Congratulations Mr. Obama! An Election Review

Congratulations and Best Wishes are in order for Senator Barack Obama, of Illinois, for winning the 2008 Presidential Election.

I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s parade, but It should be remembered that this victory is only what the media is calling.  There are still votes to be counted and recounted, not to mention having to wait until the first part of December for the Electoral College to meet to officially give their votes, before the end results are official.  The outcome most likely will not change, but the numbers will change.  Keeping this in mind, let’s move on.

Election Results

I have 2 images to show here, the first one is from CNN:

cnnresults2The total number of votes equals 119,094,280 Votes, with 98% of the Votes cast being for McCain or Obama and 512 Electoral Votes.  A few seconds later I pulled this from Fox:

foxresults1

Notice that the Fox figures from the election are date stamped about 5 hours earlier than the CNN information.  Fox tallies show that 116,044,943 votes were counted, with 99% of the votes cast being for McCain and Obama and no electoral votes shown on this chart.

Now, according to an article on the Washington Post, they said that over 188 people were registered for this election and this was 4/5ths of all those 18 or older in America.  This calculates out to approximately 235 Million people of voting age.  Next, when you do a net search, you can find where the Voter Turn Out is not based on the number of registered users, but rather the number of those who are estimated to be eligible (i.e. voting age).  This means that the voter turn out for this year’s election was 50.68% so far.  When you look at the other figures, you can see where the uncounted votes may only tally to a couple million people at the most.  My question is “Where were the missing 65 to 70 Million voters?”  I will talk more of this later.

Election Results Quirks

One of the things which I found ‘amazing’ was when I went to the NPR site and checked the electoral map on that site, I was checking the stats and found the following oddity… take a good look and see if you see what I see:

michigan

Did you see it?  The map proudly states that Michigan had 102% Precincts Reporting.  Now riddle me this: How does any state have 102% precincts reporting?  There can only be 100% or less.  A search on the net about this reveals that on February 5th, 2008 that CSPAN showed that Delaware had 102% of their precincts reporting, but was later changed to 100%.  This seems like more than a mere typo, perhaps it’s more of a problem with the program running these Election Maps making an error.

The Election and the Media Reporting

As I watched the Election Results last night I noticed a few things which should outrage the viewers. The media is the only real place for us to get our news and information and they should report that information in a fair and equal manner.  However on 4 separate networks I’ve noticed that the talking heads and anchors did not properly call the election.  I admit that in most, if not call cases, it didn’t matter a great deal… but it is still a matter of principle.  Today I talked to over a dozen people from around the US and they told me they noted the same, exact things… and not all of these people were Obama or McCain supporters who may have had an agenda.

The problem was that the media was too quick to call states for Obama when they were sluggish as hell in calling states for McCain.  The biggest mistake was with-in minutes after the polls in Washington, California, Oregon and Hawaii closed… the states were called for Obama when no votes were in and no precincts reported in.  Many of the people I talked to had no doubt that Obama would win in those states in a big way – but it was the principle of the thing.  What if the votes reached 70% and it was found that the McCain Supporters turned out in force and the Obama Voters decided their vote was not needed, so they stayed home?   The unthinkable could have happened and McCain could have won 1 or more of those states.  It may be a highly improbable scenario, but it is far from impossible.  What would have resulted is that many Obama supporters across the state and nation would have naturally figured that some dirty trick was played because when they went to bed – the news told them Obama won.  The media should have waited.

Similarly there were many states called way too early and/or some called too late.  Arizona, for example, was McCain’s home state and he was 3% or ahead in the polls.  The entire night the count showed McCain with a commanding lead — but the media did not use the same decision making process by calling Arizona early (as they did for Obama).  There was obviously a favoritism played by the media and it could have proved to be disasterous.

On another note Indiana was a state that was a battleground state, but many polls and experts expected McCain to win.  If the media would have called Indiana early, using the same techniques as they did for Obama in many cases, the media would have been shown as wrong.  It appears that Obama took Indiana in the end.  Yet another — Virginia.  McCain controlled Virginia for the longest of times — if one used the same criteria and called that for McCain, they would end up with egg on their faces.

Synopsis

The first point is that “We, the people”, despite our party allegiances and personal agendas, should make it well known to the media that we demand a fair and accurate reporting of the facts and quite working from agendas or trying to impress us over ‘How smart or Important they are!”.  Perhaps the media should make it a practice that no state is called during an election until a minimum of 50% of the precincts report in and they only call the state for a candidate when there is no way the opponent can win. We deserve that much from a group of people who holds themselves up constantly as ‘those in the know” and defenders of our rights to know.   If we want biased reporting then we can listen to Rush Limbaugh or Michael Moore.

As far as the number of Voters are concerned, I asked “Where were the 65 or 70 million missing voters?”   I feel voting is a right and it’s a personal choice as to whether someone votes or not.  This is America, afterall, not England or Australia or the old Soviet Union.  On the other hand I feel that if a person doesn’t vote then they have no right to complain  They had their chance to voice their opinion via the ballot box and passed on it for some reason.  I am not including those with legitimate excuses, I am only talking of those who could have voted but didn’t — whether they were registered or not.

It appears that the big push to get people registered was a massive failure.  These groups did manage to get record numbers of people registered — but what good were they if they didn’t turn out and vote?

The politicians may say they want everyone to register, but they mostly want to see those registering turning up at the polls or sending their ballots in.  They see these numbers and count on most of those registered voting.  It isn’t very fair to run out and register because ‘It’s the thing to do” and then stay at home watching Judge Judy when you ought to be out voting. 65 to 70 Million people would have been enough to even put a third party candidate into office, if enough of them voted for the same person. I won’t even talk about the 40 to 50 million who were eligible to vote but didn’t even register.  I will say, however, that if 40 million people were eligible to vote and didn’t register and then another 60 million refused to vote because they didn’t like either candidate — that is 100 Million people and a force to be reckoned with.

So in summary, I think the election went well over all.  It seemed that there were no major glitches and even the polls seemed to be close enough to make the predictions for the election easy.  There were some problems, but not anything worth casting a bad light on the election over.  So I guess that it’s time to thank Mr. McCain for fighting the good fight and hanging in there, then being the gentleman he is by not trying to make this election drag on longer than necessary.  It’s also time to congratulate Mr. Obama and thank him for a good race.

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