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Between the Lines

November 02, 2004

Kerry won't concede until all Ohio ballots are counted

And that won't happen for nearly two weeks.

TV networks projected Bush as the Ohio winner—and their math looks pretty persuasive to me; I spent some time going over the county-by-county tables—but the Kerry camp believes that tens of thousands of provisional ballots, cast by voters whose eligibility was challenged, could swing the state to the senator.

From MSNBC:

Provisional ballots were issued to voters whose voting eligibility was challenged at the polls, a procedure the Republicans leveraged heavily. In an eleventh-hour blow to Democrats, Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens declined Tuesday to overturn an appeals court order clearing the way for vote challengers to be present at polling places in Ohio, where Democrats claimed that Republicans were seeking to discourage minority voters.

Those ballots, if decisive, could hold up the election well into next week.
“None of the provisional ballots are counted, and they won’t be counted until the 11th day after the election,” Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell said in an interview Wednesday morning on CNN. “We can’t predict what the results are going to be."

So it looks like it may be a while yet before we know for certain who won. Still looks like Bush to me, though.

Posted by tbrown at 11:26 PM


Four more years

It looks like Bush has won.

Things have been moving very quickly in the last few mintues.

I'd figured Bush would take Florida, and the networks are now giving it to him. I was less certain about Ohio, but it now looks like that key state also is going to swing into the Bush column.

We may not know the outcome definitely for a day or two, because there apparently are about a million absentees in Florida and at least 150,000 "provisional" ballots have been cast in Ohio. Also, Ohio is awash in law suits by both sides.

But it looks to me like the president has done it. And this time he'll win the popular vote by a couple of percentage points as well.

In the state, too, Republicans are threatening to break the lock the Democrats have had on high office for the last two decades. Democrat Christine Gregoire has a very thin lead over Dino Rossi the the governor's race, and Republican Rob McKenna looks like probable new attorney general.

Could be a big night for the R's.

Posted by tbrown at 10:25 PM


Gubernatorial tossup

At just before 10 p.m., Democrat Christine Gregoire has 49.8 percent of the vote and Republican Dino Rossi 49.2. This was Gregoire's race to lose—and she's working real hard at it.

For the other big statewide office, Republican King County Council member Rob McKenna appears likely to best Deborah Senn.

It will be a black day for the state D's if the Republicans cop the top two statewide offices on the same day that Kerry beats Bush in the state and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray sends U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt into retirement.

In other races:

Lt. Governor: Brad Owen (D) will be back for a reprise.

Secretary of state: Sam Reed (R), a proponent of the "cajun primary," looks like he'll probably get four more years, though Democrat Laura Ruderman is giving him a pretty good run. Jacqueline Passey, who by the way is a fellow blogger as well as a Libertarian, is getting a little under 3 percent of the vote

Auditor: Brian Sontag (D), is winning big.

Commissioner of public lands: Republican incumbent Doug Southerland is narrowly leading Democrat Mike Cooper.

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Terry Bergeson has what looks like an unbeatable lead over Judith Billings.

Insurance commissioner: Put a check by incumbent Democrat Mike Kreidler's name.

Posted by tbrown at 10:05 PM


DailyKos computes a tie

This Democratic site does the math on a possible electoral-vote tie (which would ensure Bush's re-election by the House of Representatives).

Posted by tbrown at 09:30 PM


Washington ballot measures

I-872, to adopt the so-called "cajun primary" in which the top two vote-getters would appear on the general-election ballot regardless of party, looks like a go, 61-39. One of the dumbest ideas in recent political history, IMHO, but the people are speaking.

I-297, which is supposed to facilitate the cleanup of radioactive waste at Hanford, is passing 67-33.

All others are taking bigtime:

I-884, which would have tacked one more penny onto the state sales tax to pay for education, is going down 65-35.

Referendum 55, charter schools, is losing 60-40.

And I-892, which would have allowed any bar or card room that now has scratch tickets, to install electronic slots, is going down 59-41.

Posted by tbrown at 09:15 PM


It may all come down to Ohio

So far, Bush and Kerry seem to be splitting the three biggest swing states. Kerry takes Pennsylvania. It looks to me like Bush has Florida, though none of the networks have called it for him yet.

That leaves Ohio. If Bush takes it, he almost certainly wins. If Kerry takes it, he probably wins.

So what's going on there?

With 68 percent of precincts reporting, Bush has a 52-48 lead.

However, in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), which is going to Kerry nearly 2-1, only 52 percent of the vote is in. In populous Franklin County, Kerry is taking 53 percent of the vote – but 92 percent of the precincts there have reported.

You can see Ohio county breakdowns here.

Posted by tbrown at 08:57 PM


It looks like it could be Bush in Florida

No one's calling it yet, but with 94 percent of precincts reporting Bush is up 52% to 47%. Seems like that should be enough.

Bush is also ahead 52-48 in Ohio, but only about half the vote is in there.

Posted by tbrown at 08:25 PM


California and Washington go for Kerry

It's now:

Bush 207
Kerry 199

Posted by tbrown at 08:06 PM


The 8 p.m. count …

Electoral votes:

Bush 203
Kerry 133

Much of Bush's lead comes from "red" states where few returns are needed to project a winner.

Kerry has won Pennsylvania convincingly. Ohio and Florida remain too close to call. So do the upper Midwest states, where Kerry needs to do well: Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.

Soon we'll also have some Washington state results to discuss. The presidential vote will go to Kerry, but we also have the governorship, a U.S. senator and nine congressmen to elect, plus a state legislature and, as usual, a bunch of ballot measures. All to come.

Posted by tbrown at 08:02 PM


The war and terrorism

Exit polls indicate that voters are drawing a distinction between the war in Iraq and the threat of terrorism.

In New Jersey, for instance, an AP exit poll found that about half the voters opposed the war or believed the war was going badly. Kerry got between 80 and 90 percent of the vote from those two groups.

On the other hand, about 700 New Jersey residents died in the 9/11 attacks, and terrorism was the top concern listed by about 25 percent of voters. In that group, Bush got 80 percent of the vote.

Kerry carried New Jersey.

Posted by tbrown at 07:40 PM


The Channel Surfer

This Washington Post page (free site registration may be required) is monitoring and listing all the cable and network projections.

Handy way of keeping track.

Posted by tbrown at 07:28 PM


Live blogging tonight …

I'll be pecking away for as long as there seems to be something to say about the results.

A few quick thoughts:

As I write (at about 6:50 Pacific time), everything seems to be going about as expected: Bush is winning Bush 2000 states; Kerry is winning Gore 2000 states.

As predicted, the election still seems likely to hinge on some key swing states: Pennyslvania, Ohio and Florida, though not enough votes have been counted in any of them to project a winner yet.

Kerry is leading in Pennsylvania.

Bush is leading in votes counted in Ohio, though exit polls there favored Kerry.

Bush is leading in Florida.

Turnout has been huge and may set a record. In some states, including Ohio and Pennsylvania, some polling places stayed open after their scheduled closing times to allow those already in line to vote.

A big turnout, conventional wisdom says, favors Kerry. But remember, no matter what you hear or read here or elsewhere, it's going to take a while to sort out.

Posted by tbrown at 07:01 PM




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 RECENT ENTRIES
Kerry won't concede until all Ohio ballots are counted
Four more years
Gubernatorial tossup
DailyKos computes a tie
Washington ballot measures
It may all come down to Ohio
It looks like it could be Bush in Florida
California and Washington go for Kerry
The 8 p.m. count …
The war and terrorism

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