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« Joseph Spence | Main | We Post, You Decide »

November 03, 2004

Fenster Predicts the Past

Fenster Moop writes:

Dear Blowhards,


Fenster is feeling down. With the Blowhards site down at a critical moment in the campaign, ol' Fens missed his opportunity to make his predictions for the future and now can only predict the past.

So here goes:

Bush with around 51% of the popular vote and mebbe 280 plus or minus in the electoral vote.

I don't see what's so hard about this pundit stuff. It's pretty clear from down here in the swamp.

I'll also say this: despite the "Ohio is the new Florida" mantra emanating from the media, I think the current situation is quite different.

Florida was about a tiny margin separating Bush and Gore, and the possibility that voting irregularities--and the uncertaianties embedded in the voting process itself--would be greater than that margin. A very Derridian situation.

There's a little of that uncertainty here, especially in regard to the fuzziness surrounding how provisional ballots will be treated under law. But at heart, Ohio is a much more straightforward situation: a pretty healthy spread (51-48, same as the national spread), some uncounted ballots, and the probabilities that arise therefrom. Holding aside the legal fuzziness above, the uncounted ballots ought to be able to be subject to the same kind of statistical review that networks undertake all the time, when they call elections with only a small percentage of precincts reporting. Indeed, I'll wager that NBC and Fox, the two main outlets announcing a Bush win in Ohio, did just that.

This suggests a possible out for Kerry, but one he's unlikely to want to take. Why not announce a concession as provisional as the ballots in dispute? Call off the attorneys on the grounds that there is no real case for a flawed process and let the counters count. I am not certain what the legal nature of a concession speech is anyway. If Ohio were to count the provisionals and find Kerry the winner, wouldn't they certify him as such, with the consequence that its electors would put him over the top irrespective of what he says today?

Obviously (to Fenster anyway), this is not an acceptable route for Kerry since he probably believes that the only way he can really win is through some combination of bland counting of provisional and absentee ballots along with aggresive legal challenges all along the way. I think that would be a political mistake for Kerry and the Dems. They'd still lose the election and they'd lose even more respect in the eyes of the Fed Up, including yours truly.



posted by Fenster at November 3, 2004


I'm with you, my blowhard brother. This has been a really horrible experience of an election. I liked your post highlighting the Economist's insightful take: the incompetent vs the incoherent.

The nation has spoken, and so have I. I voted for Grover. Yeah, the one from Sesame Street. He was the only man I could really get behind.

Posted by: Monica on November 3, 2004 2:44 PM

Gee, Monica, I guess that means roughly 3,436,000 more incompetents in this nation.

I was told it hasn't happenned even in Reagan's time.

I dunno, he might (just might) be doing something right...

Posted by: Tatyana on November 3, 2004 3:18 PM

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