Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Four More Years!

It looks like President Bush will return to the White House for another 4 years. It was evident for several hours that Ohio would decide the election. With 98% of Ohio precincts reporting results, President Bush leads by 51% to 49%, a margin of 136,000 votes. Provisional and absentee ballots are still uncounted, but given that there won't be more than 250,000 of these (a very loose upper bound) and that some of them will be disallowed, I think it's unlikely that Senator Kerry will win enough of these to offset the Bush margin.

Still, the Kerry campaign is not giving up. Mary Beth Cahill, one of the campaign managers said, "The vote count in Ohio has not been completed. There are more than 250,000 remaining votes to be counted. We believe when they are, John Kerry will win Ohio." A few minutes ago, Vice Presidential candidate Senator John Edwards made this announcement to the Democratic supporters outside campaign headquarters: "We've waited four years for this victory, so we can wait one more night."

Since many Democrats were unhappy with Al Gore for not fighting "hard enough or smart enough" (quoting George Stephanopoulos) after the Florida debacle four years ago, Senator Kerry is understandably unwilling to concede the election until he has explored every avenue that could lead to victory. I'm not exactly thrilled by the prospect of a protracted battle, though; such wrangling could have the effect of polarizing the country further. Surely the statisticians employed by the Kerry campaign have reported exactly how unlikely it is that the Senator can pull off a win.

The Republicans appear set to dominate Congress as well. They held 51 seats in the Senate earlier; they have 52 so far, and are leading in all 3 seats for which final results have not been declared. Democrat Tom Daschle, the Senate Minority Leader, appears to be one of the casualties. The Republicans will also probably have a comfortable majority in the House. We'll have to wait to see how all this plays out.

No comments: