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FREEPER HELP NEEDED: How many votes did the early call of Florida cost Bush?
7/15/03 | LS

Posted on 07/15/2003 4:27:11 PM PDT by LS

I need your help. This is one of those things that you heard so often that you never thought you needed to source it.

I have heard, and read (I thought it was in Coulter's book, but don't have it here) that John Zogby said that the early call of Florida cost Bush up to 1 million votes nationally.

A person on another board claims to have contacted Z. who says he never said this. Does anyone have a source or a link to the "1 million votes lost nationally" to the early Florida call?

TOPICS: Announcements; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Front Page News; Government; Politics/Elections; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: 2000; bush; election2000; zogby

1 posted on 07/15/2003 4:27:12 PM PDT by LS
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To: LS
Well, we were phone banking in California (Central Valley) and when we heard that Florida had gone to Gore, some of our phone bankers kind of gave up and some of the people who were "poll watching" gave up and went home. It sure was discouraging but we kept on.
2 posted on 07/15/2003 4:29:55 PM PDT by Saundra Duffy (For victory & freedom!!!)
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To: All

See that good looking dude on the left? He's got FAR BETTER THINGS to do than conduct Freepathons! Come on, let's get this thing over with.

3 posted on 07/15/2003 4:31:07 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: LS
LOng post but this is the relevant info, not just on the early call, but the networks announcements that polls had closed!

Close Call
Prematurely declaring a winner wasn't the networks' worst sin in Florida.

Friday, May 4, 2001 11:18 a.m. EDT

The entire Florida election dispute might have been avoided if the networks hadn't declared the polls were closed in Florida when some 5% of the state, in the Central time zone, was still voting. Since those areas voted 2-to-1 for George W. Bush, the GOP nominee probably lost several thousand votes because citizens thought they couldn't cast ballots. Mr. Bush eventually carried the Sunshine State by a mere 537 votes.

It’s now well known that all five TV networks and the Associated Press declared Florida for Al Gore at 7:50 p.m. Eastern time, 10 minutes before the polls closed in the panhandle counties. That could not have dissuaded many voters from casting ballots. But far more serious was the announcement by all five networks at 7 p.m. Eastern time that the polls in Florida had closed. As Brill's Content reported: "At 7 p.m., ET, every network was talking about the poll closings in nine states. And every network was wrong: the polls were closing in only eight states. . . . The polls in that heavily Republican [panhandle of Florida] wouldn't close for another hour--8 p.m. ET." The networks, with the exception of Fox News Channel, continued to repeat this misinformation throughout that hour.

Affidavits from 42 poll workers or inspectors were presented at a hearing chaired by Sens. Fred Thompson and Joe Lieberman yesterday. They all indicated that they saw a decline in the number of voters beginning at 6 p.m. CST, when ordinarily the voting traffic increases. The networks have yet to fully own up to or explain this more serious mistake. (I repeated this mistake in my Election Day preview piece, for which I relied on the network pre-election briefing books.)

To their credit, the networks did undertake some searching examinations of why they prematurely awarded Florida to first Al Gore and then to Mr. Bush. An independent report commissioned by CNN accused all the networks of "an abuse of power" by confusing the public and interfering with democracy. The report, written by Pulitzer Prize-winner James Risser, former journalism school dean Joan Konner and Ben Wattenberg of the American Enterprise Institute, concluded that the networks "staged a collective drag race on the crowded highway of democracy, recklessly endangering the electoral process, the political life of the country and their own credibility, all for reasons that may be conceptually flawed and commercially questionable."

In response, all of the networks have pledged not not project an election winner in a state until every polling station there has closed. CNN also vowed not to use exit polls alone to call close elections. But the networks have not specifically addressed why they all misreported that the Florida polls had closed. CBS, for example, explicitly stated that the polls had closed in Florida 13 times during the hour while the panhandle counties were open, along with 15 additional implied statements to that effect and frequent visual references to a map showing Florida's polls had closed. All of the networks except Fox News Channel repeated the contention that Florida's polls were closed throughout the hour that the panhandle precincts remained open.

There is growing evidence that the network poll-closing announcement did lower voter turnout. A survey by pollster John McLaughlin estimated that the early calls by the networks discouraged more than 4% more Republicans than Democrats to go to the polls. Another study, by John Lott of the Yale Law School, estimated the drop-off at 3%. That's a range of 7,500 to 10,000 Republican voters for the two studies.

The Committee for Honest Politics, a GOP-founded watchdog group, estimated that at each of the 361 panhandle polling places, the networks' false information dissuaded 54 people from voting. That would represent a total of 19,133 Floridians who didn't vote. If these voters would have gone 2-to-1 for Mr. Bush, as actual voters in the panhandle did, that means a loss of 6,377 Bush votes--nearly 12 times his official margin of victory.

There's no way of knowing how accurate these estimates are, but the testimony of poll workers and inspectors indicates that something certainly happened after the networks declared Florida's polls closed.
A poll worker in Bay County reported: "Voting was steady all day until 6 p.m. Between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. was very different from past elections. It was very empty. The poll workers thought it was odd. It was like the lights went out."

A clerk for elections in Okaloosa County: "Soon after 6 p.m., I noticed the volume dropped to almost zero. In past elections, there was usually a rush of people coming from work, trying to get to vote before the polls closed."

Another clerk for elections in Okaloosa County: "I don't think we had more than five people from 6:15 until we closed at 7 p.m. We had averaged 80 voters per hour until the last hour."

Warren Brown, deputy for elections, Santa Rosa County: "Eight years ago in the presidential election, there were so many people in line that the last voter did not vote until nearly 10:30 p.m. When I went outside at the end of the day to tell people to hurry along, there was no one in the parking lot."

Barbara Alger, a poll inspector in Escambia County: "The last 40 minutes was almost empty. The poll workers were wondering if there had been a national disaster they didn't know about."

On Oct. 30, a week before the election, Florida's Secretary of State Katherine Harris issued a statement to the media pointing out that the polls in the Central time zone would be open until 8 p.m. EST. "The last thing we need is to have our citizens in the Central time zone think their vote doesn't count--because it certainly does," she implored the networks. "Waiting until 8 p.m. EST allows all Floridians the opportunity to decide the outcome of races within Florida." The networks ignored her.
"I remain very disappointed in what the networks did on Election Night," Ms. Harris told me. "I still haven't heard a complete explanation."

"The networks owe a duty not to misstate poll closing times, especially when they have been asked by the state involved not to do anything to disrupt voting in that state," says Dan Perrin of the Committee for Honest Politics. He wants to amend the Federal Communications Act to prohibit "on the day of any federal election" any licensed broadcast outlet from disseminating "any false statement concerning the location or times or operations of any polling place designated by proper state authority for use by electors in such election."

Networks' Wrong Florida Call for Gore Depressed Voter Turnout in Florida's Central Time Zone

December 6, 2000

CONTACT: John McLaughlin & Associates
STUART POLK, Senior Analyst: (703/518-4445)
CHARLIE BANKS, Data Specialist: (845/353-4700)


As a follow-up to the many emails and inquiries we've received regarding our November 15-16, 2000, Florida Panhandle Poll: below are the actual voter turnout statistics comparing Florida's Eastern Time Zone turnout vs. its Central Time Zone turnout.

The bottom line is that Florida's Eastern Time Zone region showed a turnout rate of 68%, consistent with statewide turnout, whereas turnout in the Central Time Zone region, where the news networks called the state of Florida for Vice President Al Gore before the polls had closed, was only 65%.

Our November Panhandle poll found that registered voters in the Central Time Zone who would have made up for this discrepancy would have voted for Governor George W. Bush over Vice President Gore by roughly a 2-to-1 margin, as did the actual voters in that region.

If the Panhandle turnout had not been depressed by the media call and had stayed consistent with the statewide turnout rate of 68%, as the Eastern Time Zone region did, roughly another 15,000 voters would have come to the polls. Our survey indicates that these registered voters who were discouraged from voting by the media's premature call would have voted for Governor Bush by 2-to-1, and would have widened his lead by about 5,000 votes. This expanded margin would have rendered much of the current litigation and manual recounting unnecessary.

Florida 2000 Statewide Totals
Voter Registration 8,752,717
Voter Turnout 5,961,266
Turnout Rate 68 %
Registered Non-Voter Rate 32 %

Florida 2000 Central Time Zone Totals
Voter Registration 540,610
Voter Turnout 353,527
Turnout Rate 65 %
Registered Non-Voter Rate 35 %

Florida 2000 Eastern Time Zone Totals
Voter Registration 8,212,107
Voter Turnout 5,607,739
Turnout Rate 68 %
Registered Non-Voter Rate 32 %

Summary of Voter Turnout Rates
Region Turnout Rate Reg. Non-Voter Rate
Florida Statewide 68 % 32 %
Florida CTZ 65 % 35 %
Florida ETZ 68 % 32 %

A compressed file containing the full results of our November 15-16 Panhandle poll may be downloaded at the page on our site containing the original media release regarding this poll.

4 posted on 07/15/2003 4:40:34 PM PDT by visualops (C'mon FReepers, donate donate donate!)
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To: LS
Forgot this link too, to the original McLaughlin poll-
(Poll results & other info at the link)
Networks' Wrong Florida Call for Gore Cost Bush Votes

November 20, 2000

George W. Bush carried the Central Time Zone section of Florida with two-thirds of the vote (Bush 67% to Gore 31%).

However, there were approximately 187,000 registered voters in this area of the Panhandle who did not vote in this election. Similar to the actual results of this election, among the registered voters who did not vote, this poll shows that Bush would have received about two-thirds of their vote.

The survey found that 15% of the registered non-voters did not vote because the networks declared Gore the winner in Florida before the polls closed. About 6 in 10 of all voters and non-voters believe that the networks' call influenced people not to vote.

Two thirds of all voters and 55% of those who did not vote said that they heard the network call for Al Gore before the polls closed, and 13% of all voters and 23% of non-voters claim that the network call made them less likely to vote.

If only a few thousand of these disenfranchised registered voters had heard that the polls were still open, and the race in Florida was still too close to call, and then voted, George W. Bush would have gained a decisive net positive margin of votes over Al Gore. These votes would have helped Bush carry the popular vote statewide without uncertainty.

5 posted on 07/15/2003 4:43:47 PM PDT by visualops (C'mon FReepers, donate donate donate!)
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To: LS
I have long maintained that the erronious call in Florida was intentional and it was the left-wing media's attempt to counter the influence of Ralph Nader in California. The neocommies were furious that Nader would take votes from Gore in California. They called Gore the winner in Florida long before the call was justified to get many western Floridians to stay home and not vote (the Panhandle of Florida votes for the good guys), believing the Florida election had already been decided. It is also why they agreed not to broadcast exit poll information - Bush was clearly winning and LoserAl was clearly, well, losing.

The media did something of the same thing in 1996. It was less organized and made little difference. But, they made an erroneous call that looked fishy.

I believe that crooked call was intentional. I also believe that it will be impossible for any researcher to go back and look at the tapes because they've all been destroyed or didn't exist in the first place. There is no smoking gun because the evidence is all gone.

6 posted on 07/15/2003 4:53:07 PM PDT by Tacis
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To: LS
You could probably get some national numbers from "At Any Cost: How Al Gore Tried to Steal the Election" by Bill Sammon.
7 posted on 07/15/2003 4:56:16 PM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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You, sir, are correct.
8 posted on 07/15/2003 5:29:26 PM PDT by MonroeDNA (Be a monthly doner!!! Just 3 bucks a month will make us proud!!!)
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To: LS
Impossible to know but allowing the question as valid requires you to accept a false premise regarding the popular vote being relevant.

If the election were solely about the popular vote Bush's entire campaign would have been different. Everything from his stump speeches to his platform to his strategy of campaign locations.

There is just no way Bush's campaign would have been the same had the goal been to acquire the popular vote. He would have had to go much farther left on all of his policies. As it was, one can say he stayed as far right as he could and still manage to get elected without misrepresenting his goals.

9 posted on 07/15/2003 5:32:04 PM PDT by VRWC_minion (Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and most are right)
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Page nine, from that book:

"Bob Glass was running late...But Glass, fifty, had never failed to cast a vote in a Presidential election--and he wasn't about to now."

Page 16....

"As Glass listened to the radio..."
"And so Al Gore has won Flirida's 25 electoral votes..."

page 18

"Flush with anger and a sense of dread...Glass drove straight past the turnoff..."

10 posted on 07/15/2003 5:42:29 PM PDT by MonroeDNA (Be a monthly doner!!! Just 3 bucks a month will make us proud!!!)
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To: LS
You might also consider the possible impact of the early call on New Mexico where Gore won by only 366 votes.
11 posted on 07/15/2003 8:50:59 PM PDT by Ben Hecks
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To: VRWC_minion
I know that is an argument, but I distinctly remember seeing a source, and I thought it was Zogby, that said that polling showed that the early call cost Bush 1 mil. votes.
12 posted on 07/16/2003 6:40:53 AM PDT by LS
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I have it here, and so far, haven't found it.
13 posted on 07/16/2003 6:41:11 AM PDT by LS
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: unoAmerican
It's hard to believe that Florida would have gone to Gore. Florida's re-election of Jeb Bush was an historic election after decades of no republican governor having served two consecutive terms.

15 posted on 07/17/2003 12:10:14 AM PDT by Susannah (Over 200 people murdered in L. A.County-first 5 mos. of 2003 & NONE were fighting Iraq!!)
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To: unoAmerican
It isn't a waste of time if a pollster actually conducted a poll. That is what I'm asking, whether or not someone did. Your post is the waste of time here.
16 posted on 07/17/2003 10:51:50 AM PDT by LS
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To: LS
My parents and brother live in the Panhandle and they were absolutely furious about the early call. They told me they personally know dozens of people who did not vote. I also have friends in California who did not vote because they heard on the way home from work that Gore had carried Florida and they knew that meant he would win the election. They heard of many similar stories there. It's certainly not hard to imagine that this made a difference in New Mexico. It also could have cost the Republicans control of the Senate because of the Cantwell-Gorton race in Washington. Enough Republicans may have given up and not voted to have cost Gorton the election.
17 posted on 07/17/2003 2:21:54 PM PDT by Dems_R_Losers
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