Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Salon.com News | Florida, again

Florida, again
The 2004 presidential race could turn on the Sunshine State, just as it did in 2000. And the early evidence suggests Bush is in big trouble.

By Tim Grieve
March 9, 2004 | PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -- Five hundred and thirty-seven votes.

Assume for a moment that all the votes were counted in Florida four years ago. Assume that the punch-card voting machines never malfunctioned. Assume that a badly designed butterfly ballot didn't cause thousands of Democrats to vote for Pat Buchanan by mistake. Assume that a highway patrol roadblock didn't scare off black voters, and that all of the black voters who made it to their polling places actually got to vote.

Assume that Katherine Harris and the Supreme Court Five and all of those angry white men with the "Sore-Loserman" bumper stickers were actually right about stopping the recount.

Assume all of that -- give the Republicans the benefit of every conceivable doubt -- and it still comes down to this: In an election in which 5.9 million Floridians went to the polls, the official margin of victory -- the one Katherine Harris certified, the one you'll find in the history books, the one that put George Bush and Dick Cheney in the White House, the one that wrought massive tax cuts, huge budget deficits, a war on Iraq, a slew of extremist judges, an attorney general named John Ashcroft, and a culture war over gay marriage -- that margin of victory was 537 votes.

"If you throw out enough votes, you can call it a nail-biter," says U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Fla., who led a major African-American voter turnout effort in 2000 and is pushing hard for Sen. John Kerry this time around. "But if George W. Bush keeps being George W. Bush, I'm not expecting it to be a nail-biter this time around."

Condt ..............................

Not exactly a pure BBV story but it's close enuff


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