Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Ohio...

It all comes down to this.

Ohio and it's 20 electoral votes. Edwards gave a good speech this morning. Perfect tone--making sure not to act like a loser until all the votes are counted. They still have a shot, if a long one. It depends on how many provisional ballots were cast. And it depends on whether or not most of the ballots were cast because Republicans challenged voters. I would bet if most of the provisional votes were cast under those circumstances, they would go heavily to Kerry--after all, it was a Republican who was trying to disencranchise you.

For all those calling on Kerry to give in tonight--to pull a Nixon, I have two points. First, would anyone expect Bush to pull out under the same circumstances? This doesn't justify anything, but makes it seem more reasonable to those who might instinctively want Bush to win.

Second, there is a fine line Kerry-Edwards will have to walk. They have to try, as best as possible, to get every vote counted, and stick to that. They need to keep talking about democracy at work. And that's what this should be about. Very easily, they could begin to look and act like they were trying to do anything to win. This is the second thing that killed Gore in 2000. (The first being the pre-concession concession.) Kerry needs to get the votes counted, argue for it all based on principle, and not his own interest. He needs to make sure everyone knows this is what he is doing. The first thing many Bush supporters will say is this: "Kerry should concede for the good of the country--we are at war!" This is precisely why Kerry needs to stick to counting votes. It's why we have elections. The stakes on who wins and loses are high. But in the end, we all submit ourselves to our democratic system. We are a nation of laws. We stick to them, even in war, for the good of our country.

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