June 01, 2006

Politics > Robert Kennedy,Jr., Story on Alleged Ohio Election Fraud

RFK, Jr. has a Rolling Stone article, Was the 2004 Election Stolen?

I covered the allegations of Ohio election fraud here and you can follow that for some relevant links.

It's true that a man was found guilty of election fraud in Ohio, but he was working for the NAACP,which last time I checked was aligned with Democrats. In fact, in every case I've found of election fraud in 2004 where charges were filed, it was by Democrats, not Republicans.

Democrats like to imagine election fraud in Ohio,where Bush won handily by 140,000 votes. They don't like to talk about Wisconsin, where Kerry squeaked by with an 11,000 vote margin, and where there were massive voting irregularities:

The Milwaukee investigation has revealed that the number of ballots counted there exceeds, by 4,609, the number of people recorded as voting. There is no evident explanation for this other than ballot box stuffing. In addition, investigators found "more than 200 cases of felons voting illegally and more than 100 people who voted twice, used fake names or false addresses or voted in the name of a dead person."

And that's just the fraud that has been specifically identified. Approximately 70,000 voters registered in Milwaukee on election day, and they voted overwhelmingly for John Kerry. Altogether, Kerry received 71% of the 277,000 votes cast in Milwaukee, a margin of 116,000 votes. There is no way to be sure whether more than 11,000 votes--less than 10% of Kerry's Milwaukee margin--were fraudulent. But it is entirely possible that voter fraud swung Wisconsin into the Democrats' column.

As far as Kennedy, he has an obvious political bias, so take that into account when reading him. He's also sloppy and sensationalist when he pretends to be a journalist. When Salon ran his article on thimerasol, they had to subsequently run corrections not once, but twice, three times, four times, and five times. You can read WSJ criticism of his thimerasol story here, along with Skeptico's blogger roundup.

Exit polls

Many exit polls on election night had Kerry winning. In dredging that up, RFK, Jr., pens this howler: "Over the past decades, exit polling has evolved into an exact science." Riiight. Advance polling isn't even an exact science. In the run-up to the 2004 elections I collected election predictions for bloggers, columnists, and polling organizations. Needless to say, many of the ones that predicted exact percentages and electoral votes were wildly wrong.

One of the most accurate election predictions in 2004 was this one, published in The Hill the day before the election: "Taking all that and more into account, an expert forecasting model suggests that Bush will get 51.6 percent of the two-party vote."

In fact Bush won 51.2% of the two-party vote. And do you know who made that 51.6% prediction? Mark Mellman, John Kerry's chief pollster in the 2004 election, made that prediction. Kerry's own pollster knew he was going to lose. In his article he wrote:

For months, though, I’ve been assessing President Bush’s vulnerability, but win or lose, it is important to acknowledge the daunting challenge Sen. John Kerry faces. Republicans have been spinning this fact for months and they are right.

First, we simply do not defeat an incumbent president in wartime. After wars surely, but never in their midst. Republicans have been spinning this fact for months, and they are correct.

Democrats have spoken often and powerfully about the nation’s economic problems. But by historical standards, they are not that bad. The “misery index” is 7.8 today but was 20.5 when Jimmy Carter was defeated. Economic models of elections show Bush winning 52-58 percent of the vote.

One could simply suggest that the models are off, but there is more to it than that.

These models essentially confirm that the level of economic pain we are now feeling is not commensurate with voting an incumbent president out of office.

UPDATE: Instapundit notes that even Mother Jones and NPR have debunked the Ohio charges.

Posted by lesjones | TrackBack

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