Saturday, October 30, 2004

LAST WEEKEND OF CAMPAIGNING

OSAMA TRIES TO GET INTO THE ACT

Well it had to happen sooner or later but Osama bin Laden had to stick his nose into the US Election and give his two cents in a video on al-Jazeera. It was bad enough with Michael Moore around.

Predictably and emphatically both George W. Bush and John Kerry denounced Osama and said any sworn enemy of the United States would not be allowed to interfere in the election.

I hope everyone in the United States totally disregards Osama's latest pronouncements. The last thing America needs to do is make political decisions based on views expressed by him. My advice to Americans: don't listen to him.

MISSING MUNITIONS AND STUFF

Other than Osama the week has been dominated by that story of the missing munitions in Iraq that were supposed to have been looted and stolen by people. John Kerry used it as another opportunity to denounce Bush's handling of the war on terror and used the word incompetent to describe the administration.

Boy, I wonder about Kerry. He has run a truly negative campaign, denouncing Bush at every turn while having trouble coming up with his own vision of where the country ought to go. Bush has the opposite problem: he has a vision, but he's been too much of a Mr. Nice Guy. He has gone to great lengths to hold his fire against Kerry. I mean, sure he's attacked Kerry too, but he could have really come out with all guns blazing criticizing him. He should be going out there and scaring the wits out of Americans about what that dangerous liberal Kerry might do to America's standing in the world; instead he just refers to his flip flops. He's been way too polite. The worst criticism Kerry has received has come from Swift Boat Veterans and people like that, but not so much from Bush himself.

CELEBRITIES

Bush is finally rolling out the heavy artillery- in Ohio this week he brought out Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for a big rally there. Meanwhile Kerry brought back Bruce Springsteen for a second event this week, in Florida.

Meanwhile Christopher Reeve had his big funeral this week, which gave all these Hollywood celebrities a chance to prop up Kerry again on the evening news and call for the passage of Prop 71 in California (which calls upon the state government to borrow 3 billion dollars to fund stem cell research).

POLLS AND THE BATTLEGROUND STATES

Polls have the presidential race as either a dead heat or a slim Bush lead. A Newsweek poll has Bush leading by 6 but Zogby just came out with a poll giving the lead to Kerry. And the battleground states continue to provide few clues about who will actually win. Surprisingly, people like Hugh Hewitt and Michelle Malkin seem convinced that Bush is going to clean up on Tuesday because Bush is supposed to be doing surprisingly well in Michigan, New Jersey, and elsewhere. There are stories that Bush could be ahead in Minnesota and even Hawaii! I'm not so sure about that, yet. Both have been Blue states for basically forever. But Bush does have a chance there. Bush is in Minnesota today and blitzing the entire Midwest, trying to pick off a bunch of Blue states Kerry ought to have locked up by now.

Kerry is still going on about Bush's inability to catch Osama. Interestingly he's in Iowa and Wisconsin today- two blue states. A sure sign that Iowa and Wisconsin hold the key to the election- more so, possibly, than Florida or Ohio. Maybe Kerry feels that Ohio is in the bag- it's a curious choice.

As for Florida: Bush is also said to be ahead in Florida according to a few polls- one poll supposedly gives him an eight point lead. I do actually think Bush is going to take Florida.

It's nice to know Hugh Hewitt is convinced Bush is going to win big and that it's all good news, and that Kerry's battery of lawyers will all have to go home after election night. I'm not so confident, though. I'm reading the latest polls at RealClearPolitics and they give 6 out of 9 battleground states to Kerry. Wisconsin now is a slight Kerry lead and Bush is said to be in front only in Iowa, New Mexico and Florida. He's even trailing in Ohio. Bush may also be in tight in Colorado, of all places. By my calculations, based on what these polls are showing, Bush wins- 270 electoral votes to Kerry's 268! Too close for anyone's comfort. America will be plunged into lawsuits for weeks!

These Bush supporters may be totally confident about a big Bush win on Tuesday but I'm not. I want to see the exit polls first.

ELECTION DAY COVERAGE

As you can tell I have redesigned the site links section for Election Day. You'll find the election blogs at the top to keep you posted on what's happening between now and election day, and I've put all the news links in one place for places to go on election night for all the latest results. I will keep looking for more good links to add between now and Tuesday.

I'm also looking around for streaming election night coverage links. For streaming video you really can't beat C-SPAN and WSVN. C-SPAN will have lots of live feeds and will pick up live local news coverage on election night, while WSVN 7 Miami should have plenty of results from the important state of Florida. I'm sure there's more out there: I'll keep you posted.

THE MOST IMPORTANT LINK of Election Day itself will be The Drudge Report. They will likely once again be the first off the mark to let you know what all the exit poll results are from the networks, so you'll know what's happening well before the polls even close. I remember last year during the California recall I knew well before the polls closed that Schwarzenegger had it in the bag, thanks to these exit polls. In 2000, though, you knew it would be close: the exit poll numbers sure looked grim for Bush as I recall, but it wasn't definitive. It looked like it would be a long and tense night. Little did we know.

The other thing is that thanks to all the blogs out there, information is absolutely going to fly at the speed of light about the exit poll results on Tuesday, so if Drudge puts exit poll numbers up, you'll know about it, somewhere. This is DEFINITELY not CANADA we're talking about here, where nobody even bothers to do exit polls and everyone simply waits for the results to come in. In the United States, the exit polls usually tell the tale. Everyone knows basically what is going to happen by the time the polls actually close, and whether or not they will actually have to wait for the votes to actually be counted before they concede. They do things differently down there. Chances are, though, that they will actually need to count the votes.

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