Tuesday, April 08, 2008


537.. or 565 "its not even a wide spot in the road"

As I've gotten my hand on some Election Night 2000 coverage, I'm struck by how little the anchors truly understood. There was a Senate election in the state of Virginia in 2006 that was considered "close" by the media. Not only was the votes cast much smaller than in Florida in 2000, but the vote margin was significantly higher at 8000+. So, we come to this election cycle and the terms being thrown around of "too close to call" and the race keeps taking "dramatic turns". The fact is that this race while certainly different than past primary races is actually quite predictable. Obama has been the favorite for a good month and a half now. Clinton is still on schedule to win the states she is supposed to win, while Obama is on schedule to win the states he is supposed to win. Need I remind you that in 2000, Florida was called for Gore, then Bush, and then at around 3:18, you could hear the news being delivered that all that separated Bush and Gore in "the state that proved to be pivotal" was 565 votes. Tom Brokaw remarked that this wasn't even a "wide spot in the road". The surprise he held that "this could go the other way". About the only thing that comes close to this in 2008 was the state of New Hampshire. Those who voted in the Democratic primary, like myself (registered Independent thank you), believed that Obama would roll to a resounding victory. Of course, unlike 2000, this belief wasn't based off of real data, but only pre-election polls. So I guess the real thing that makes 2000 so dramatic is that the spins and turns of that election happened in one night... and happened not when casting, but when counting the votes. For a count of the Florida votes just kept revealing surprises, while a count of the 2008 votes just brings us closer to the final reality.

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