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Media Recount Alert: Did Gore Blow It? (How To Counter the Impending Dem Spin!)
Slate / kausfiles.com ^ | November 10, 2001 | Mickey Kaus

Posted on 11/11/2001 12:38:32 AM PST by Timesink

kausfiles

Media Recount Alert: Did Gore Blow It? 


Introducing kausfiles' Spinoculator service
By Mickey Kaus
Posted Saturday, November 10, 2001, at 9:38 PM PT

Surprisingly, the results of the media consortium recount of the Florida presidential ballots, scheduled for publication on Monday, haven't leaked out yet – and it's already Saturday night. But Joshua Micah Marshall's me-zine has a partial scoop. Marshall hears that the impending consortium tally will find that "[I]f you count overvotes, Gore would have won big." (Remember overvotes? They're ballots disqualified when the ballot-counting machine detects votes for more than one candidate. But they can be legal votes—if, for example, a voter marks the little circle next to "Gore" and also marks the circle next to "write-in" and writes in "Gore" also.)

Good news for the Gore team? Not quite. The barb, for them, is that they didn't ask that the overvotes be counted! Instead, their entire effort was directed at counting "undervotes," ballots on which no vote was detected by the machines, but which might have a partially perforated "chad" detectable by humans.

Relying on intercepted communications, Marshall predicts a massive self-exculpatory spin offensive by former Gore campaign aides, all designed to erase the impression that they foolishly ignored the very ballots that would have given them the presidency. Indeed, since the results are out Monday, this spin campaign has probably been underway for several days. There is a significant possibility it will succeed – Gore aide Ron Klain played the Washington Post like a fiddle earlier this year, for example. (Details here.)

To help avert this possibility, kausfiles inaugurates its branded Spinoculator ™ service, which provides both reporters and ordinary citizens with information that may protect them and their loved ones from misleading spin attacks.

In this case, the antidote to the looming Gore-team spin can be found in the transcript of the final U.S. Supreme Court hearing in Bush v. Gore. Several justices were concerned that the Florida Supreme Court's recount was focused on undervotes and ignored overvotes, even though some overvotes might be valid, a concern that had prompted Florida's chief justice to dissent. Here is the relevant excerpt from the dialogue between the Court and Gore's lead lawyer, David Boies [emphasis added]:

JUSTICE STEVENS. What is your response to the chief justice of Florida's concern that the recount relates only to undervotes and not overvotes?

MR. BOIES. Well, first, nobody asked for a contest of the overvotes. …

Later in the argument, the overvote issue comes up again:

MR. BOIES: … when you're dealing with overvotes -- and remember, this is a machine issue. When you're dealing with overvotes, the machine has already registered two votes. Now, there may be another vote there, a dimpled vote or an indented vote, that the machine did not register. But once you get two votes, that ballot doesn't get counted for the presidency.

JUSTICE BREYER. They gave an example. The example they gave in their brief was, there's a punch for Governor Bush, and then there's a punch for "write-in," and the write-in says, "I want Governor Bush." And so I think their implication is that that would have been rejected by the machine, but if you looked at it by hand, the intent of the voter would be clear. I don't know if there are such votes, but they say there might be.

MR. BOIES. There's nothing in the record that suggests there are such votes.

But there is plenty in the record, you now know, to suggest that the Gore team blew it by ignoring a trove of potentially valid Gore ballots. Resist all spin to the contrary!

P.S.: If the overvotes do turn out to be crucial, I told you so!


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
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Be ready come Monday, Freepers!
1 posted on 11/11/2001 12:38:32 AM PST by Timesink
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To: Timesink
Here's what Marshall has written, in decending order as all blogs are (newest material is at the top):

With regards to the last update about Gore winning Florida on overvotes, Mickey Kaus correctly notes that it all depends on what kind of overvotes. If tons of folks in Palm Beach voted for Gore and Pat Buchanan, we may know as a matter of logic that most of these were really Gore votes. But that surmise would be irrelevant in terms of those votes counting. On the other hand, if lots of people checked Gore's name and then also put down Gore in the 'write-in' section, then under Florida law those votes could have and should have counted.

Let me try to clarify this as much as I can.

As you certainly know, Talking Points has a powerful intelligence network with both HUMINT (human intelligence) and SIGINT (signals intelligence) capabilities. And through our aggressive tracking we've been able to monitor internal Gore mafia communications in advance of the Monday release of the data.

The word from Goreland is an aggressive push to rebut the argument that they did not ask for a count of overvotes. That tells me that the overvotes in question were countable overvotes. Otherwise the 'we did so want overvotes counted' spin would be irrelevant.

Here's one other tidbit: two prominent Gore field operatives are telling fellow Gore-ites that the debate within the New York Times at the moment is over how definitively to say that Gore would have won. Whether he definitely would have won or whether he probably would have won. There also seems to be a lot of intra-Gore camp spinning, with HQ folks like Tad Devine and Monica Dixon successfully putting the blame on the Florida field team for whatever screw-ups took place.

So, as we've seen with the FBI and CIA recently, intelligence intercepts are sometimes hard to interpret. But that's what I glean based on the information I have.

-- Josh Marshall


(November 9th, 2001 -- 12:58 PM EST // link)

The word I'm getting from within the Gore campaign is that the recount results to be revealed Monday show ambiguous results for all possible ways of counting the ballots.

With one exception, and it's a big one. If you count overvotes, Gore would have won big.

That's the scoop.

-- Josh Marshall

2 posted on 11/11/2001 12:41:56 AM PST by Timesink
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To: Timesink
Storm brewing. Batten down hatches.
3 posted on 11/11/2001 12:43:54 AM PST by Gimlet
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To: Timesink
I would be glued to the ceiling right now if Gore was president. No telling how many personas he would have tried on if he had been President from Sept 11 till now. Imagine his speech before the joint session. That fake, black preacher goofy style he acts out makes my skin crawl. I am embarassed for the man. If Gore should have won, then it is a sure sign that God stepped in and saved us from the stupidity of half of our fellow citizens.

But I don't think the public wants to go back over this ground and if the media and the Dems harp on it too much there will be a backlash. All it will boil down to for now is that Gore will be more encouraged to run again. This story will have a one week life span.

4 posted on 11/11/2001 12:55:33 AM PST by Theresa
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To: Timesink
So, if the Overvotes were counted, it appears that Gore would have won. Is that it?

- did they factor in the panhandle vote that got dissed?
- did they recount ALL of Dade or stick with just the Dem' districts, not wanting to count the Republican Cuban vote again (wonder how many Cuban's overvoted for Bush twice?)
- How much did they factor in for the lost Military vote?
- Did this "recount" calculation factor in "overvotes" (and "undervotes") for the entire country? Or are we just (belatedly) pretending "If we redid Florida only"? i.e. the same trick that Gore tried to do with Florida Dem Counties only.

Yup, batten down the hatches, but I don't think this "hypothetical" year late "what if" recount will amount to much.

5 posted on 11/11/2001 1:01:55 AM PST by AgThorn
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To: Timesink
Is there any chance this could result in a Constitutional Convention-- supported by the Majority Rats in Congress?

FReep Halibut Award-- Dishonorable Mention

6 posted on 11/11/2001 1:15:36 AM PST by let freedom sing
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To: Timesink
I was ready since Friday, when I'd heard that the New York Times plans to make the recount outcome their headline story on Monday "whatever the outcome."

The NYT wouldn't commit to that unless they already knew what that "outcome" would be.

-- Weekly Universe

7 posted on 11/11/2001 1:19:25 AM PST by Commie Basher
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To: let freedom sing
Is there any chance this could result in a Constitutional Convention-- supported by the Majority Rats in Congress?

For the purposes of what, exactly? They can't anoint Gore king.

8 posted on 11/11/2001 1:21:34 AM PST by Timesink
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To: Timesink
All they have to do, is change the Constitution-- and then they can change the President. Change the rules of the game, and play it another way. The WTO will be the WGO (World Government Organization) or OWG-- One World Government. That's prophecy. All the world religions are waiting for the King to come. Depending on who's left holding the reigns of government-- ultimately decides who'll be King of this World.
9 posted on 11/11/2001 1:30:54 AM PST by let freedom sing
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To: Timesink

If these weasels from the newspapers do what I think they're going to do, they will destroy their franchise with the American public. Doing this now -- undermining the presidency in time of war -- is the most obtuse, blatant act of politcal partisanship imaginable. They will suffer horribly if they do this, and they will deserve it.


10 posted on 11/11/2001 1:37:56 AM PST by Nick Danger
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To: Timesink
Let TeamGore engage in the blame game all they like. Their operatives in Florida, the Gore-Lieberman Hqs in Tennessee, or the DC crowd. The country already knows AlGore micromanaged his campaign...if there was a blunder, giving Bush the presidency, AlGore is to blame, whether he accepts responsibility or not.

And Duh! If Gore couldn't even manufacture a "win" in Florida, how the heck do you think he would do against bin Laden and his network of terrorists?

11 posted on 11/11/2001 1:42:29 AM PST by YaYa123
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To: let freedom sing
It'll never, ever happen. Don't worry about it.
12 posted on 11/11/2001 1:44:47 AM PST by Timesink
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To: let freedom sing
All they have to do, is change the Constitution

Oh is that ALL they have to do? Give me a break.

13 posted on 11/11/2001 2:11:52 AM PST by boomop1
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To: Timesink
Let them whine, let them spin, let them cry. The bottom line is: George W. Bush is now the President of the United States. And, it appears, that a large amount of citizens of this country are happy about that! We are at war, and IMHO the media is irresponsible to put this out now. However, it could work to the Republicans advantage. By the time the next elections roll around, it's a non-issue. The contrived outrage will be diminished.
14 posted on 11/11/2001 3:09:45 AM PST by looney tune
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To: Nick Danger
If these weasels from the newspapers do what I think they're going to do, they will destroy their franchise with the American public. Doing this now -- undermining the presidency in time of war -- is the most obtuse, blatant act of politcal partisanship imaginable. They will suffer horribly if they do this, and they will deserve it.

I'll be listening to Drudge tonight--he'll have the scoop. I believe Drudge said some time ago (or maybe it was Rush) that the NYT has had this story for a while and were set to run it in Sept., but backed off it after 9/11. They should back off it permanently, but they are sick.

15 posted on 11/11/2001 3:14:52 AM PST by randita
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To: Timesink
I don't recall the FL Supreme Court ruling thusly, nor the FL State Legislature asserting this law, so I'm skeptical of this statement. I do recall that there was a law in place that said that if there was a punched vote AND a write-in vote for the same or different candidate on a ballot, it was automatically disqualified. I do know that one of the things the scanners did was spit out ballots (not count) that had punched votes and marks or any other extraneous marks.
16 posted on 11/11/2001 3:18:36 AM PST by randita
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To: Timesink; carlo3b; LadyX; Billie; ofMagog; COB1; Scuttlebutt; parsifal; Fred Mertz; Snow Bunny
Overvotes meaning a vote for two different candidates in the same race.

So this means that to the NYT: a voter that voted for both Bush and Gore, or both Gore and Pat, or both Pat and Bush, really meant to vote for Gore!

Is Miss Cleo moonlighting at the NYT?

17 posted on 11/11/2001 3:38:27 AM PST by razorback-bert
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To: Timesink
Have overvotes ever been counted in any state before? Have they ever been counted in Florida? Does any state even permit the counting of overvotes?
18 posted on 11/11/2001 3:48:23 AM PST by djpg
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To: razorback-bert
bttt
19 posted on 11/11/2001 3:48:58 AM PST by Rustynailww
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To: Gimlet
Storm brewing. Batten down hatches.

Tempest in a teapot.

Yawn.

20 posted on 11/11/2001 4:00:09 AM PST by Ole Okie
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To: Timesink
If we're going to count over-votes, what about the 600 over-votes for Bush in ONE county alone that were thrown out? People wrote his name in and punched the hole next to his name and those votes were thrown out. I've forgotten the county in Florida where this happened but remember reading about it several times in November 2000.
21 posted on 11/11/2001 4:12:03 AM PST by Peach
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To: djpg
I'm trying to figure out how (or why) anyone would go into a voting booth and use the stylus to punch out the hole by their candidates of choice, and THEN get out a pencil and write in someone's name. For the life of me, I can't figure out what the point would be.
22 posted on 11/11/2001 4:14:32 AM PST by basil
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To: Ole Okie
Are they kidding me?....

Rather than be concerned about our national welfare, and security, these dunderheads continue to stir a pot that has long since grown cold.

Why even bother.

Like some Dems I know, they'd rather piss in their pants than admit Bush is President.

People... move on with your life!

I am curious as to how many dems would actually vote for Al Gore today. (You'd be amazed at how many I know that are so thankful Dubya is in!!!)

Now... go get some coffee!!!

23 posted on 11/11/2001 4:17:06 AM PST by Northern Yankee
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To: Northern Yankee
I am curious as to how many dems would actually vote for Al Gore today.

They'd have to dig them up and find all the illegal aliens again. All cheating aside... Bush probably won by a large margin...IMHO.

24 posted on 11/11/2001 4:53:22 AM PST by LaineyDee
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To: Timesink
Ok. Gore was a fool and made a huge mistake in not asking for the overvote recount. Prima facie evidence of the kind of president he would have been. That's my spin and I'm sticking to it. Clearly even if this is the scenario, Bush was able to marshall the forces to win, nice thing to have in a commander in chief. Also, since the Gore forces did not ask for over votes, on the other hand the Bush forces did not ask for investigation into voter fraud either. That might have been a very strong case as well. But of course the media is not interested in this angle, but if they were really "objective" as they claim, all what if scenarios should have been analyzed. What a crock.

regards

25 posted on 11/11/2001 5:06:44 AM PST by okiedust
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To: Peach
I've forgotten the county in Florida where this happened but remember reading about it several times in November 2000.

You will not read about it in the NYT tomorrow.

26 posted on 11/11/2001 5:11:35 AM PST by Skooz
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To: Timesink
Well, it's time to FReep again!

If the Gorons dems, and big media want to spin this again, it's time for us to FLOOD them with the truth. For every newspaper, magazine, tv show, etc, that publishes the NYT's story, write a letter to the editor.

Remind them:
1. Overvotes are NEVER counted. Not in Florida, not anywhere. No state, from Alabama to Wyoming, counts overvotes.
2. Gore's defense team did not make overvotes an issue, and the record shows they refused to do so (insert Boies's remarks to US Supremes).
3. Any voter who punches a ballot and doesn't check it for hanging chads, non-punched blocks, or any other error DID NOT follow instructions provided with the ballot itself.
4. You cannot have another chance once you've turned in your ballot, and since no one's name is on the ballot itself, there is no way once it's turned in to retrieve it. As in poker, a card laid is a card played.

Finally...
5. The election is over, Bush won, get over it!!!!

27 posted on 11/11/2001 5:13:56 AM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: Peach
If we're going to count over-votes, what about the 600 over-votes for Bush in ONE county alone that were thrown out? People wrote his name in and punched the hole next to his name and those votes were thrown out. I've forgotten the county in Florida where this happened but remember reading about it several times in November 2000

The county was Escambia, where Pensacola is located, and the number was closer to 800.

28 posted on 11/11/2001 5:15:19 AM PST by Dane
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To: Timesink

Maureen Baird of the Citrus County elections office holds up a ballot for scrutiny
during the National Opinion Research Center's review of ballots on Feb. 14, 2001.

[Times photo by Steve Hasel]

Tonight at 10PM go tosptimes.lostvotes

Arduous ballot review--- It's an unprecedented double-check on democracy. At a cost of nearly $1-million, some of the nation's top news organizations have spent the past year in a painstaking review of 175,010 Florida ballots from last year's disputed presidential election.

yawn

29 posted on 11/11/2001 5:18:24 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Northern Yankee; carlo3b; LadyX; Billie; ofMagog; COB1; Scuttlebutt; parsifal; Fred Mertz...
I am curious as to how many dems would actually vote for Al Gore today.

Someone should run a poll: who would you vote for today, Bush or Gore?

30 posted on 11/11/2001 5:19:32 AM PST by razorback-bert
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To: Timesink
So Gore might have won if he asked to count overvotes instead of undervotes. And the Red Sox would have won the 1986 World Series had they replaced Bill Buckner at first place in the ninth inning. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. So what's the point? History is chock full of events that could easily have gone the other way had decisions been made just a little differently.

It should have been Gore in a landslide. He was the incumbent VP, the economy was humming along and as we all know, Gore was just so smart and superior compared to candidate Bush. But Gore blew it. Had he carried his home state, all of this would have been a non-issue. Had Clinton been able to carry his own state for Gore, this would have been a non-issue. I'm sure the Yankees were devastated this year to have lost the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7. But you don't see them pissing and moaning about what could've been. Instead, they are doing what Gore should be doing right now, preparing for the next campaign.

31 posted on 11/11/2001 5:24:57 AM PST by SamAdams76
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To: Timesink
All moot point now!Overvote, undervote, writein vote, military vote, had it all been recounted as it should have been....BUSH would still be President....and I for one in this time of peril, thank God daily!
32 posted on 11/11/2001 5:31:06 AM PST by D. Miles
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To: AgThorn
Ditto to what you said. Especially...why treat Florida different than any other state.
Though this info doesn't amount to much where we are concerned, because we play by the rules...remember, there are those who like to twist them to suit their own fancy.
33 posted on 11/11/2001 5:35:26 AM PST by babyfreep
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To: Timesink
I say bring it on, America needs to be reminded on Veterans Day in the midst of a war how the democrats from the leader of their party to the rats in the holes tried to disenfranchise military ballots.
34 posted on 11/11/2001 5:43:21 AM PST by jwalsh07
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To: Timesink
I think in light of recent events that this story has a certain lack of relevance. I hope the dims try to spin this into a big deal. They will cause revulsion in their own supporters and they will suffer some amount of backlash. The pubbies ought to simply reply that the election has been decided and refuse to engage in debate on the issue.
35 posted on 11/11/2001 5:47:32 AM PST by Movemout
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To: Timesink
Best way to counter Dem Spin? Laugh in their face. I hope these idiots keep recounting non-votes for the next eight years.
36 posted on 11/11/2001 5:48:32 AM PST by Always Right
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To: SamAdams76
Too right. Gore challenged Bush to a duel, chose the weapons and lost. Now he wants to say if he had chosen the sword instead of the gun he would have won. Gore: take your place in the dustbin of losers, cause you lost. In a sublime sort of way, he is the poster boy for all those "voters" of his who "intended" to vote for him. They were too stupid to do it correctly for heavens sake, and now Gore was too stupid to get his recount done in a way to make him win. Everyone on Gores side screwed up and now he wants to claim he won, cause he's too stupid, his supporters are too stupid, his lawyers were too stupid and the FSC was too stupid. Is that the kind of government we wish we had right now? I don't think so.

regards

37 posted on 11/11/2001 6:07:42 AM PST by okiedust
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To: Timesink
. If you count overvotes, Gore would have won big.

Which kind of overvotes, the 1 candidate/1 write-in or 2 candidates? My feeling is that it is the latter, considering PBC.

38 posted on 11/11/2001 6:10:39 AM PST by Nataku X
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Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

To: LaineyDee
They'd have to dig them up and find all the illegal aliens again.

Wasn't it recently reported that 350,000 Mexican illegals have returned to Mexico since 9/11? There went over half of Algore's "popular vote majority".

40 posted on 11/11/2001 6:22:33 AM PST by jackbill
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To: randita
I do know that one of the things the scanners did was spit out ballots (not count) that had punched votes and marks or any other extraneous marks.

In this case, the voter is given another ballot. Were the "original" ballots in this case destroyed? Or are these the "overvotes" that have now been counted?

41 posted on 11/11/2001 6:24:58 AM PST by jackbill
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To: jackbill
Wasn't it recently reported that 350,000 Mexican illegals have returned to Mexico since 9/11? There went over half of Algore's "popular vote majority".

*chuckle* I haven't read that.... where did you find it? It wouldn't surprise me in the least.

42 posted on 11/11/2001 6:28:26 AM PST by LaineyDee
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To: AgThorn
So, if the Overvotes were counted, it appears that Gore would have won. Is that it?

Or so they claim. Make'em prove it. Don't accept their count. I want to see the ballots one by one, where is the video of the recount? Each ballot pictured as it was prior to being handled by a Democrat. Oops, can't happen because all of those ballots have been bent, spindled and mutilated by partisan Democrat vote recounters prior to the partisan media recount.

43 posted on 11/11/2001 6:28:39 AM PST by RGSpincich
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To: razorback-bert
"really meant to vote for Gore!"

Of course, bert!
All the votes for the local dog-catcher was supposed to be votes for Al Gore for the Presidency, too!
What I'm puzzled about is why there hasn't been a change in the way we elect our president?
With all the problems we had in the last election it would seem to me that a number one priority in this country would be to force the states to select one positive means of voting and counting the votes for the presidency before this happens again.

44 posted on 11/11/2001 7:44:55 AM PST by COB1
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To: Peach
"I've forgotten the county in Florida where this happened but remember reading about it several times in November 2000."

It was Okaloosa County, in the panhandle (Fort Walton Beach, Eglin AFB).

45 posted on 11/11/2001 7:54:25 AM PST by okie01
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To: Timesink
Honestly, this is a non story now, and should be treated as such. Historians can debate it with more perspective in 20 years. The fact is, that the election was a dead heat. Somebody had to win, and the machine counts gave Bush the win. Tough noogies to Gore, but that is life. Gore barely won the popular vote nationwide, Bush barely won the popular vote in Florida and the electoral college.

It is one of the problems with our system of government, but it's better than any other, so unless we decide to go to a parliamentary system, we have President Bush, we could have had President Gore, it's just the way things are.

I still find it amazing, that we have this winner takes all system. This was basically a 50-50 election, and even though 50% of the people voted for Gore, whatever Bush says goes, or would have been the reverse if Gore had won.

It works ok with 2 candidates, but what if we ever get a strong third party candidate? Just say, for example, Sam Nunn, and Zell Miller are the Democratic nominees, the party moves more towards the center. Liberals are furious, and throw all their support behind Ralph Nader and the Greens.

The Country is moving to the right as well. Bush gets 34% of the vote, Nunn gets 34%, and Nader gets 32%, but he wins California, NY, Illinois, and Florida with winner takes all systems, and with a few other key states, takes the presidency, even though 68% of the people in this country repudiate his ideas. Something like that happens, then what?

46 posted on 11/11/2001 8:02:29 AM PST by dogbyte12
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To: Timesink
Most people including the dems are very thankful that GW in President at this time. Don't think there will be any problem. And maybe the headlines are pro-GW Bush.
47 posted on 11/11/2001 8:05:34 AM PST by blackbart1
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To: Timesink
But how was it determined that where there was two votes for President that the one that mattered was for Gore? Only in the case of where someone punched the hole for Gore and wrote in the name of Gore?
48 posted on 11/11/2001 8:32:08 AM PST by sabe@q.com
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To: razorback-bert
They have: 60% for Bush; 35% for Gore.
49 posted on 11/11/2001 8:38:12 AM PST by sabe@q.com
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To: dogbyte12
This is to everybody...... If the headline indicates that Gore won, everyone should send the NYT a postcard and write on it, I vote for Bush. Their mailroom could be flooded with postcards. That should keep them busy for a few days.
50 posted on 11/11/2001 8:41:28 AM PST by kinhistorian
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