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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

US Election: a divided nation « Previous | |Next »
November 3, 2004

For what it is worth the exit polls were favourable to Kerry. However, the election is about the electoral college votes not the popular vote as measured by exit polls.

Yesterday's projected electoral college votes show a different story to the exit polls. Moreover, in the 2000 election, though George W. Bush polled half a million votes less than his opponent Al Gore, he polled a majority of votes in a majority of states. In other words he won in terms of the electoral college votes. The popular vote is not what matters in terms of the presidency.


The New York Times has a good interactive graphic of the election results. CNN is pretty good as well. On free-to-air television in Australia Nine is presenting CBS coverage and Seven has NBC coverage.

In a deeply divided nation Kerry is painted as a weak, indecisive traitor by the Republican machine. This machine demonizes Democrats, stokes populist resentment, tosses in legal challenges to balloting, and puts into play byzantine legal maneuverings. That is what Florida stood for in 2000. Karl Rove, the primary Republican political strategist, has been playing this game for some time. The lawyers will be in action in this election for sure.

In reading about the US presidential election I'm suprised at the absence of proper international safeguards for a free and fair election in the USA. Some of the electoral processes seem to be designed by partisan figures to actually prevent people from voting. Then they use lawyers to cut off as many opportunities to vote as possible.

Update 10.30
Polls have closed in the states that are mostly favourable to Bush:

*Georgia (traditionally strong Bush), Indiana (strongly Bush), Kentucky (strongly Bush), South Carolina (strongly Bush) Virginia (barely Bush); North Carolina (weakly Bush), West Virginia (weak Bush) and Ohio (barely Bush).

*Michigan (weakly Kerry), Vermont (strongly Kerry).

Ohio is a key battleground state for Kerry in this bunch. He needs to win it (plus one other of either Florida or Pennsylvania), if he is to gain the presidency. Kerry needs a high turnout in the urban areas in Ohio to win Ohio.

What stands out in the voting maps is the deep division of the US into Bush vs Kerry. The nation's political divisions are also geographical ones.

update midday
A huge bunch of states including the eastern seaboard, which are more favourable to Kerry, have closed:

*Connecticut (strong Kerry), Delaware (weak Kerry), the District of Columbia (strong Kerry), Florida (weak Kerry), Illinois (strong Kerry), Maine (weak Kerry), Maryland (strong Kerry), Massachusetts (strong Kerry), New Hampshire (barely Kerry), New Hampshire (barely Kerry), Pennsylvania (barely Kerry)

*Alabama (strong Bush), Kansas (strong Bush), Mississippi (weak Bush), Missouri (weak Bush), Oklahoma (strong Bush) and Tennessee (strong Bush).

*New Jersey (tied).

I would have thought Florida was more line ball than weak Kerry. Why not weak Bush? Pennsylvania is the other battleground state in this bunch.

It is looking as if the election break the same way as it did in 2000. Will the red republican states become redder and the blue Democrat states becomer bluer, with the nation becoming ever more divided? America is not a united nation at all.

Update: 1.30pm.
At this stage Bush is leading the electoral college votes as the middle America states come rolling in overwhelming Kerry. Will Kerry overtake Bush and recapture the White House for the Democrats with the Pacific seaboard (California, Oregon, Washington)?

Bush has won Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missourri, Nebraska North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia,Wyoming

Kerry has won Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massashusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont

The question is: will Kerry pick up any Southern states? He is not looking too good in Florida. And Kerry is struggling in Ohio. The US networks call of who wins the individual state is based on their projections. They have Bush well in front---196 to 133--with the massive Republican middle America--then 219 to 199 with the Pacific coastal seaboard factored in for Kerry. Some are willing to project Ohio, even before some of booths in Ohio close.

The electoral college tide is flowing against Kerry. He's lost Florida. He didn't even go close to taking it off Bush. That means Kerry has to gain Ohio, and retain the Gore states around the bottom of the Great Lakes.

Maybe Bush will get stuck in the 250-260 range while Kerry claws his way back by winning the states around the Great Lakes.

It's the deep repetition of the 2000 political divisions that impresses me. This is a divided nation.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:02 AM | | Comments (0)