Can’t somebody call this thing yet?

As of this writing, it looks like it’ll be 281 Electoral votes for Bush, 257 for Kerry. Iowa could swing to Kerry still, but it looks like Bush has both Ohio and New Mexico sewn up at this point. I’m wondering why none of the major news agencies have called it yet. I dug into the county-by-county data on the remaining states, and it seems pretty clear that the election has been won.

Obviously I’m overlooking something.

Interesting side-note: if you want to predict something, find out what odds are being given in Vegas. Bush was favored 6:4 in Vegas, and that’s a city that is going to vote for Kerry. Not that it matters. Money talks for those oddsmakers, not politics. They’ve got a vested interest in calling things accurately.

CNN hasn’t called Ohio for Bush yet, but he’s leading by over 110,000 votes there with less than 3% of the precincts still out. Fox and MSNBC have both predicted Ohio for Bush.
Iowa also has 3% still out, and Bush has a slim lead there. Sure, there are enough uncounted votes to completely reverse the leads in both Iowa and Ohio, but statistically speaking that’s not usually what happens.

I really, really want to go to bed.

I also really, really want the election to be OVER tomorrow. I want to be able to say confidently that nobody stole this election (unless you argue that the two major parties stole it from everyone else by spending enormous amounts of money… in which case you’ve called the whole system into question, and now’s not the best time for that.)

29 thoughts on “Can’t somebody call this thing yet?”

  1. CNN, the AP, NPR, ABC and CBS still say OH is too close to call – which sentiment I rather agree with, especially considering the provisional/absentee ballot issue.

    I’m also not entirely sure FL is lost – absentee and provisional ballots again, but that’s just me…

  2. Because of broken machines in Ohio, provisional and early ballots numbering right about 250,000 and 363 precincts still haven’t reported in. Also, there’s reports of people *still lined up to vote*.

    1. Yeah, but 250,000 uncounted votes in the face of a margin of 125,000 in favor of Bush? Statistically speaking, it’s EXTREMELY UNLIKELY that those votes would turn the state around.

      Still, if those votes are all from principally democratic-leaning precincts, and if the folks still lined up (should that be true) are in those same areas, anything’s possible.

      Well, anything except a Nader win. Whew!


      1. Just ran the math. Assuming you’ve got 250,000 votes outstanding, and a lead of 125,000 by one party or another, the trailing candidate has to win 187,501 of the 250,000 outstanding votes.

        That means taking over 75% of the remaining votes in an election that has thus far swung no more than 60/40 in anybody’s favor in any given county that I’ve checked. Statistically unlikely.

        1. Most of those ballots, however, are in black metropolitan areas. Kerry has won something like 80% of the black vote.

          It’s POSSIBLE, but yes, pretty unlikely.

          1. Good point. I’d be very interested to see the demographic on those uncounted votes, and obviously so would CNN, ABC, BBC, and all the rest of the folks not calling Ohio yet. If it’s all black votes, or all black WOMEN votes, then Kerry could take 75% of them.

            I suspect, though, that if we’re talking about large numbers of absentee ballots it’s not weighted like the inner city would be.


            I need to go to bed.

        2. Even more drastic: the Ohio secretary of state is saying that it’s “trending toward” 175,000 outstanding votes. That would require kerry, to overcome Bush’s current 136,000 vote lead, to win 154,501 of those: 88.3 percent. Ain’t gonna happen.

          They’re now saying that they’ll start counting provisional ballots Thursday.

  3. Actually, in Nevada right now, Bush is beating Kerry by about 1,000 votes. Numbers given about 7 minutes ago at the end of the local news cast.

      1. I didn’t say NEVADA would vote for Kerry. I said VEGAS. It seems that major metropolitan areas lean towards the democratic candidates — at least in the last couple of elections.

        Besides, I’m just repeating what I heard on the AM news radio. They said Nevada would be close, and that Vegas was leaning towards Kerry.


        1. Hmmm, good point there. I hadn’t actually heard too much on which way the city itself was leaning. At the polling place I was at, it seemed pretty much neck-and-neck based on the conversations I overheard, but the city itself? Not a clue on that…

  4. And Ohio Secretary Of State Blackwell says it’ll be at least 11 days before the provisional and early ballots are counted, as required by law.

    Can we send Schlock over th.. oh, right.

  5. There’s more than enough provisional ballots and mail-ins to swing it either way in both NV & OH, unfortunately. The odds are that it will be Bush, but it’s not certain.

    OH by law won’t even begin to count those for another 11 days. This will not be over this week.

    The lawyers are already en route, I’m told.

    1. Oh, plus the stories of disenfranchisement are already rolling in. Seems a precint in Chicago mysteriously had everyone that voted in teh republican primary stricken from the lists for today, and they also mysterously misplaced all their provisional ballots … the quote from the pollster lady is “You aren’t voting here. If you don’t like it go see the sherrif, I don’t care”

      CNN is now talking about lots of people turned away at one polling place because they ran out of paper ballots in a precint in OH. Oh, dear.

  6. Like I said, “obviously, I’m overlooking something.”

    I really don’t care who wins, as long as they win WITHOUT CALLING IN THE LAWYERS. Yeesh.


    1. Crappily, the lawyers are gonna come in, because people aren’t going to agree to just let ohio do the provisional/absentee ballots unmolested. It’d be nice if they just said “Hey, let’s try and be classy and let them do their job.”

  7. I think you can count me no longer among your countrymen soon, either way.

    I refuse to live in a country that would even consider what presently looks like the likely outcome. I know you disagree, and that’s fine…you can stay. But I fucking refuse.

    1. You can leave if you wish, but I won’t. I’m staying to fix it, no matter how long it takes. Besides, I couldn’t possibly think of a country out there that could hold a candle to the States. I may hate our government, but I still love our country.

    2. That’s actually pretty admirable. Vote your conscience, and if you don’t like the outcome of the election, leave. That takes cojones.

      I stuck around after Bill Clinton was elected, and happily saw him undercut two years after his election with the overturning of his majority in Congress. It’s possible the unhappy voters of 2004 will upset the Republican congressional majority in 2006, which would go a long way towards keeping a Republican president a bit more moderate.

      Or Kerry could win, and we’ll have a nice partisan split between Congress and the White House. Ideally NOTHING would get done, and the Libertarians would finally have won!

      1. Or Kerry could win, and we’ll have a nice partisan split between Congress and the White House. Ideally NOTHING would get done, and the Libertarians would finally have won!

        That’s actually exactly what I said when people asked, after Badnarik, who I wanted to win.

        1. could it be??

          You know, I think it just might be possible that I actually agree with someone on some political comments!

          When I went to vote, I felt amazement, wonder, awe and disappointment.

          The amazement, wonder and awe were because for the first time in my life, here in Texas, I was able to put a check mark in that little box at the top of the ballot that says vote the straight party ticket – for LIBERTARIANS! Oh my! I think we may have finally achieved legitimacy in the eyes of many. Of course, there was disappointment, as well – there were many candidates, both Republican and Democrat who ran unopposed. It looks like if I want to put my money where my mouth is, I might actually have to wade in and actually do something drastic, like run for office – just so I can say I gave it my best shot to free our country again.

  8. If Wisconsin fell to Bush, it’d be a certainty given Iowa’s liklihood of going Bush. Kerry’s still got a slim lead there.

    No matter how bad this one gets, though, I don’t think it’s going to be as bad as the 2000 Election. If Bush wins, it’ll be on a state that has a much better track-record for dealing with voting than Florida.

    Actually, it MIGHT be worse. Looking at the numbers, if Kerry wins, though, it could really divide the country given that it’ll be another popular vote/electoral vote mismatch.

    Shit, I wish we had better candidates. I voted for Kerry, but he’s no superhero in my mind. Or no Clinton. And Bush is no McCain. Fie on all of them!

    1. The good news is for Floridians — if the election goes to the courts, we won’t be making fun of Florida again. We’ll be mocking Ohio! Wheee!


      1. Yes, a welcome change!

        The bad news, if it’s a REALLY slim finish (within a quarter of 1 percent) Ohio law is that there will be a recount.

  9. To add to all the fun, in Broward County (Florida), the Diebold Machines were being cute. Some of them were openly registering any choice as straight Republican. They were put out of service; but as this is a very populous and a massively Democratic county, one can certainly see demands for the rest of the machines to be seized and analyzed by the Democrats; to see how many machines did the same thing *without* saying so on the screen. One can see the Florida Supreme Court going along, too.

    Which makes the other such machines, all of which are in heavily Democratic counties, equally suspect…and that’s before the provisional and absentee ballots are handled.

    Florida may be a bit less set in stone than it seems.

  10. If not now,, then what is the time?

    That aside….. I had an odd dream recently, in which I was tallying and plotting election votes by precinct as they were reported, and noticed a pattern that Bush consistently had a margin of +3% to -5%, except in precincts that had used Diebold voting machines, in which he consistently had a margin of +10% to +15%.

    This morning, I wake up and it is being asserted (I’m still trying to locate the source on which the assertion was made) that:

    “…on several swing states, and EVERY STATE that has EVoting but no paper trails has an unexplained advantage for Bush of around +5% when comparing exit polls to actual results.

    In EVERY STATE that has paper audit trails on their EVoting, the exit poll results match the actual results reported within the margin of error.

    So we have MATCHING RESULTS for exit polls vs. voting with audits, vs. a 5% unexplained advantage for Bush without audits.”

    Interesting …….. particularly if true. I’m trying to find out right now whether there’s anything more to this than the tinfoil-hat-brigade ravings of the Democratic Underground.

  11. Interesting side-note: if you want to predict something, find out what odds are being given in Vegas. Bush was favored 6:4 in Vegas, and that’s a city that is going to vote for Kerry. Not that it matters. Money talks for those oddsmakers, not politics. They’ve got a vested interest in calling things accurately.

    I’m not convinced of that at all — because I think the premise is wrong. The Vegas oddsmakers, as I’ve heard it, have a vested interest in making sure that the bets balance — that the amount of money to be paid out if (in this case) Kerry won is equal to the amount to be paid out if Bush won. When the bets balance, the oddsmakers have no financial interest in the outcome; either way, their bankbook looks the same. It’s a perfectly hedged bet on their part.

    Now, if you look at that, you see that an accurate prediction of “Who’s going to win?” doesn’t factor in there at all. What factors in there is an accurate prediction of “Who will people place bets on?”

    In this case, I suspect the betting was rather disproportionately skewed towards Bush, just on grounds that the betting-in-Vegas demographic is one that (I think) would tend to have a higher-than-average quantity of Bush partisans. Though were I to be a betting type, I’d have bet on Bush too — on grounds of needing a hedge against the fact that I think I’ll be a few thousand dollars worth worse off under him than I would be under Kerry.

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