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Sunday, October 31, 2004

Open Thread

Posted by DavidNYC

Man, I'm just at a loss for words - I don't think I have anything left to say! After spending a year analyzing the swing states in ultra-fine detail, I think we all know where this race is coming down to. I don't even know that it's helpful to look at polls anymore - it's not like we can switch strategies at this point.

The one thing left is to do GOTV and election protection. Tim's great post below can help you get involved in a bunch of swing states, if you haven't done so already. As for me, I'm gonna go read up some more on Pennsylvania election law (exciting stuff, I know!) to get ready for the Big Day.

P.S. Flash in the comments to the previous thread says that the MYVOTE1 number is pretty worthless, and that in the election protection work he's doing, they are ONLY giving out 1-866-OUR-VOTE. That hotline can help with ANY kind of problem, not just legal matters. So call that number first, every time.

Posted at 04:07 PM in General | Technorati


Well, the Redskins lose. Big surprise there. But I'm so torn as to whether I should taunt them out of fun like I usually do, or out of the fact that history dictates that the incumbent will now lose; what a choice.

Posted by: Dale at October 31, 2004 04:22 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Score: 28-14.

Posted by: Dale at October 31, 2004 04:25 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Now you can taunt them... well... taunt them a second time! (Sorry, I could not resist.)

Posted by: DavidNYC at October 31, 2004 04:31 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Discussing a hatred of Bush is not going to get Republicans to vote for Kerry. Bush might be a freak, but many conservatives still can't vote for Kerry. Michael Badnarik could be the Perot of 2004 and cost Bush the election if conservatives knew about this candidate who supports a balanced budget and small government. Columnist in NY Times says Badnarik impact on Bush could be critical.

Posted by: VoteBadnarik at October 31, 2004 05:14 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


I know how anxiously you���ve been following this campaign; how important it is to you. I know that you���re scared ��� for yourself and your children, and that there���s nothing more important to you right now than having a government, a President, who can keep you safe from harm.

I feel the same way. That���s why I feel strongly that George W. Bush shouldn���t be our President anymore. I���d like to tell you why I feel that way.

He���s been telling us that we need to be strong to be safe ��� that if we were stronger, 9/11 wouldn���t have happened; and that if we get even stronger, it won���t happen again. He���s told us that he���s been strong for all of us, so we need him to keep on being strong for us, or else we���ll get hurt.

It sounds very reassuring. The only problem is that it isn���t true. Here���s why. You can never be stronger than somebody who���s willing to die to hurt you. The United States is the strongest country in the world many times over, and we���re the strongest any country has ever been in the history of the world ��� we already were on 9/11, and it didn���t help: 19 men willing to die killed 3,000 innocent people�Ķwith box-cutters. However big an army we have, however many bombs we drop, however many people we kill, that won���t stop someone who really wants to hurt us.

We don���t need someone to be strong for us ��� we���re plenty strong already. What we need is someone to be smart for us, because smart is the only thing that will stop these people before they hurt us. Smart enough to find out who they are, where they are, and what they���re planning. Smart enough to see where we���re vulnerable at home, and fix it in time. Smart enough to fight terrorism without making friends for the terrorists all over the world.

And smart, George W. Bush isn���t. As far as terrorism is concerned, he���s done just about everything wrong. He���s led us to war to prevent another terrorist attack�Ķbut in the wrong place. You and I and our children get searched whenever we travel, and ID-checked everywhere we go�Ķbut a terrorist can bring a bomb or a poison or a germ into this country by boat, and it won���t even be checked. Our daily lives are plagued by vague warnings of impending attack�Ķbut Mr. Bush���s government has taken away money for the police and firefighters who would be the first to respond to an attack, and many of them aren���t home anyway ��� they���re in Iraq with the National Guard, and they can���t come home, because their tour of duty���s been extended.

We need somebody in the White House who gets it right, who���s smart enough to protect us, and that person isn���t George W. Bush. So, I urge you, for your own sake and your children���s ��� give John Kerry the chance to be smart for all of us; give him your vote next Tuesday.

Posted by: PMG at October 31, 2004 05:28 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

If Badnarik does have a "Nader effect" on this year's election, I think a) people will be stunned that this story flew completely below the radar the entire campaign season and b) the GOP will have an enormous amount of ammunition to attack Kerry's win as being illegitimate.

For America's sake, and my own political preferences, I hope Kerry's win is clear and convincing.

Posted by: DavidNYC at October 31, 2004 05:53 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

DavidNYC, unlike Perot, I doubt that up to 90% of the voting population even knows who Badnarik is. This was not the case with Perot. My biggest hope is that we know who won before November 4th. The longer the delay, the more "illegitimate" the winner will be viewed by the opposing side.

Posted by: pepe at October 31, 2004 06:09 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Whoever wins the election will win in excess of 50% of the popular vote (51%?), and should win a convincing majority of electoral votes (theoretically; see 1876 election). My instincts tells me that there will be a dispute, but my mind says that the election will be decided by Wednesday afternoon. If not, then it will be a long, ugly fight. Think civil war without guns (blood possible, though).

Posted by: Dale at October 31, 2004 06:20 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Regarding the election.

It's probably not a secret that I support Bush. Having said that, this is how I feel about the post-election scenarios...

If Kerry wins the popular vote AND the electoral vote by more than one state, I will 100 percent support John Kerry as my President.

If Bush wins the popular vote AND the electoral vote by more than one state, I will 100 percent support George Bush as my President.

In the event that it is a really tight election like 2000, I hope for everyone's sake that it is resolved quickly, whatever the outcome.

Although I lean conservative, I think drawing out our election process through senseless litigation only hurts the process. The future of our Democracy could lie in our response to this election. If we end up with challenges in multiple states in an election that isn't necessarily razor thin, I think it will pollute our system of government.

I believe in and support the electoral college, because it allows every state to maintain a stake in the process. We are a federation of states, not a true Democracy. With this in mind, I hope that the electoral and popular vote winner will be one in the same this time. We don't need another President where half the voters feel they were "robbed." There have been plenty of close elections, but the climate has changed and become ultra-charged. When you have thugs bombing opposition headquarters, it makes you think back to fascist governments or third world Democracies.

People need to get past the rhetoric and polarization and involve themselves more in the process OUTSIDE the election. But fighting each other over idealogies isn't going to get us where we need to be. Ds and Rs are both guilty of it. There is plenty of blame to go around. How many people on this website are committed to supporting an electoral/popular vote winner, if that is the outcome next week, regardless of the winner?

I am one. I have posted several messages on this board (some antagonistic) because it didn't seem to have much balance. I also have a unique perspective, because I am closer to some of these issues than most of the people posting here. I am probably the only one posting on this site that has looked Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and Ramses Yousef in the eye.

Now that I have rambled on and on...is there anyone else willing to support the next President, regardless? Our elected leaders deserve our support, even when we disagree with them.


Posted by: John at October 31, 2004 06:52 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

My instincts tells me that there will be a dispute, but my mind says that the election will be decided by Wednesday afternoon. If not, then it will be a long, ugly fight. Think civil war without guns (blood possible, though).

Dale, that is a chilling thought, but it has crossed my mind, as well as that of many of my friends and family. Hard to believe that we could actually see blood spilled over an election here in the USA. If it's not decided quickly and in a way that most people view as fair and impartial--well, I really don't even want to think about it, but it could be very ugly.

Fortunately, I agree, and have been writing for several weeks now that I think the election will be far less close in terms of EVs. The winner could win the majority of swing states by razor-thin margins, yet he will get all of their EVs, making the victory appear much greater than it really was. Let's hope this happens, and let's hope it happens to Kerry!

Posted by: pepe at October 31, 2004 06:53 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


I really appreciate your post above. I think we all hope that this election procedes in a way that we all believe we have an outcome that where we can all be convinced was legitimate. And when it comes to supporting the President for those who didn't want to see him elected, it is always difficult to do and in today's political climate, there are always just under half of voters who are foced to do it.

There is one thing that the sitting President can do that will make this easier on all of us, though. I'll use the last State of the Union as an example. Last January, I sat down to watch the address knowing that there were a lot of tough and important issues that I wanted to hear about (Iraq, UBL, Patriot Act, marriage, economy & jobs, civil war in Africa, the list goes on.) I knew there was little chance that I would be voting for Bush but I wanted to hear his side none the less. On almost every one of those issues, the President gave all of us a simplified view that didn't even attempt to counter those who dissagreed. For example, on the Patriot Act, I had heard a lot of stories about civil liberties infractions and wanted to hear Bush's counter to those concerns. All he told us was that the Patriot Act keeps us safe. End of story. On the marriage issue, Bush advocated a gay marriage ban without explaining why the Defence of Marriage Act was not sufficient. On stem cells, he told us the research shouldn't be federally funded without telling us why it was different from other types of research. It's obviously been almost a year since that speech and I'm struggling to remember other examples, but I do remember thinking something very similar multiple times.

On these issues, I probably would not have agreed with him if I had gotten complete answers to my concerns. But not taking the time afforded him on such a huge stage to speak to all of us, even those of us who dissagree, would have made it much easier to respect his views. This is why I enjoyed watching Clinton give his addresses. While it gave him the reputation for babling on during these addresses, he would take the time to explain his view, discibe other's concerns, and then explain why he still held those views even with those concerns. At least those who dissagreed were given the time of day and were spoken to directly. I'm a bit too young to remember Reagan or Bush addresses, but they very well have been much better at this, too.

The reason why the Patriot Act portion of the State of the Union really stands out in my mind is because this is when I decided that I wanted to see Bush removed in this election. At the time, we didn't know who would get the nomination (though it did look like it would be Kerry if I remember correctly).

I know I'm not the only one who feels this way because of the way I hear relatively moderate people talk about Bush. Even some moderate Republicans don't appreciate the way he has approached issues like stem cells or gay marriage.

Whoever wins this election is going to have to lead us through four difficult years. If we are going to get each other through Iraq and protect each other here on the home front, we are going to have to each other the common decency and respect that should come in any public debate.

Posted by: Dan Hogan at October 31, 2004 08:51 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

gallup just came out with their last poll 49-49 lv some of their state polls are nuts have bush winning pa but losing ohio and florida and have bush up 8 in wisc and kerry up 8 in minn.gallup alway ends up predicting the race the same as all the other polls at the end even though they poll to the right all through the election period. it looks like a total dead heat, but since the redskins lost kerry should win. also i guess what happens in iraq in the next 36 hours may help kerry.

Posted by: joel at October 31, 2004 09:11 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Breaking News Guy! Gallup new state polls
Florida Kerry up 3
Pennsylvania Bush up 4 (shocker)
Ohio Kerry 4
Wisconsin Bush up 8 (shocker)
Iowa Bush up 2

One word outliers!!!

Posted by: godfrey at October 31, 2004 09:28 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

OK, here we are with one day to go and all the tracking polls have the race an exact tie. Now, consider the following percentages of Bush voters, recall the famous 50% rule (It really should be the 48.5-49% rule this year), smile, and then work your butts off to GOTV:

Florida 48.5
Ohio 47.8
Pennsylvania 46.7
Wisconsin 46.3
Iowa 47.8
Minnesota 46.0
Michigan 45.0
Missouri 49.5
New Mexico 48.6
Nevada 49.7
New Hampshire 46.7
Maine 42.0
Oregon 45.0
New Jersey 42.3
Hawaii 44.7

Even if we give Bush Nevada, New Mexico, Missouri, and Florida off this list, Kerry still wins. I think that we are working now to seal the victory and increase the margin, while they are left working to steal the election yet one more time.

Posted by: Randy C at October 31, 2004 09:32 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


The 2000 election was four years ago and Bush won. He didn't steal shit. Get the f--- over it already.

If Bush wins by 50 electoral votes...you'll still be bitching that he stole the election. It is your mentality that is hurting our Democracy.

This is coming from a guy who will support Kerry for President...if he wins...which I don't think he's going to.

Posted by: John at October 31, 2004 09:42 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

John recognize and realize guy!!!
Breaking News Guys! Gallup new state polls
Florida Kerry up 3
Pennsylvania Bush (LV) up 4 (shocker) (RV) Kerry up 2
Ohio Kerry 4
Wisconsin Bush up 8 (shocker)- outlier
Iowa Bush up 2
Minnesota Kerry up 8

Posted by: godfrey at October 31, 2004 09:48 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Here's a sight that warms my heart, and it will all of your's too.


Posted by: Randy C. at October 31, 2004 10:01 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

John, I will support President Bush if he legitimately wins the election. I am from Florida, and it makes me sick when people tell me to get over 2000. Screw that. It should make every American sick that the person who is in the White House did not win the election. Forget all the disenfranchisement issues. All news organizations that recounted the entire state (not the selected recount that Gore wanted, but the entire state) show that Gore actually won. Regardless of the standard they used, counting hanging chads, dangling chads, indentations, Gore won every single time. So excuse us if we are upset that the guy who took our 25 electoral votes in 2000 got less votes than the other guy. I personally feel violated, and every American should as well. This democracy is not hurt, as you say, by the attitude of dissenters. This democracy is hurt when all votes are not counted. This democracy is hurt when one campaign's state campaign manager is also in charge of counting the votes in the state, and chooses to issue rulings based on the interest not of the people of her state, but of the candidate for which she works. This democracy is hurt when one political party would rather stick with an illegitimate count instead of finding out who actually won, because the other candidate might have actually won. Nothing we say or do here, nothing in our attitude, nothing at all can hurt our democracy nearly as much as the theft, the disenfranchisement, and the assuming of the presidency by an illegitimate candidate that occurred 4 years ago. And because of that theft, on November 2nd, we Floridians are going to beat Bush like he stole something.

Posted by: Sam at October 31, 2004 10:45 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Don't forget this is Gallup, whose polls throughout the campaign have seemed a little skewed towards Bush. I'm shocked that Gallup has Kerry up in both Ohio and Florida. Pennsylvania is not going to flip, I'm living here in State College(Centre County), which is a place Bush won by a 10%-15% in 2000. 400 students voted in the last election, I expect ten times that number will vote in this one. Kerry is going to take Centre County, I see twice as many Kerry stickers as Bush stickers. Wisconsin seems to be a lost cause but Minnesota has become pretty solid and Iowa will break barely at the end for Kerry. Things are looking pretty good right now for a Democratic White House.

Posted by: Brett at October 31, 2004 11:10 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

It is good to hear that things are going well in Pennsylvania, Brett. That insight about the State College area was good, because that is the type of thing that the polls don't pick up. I can't believe that only 400 students voted last time, with a college the size of Penn State. I don't think Wisconsin is a lost cause. It will be difficult to win, but people can register up to and including November 2nd, so we can always pull something out in that state. I think New Hampshire is certain to flip to Kerry at this point, and Florida and Ohio are looking promising. If we can somehow hold Wisconsin and Minnesota, then we will probably only need to win either Ohio or Florida to win the white house, but not both.

Posted by: Sam at October 31, 2004 11:18 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I agree with John's comments that I hope the outcome of this election is sufficiently clear that we can all agree that the apparent winner is the real winner. Unfortunately, if what has happened at several of the closings of early voting sites in Florida is any indication, I am afraid that there is insufficient transparency of the process that either side will have much reason to feel confidence in the outcome.

At some polling places, the clerks are reading off the number of votes cast on each machine after the polls close. At others, they are not. At some polling places, the clerks are reading off the seal numbers on the machines after they are closed. At others, they aren't. At none of the early polling sites of which I'm aware are they permitting poll wathchers to look at the seals and record the seal numbers on the machines.

The election personnel SEEM honest, and I don't THINK they are following these practices for nefarious reasons. But the fact is that unless independent persons are permitted to personally verify at least the vote count and seal number on each machine when it is closed down for the night, and to verify that they are the same when the machine is opened the next morning, there is a wide open avenue for massive fraud by simply adding votes for one candidate or another during the overnight period.

I doubt that this will happen this time around, but the reason for any accounting control isn't so much that people are suspected of being dishonest as it is to assure in a verifiable manner that they in fact ARE honest. The outcome of any election shouldn't have to depend on blind faith in the honesty of anybody, and that is sadly not the case in this election. My impression is that the training of the poll workers has been such that they simply don't understand why this kind of control is so absolutely critical.

I hope that between now and 2008, both parties will be able to come together and resolve to REALLY fix our electoral system by instituting a system that is truly transparent, and that is simple enough to be run by ordinary people with the relatively minimal amount of training that we provide to our election workers. We certainly don't have such a system for this election.

Posted by: gary at October 31, 2004 11:26 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Good news Brett!

I, like Sam, do not think that WI is a lost cause. If you look at the most recent polling there, Kerry has opened a good lead in the last couple days (See http://www.race2004.net/states.html?state=wi). Maybe the Bin Laden video caused that? Whatever, WI looks pretty safe for us right now. Likewise with MN (See http://www.race2004.net/states.html?state=mn). Iowa looks a little more troublesome, but I agree with you that it will come home by a whisker in the end. Likewise for NM.

Posted by: Randy C at October 31, 2004 11:41 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Thanks for your comments, Randy and Sam. I just looked at some recent Wisconsin polls, and you might be right after all. Gallup's 8 point Bush lead is no surprise considering the whole campaign, and the other recent polls suggest a Kerry shift. I still remember how close Wisconsin was in 2000 and I keep hearing reports about a long-term shift to the right, but I guess it's still a toss-up. I'd still put Wisconsin with New Mexico as the most likely Gore states to flip, I guess I'm trying to remain grounded despite today's good news.

Posted by: Brett at November 1, 2004 03:31 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

To John:

If you look back on the election of 2000 and understand that in spite of the fact that many Gore supporters felt that the election was stolen in Florida, after all was said and done, the progressives worked with the new president. Contrast that with what the Republican Party did after Clinton was elected (Whitewater, Monica, etc.) and I think you'll have to agree that the danger here is not that progressives won't support Bush if he's elected but rather how nasty the Republicans will be if Kerry is elected.

FYI: Florida has a mandatory recount law that kicked in in 2000. It was the BUSH campaign that filed suit to stop it. The Gore campaign filed a counter suit. And this from the party that preaches against lawyers.

Posted by: Randy K. at November 1, 2004 07:07 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


I agree with you now that Wisconsin is very close. I still think it is trending slightly toward Kerry but not by as mush as I thought. It turns out that CNN reported the most recent Gallup poll backwards, with Kerry leading. It was actually an 8 point Bush lead. Zogby, on the other hand has Kerry up 8. My comment was made just after reading the misreported number at Race2004. I saw the correction there this morning.

I should have known that Gallup would not have Kerry up by 8. Oh well, I agree that the the other polls show a slight break toward Kerry. I still think he will win there.

Posted by: Randy C at November 1, 2004 07:58 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Randy K

I absolutely agree with you regarding supporting the President...you won't get an argument from me...I work for the President(s). I worked for Clinton AND Bush. If Kerry is elected, I will work for him. This election directly reflects on my day to day life. BUT, BOTH PARTIES are guilty of this bullshit.

I hold my elected officials accountable...R's included. I don't get the feeling that there are a lot of people on this site that feel that way...you sir, are a breath of fresh air.

Posted by: John at November 1, 2004 08:08 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment