Thursday, November 27, 2008
Minnesota Senate... just a quick point
The fact is that when we are talking about margins below 1,000... below 500... below 250, we cannot be confident in our electoral system. No computer system... no optical scan system... not any system is full proof. And we'll just have to deal, and RESPECT the final result whoever it supports.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
You gotta love the Beltway Boys - Minnesota Senate
Right because Christine Gregoire didn't overcome a margin of 261 four years ago in Washington, which also uses optical scan ballots.
I'm not saying that Franken will definitely win... but the misinformation by the media of such a tedious process does us no favors.
Monday, November 17, 2008
The negative press on Vanessa Sievers is an absolute joke. For those that don't know, the County Treasurer of Grafton County doesn't do very much (keeping tabs on all county money, making investments and making payments ordered by county commissioners). The salary isn't exactly high at a little over six grand. I have advised fellow classmates to higher earnings on Intrade.
The point is that a student who goes to a top 10 school in the nation and has experience in organizational financing should be able to manage the job. Heck, anyone who has managed any sort of checkbook should be able to handle the job.
I am not going to go over the edge and suggest that Vanessa is more qualified for the job than Carol Elliott. Clearly, someone who has served time as County Treasurer is more qualified for the job than someone who hasn't. Carol Elliott didn't do a bad job. From I can see, she did a pretty good job.
That said, elections aren't always about job qualifications. Sometimes elections are about sex (Tim Mahoney); sometimes about corruption (Ted Stevens), and sometimes about party label. In the case of Sievers, the election was about party label. Lincoln Chafee was defeated by Sheldon Whitehouse because he was a Republican. It wasn't the issues or the stances he defended.
The fact that many voters (over 1,000) in Hanover, NH skipped the County Treasurer race (http://www.sos.nh.gov/general2008/index.htm) suggests that this electoral victory by Sievers wasn't elected by "brainwashed" students who voted down ticket. Chances are that those students that didn't know about the race didn't vote.
Sure, some students voted on party label and party label alone. But as mentioned, this is many times the case. I personally feel that nothing is wrong with that. Party labels inform voters.
If Elliott was so against being judged by party label, then why be a Republican, when being a Democrat would guarantee victory?
Update to the Update
Minnesota- 215 vote lead for Coleman going into an automatic hand recount beginning on Wednesday. Franken is hoping to get some disqualified absentee ballots counted before the recount commences. Probably not going to happen.. though I would be surprised if they eventually do get counted. Most would agree for reasons previously listed that any undervotes that are votes should for the most part help Franken. Do enough of these mistaken undervotes (versus people who actually didn't vote for the senate race) exist to put Franken over the top? I think so... but it will be mighty close.
Georgia- Same place as always. Runoff on December 2nd. Chambliss still the favorite.... for now.
Friday, November 14, 2008
What's the Bloody Point?
Why? The primary is over. Clinton backed the heck out of Obama during the general. This sort of Clinton bashing on DKos suggests the main problem of the liberal blogosphere. They simply don't know when to quit.
Clinton's chance at Secretary of State are slim... so why alienate Clinton supporters. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Alaska and Minnesota Quick Updates
Begich has a little over 3,000 votes to make up.... we'll see if he can do it. Tossup.
In Minnesota, the recanvassing is done. Coleman holds a 206 vote lead out of nearly 3 million votes cast. A mandatory manual recount will commence shortly and will be completed sometime by the middle of December. The undervotes of past presidential (a vote for president but not for senate on a given ballot) is around 25,000 with undervotes including presidential (undervote of both presidential and senate) is around 2,500. The large majority of these votes are in Franken counties... which makes sense considering that undervotes meant to be a vote would be cast by the elderly, low educated, and first time voters.
I consider Franken a favorite.
Friday, November 07, 2008
So it will come to Georgia
I believe that good reason exists that the Democratic candidates in both Alaska and especially Minnesota will emerge once all the votes are counted.
In Minnesota, Senator Norm Coleman declared victory and basically asked Comedian Al Franken to concede and forego a state mandated recount. Anyone can see past the politics of the move. At the time of this request Coleman lead by 700+ votes or .03% (much less than the .5% necessary for a state mandated recount), but since then Franken has closed the gap to 221 votes out of about 3 million cast. And this has nothing to do with a recount, it is merely counties rechecking their math (in one case a county gave Franken 100 less votes than he actually received). Conventional wisdom holds and I believe correctly that the vast majority of contested ballots were "Franken" ballots that were cast by the less educated and first time voters. Minnesota uses optical scan ballots and lord knows that someone checked Franken's name instead of filling in the bubble. Hand inspection of these ballots will show that the true intent of these ballots were voters wishing to vote for Franken.
In Washington, a similar recount four years ago allowed now re-elected Governor Christine Gregoire to overcome a similar deficit to Dino Rossi.
In Alaska, Senator and convicted felon Ted Stevens continues to maintain a small 3,200 vote lead over Mark Begich. The problem is that over 60,000 ballots remain uncounted. The vast majority of these ballots are absentee with some early votes and contested ballots as well. The vast majority of these ballots come from Begich's strongholds of Region I and II as compared to Stevens' Mat-Su region. Further analysis by Nate Silver (http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/11/uncounted-votes-may-push-begich-past.html) suggests that if current trends hold Begich will overcome Stevens' lead and win by about 3,000 votes.
Way too close to call in Alaska, and anyone who knows the final outcome is either God or lying.
So it all comes down to Georgia... where we have a runoff on December 2nd between Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss and Democratic challenger Jim Martin. Chambliss was held under the 50% margin necessary for a clean victory on election day, and the runoff seems to be a close one. Two general rules for runoffs. One, challengers usually benefit. Two, African-American turnout usually decreases. One benefits Martin and two benefits Chambliss. Which candidate supporters will be motivated and come out and vote? I don't know. But I do know that in the Republican state of Georgia, I would think that with the Libertarian off the ballot, the slight advantage must go to the incumbent Saxby Chambliss.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
If you switched Missouri and Indiana, credit not received
Don't try to sell me.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Really Norm? Let's go home kids
Under Minnesota state law, a recount will occur, as is the case with any statewide election where the final result is within .5%. The final result of this election was .01!
According to the Secretary of State's website, Minnesota uses optical scan ballots. This will be no Florida 2000, but those ballots will definitely be open to some error.
I am of the belief that Coleman will probably prevail.... but I don't, and no one really knows, what will happen.
So what does Norm Coleman do? Support the recount? Well of course not. While he "supports" the right of Franken for to have the recount, he calls on him "to call it off". Keep in mind, that Franken doesn't have to ask for the recount... it just happens.
Like the winning team in a contested sports event, he wants to run on the bus and drive way.
Not going to happen Norm.
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