It's 10:15 PM PST (1:15 EST) and Fox News has called Ohio for Bush. Is Bush's cousin still news director there?
Okay, that's a cheap shot ... I'm surprised since 50% of Cincinnati remains to be counted and the difference is around 100,000 votes. While that's a strong lead, Cincinatti has a lotta voters and all around the country the urban areas are voting democratic. I think it's still too early to call Ohio right now.
UPDATE [10:57 PM]: Saw on
a field report that some inner-city precincts in Ohio did not have enough voting equipment, and that people are still waiting in line to vote at midnight their time.
UPDATE [11:35 PM]: CNN has called Michigan for Kerry, while none others have. This is not a surprise though, and most of the other uncalled states are expected to go to Kerry. If Bush really has Ohio and Kerry has the rest, then we'll have a 269-269 tie.
Hence, Ohio is the key. Cincinatti still has 75% uncounted, but is overall leaning to Bush. The NPR voices keep saying there are many uncounted provisional ballots. There's something like 1/4 million votes remaining to be counted.
At the Kerry-Edwards headquarters, Edwards came out for a late-night speech-let saying they would fight for every vote. We can't expect a concession from them tonight.
UPDATE [11:43 PM]: Fox called Michigan for Kerry.
Apparently the Secretary of State in Ohio had noted they would not count the provisional ballots until the 11th day after the election. Presumably to allow the mail to deliver mailed votes.
UPDATE [2:30 AM]: I'd woke up in the middle of the night and checked. Nevada had been awarded only by NPR to Bush.
UPDATE [6:00 AM]: Other networks have awarded Nevada to Bush, but not all. Conspicuously Fox is not. On the other hand the Bush camp is claiming victory.
Over the past couple weeks there's been a series of salon.com articles pointing to shennanigans by the Ohio Secretary of State that were similar to the shennanigans pulled in Florida in 2000. We'll have to dig through those and see what that's about, as it's clear we're likely to have a drawn out battle over who gets Ohio.
UPDATE [6:08 AM]: CNN's web site reports that 100% of Ohio's counties have reported, with Bush having a 130,000 vote lead. My argument of last night doesn't hold any longer, Cincinatti voted for Bush by a comfortable margin. The only remaining thing to count in Ohio is the "provisional" ballots, which may include the absentee ones...?
Of concern is the report from salon.com of at least one precinct still having voters waiting to vote well into the night (after midnight). How widespread was that? How many voters gave up after such a long wait?
UPDATE [6:25 AM]:
With Echoes of 2000 Vote, Ohio Count Is at Issue (NY TIMES) :
Iowa is planning a recount due to the closeness of results there. The Ohio Secretary of State reportedly told the Bush camp that statistically even the provisional ballots are not enough to help Kerry, hence the Bush camp is claiming victory. The Kerry camp claims there are 250,000 or more provisional ballots in Ohio to be counted.
UPDATE [9:40 AM]:
Kerry calls Bush to concede (CNN) :
A Kerry adviser said the campaign had concluded that the too-close-to-call battleground state of Ohio was not going to come through for the Democrats.
The adviser said there was no way to gain votes on Bush without an "exhaustive fight," something that would have "further divided this country."
... During the brief conversation, Bush told the senator he was "an admirable, worthy opponent."
"You waged one tough campaign," McClellan quoted the president as saying. "I hope you are proud of the effort you put in. You should be."
Kerry must have looked at the numbers and decided the margin was too far out to overcome. The official difference in Ohio stands at around 140,000 votes, with somewhere around 175,000 (or more) provisional ballots to count. In order for them to make a difference, the provisional ballots would have to have been for Kerry at a vastly higher proportion than the regular ballots, which is highly unlikely.
Earlier in the day Andrew Card announced:
We are convinced that President Bush has won re-election with at least 286 electoral votes," Card said. (
CNN Transcript of Card's comments
To arrive at that number Bush would have to carry Ohio, Iowa and either New Mexico or Nevada. In other words, to make a clean sweep of the remaining states.
I believe that Bush's congradulation of Kerry and the tough campaign he fought, also applies to all of us who worked on getting the word out.
UPDATE [11:11 AM]: CNN calls Ohio for Bush, leaving New Mexico and Iowa still unaccounted for and Bush's total at 274. Kerry is giving his concession speech.
*** Sigh ***