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Thursday, July 22, 2004

Open Thread

Posted by DavidNYC

I've never put one of these up before, so I hope this inaugural open thread doesn't turn out to be a dud. I don't anticipate being able to post until late tonight, if at all. But since there's a spirited discussion going on in the already-crowded thread below, I wanted to open up some more room for comments.

Also, please feel free to post any new polls, swing state news, cool sites, math debates, etc. Just don't wreck the place while I'm gone!

Posted at 09:35 AM in General | Technorati


If you assume that all the swing states that are generally Republican do go to Bush, Kerry can still win if he gets Florida. Pennsylvania would be nice, but wouldn't be necessary if he got Florida.

This is assuming Kerry comes up short in Arizona, West Virginia, Tennessee, even Ohio. But it also assumes he gets New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, and doesn't lose any of the Mid-Westerns that Gore got.

I think that this is going to be nerveracking because Florida will be the hardest state to predict.

It will be great if Kerry gets more of the map then Gore did, but can we really count on it at this point in July?

Posted by: James at July 22, 2004 09:43 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

My biggest worry is that Kerry will hold the Gore states and pick up New Hampshire and New Mexico. That makes it 269-269. The House would choose the president, which would be Bush, and the Senate would choose the vice-president. That could be Edwards.

Posted by: science at July 22, 2004 09:48 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Whoops. Replace New Mexico in the above with West Virginia...sorry.

Posted by: science at July 22, 2004 09:51 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

if you look at the pew poll it looks like kerry would really have to work hard to blow this
election.all he has to do is sell himself
as an alternative to bush and he should have
a win similar to reagans in 80 although not
quite as big in the electoral college. it
is very apparent that the country does not
want bush back.

Posted by: joel at July 22, 2004 09:56 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

My concern is putting all those eggs in the Ohio and Florida basket when they seem the most likely places for a theft by brother or Diebold.

Two recent polls have shown Kerry ahead in Missouri and Arizona, yet Kerry has pulled money from those states to go into the tainted states of Florida and Ohio.

If you hold the Gore states and win only Missouri or only Arizona Kerry is President. Certainly he play Florida and Ohio but don't shrink the map yet. If Arizona is in play then Nevada and Colorado are legitmate targets as well.

Florida will be stolen from us again, doesn't matter how many lawyers Kerry has. It will be a protracted mess like last time and the results will be the same.

Arizona and Missouri with Arkansas, Nevada, and West Virginia as toppers.


Posted by: Boulanger at July 22, 2004 10:23 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

A recerntly released WRAL TV poll in North Carolina shows Bowles with an 11 point lead in the Senate race over Burr. Let's hope he can keep it. The URL for it is:



Posted by: Chuck at July 22, 2004 10:24 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Kerry's not going to get Arizona or Nevada. He's generated a buzz there now which will force the Republicans to spend money to sure it up, but he won't get them.

He's gotta find a way to win Florida. The election won't be as easy as people are making it out to be on this site.

Posted by: James Crosson at July 22, 2004 10:31 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Anyone notice that there are some states out there that have not been polled at all for the 2004 vote? Like Delaware and Wyoming. People have been assuming that these and similar states are solid states for one or the other candidate. But it never hurts to find out for sure. I'd like to see some polls for these ignored states.

Posted by: Inkan1969 at July 22, 2004 01:26 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I will root for the Yankees next season, attend Sunday Mass every week and live in Peoria for a full year if Kerry wins Wyoming. This would only happen if Bush winds up with a dead girl AND a live boy, and it all happens to be an undead, trans-sexual Dick Cheney.

Posted by: DavidNYC at July 22, 2004 01:46 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

DavidNYC, be careful what you wish for; but at least you didn't promise to shave your head. I have a question about the focus on polling; as a newbie to the political scene, I may be asking the proverbially nonexistent dumb question. So be it: how much do polls in general correlate with actual results? Is there something I can look at that will tell me (for example) how poll results from the Bush/Gore debacle of 2000 correlated with the actual outcome? Hrm, maybe that's a bad example. But hopefully it illustrates what I mean.

Posted by: shimamoto at July 22, 2004 06:06 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Worst case scenario:

Kerry picks up Florida and New Hampshire, loses New Mexico, Oregon, and Wisconsin because of the "Nader factor, but wins the popular vote by 2 to 5 points.

Another 269 to 269 vote in the Electoral College.

Either a Republican elector in a more liberal state votes for Kerry over Bush or it goes to the House (and Senate for VP).

Two controversial elections in a row. How much you want to bet that there'd be a huge push to get rid of the electoral college?!

Posted by: Wayne at July 22, 2004 06:33 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


Kerry picks up Florida and New Hampshire, possibly Ohio, wins the popular vote by 2 to 5 points.

Karl Rove then meets with the governors of select "Kerry states" - ones with Republican legislatures and Republican governors.

According to the Constitution, Electors could be appointed by a state's legislature, or the legislature could empower the governor to choose electors.

A state won by Kerry, but with a GOP legislature and GOP governor, could legally over-rule the winner of their state's popular vote and send a Republican slate of Electors to Congress.

And with the Bush crew...it wouldn't suprise me a bit if they tried this sort of thing.

Posted by: Wayne at July 22, 2004 06:43 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Shim, check out this link. It's about national polls, not state polls, but it's the sort of thing I think you're looking for. And as you can see, it explains why Rasmussen, like Rodney Dangerfield, "gets no respect."

Posted by: DavidNYC at July 22, 2004 07:44 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

As it is right now, this one is almost Kerry's.
I've talked about OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA & FLORIDA- HERE. You'll need to look under 07/18/04. See if you agree (or at least understand what I'm saying). It is, of course, slightly dated, but still very relevant, IMO.
I'm fairly confident of this even considering the latest attempt BY THE BUSH BROTHERS at a new purging fiasco this year in FLORIDA (and I'm aware that they're tring to hire on Accenture to steal PENNSYLVANIA- apparently without shame, morals or fear of culpability).
I've plugged my election projections here before and will take the opportunity to do so again:
2004 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION - Who I think Will Win & WHY

Posted by: Chuck at July 22, 2004 09:33 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Another 269 to 269 vote in the Electoral College.

This is my greatest fear -- but I hope that Kerry has learned from the mistakes Gore made in Flordia in 2000 and will handle this situation, should it arise, immediately and aggresively, in the manner that the Bush forces did back then.

(Right off the bat they put the Dems on the defensive, framing the issue as one of Gore stealing the election, and busing in shock troops from DC to back them up. That's the kind of stuff Kerry will need to do in any kind of tie scenario, anything to try and keep it out of the House, where I don't think he's going to have an edge, depending on how the new Congress is constituted.)

Posted by: Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) at July 22, 2004 10:06 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

"A state won by Kerry, but with a GOP legislature and GOP governor, could legally over-rule the winner of their state's popular vote and send a Republican slate of Electors to Congress."

I can't imagine this even in a worst-case scenario. There would be riots in the streets and angry crowds with pitchforks in D.C. Shameless as the White House gang is, I think they'd have trouble convincing any governors to go along with such a plan.

The 269-269 scenario, on the other hand....

Posted by: Nim at July 22, 2004 11:48 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

wayne i think your paranoid about a state legislature overturning the election in a state.even republicans wouldn`t tolerate that, i would even give bush enough credit that he wouldn`t allow that to happen.i would write off
florida though, i`m sure they will steal that somehow.

Posted by: JEREMY at July 23, 2004 10:22 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

wayne i think your paranoid about a state legislature overturning the election in a state

This very nearly happened in Florida! The GOP-run state legislature was prepared to do this if the Supremes hadn't given the election to Bush.

Posted by: DavidNYC at July 23, 2004 11:10 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I was speaking to a coworker in DC today who said that he's seen a surprising number of Bush ads (the battleground of Virginia infecting the airways) cleverly worded to trash Kerry's accountability. E.g.: "While on the campaign trail, John Kerry has missed two thirds of the votes in the Senate." A decently clever distinction, subtle in that schoolyard bully way that makes Bush scary. The Kerry ads have been uniformly positive. It's not much in the way of news, but I thought I'd pass it on all the same. Living in DC for the summer, I feel powerless enough it helps to contribute trivia. :)

Posted by: shimamoto at July 23, 2004 11:19 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The Electoral College has a decent chance (around 1% by my estimates) of being tied: The easiest scenario to envision is Kerry=Gore+NH+WV.

Another scenario for if the College is tied... Right now the Republicans control the state delegations in the House 29-17 (with 4 states tied between R and D), and the Republicans will gain control of the Texas delegation (currently tied). If the Dems pick up a few key seats (for example, five out of CT 2, IL 8, KY 3, LA 3, NV 3, NM 1, and NC 8 without the Republicans taking over any delegations besides Texas's), then the Republicans would not be able to elect a President in the House (one needs an outright majority of state delegations).

The Vice President (Edwards or Cheney) would act as President but not be President. Or, if the Senate were tied and unable to choose a VP, Speaker Hastert (or Speaker Pelosi!) would be allowed to resign and act as President.

To resolve the deadlock in the House, I'd propose the following strategy: Kerry gets one of his electors to vote for someone viewed as an independent, like Jim Jeffords, so that Jeffords finishes in third place in the Electoral College. Then he throws his support behind Jeffords in the election in the House, and we try to get the Republicans to accept Jeffords as a compromise candidate. He might be able to pull this off if Edwards were acting as President.

As for state legislatures choosing electors, I know that the practice was common in the 19th century, but I do not believe it would be constitutional for a legislature to vacate an election after November 2nd. The reason is that, while legislatures have the power to choose the method of choosing electors, Congress has the power to fix the date on which electors are chosen (Article II, Section 1, clause 4). Congress has chosen November 2nd for this year, so I can't see how a legislature could constitutionally appoint electors after that date. Furthermore, electors must be chose on the same date nationwide, so Congress could not constitutionally pass legislation allowing a state legislature to appoint electors after the election.

Posted by: Ben Schak at July 23, 2004 12:47 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Just to add my two cents:

All states and D.C. in order of strength of support for Kerry:

Kerry lock: D.C., Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Illinois, California, Delaware, New Jersey

Kerry's and not worth challenging: Vermont, Washington, Minnesota

Open Season: Oregon, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Michigan, Iowa, Maine, Florida, New Hampshire, Ohio, Arkansas, Missouri, Virginia

Bush's and not worth challenging (note the first one): West Virginia, Colorado, Tennessee, Louisiana, North Carolina, Arizona

Bush lock: Georgia, Kentucky, Alabama, Indiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Kansas, South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah

From this, I think the best Democratic strategy is to try to build on and maintain leads in states on down to Michigan, and then to pick up Florida. And the best Republican strategy is to build on and maintain leads in states beginning from Florida down. This makes the possibility of a tie -- with Iowa, Maine, and New Hampshire going Kerry and Florida going Bush -- not terribly unlikely.

A couple clarifications: Nevada seems to be turning a lot on the nuclear waste disposal matter, which costs Bush. This is what makes it move toward Kerry in my thinking. Others also rate West Virginia less Bush-leaning than I do; I think that, lacking a candidate with nickname "Bubba," the Democratic Party isn't going to do too well there. I am also biased in that I am (a) disgusted with the Bush Administration, and (b) a product of the Germanic/Protestant immigrant population of the Northern midwest, which I tend to think perceives the same shortcomings in Bush that I do, and so will not be moved to support him more regardless of what he does. Hence, I lean Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and sort of Oregon more toward Kerry than others probably do. Due to parallel but opposite prejudices, I hold little hope for semi-southern mountainous/rural states, and probably expect them to support Bush more than is expected by others.

I also know, deep in my heart, that there is no depth to which Karl Rove would not stoop to win this election, and probably nothing that he would insist must be done that Bush would forbid. If it gets close to election time and it looks like Kerry will win, expect the ugliest election in our lifetimes, particularly in Florida.

I expect also that support for Bush will pick up after the Democratic Convention, due to the later Republican Convention (why, why don't the Democrats set their convention later on the calendar???!) and due to federal spending goodies that Bush will start handing out in key states.

Posted by: Marsden at July 25, 2004 02:48 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Ben--constitutional question regarding an electoral college tie. If the Senate is 50-50 (which is quite possible this time), does Cheney cast the tie-breaking vote for the vice-president (i.e. for himself)?

Posted by: science at July 25, 2004 03:06 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

(unashamed positive TV review coming...)

I just saw the Daily Show, which is a great show on comedy central. They have a beautiful archive of "flip flops" by the Bush-Cheney team. THEY are the ones who say anything the public wants to or needs to hear, and then they go do anything they want. Worse, they are given a free pass by the press. Case in point:

Cheney in Oct 2000 during the debates - Different states can and should be able to choose what sorts of unions (gay marriages) they allow, and that's okay. No need for federal regulation.


Posted by: RS at July 27, 2004 01:16 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment