Newspaper logo  
 
 
  Did Bush Lose the Election?

COMMENTARY:

Did Bush Lose the Election?

by Margie Burns

As things stand right now, it seems unlikely that Mr. Bush won the 2004 presidential election.
As things stand right now, it seems unlikely that Mr. Bush won the election.

There are two major categories of problems. One affects the electoral vote. Release of the final exit polls conducted in all states shows a pattern that cannot be explained away. The exit polls were released (not to the general public) at 4:00 p.m. on Election Day by polling consultants Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International.

These are the genuine exit polls for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, taken before the outcome was known in any particular state. These are not the “exit polls” that organizations including CNN went back and retroactively changed after the election, making them conform more to vote tallies.

The exit poll results are laid out straightforwardly in a very clear list (tabulation). Compared to the vote tallies given the public, they seem amazing. Contrary to results in every election for the past twenty years, the variance between exit polls the published vote tally was more than two points--in other words a swing of 4% or 5% or more to Bush, in 33 of 51 jurisdictions. Regardless of which candidate won in those states, a big variance, always in the same direction, allegedly occurred in every single exit poll in all of them.

Exit polls from the next nine states down the list were also reversed by a smaller swing toward Bush in the published vote tally, including in the District of Columbia and Maryland. Thus, to sum up, a four-out-five-state swing to Bush is alleged in an election where every indication showed new voters, independent voters, and younger voters trending toward Kerry and/or away from Bush, and in an election where turnout increased, even though increased voter turnout generally favors the challenger against the incumbent.

Exit polls are not just polls. They are polls of people who actually showed up to vote, taken just after the voting, and weighted to take into account any preponderance of one group. Exit polls are used to check and verify the validity of elections in countries including Germany and Mexico.

Furthermore, this crucial swing occurred in all the close states: Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Iowa all allegedly had the same “red shift.” Most seemingly shifted more than two points, in other words a swing of 4% or 5%, regardless of the size or region of the state, or whether it went for Bush or Kerry.

A paper titled “The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy” has been published by Dr. Steven F. Freeman, whose Ph.D. in organizational studies came from MIT and who holds professorships at the University of Pennsylvania and at an international MBA program founded by Harvard. According to Professor Freeman, the swing between exit poll and vote tally is an anomaly even if you take just the key battleground states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida. “The likelihood of any two of these statistical anomalies occurring together is on the order of one-in-a-million," he says. "The odds against all three occurring together are 250 million to one.”

Disclaimer: I distrust opinion polls and much other polling. I have long worried that incessant polling can weaken the individual’s reliance on his/her own judgment, can plant suggestions, can intimidate reporters, and can manipulate public acceptance of the unacceptable. Following this election, an opinion poll has already been published suggesting that most people are relieved that the outcome was clear.

All well and good, if it was clear. But the integrity of counting votes is essential to our nation’s survival as a democracy. Obsession about who is ahead before the election, the “horse race” question, is often silly. But after the election, the question of who won is fundamental. No other question is nearly as important.

Exit polls are not just polls. They are polls of people who actually showed up to vote, taken just after the voting, and weighted to take into account any preponderance of one group. Professor Freeman’s paper points out that exit polls are used to check and verify the validity of elections in countries including Germany and Mexico; when exit polls contradicted the claim that Eduard Shevardnadze had won election in the former Soviet country of Georgia, he was forced to resign under pressure from the US among others.

Immediate investigation is most urgent in four states that the swing from exit poll to published vote tally also swung from Kerry to Bush: Ohio, Florida, New Mexico, and Iowa. The many problems already reported from counties and precincts in all four states more than corroborate the suggestion raised by the exit poll tabulation. These four states also add up to 59 electoral votes, more than enough to have tilted the election outcome.

The Electoral College is not the whole story. Questions have arisen that affect the popular vote count even in “safe” states. Stay tuned.


Margie Burns writes freelance in Maryland. She can be reached at margie.burns@verizon.net.



Copyright © 2004 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on November 22, 2004.

 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

05.15 Investors urge fossil fuel firms to shun Trump's Arctic drilling plans

05.15 Almost half of Australian big business moving to renewables

05.14 California, battered by global warming’s weather whiplash, is fighting to stop it

05.13 'The Time for Single-Payer Is Now': Countering Corporate Lies, Doctors Run Ad Providing the Facts About Medicare for All [single-payer facts]

05.12 Analysis: 490,000 Pounds of Toxic Pesticides Sprayed on National Wildlife Refuges [why are non-organic, poisonous chemicals allowed in wildlife refuges?]

05.12 New technology could slash carbon emissions from aluminium production

05.12 Kinder Morgan pipeline: Al Gore joins fight to block 'destructive' project

05.11 Love the Bus, Save Your City

05.11 Costa Rica Will Become World's First Carbon-Free Country by 2021, New President Says

News Media Matters

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

05.15 Exclusive: how rightwing groups wield secret 'toolkit' to plot against US unions

05.13 Michael Bloomberg calls 'epidemic of dishonesty' bigger threat than terrorism

05.12 Ralph Nader to 'Decrepit' Democrats: Stop Scapegoating and Embrace a Bold Agenda

05.11 North Carolina County Changes Immigration Policy by Voting to Oust Its Sheriff

05.11 As Vice President Calls for Mueller to 'Wrap It Up,' Video Mash-up Shows Pence Echo Nixon on Watergate

Justice Matters
High Crimes?

05.14 ‘Slow genocide’: Myanmar’s invisible war on the Kachin Christian minority

Economics, Crony Capitalism

05.15 UM Foundation invests tens of millions in offshore tax havens [Why won't governments criminalize and prosecute major tax fraud anymore?]

05.11 Is Capitalism a Threat to Democracy?

05.09 How artificial intelligence is reshaping jobs in banking [oh my...]

International & Futurism

05.15 The borrowers: why Finland's cities are havens for library lovers

05.15 By ending the Iran deal, Trump has put America on the path to war

05.15 Trump threw a match into Jerusalem with no plan to put out the fire

05.14 Clashes erupt in Gaza as US Embassy in Jerusalem set to open

05.14 Palestinians do not want to negate Israel. We just want a future

05.14 US threatens European companies with sanctions after Iran deal pullout

05.14 Al-Qaida leader calls for jihad on eve of US embassy moving to Jerusalem

05.14 The core Isis manual that twisted Islam to legitimise barbarity

05.13 A broken idea of sex is flourishing. Blame capitalism

05.12 How Costa Rica Gets It Right

05.12 US faces European backlash against Iran sanctions

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web

Public Service Ads: