Morning in America
Hi everyone. I'm back from my election night walk and whoa. It seems that conventional wisdom was exactly right.
Americans were hesitant to remove a president in mid-war. All those new voters we kept hearing about didn't have as much of an impact as expected. And evangelicals turned out in big numbers, perhaps boosted by anti-gay marriage measures in several key states.
And now we are in the midst of the ultimate national disaster: Americans are being asked to do math. Unless we are willing to actually do division, we will never know whether John Kerry has a prayer of winning in Ohio.
I can't promise this will be right, but I'm willing to give it a shot. Bush currently leads by about 140,000 votes in the Buckeye State. There are, according to the Kerry campaign, 250,000 outstanding provisional ballots. Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell (who seems like Cool Hand Luke compared to Katherine Harris) says about 83 percent of such ballots turned out to be valid in 2000. That could mean up to 207,500 valid ballots have yet to be counted. So Kerry would be nuts not to drag this thing out a little longer. He might also try to scrape out a few votes by calling for a full recount.
Finally, let's look at the bright side of all this. Now that everyone has voted, we can admit that Kerry is one of the least likely presidential contenders imaginable. He's a northeastern liberal who has been described as looking like a talking tree. So we should be glad things worked out as well as they did, and realize that Democrats will have a much easier go of things if they stick to the proven formula of nominating Southern governors. (Mike Easley or Mark Warner could be strong candidates someday -- except that Warner also kind of has that wooden look.) Anyway, that's an issue for another day. And hopefully that day will be in 2012, not tomorrow.