November 03, 2004

It ain't over yet - as if anyone thought it would be?

Good morning!

Depending on which figures you listen to, the final data is 269-242 Bush or 254-252 Bush. The popular vote gives Bush a 51-48% victory. In any event, the margin of victory for the Bush campaign comes down to where Ohio ends up.

Fox, Fox News Channel, NBC and MSNBC all called Ohio for Bush after midnight last night. CBS, CNN & ABC didn't and still have not.

Kerry's campaign has not conceeded Ohio, and is insisting that the number of provisional and absentee ballots would be able to overcome the 130,000+ margin that Bush enjoys in Ohio.

According to pundits on both sides, it is statistically impossible for the Kerry camp to overcome that margin, saying that every single absentee and provisional ballot would have to fall for Kerry in order for it to go the Senator's way.

John Edwards, speaking to the Kerry faithful in Boston early this morning, promised that the Democrats would "count every vote." I'm expecting the army of lawyers to be heading to the Buckeye State later today.

In other election news, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) lost his reelection bid to Republican candidate and former Congressman John Thune. Cynthia McKinney (formerly D-GA), who lost her Congressional seat to Denise Majette (D-GA-4th) two years ago, has won reelection to her old seat. Majette, who chose not to run for that seat in order to go after the Senate seat being vacated by Zell Miller (D-GA) lost to Georgia Congressman Johnny Isakson (R-GA-6th), giving the Peach State two Republican Senators for the first time in history. Democrat Barack Obama sailed to victory over carpetbagging Republican Alan Keyes in the race for the open Illinois Senatorial seat.

The networks were very conservative in their calls, mostly afraid of being wrong once again this year. This was punctuated by the exit polling data, which early on was exposed as being unreliable nearly across the board. The Washington Post's Tom Shales excoriated the networks this morning for their tenative and almost fearful performance.

The audience may have felt like the refugees in the movie "Casablanca," who, an opening narration famously says, come to the desert city "and wait, and wait, and wait."

A few minutes past 10 o'clock, with three hours of coverage behind them, Bob Schieffer of CBS News, reporting to anchor Dan Rather, did a brave thing. He admitted progress was almost nil in telling or even indicating who might win the election. "The only thing that has been called here tonight are the slam-dunks," (Bob) Schieffer grumped.

Tom Brokaw, reporting his last election for NBC News, at least as principal anchor, was getting a little peeved himself at the absence of information. "You want reality television? This is reality television," he told viewers, promising them that "someone will be voted off the island," but that there was really no way of telling when.

"The states we can't call are stacked up like cordwood," said Chris Wallace over on cable's Fox News Channel. Rather, with his gift for imagery, compared the situation to "a kind of sauna" in which all anybody could do "is wait and sweat." Of course Rather remained the soul of indomitability, even as others threatened to wilt. Just before announcing a few new numbers he said, "Let's drop these biscuits in a little bit more gravy" and later, marveling at one set of numbers, shouted, "But looka here, whoo, boy!"

Attempting to inject some life into the proceedings, he also reported, "George Bush is sweeping through the South like a big wheel through a cotton field."

Somebody at CNN decided to drop anchor Paula Zahn inexplicably into the cast of "Crossfire." It was a misfire. Series regular James Carville looked so irritated that during some of the segments, he barely spoke.

Zahn, bright and chirpy as a yellow thrush, was absurdly out of place.

CNN's pompous Aaron Brown, meanwhile, had told anchor Wolf Blitzer, "I enjoy how much I have heard 'we don't know' [tonight]." Surely he was the only one. Or maybe the laws of journalism are changing so much that some day soon a network newscast might begin, "In the news tonight -- we don't know." It really wasn't "we don't know," though. It was more, "We're afraid to tell you."

President Bush is expected to speak to the nation later today, but it still isnt' known when.

The process continues...

Posted by mhking at November 3, 2004 08:18 AM

I knew this would happen; I want this to be over now! I did not watch any TV coverage--just read DU and FR.

Posted by: Nymphe at November 3, 2004 08:59 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?