I got a kick out of watching how Ohio was called. Fox News was the slowest to call nearly every state… until Fox broke in first declaring Ohio for Bush. About 10-15 minutes later it seemed, NBC jumped on board. Then the real fun began. On CBS, Dan Rath
er was explaining how John Kerry could not win without Michigan AND Ohio. I continued to watch as he tried to think up ways that Kerry could still pull this out, but CBS, which was the first to declare a majority of the states for Bush, was stalling on reporting Ohio. Multiple times, while flipping through the channels I heard Rath
er explain how CBS would not rush to judge Ohio (as presumably the other networks had). CBS which was calling out states for Bush in advance of Fox News all night was refusing to give in, as was ABC news. This was the first indication that Kerry was going to challenge Ohio. The Kerry campaign and Dan Rath
er have been working in concert from day one.
I also found it interesting that Rath
er was reporting, first I believe, that not all of Ohio had been counted... Rath
er was the first to say that 250,000 votes were uncounted, a number then carried on all networks as the number the Kerry Campaign, specifically Mary Beth Cahill, was claiming were cast as provisional. This number was later refuted by the Ohio Secretary of State, Ken Blackwell (who is doing a great job, btw), who said that the number being thrown around, 250,000, was a not accurate and that all indicators were that a much smaller number, more towards 130,000-170,000 were cast provisionally. This still outnumbers the roughly 120,000 vote lead Bush currently has; however, only 90% of the provisional ballots in the last election ended up being legitimate, meaning that something like 127,000-153,000 if 90% remain good in this election - but with as much voter fraud as Ohio has seen, it could be much less.
Of the 130-150 thousand projected provisional ballots, at least 120,000 would have to be for Kerry to get things evened up. This means between 80-92% of the provisional ballots will have to have been for Kerry. I am sorry, but that is entirely unpractical. The Secretary of State for Ohio said that the provisional ballots tend to split pretty evenly.
Back to what I was saying about Rath
er... in his effort to explain the importance of Ohio to the audience, he made the mistake of pointing out that Kerry absolutely could not win without Ohio. Minutes later when it was being predicted that Ohio would go to Bush, Rath
er absolutely could not call Ohio for Bush without admitting defeat for Kerry and subsequently calling into question any moves by the Kerry camp to challenge the Ohio vote... instead of Kerry trying to overturn the will of the people, Rath
er can spin this as making sure every vote is counted, something that is much harder to do if Rath
er says Kerry must win Ohio, and that Kerry did not win Ohio.
I wholly expect to hear audio clips of Rather explaining why they refused to give up on Ohio from the like of Limbaugh, Hannity, et al. I expect it will be rath