The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Rundown

Election predictions rolling in

By Ben Pershing
The polls are open this morning in upstate New York, New Jersey, Virginia and a handful of other regions, and while electoral predictions are all over the map, the most common sentiment is that this will be a good day for the red column and a bad one for blue.

How much do Tuesday's results matter? Obviously, it depends whom you ask. "The White House downplayed the national significance of the off-year elections, but Republicans, including GOP Chairman Michael Steele, portrayed them as referendums on Obama's presidency," reports USA Today. As for 2010 and 2012, the Wall Street Journal says "Republicans appear positioned for strong results in three hard-fought elections Tuesday. But isolated, off-year contests aren't always reliable indicators of what will happen in the wider federal and state races held in even-numbered years." Under the headline, "It Doesn't Mean Squat," Joshua Green writes, "Along with tarot cards and goat entrails, a lot of people believe they can divine hidden meaning from the results of off-year elections. ... I'm skeptical." The Associated Press judges the races to be an "early test of ... Obama's political influence," noting that by weighing in on the contests, "Obama raised the stakes of a low-enthusiasm off-year election season -- and risked political embarrassment if any lost." George Stephanopoulos writes, "my hunch is that this year's angry voters just won't be denied which means a sweep for the GOP."

In New York's 23rd district, the majority of prognosticators give Doug Hoffman, the Republican-backed Conservative candidate, the advantage over Democrat Bill Owens. A Siena Research poll taken Sunday gave Hoffman a 41 percent to 36 percent lead, with 18 percent undecided. Mark Blumenthal writes that some on the left are looking at the polls and refusing to believe that Hoffman has an advantage. "Apologies to my Democratic friends for the pessimism, but I don't see it," he says. Nate Silver also surveys the surveys and concludes, "Owens would be about a 4:1 underdog. So I suppose I'm getting off the fence here and declaring Hoffman the favorite, although I wouldn't attach any precise probability estimate to it."

Continue reading at Political Browser »

Posted at 8:31 AM ET on Nov 3, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
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1835 'Court Mag.' VI. p. xviii/2 It is expected that lingerie will be this season in very great request, both in morning and half-dress.

Posted by: edtroyhampton | November 3, 2009 4:08 PM


As mainstream media focuses on the candidates, no entity appears to be addressing the increased probability of vote count irregularities stemming from electronic voting -- and, in most districts, the continued absence of a requirement that electronic machines create a voter-verifiable "paper trail" to facilitate recounts.

The issue was starkly drawn in a Hollywood movie a few years back, "Man of the Year" starring Robin Williams. In that flick, a corrupt voting machine executive who's a heavy contributor to a political party rigs an election, as covert operatives who drive big black SUVs and talk into their sleeves wreak havoc upon those who try to expose the fraud.

In the end, justice prevails -- but remember, this is Hollywood. Ironically, mainstream political pundit Chris Matthews, who hardly ever discusses the dangers of electronic voting on his show, makes a cameo appearance.

But it's not just the machines that raise concerns. Out in fly-over country, hard-right, Sarah-loving tea-bagger pitchfork people appear to be heavily represented among poll watchers and public safety officers with access to voting machine storage areas. With scant oversight of the vote count or the servicing of these machines, which use proprietary software, there's ample opportunity for chicanery.

And with mainstream media AWOL on the subject, those who would subvert democracy by tampering with voting technology or process probably stand a good chance of getting away with it.



• Deposed Honduras President Manuel Zaleya confirms the essence what unjustly targeted citizens worldwide -- including this journalist -- have been reporting for years...

...MILITARY, SECRET SERVICES, AND INTEL AGENCIES of many nations, including the U.S., silently assault and torture "targeted individuals," including those regarded as "dissenters" or slandered as undesirables, with debilitating, health-degrading, "slow-kill" electromagnetic microwave and laser radiation weapons systems -- reported to include a nationwide installation disguised as cell towers.


OR (if link is corrupted): RE: "Gov't Tortures" and "Gestapo USA."

Posted by: scrivener50 | November 3, 2009 10:40 AM

Are Tuesday's elections a referendum on Obama?


Posted by: usadblake | November 3, 2009 10:36 AM

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