Archive for the ‘vote’ Category

Voter Turnout Same or A Little More than ’04

November 7, 2008

 A new report from American University’s Center for the Study of the American Electorate concludes that voter turnout in Tuesday’s election was the same in percentage terms as it was four years ago — or at most has risen by less than 1 percent.

By Martina Stewart
The report released Thursday estimates that between 126.5 and 128.5 million Americans cast ballots in the presidential election earlier this week. Those figures represent 60.7 percent or, at most, 61.7 percent of those eligible to vote in the country.

“A downturn in the number and percentage of Republican voters going to the polls seemed to be the primary explanation for the lower than predicted turnout,” the report said. Compared to 2004, Republican turnout declined by 1.3 percentage points to 28.7 percent, while Democratic turnout increased by 2.6 points from 28.7 percent in 2004 to 31.3 percent in 2008.

“Many people were fooled (including this student of politics although less so than many others) by this year’s increase in registration (more than 10 million added to the rolls), citizens’ willingness to stand for hours even in inclement weather to vote early, the likely rise in youth and African American voting, and the extensive grassroots organizing network of the Obama campaign into believing that turnout would be substantially higher than in 2004,” Curtis Gans, the center’s director, said in the report. “But we failed to realize that the registration increase was driven by Democratic and independent registration and that the long lines at the polls were mostly populated by Democrats.” 

Some experts also note that national turnout trends may mask higher…

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Dirty Tricks That Confound Voters

November 3, 2008

In the hours before Election Day, as inevitable as winter, comes an onslaught of dirty tricks — confusing e-mails, disturbing phone calls and insinuating fliers left on doorsteps during the night.

By Deborah Hastings
Associated Press

The intent, almost always, is to keep folks from voting or to confuse them, usually through intimidation or misinformation. But in this presidential race, in which a black man leads most polls, some of the deceit has a decidedly racist bent.

Complaints have surfaced in predominantly African-American neighborhoods of Philadelphia where fliers have circulated, warning voters they could be arrested at the polls if they had unpaid parking tickets or if they had criminal convictions.
Over the weekend in Virginia, bogus fliers with an authentic-looking commonwealth seal said fears of high voter turnout had prompted election officials to hold two elections — one on Tuesday for Republicans and another on Wednesday for Democrats.
In New Mexico, two Hispanic women filed a lawsuit last week claiming they were harassed by a private investigator working for a Republican lawyer who came to their homes and threatened to call immigration authorities, even though they are U.S. citizens.
“He was questioning her status, saying that he needed to see her papers and documents to show that she was a U.S. citizen and was a legitimate voter,” said Guadalupe Bojorquez, speaking on behalf of her mother, Dora Escobedo, a 67-year-old Albuquerque resident who speaks only Spanish. “He totally, totally scared the heck out of her.”

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McCain says pundits being fooled, promises victory

October 28, 2008

Republican John McCain and running mate Sarah Palin told a Pennsylvania audience Tuesday that “it’s wonderful to fool the pundits” and vowed to pull out an upset win over Democratic rival Barack Obama.

“I’m not afraid of the fight, I’m ready for it,” said McCain, continuing his sharp assault on Obama in a noisy rally opening his campaign day.

By MIKE GLOVER, Associated Press Writer

Palin defended the campaign’s harsh attacks on Obama.

“Our opponent is not being candid with you about his tax plans,” said Palin. “It is not mean-spirited, and it is not negative campaigning to call out someone on their record.”

The rally was interrupted briefly by Obama backers waving signs, a move Palin dismissed.

“When we get a protest like that I’m always tempted to tell security, `let them stay, maybe they’ll learn a thing or two,'” said Palin.

The campaign day was complicated by wintry weather, which forced the cancellation of an outdoor event in Quakertown. McCain was heading to North Carolina and Florida before the day was over. Palin was heading on her own to other events in Pennsylvania after the rally in Hershey.

Sagging in polls nationally and in battleground states, McCain worked to light a fire under his supporters.

“Nothing is inevitable, we never give up,” said McCain. “Let’s go win this election and get this country moving again.”

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Sarah Palin dragging down Republican ticket: polls

October 23, 2008

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Embarrassing revelations about her costly campaign wardrobe and bloopers about the vice president’s job description are raising fresh fears that Sarah Palin is dragging down the Republican ticket.

New polls showed Wednesday that seven weeks after John McCain plucked the Alaska governor from political obscurity to be his running mate in the November 4 elections, Palin is seen as an increasing liability for Republicans.

The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that Americans are less and less convinced she is worthy to serve as the country’s number-two leader.

“Her numbers have plummeted in our poll … what’s more 55 percent think she’s unqualified to serve as president if the need arises, which is a troublesome number given McCain’s age,” said NBC political director Chuck Todd.

The poll also puts the 72-year-old McCain 10 points behind his Democratic rival Barack Obama, and says that 47 percent of those surveyed viewed Palin negatively.

It confirmed the findings of an ABC/Washington Post poll released earlier this month which found that six in 10 voters saw Palin, 44, as lacking the experience to be an effective president.

“A third are now less likely to vote for McCain because of her,” the Post added.

After being found guilty of abusing her power as governor in the so-called “troopergate” scandal over the firing of her ex-brother-in-law, Palin now faces a second probe over whether she violated ethics rules in the affair.

A spokesman said Palin, the first woman to be picked to serve on a Republican ticket, had requested this subsequent inquiry, branding the first probe a “political witch-hunt.”

Then on Tuesday the Politico website caused a stir by publishing financial records of the Republican National Committee showing it has spent more than 150,000 dollars on clothes for Palin since late August.

McCain-Palin campaign spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt slammed the media for focusing on “pantsuits and blouses” during the country’s hard economic times, saying the clothes were always intended to go to charity after the campaign.

But the New York Times Thursday wrote the wardrobe “joined the ranks of symbolic political excess” and reported that many Republicans “expressed consternation publicly and privately that the shopping spree …. would compromise Ms Palin’s standing as Senator McCain‘s chief emissary to working-class voters.”

Palin was also lambasted this week for failing to correctly spell out the vice president’s role on several occasions, including during the vice presidential debate with her Democratic rival Joseph Biden.

Responding during one television interview to a question sent in by an elementary school pupil about what the vice-president does, Palin again overstated the White House second-in-command’s powers.

“They’re in charge of the United States Senate, so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes,” she said.

The comment directly contradicted the separation-of-powers principle enshrined in the US constitution, under which the vice-president as president of the Senate has a casting vote in the event of a tie, but takes no other role.

McCain has staunchly defended his running mate against the slew of attacks, stressing she will be a valuable asset in his campaign goal of ridding Washington of political corruption.

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Obama Coalition Includes Racists

October 18, 2008
“The economy is trumping racism,” said Kurt Schmoke, the dean of Howard University Law School and a former Baltimore mayor. “A lot of people who we might think wouldn’t vote their pocketbook because of race — now they are.”

By Ben Smith

Oct. 18) – New polling and a trickle of stories from the battleground states suggest that Sen. Barack Obama’s coalition includes one unlikely group: white voters with negative views of African-Americans.

Race has become the elephant in the room of the 2008 presidential campaign, with Obama’s prospect of becoming the first black president drawing some Americans closer to him while pushing others away. At times, the contest has slipped into a familiar dynamic of allegations of racism and outraged denial — but it’s also challenged some easy assumptions about race, racism and prejudice.

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ACORN Cesspool: Obama Calls For Independent Prosecutor Amid Fraud, Embezzlement, Death Threats, Vandalism, and hatred

October 18, 2008

The furor over ACORN‘s national voter registration drive exploded with new controversies Friday, including a call by Barack Obama for an independent prosecutor, a Supreme Court ruling over voter access and the disclosure of a death threat against an ACORN worker.

By Greg Gordon, McClatchy Newspapers

What remains unclear is whether the campaigns of Obama and John McCain will reach a truce over voter access to the polls by Election Day or whether their legal and rhetorical battles will persist to the finish line — or beyond.

Republicans allege that the Association for Community Organizations for Reform Now is engaged in rampant voter fraud, but they’ve offered no proof of such a systematic effort. The GOP does have evidence that some of the group’s 13,000 canvassers submitted fraudulent applications, but ACORN says it alerted authorities to most of the phony forms.

Democrats counter that the GOP is trying to whip up fears of voter fraud so it can knock students and low-income minorities off the voter rolls to enhance McCain’s chances of victory.

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled an attempt by Republicans to challenge the validity of 200,000 voter registrations in Ohio , saying that the party lacked the standing to sue.

The Republicans had sued to force Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner , a Democrat, to provide county election officials with lists of registrants whose personal information did not exactly match Social Security or driver’s license data, a step that would leave those voters vulnerable to eligibility challenges.

Tensions began to escalate Thursday with disclosures that the FBI is investigating ACORN and the possibility that it’s engaged in a vote-fraud scheme.

On Friday, Obama’s legal counsel, Robert Bauer , wrote Attorney General Michael Mukasey , charging that the inquiry is politically motivated and that it risks repeating the 2007 scandal over the Bush administration‘s politicization of the Justice Department.

ACORN Board of Directors Meet Amid Internal Lawsuit, $1M Embezzlement Caper, Leadership Struggle

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Thousands Face Mix-Ups In Voter Registrations

October 18, 2008

It is impossible to know how many voters are affected nationwide.  The trouble is cropping up in many states including Ohio, Alabama, Michigan, Wisconsin and other states….

By Mary Pat Flaherty
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 18, 2008; Page A01

Thousands of voters across the country must reestablish their eligibility in the next three weeks in order for their votes to count on Nov. 4, a result of new state registration systems that are incorrectly rejecting them.

The challenges have led to a dozen lawsuits, testy arguments among state officials and escalating partisan battles. Because many voters may not know that their names have been flagged, eligibility questions could cause added confusion on Election Day, beyond the delays that may come with a huge turnout.
Election MG 3455.JPG
Above: A basic system of voting

The scramble to verify voter registrations is happening as states switch from locally managed lists of voters to statewide databases, a change required by federal law and hailed by many as a more efficient and accurate way to keep lists up to date.

But in the transition, the systems are questioning the registrations of many voters when discrepancies surface between their registration information and other official records, often because of errors outside voters’ control.

The issue made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which yesterday blocked a challenge to 200,000 Ohio voters whose registration data conflicted with other state records.

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Too Late for a McCain Comeback?

October 17, 2008

With less than three weeks to go, CNN’s latest poll of polls shows Sen. McCain trailing Sen. Obama by 8 points nationwide — a mid-October deficit that only one presidential hopeful has overcome to win the White House in the last 50 years: Ronald Reagan.

Bt Andrew Mooney

(Oct. 16) – Sen. John McCain likes to say he enjoys being the underdog. After all, this is the relentless candidate who somehow managed to capture his party’s nomination after the political world left him for dead in the summer of 2007.
But even as he spends the campaign homestretch reminding wary Republicans of his miraculous comeback last year, history suggests it may simply be too late.
Both publicly and privately of course, neither the candidates nor their aides are ready to say the race is over.

On Thursday morning, Sen. Barack Obama warned supporters not to get “cocky,” while a few hours later McCain pledged to Pennsylvania voters he would erase Obama’s lead by Election Day.
But with less than three weeks to go, CNN’s latest poll of polls shows McCain trailing Obama by 8 points nationwide — a mid-October deficit that only one presidential hopeful has overcome to win the White House in the last 50 years.
In the 1980 presidential election, former California Gov. Ronald Reagan trailed President Jimmy Carter by 8 points in a late October Gallup poll. A mere 10 days after that survey was conducted, Reagan defeated the incumbent president by nearly 3 percentage points, sealing one of the biggest turnarounds in the history of American presidential politics.
But if 2008 is at all like 1980, it’s Obama who is Ronald Reagan, not McCain.

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Be Wary of Polls: In Their Heart Of Hearts They Aren’t Ga-Ga for Obama

October 17, 2008

By Father Jonathan Morris
Fax News

In recent weeks I have spent a good amount of time crisscrossing the country.

Something very unusual is taking place.

From Seattle to San Diego, from Burlington, Vermont to New York City, from New Orleans to Texas and Midwest towns like Cleveland, I am hearing hushed admissions of a terrible sin: “Father, I’m not going to vote for Obama.”

Then I look at the polls. Nationally and in battleground States, Senator Obama is thrashing Senator McCain.

So what gives?

Above: Father Jonathan

Pollsters would tell me it’s all very simple. Anecdotal evidence, like my experience on the road, isn’t really evidence at all. It is not trustworthy because it is not scientific. The divergence between what people are telling me and the polling data must be that I run in closed circles. People of like minds talk to me; the others don’t.

Very logical…unlessunless people don’t want their neighbors (or pollsters) to know they aren’t voting for Obama.

So, are we talking here about the “Bradley Effect”, that well-documented racist phenomenon of people telling pollsters one thing and then doing the opposite in the voting booth simply because the candidate is black?

No. I am referring to something else — the fear of talking to pollsters, or to your neighbor, or to anyone else about not wanting to vote for Barack Obama because of what he stands for.

Do you have doubts? How would you like to get up in front of a crowded theater in a mixed neighborhood and say you are going to vote for McCain? What respectable person wants to risk being considered a racist or a war monger or a fan of President Bush or an enemy of change? Many good people would like to see a black man as our president, or even a Democrat to be our president, but don’t want Barack Obama.

Yes, this race is different in a way that defies the scientific nature of polls. Do you remember the hushed admissions? Why do people feel obliged to speak quietly? Will these people agree to talk to a pollster? I don’t think so. I wouldn’t.

Eight years ago in 2000 and four years ago in 2004 my parents’ Ohio neighborhood was filled with political yard signs. For every two “Gore” or “Kerry” signs there were at least two “Bush” signs. And there were many, many signs, I assure you. Not so today. When I asked local McCain workers in Summit County the reason, they answered quickly: we go to the doors, people wink at us in approval, and then refuse to allow us to place a sign in their yard. A significant number of voters may prefer McCain, but don’t want to show their disapproval of Obama.

What will this mean on November 4th? I don’t know for sure. I do think the election will be closer than the polls suggest.

And I think it all has much more to do with Obama, the candidate, and his plans to “spread the wealth,” nominate very liberal federal judges and bow to Planned Parenthood, than with his ethnicity.

What say you?

God bless,

Father Jonathan

Father Jonathan Morris is author of the new book, “The Promise: God’s Purpose and Plan for when Life Hurts.” For more information click here.

Obama Tells Supporters: Stop Measuring White House Drapes! Watch For Joe The Plummer….

October 16, 2008

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama warned his supporters to guard against overconfidence on Thursday as he and underdog Republican rival John McCain opened a 19-day sprint to Election Day.

By John Whitesides, Political Correspondent, Reuters

The two candidates hit the campaign trail — Obama raising money in New York and McCain holding a rally in Pennsylvania — after their third and last presidential debate on Wednesday, a testy face-off that made an Ohio plumber famous.

So far, all the stars seemed to be lining up in Obama’s favor. He leads in national opinion polls and in many of the battleground states where the November 4 race will be won or lost.

Traders betting on future events in the political prediction markets are overwhelmingly predicting an Obama victory, giving the Illinois Democrat a better than 80 percent chance of winning.

But Obama pointed out to deep-pocket contributors at a fund-raising breakfast in Manhattan that he was supposed to win New Hampshire last January in the Democratic primary but lost the state to Sen. Hillary Clinton.

“For those of you who are feeling giddy or cocky or think this is all set, I just have two words for you: New Hampshire,” Obama said.

“I’ve been in these positions before when we were favored and the press starts getting carried away and we end up getting spanked,” he said.


The new star in U.S. politics — at least for a news cycle or two — is Joe Wurzelbacher, “Joe the plumber,” who told Obama at a campaign stop that he wanted to buy a small plumbing business in Holland, Ohio.

Obama Measuring White House Drapes? Predicting Landslide, Plans Big Election Night Party

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