Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Kerry Has the Votes to Win. The Trick Will Be Getting Them Cast and Counted 

If there is any way in hell you can volunteer to work at a polling place next Tuesday, please do it. Josh Marshall links to a poll of battleground states conducted by the Republican firm of Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates. The numbers are dead even, with Bush at 47.3% and Kerry at 47.1%. But . . . .
[A]s the data below illustrates, when the data is weighted to reflect minority turnout based on the 2000 exit polls, Sen. Kerry leads by 3.5%, and if minority turnout is weighted to census levels Sen. Kerry's lead expands to 5.2%.
Which explains why the Republican party will do anything -- yes, Mr. Gittes, anything -- to suppress minority turnout.

Recommended links: Robert Parry explains why the real "October Surprise" will be taking place in November and won't be a surprise. Prometheus 6 explains why he's not interested in Republican accusations of Democratic voter frad. Eminem, of course, doesn't have to explain.

SIDEBAR: Fancy that. 58,000 absentee ballots have mysteriously disappeared in Florida.

UPDATE (via our revered colleague Avedon Carol): Harold Myerson has a good, tough overview of GOP spike-the-vote efforts in today's WaPo, cleverly hidden on page A25:
With Election Day almost upon us, it's not clear whether President Bush is running a campaign or plotting a coup d'etat. By all accounts, Republicans are spending these last precious days devoting nearly as much energy to suppressing the Democratic vote as they are to mobilizing their own.

Time was when Republicans were at least embarrassed by their efforts to keep African Americans from the polls. Republican consultant Ed Rollins was all but drummed out of the profession after his efforts to pay black ministers to keep their congregants from voting in a 1993 New Jersey election came to light.

For George W. Bush, Karl Rove and their legion of genteel thugs, however, universal suffrage is just one more musty liberal ideal that threatens conservative rule. Today's Republicans have elevated vote suppression from a dirty secret to a public norm.

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