Election night blog

I’m opening this thread for free discussion of election night as it unfolds. Any thoughts, opinions, experiences relating to the election are allowed. Please note that the VFR poll, in another thread, should be kept distinct from this discussion thread.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 02, 2004 08:16 PM | Send

My first thought as I turned on the tv at 8 p.m. eastern time was the same outrage and disgust I’ve felt in recent elections: they announce state results purely on the basis of exit polls, with no real vote numbers up on the board at all. I remember how much fun election night used to be. You’d watch the numbers in each state’s presidential election and other elections gradually increase through the evening, until a point was reached when the news organization would “call” that state for a candidate. All that is gone now. Now the anchorman guru simply pronounces from on high—without a single real vote being referred to—who the winner is. And since the result is not based on any real numbers, the job of reporter and interpreter of facts has changed into pseudo-philosopher of the electoral process, with endless amounts of pompous Rather/blather about nothing. I hate it. The genuine interest and fun and drama of election night has been destroyed by these leftist technocrats.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on November 2, 2004 8:18 PM

Not a good day for gays here in Georgia. If they want to get married, they’ll have to head for Massachusetts…and hopefully live there.

Posted by: Bob Griffin on November 2, 2004 8:42 PM

I’m sitting up at 2;37 am in Munich Germany, listening to the election on 77WABC on internet stream. I am getting bits and pieces of the overall electorial picture and I am surprised that Kerry is so competitive. I think he will be defiling the White House come Jan. 20th.

There are all night election groups meeting in several cafes and the Amerika Haus here has invited the major German TV stations to monitor the election to a full house.

They have suddenly considered the Bild’s endorsement and are thinking Bush might actually be better for Germany, even thought they hate him and just broadcast Fahrenheit 9-11 for the second day in a row a few hours ago on network TV-opposite the election coverage.

Posted by: andrew2 on November 2, 2004 8:52 PM

Mr. Auster,

Post this if you see fit in response to your reader in Germany. This from the close of a piece by David Horowitz in Frontpage explains some of the US ambivalence.
The sabotage against America’s war effort conducted by Howard Dean, Ted Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, Michael Moore, the editors of the New York Times and most metropolitan news media is the most disgraceful episode in the history of American wars, bar none. Never before in our history has half the nation been taken out of a war in the midst of a war that we were winning and that we have to win. How many of the errors attributed to President Bush (by Andrew and others that is) are attributable to the existence of this knife at his back, will take historians decades to sort out. The fact is that no President can be expected to fight a war with one hand tied behind him and one eye looking over his left shoulder without committing tactical blunders. (“If I take Fallujah and there are civilian casualties and a Muslim backlash, how will this be exploited by my unscrupulous political enemies in the opposition camp?”)

On the other hand, the President has blundered in one particular way that cannot be attributed to his internal foes. He has failed to sell the war adequately to the American people and to defend his left flank. In the presidential television debates, for example, he chided Senator Kerry for saying the war in Iraq was the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time. This “confuses” people the President said. It does more than that, Mr. President. If you are 18 or 19 and risking your young life in Najaf or Fallujah, surrounded by terrorists who want to kill you and get into heaven, and the leader of the Democratic Party says you shouldn’t be there in the first place, it does more than confuse you. It demoralizes you. It saps your will to fight. It gets you killed.

John Kerry, Michael Moore, the New York Times and CNN are getting Americans killed in Iraq and risking a terrorist catastrophe here at home, because of their pathological hatred of George Bush. And the President should be saying so. This Bush hatred is really a hatred of country in some cases (Michael Moore) and a pathological distrust of country in others (Kerry, the New York Times). The reason why Kerry should be defeated in this election is to deny these America haters and America distrusters a victory, to strike a blow at them.

But if John Kerry is elected he will not be an anti-war President. He will have to fight the war in Iraq and disappoint his anti-American allies on the left, who want us to lose. No sitting American President can back off this fight. We are in a war that we have to win and that we cannot leave, as we could in Vietnam. But Kerry will fight the war badly, not just because he does not understand it, or because to fight he will have to go against the grain of his record of thirty years of anti-military attitudes and his appeasement of our Communist enemies. He will fight the war badly because he is a man of extremely bad character, perhaps the worst presidential candidate in this regard ever. As a young man, he went to a war he didn’t believe and returned to betray his country and his comrades in arms; as a candidate in this election he has turned his view of the war 180 degrees around for a political calculation and jeopardized the lives of young men and women on the field of battle for political gain. This makes him not only the risky candidate, but the untrustworthy and reprehensible one.

David Horowitz is the author of Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left, Regnery, October 2004.

Frontpage Magazine [editor@frontpagemag.com]

Posted by: Bud on November 2, 2004 9:12 PM

It looks like 2000 all over again. Has it dawned on anyone in the GOP that if it weren’t for white males, they would lose not some elections, but *every* election?

The demographics are amazing. What would a, ahem, “conservative” candidate like Bush do in 2016, when there aren’t enough white votes for him? Amazing. Even the Asians are voting Democratic! It’s really amazing stuff. John Derbyshire is right: conservatism *is* dead.

Posted by: Mark on November 2, 2004 10:17 PM

Thanks to Mr. Auster for his tireless donation of talent and energy. People such as Mr. Auster have an uncommon intellect and energy. We really need to provide monetary support to such an individual, who is doing this because he cares. His job is difficult: reading our rants day in and day out. Think about where we would be without this Website. Most of us would be a scattered people cursing the status quo but not actually doing much to remedy the situation. Here we gain motivation from one another regardless of our disagreements. To put my money where my mouth is, I am sending another donation; so there you guys and gals.

I have no idea how this election will turn out, but I do know we must attempt to exhibit the energy Mr. Auster exhibits. Use your special talents toward this end. Although writing speeches bores me, I have a talent for public speaking and will be observant of opportunities to speak on issues dear to us. Others need to use their own talents.

Posted by: Paul Henri on November 2, 2004 10:42 PM

The story of the night seems to be this divergence between the exit polls and the actual returns. If Bush does manage to pull this one out, expect the Dems to sue on the basis that the exit polls were not taken into account, or some such nonsense.

Posted by: Scott in PA on November 2, 2004 10:47 PM

Television coverage is a complete joke. There’s no reporting of news—i.e. election returns—at all. It’s all blather, all the time. It’s as though reporters have no interest any longer in facts. If you want to get returns from states, you’ve got to squint at the bottom of the tv screen where returns from specific states are displayed briefly in tiny letters while the “correspondents” keep blathering in the main part of the screen. They keep talking about the drama, the uncertainty, the closeness of the night. But they don’t look at any of the numbers that actually tell that story. TV reporting has entirely left the world of fact. The one concrete important development—Bush’s substantial lead in Florida—could be read quickly (and you have to be quick) at the bottom of the screen, but you don’t hear Dan, Peter, or Tom or any of their myrmidons say the words, “Bush is leading by three points in Florida with 73 percent of the precincts reporting.” Oh, no. That would be too crude for these Athenian philosophers. It is staggering. The more technological expertise and power they have at their disposal, the worse job they do. After 45 minutes of helpless rage and lots of four-letter words being directed at the tv networks I turned off the tv and went to the Web to find some actual numbers I could absorb.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on November 2, 2004 10:50 PM

Oh Mr. Auster it is delightful to see you express emotion. Also, I learned a new word, myrmidons, from my adorable, always-reliable dictionary, Merriam-Webster’s. This is another reason to contribute to this Website; you will increase your knowledge, and knowledge is power.

Posted by: Paul Henri on November 2, 2004 11:01 PM

What I’m about to say is still based on trends rather than definite victories. If you go back to my article of the other day, “What Kerry must do to win” (link below), and then check the state results at realclearpolitics.com, you will see how close this election appears to be and how Kerry is falling just short of what I said he needed to do to win the election.

Focusing on the toss-up states, I had written that Kerry, in order to eke out a tiny electoral victory, needed to do the following: (1) win the four toss-up states in which he had a slight edge—Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and New Hampshire; (2) win the two toss-up states in which Bush was slightly ahead—Ohio and Minnesota; and (3) win one of the four toss-up states in which Bush was four or more points ahead—Florida, Iowa, New Mexico, Nevada.

Well, based on trends, not final results, Kerry has provisionally accomplished step one. He has accomplished step three (by leading in Iowa), but, based on the trends in Ohio where Bush at 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time is leading 52 to 48 with 59 percent of precincts reporting, Kerry has failed to accomplish step two, winning both Minnesota and Ohio. The networks as of 11:45 p.m. have called Florida for Bush. They have not yet called Ohio. It really looks as if the entire race is coming down to Ohio, just as so many people said it would. If Bush holds Ohio, he wins the election. If Kerry catches up somehow in Ohio, he wins the election.

Again, that is trends, because several of the states I’ve mentioned have not yet been called.


Posted by: Lawrence Auster on November 2, 2004 11:56 PM

The GOP is picking up Senate seats. Tom Daschle is actually in a fight for his life in South Dakota, so the Communists might lose their Senate minority leader. The GOP is picking up seats in the House of Representatives. Current projections show them picking up a net gain of one governorship (Indiana, which has had a Communist governor for 16 years running).

I predict Bush wins Florida, Ohio, Colorado, and New Mexico, and improves his performance from 2000 in both the popular vote and the electoral college.

I heard Terry McAuliffe blaring over the speakers in a store tonight. The store had a local radio station with its national feed on the election. The likes of McAuliffe will turn you into a GOP supporter in an instant of listening.

Note to readers: I discovered a few years ago that news stories make more sense when you read “D” to stand for “Communist” by a feat of alphabetic legerdemain. Thus, when reading “The legislation was opposed by Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.”, I pronounce it “Edward Kennedy, Communist of Massachusetts”. This helps the flow of the story, and causes it to make more sense while you read it. Hence my references above.

Posted by: Clark Coleman on November 3, 2004 12:01 AM

Bush’s lead in Ohio has narrowed from four points to two points. With 82% of precincts reporting, Bush is ahead, 51% to 49%. It’s still possible that Kerry could carry Ohio, and, if he also wins Wisconsin and New Hampshire which are very close, he would win the presidency.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on November 3, 2004 12:47 AM

Ohio is not known as the “index state” for nothing— they’re more like America as a whole than any other state. So it’s most appropriate for Ohioans to determine this election. More power to them— they don’t stick out in any other way.

Well, one… 49 states have a flag, but not Ohio. Theirs is a pennant.

Posted by: Reg Cćsar on November 3, 2004 12:51 AM

I’m glad Thune beat Daschle. While Thune sounds like every other Bush-era Republican and doesn’t impress me politically, karmically he had this victory coming to him. I had followed closely on the Web page of the South Dakota Secretary of State his Senate race in 2002 when it appeared that he had clearly won late at night, then I got up in the morning and was surprised to see that his lead had vanished. Something struck me as fishy about it, and I felt he deserved a second chance.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on November 3, 2004 8:24 AM

One of the fishy things about Thune’s loss in 2002 was the sudden appearance of just enough Democratic votes from Indian reservation precincts to decide the race against him. The vote reporting from those precincts was delayed until they knew how many votes were needed. There was talk of challenging the results, but, as is usually the case, Republicans don’t litigate an election even when it appears they lost by fraud.

Posted by: Clark Coleman on November 3, 2004 9:21 AM

To Mr. Paul Henri (and others);

Yes, Lawrence Auster is, indeed, a delight to read. Unlike most blogs, as we call these commentarys nowadays, Mr. Auster’s is unfailingly insightful, and he writes with verve and style. I too must admit that Mr. Auster has furthered my education in literacy, grace and logical argumentation. I would venture to say that he has a thorough understanding of and appreciation for classical studies. My financial status is quite modest, but I will contribute what I can in hopes that he will continue to provide us with his valued comments on his website.
Wishing you all fair winds and a following sail.

Posted by: David Romero on November 3, 2004 6:00 PM

Thank you very much, Mr. Romero.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on November 3, 2004 10:07 PM

Well I too would like to chime in. I think Mr. Auster is certainly a very concise operator. His essays and articles are extremely logical, both a delight and a shock to read and clearly brilliant.

I don’t see how anyone could not have a sense of urgency after learning here, what is slowly happening to our country and indeed the entire Western world. Indeed the taste may not be palatable, but we are not going to parse the truth in typical politically correct terms.

Posted by: andrew2 on November 4, 2004 5:55 AM
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