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Generic Confusion

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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Narrow margins of victory

As of now, three states that have supported President Bush are still not listed as wins for him: New Mexico, Iowa, and Ohio. Yet five other states that closely supported Senator Kerry are listed as "blue." Why is Ohio's 51-49 victory not official, while Wisconsin's narrower 50-49 Kerry victory official? Aren't there enough uncounted votes in Wisconsin that we shouldn't be making this call? According to the AP map at this moment, some of these close Kerry states don't even have all the precincts reported!

At the very least, there's probably the same chance that Bush could overcome his gap in Wisconsin that Kerry has of overcoming his gap in Ohio.

It's time for Kerry to publicly acknowledge that he is not likely to be the next President of the United States, and to pledge not to litigate a 5 or 6 figure vote loss.

Here is a quick summary of the results. All close Kerry states are listed as Kerry pickups. All close Bush states are listed as undecided. Bias? Different rules for absentee and provisional ballots?

Close Kerry states:
Michigan: 51-48, 135K margin of 4589K (2.9%)
Pennsylvania: 51-49, 122K margin of 5615K (2.2%)
Minnesota: 51-48, 98K margin of 2741K (3.6%)
Wisconsin: 50-49, 13K margin of 2963K (0.4%)
New Hampshire: 50-49, 10K margin of 641K (1.6%)

Close Bush states:
Ohio: 51-49, 136K margin of 5452K (2.5%)
Iowa: 50-49, 16K margin of 1473K (1.1%)
New Mexico: 50-49, 12K margin of 663K (1.8%)

UPDATE: Thanks, Ann, for the Instapundit link and subsequent Instalanche. I look at the Sitemeter couinter, and see visions of Clark Griswold's meter after turning on the Christmas lights in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

A reader to Instapundit suggests the main issue is that Wisconsin doesn't have provisional ballots. While I suspected that, I would have to guess that in both Wisconsin and Ohio, uncounted votes from open precincts, absentee ballots, and (in Ohio) provisional ballots would still be large enough that you couldn't mathematically eliminate either candidate. (Realistically, it is clear Kerry won Wisconsin, and Bush won Ohio.)

UPDATE 2: Here is a scan of a printout of the map I was referring to.


At 9:40 AM, Blogger Diane said...

It's not that I doubt media bias, but I think the primary reason close Kerry states are called more quickly than close Bush states is that the networks don't want to put Bush over 270 until they are absolutely sure. So, when Bush gets to 269, they stopped calling. Add to that that the Kerry campaign isn't conceding Ohio while the Bush campaign isn't complaining about Wisconsin, and I think you have most of the explanation.


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