay marriage. And rightly so. People who oppose gay marriage and make that a big part of their political decision making process are not going to be reassured by signs that Democrats are going to go to bat for gay marriage no matter what. The unfortunate fact is that a close election is not the place to "educate" the public about this issue, when there are so many other issues that the President has much more control over.
Instead, proponents of gay marriage (or civil unions) are going to have to settle for blocking attempts to make it impossible to make slow progress (like the proposed amendment) and rely on creeping tolerance--keeping the issue _out_ of politics as much as possible. A decade of civil unions in Massachusettes should be enough to convince moderate voters that their relationships are not threatened.

posted by: catfish on 11.02.04 at 09:05 PM [permalink]

Post a Comment:


Email Address:



Remember your info?