Friday, November 21, 2008

How Is This Happening?

From "The Patriot Post" and worth spreading:

When the pundits signed off on Election Night knowing that Barack Obama had won the White House, there were still four Senate races up in the air. Oregon's Gordon Smith later lost to Democrat challenger Jeff Merkley and Georgia's Saxby Chambliss faces a 2 December runoff against Democrat challenger Jim Martin. On election night in Minnesota, incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman led purported comedian Al Franken by only a few hundred votes. In Alaska, convicted felon Ted Stevens still held a lead of about 3,000 votes over Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich.

Oddly enough, Republican leads tended to vanish during post-election counting. When Alaska counted 60,000 of the 95,000 early voting, absentee and disputed ballots left after Election Day, Stevens' advantage disappeared, and Begich won by nearly 4,000 votes. The 85-year-old Stevens' 40-year Senate career is now over, though it would have been better for Republicans to run him out of town on a rail. He would then have been replaced by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

More mysterious, though, is the situation in Minnesota, where a recount is under way. Franken has steadily cut into Coleman's lead through oddities such as finding absentee ballots in the trunk of a car and "miscommunication" from election officials in two liberal strongholds which added more than 350 votes to Franken's count. Interestingly, the additional vote total for Franken from these sorts of "errors" is larger than the sum total of mistakes in all the other congressional and state legislative races combined, and the two Senate race miscommunications were the only ones from the local electoral boards in question -- all the other races were unchanged. Indeed, it's most curious that nearly every mistake has favored Franken.

Franken's recount strategists are also calling on the state to do a complete recount and to re-evaluate ballots initially thrown out, including the assumption that any disputed vote for Obama would naturally indicate a Franken vote, despite the fact that Al trailed Barack statewide by double-digits. The question becomes whether Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie (a Democrat and ACORN supporter) can prove his counting is honest.

If Coleman loses, the only obstacle remaining for a filibuster-proof 60-seat Democrat majority in the Senate is Saxby Chambliss. Democrats meanwhile ensured that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) stayed on the reservation by striking a bargain leaving him as chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee as well as head of the Armed Services subcommittee in exchange for sworn loyalty.

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