Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Election Thoughts

I spent much of the night last night flipping between different coverages of the election. I'm lucky being on the west coast in that I didn't have to stay up so late to find out that we weren't going to get a concession that night. I only had to stay up until 11:30. I have some observations about the election and the coverage.

  • I watched most of the coverage on CNN. CNN actually surprised me. For the most part you didn't see frustration or bitterness on the part of the reporters as it became clear that Bush was going to win. They seemed to be making a concerted effort to try and do an impartial analysis on the election results. The one glaring exception was when the results of New Jersey came out, how excited they were to point out that even though many people from New Jersey were killed in 9/11 and that their number one priority was terrorism according to the exit polls, they overwhelmingly voted for Kerry. This was just a bit irritating considering there really wasn't much doubt, ever, that New Jersey would go for Kerry. It's a democratic stronghold. So it's hardly indicative of anything that New Jersey went for Kerry. At any rate, kudos to CNN for trying to keep the reporting impartial.

  • I don't really understand how they project states for a candidate. It seems that some states get projected with a mere 1% of the precincts reporting while others have to wait for hours. I understand that if the percentage is close, you can't have a clear winner. Nevertheless, they seemed to sit on Florida without calling it even though nearly all of the precincts had reported and there was a 5 point spread. Ohio is another one. The spread was a lot closer but it was clear that the margin was increasing and not decreasing and there just weren't many votes left to count. CNN didn't project Ohio until late in the morning today.

  • I was impressed that the President decided to wait for Kerry to concede before he claimed victory. Kerry made it apparent that they wouldn't concede until the provisional ballots were counted in 11 days regardless of how unlikely it could make a big enough difference to swing the state in his favor. Bush could have went out and claimed victory causing a lot of contention but, like the class act he is, decided to just sit tight and wait for the concession confident in his win.

  • Kerry impressed me that he didn't make the country wait for 11 days before conceding. It took him longer to concede than I think was logical, but I'm very glad he finally did it this morning. He could have drawn this out and it would have been within his right, but he decided to reunite instead of divide and that's commendable.

  • Yet again, we showed the world that the United States of America can handle the democracy that we made fashionable throughout the world. UN election monitors were not needed. We showed the Jimmy Carters out there that we can handle ourselves and manage even a close election in a civilized manner.

    I'm obviously very happy with the results of this election. Republicans increased their seats in both of the house and the Senate and retained the presidency. President Bush is the first president since 1988 to get a majority of the popular vote, receiving more popular votes than any other president in history, and the first president that won purely by Electoral Votes in a first election to win a second term. The biggest surprise of this election was the key issue on American's minds. It wasn't the war on terror. It wasn't Iraq. It wasn't the economy. It was values. Americans are still a values-oriented people and it's good to see that it's important to our people as a whole.