Election News, 2 Days Out

Jeff Alworth

Actual news is hard to come by as both campaigns go into their last dizzying get-out-the-vote efforts. Sorta news, speculation, and spin are more easily found. Here at BlueOregon HQ, we report it all.

Go Pack
I root for the Green Bay Packers every week (thanks to a grad school legacy in America's Dairland), but here's a good reason you should care if they win tonight (in that sorta-news kind of way):

Ever since 1936, the year before the team moved to Washington, the last home game before the election has predicted the winner. If the Redskins win, so does the incumbent party in the White House; if not, not. This rule has held good for 17 straight elections.

And? Good news--the Pack won 28-14 earlier today.

GOP Initials
If you like riddles, ponder this: why are there initials next to the party-affiliation box on registration cards submitted by GOP canvassers?

One aspect of the Republican registration drive has continued to baffle state and local elections officials -- the widespread placement of voters' initials next to the party affiliation box on the cards. The initials were not required and served no purpose, officials said....

This has raised the possibility that canvassers or others checked the Republican box themselves -- and in some cases crossed out different party affiliations -- after persuading the prospective new voter to initial the form.

But Martens said the initialing and changes in party affiliation were not grounds to invalidate the registrations. "There's no way for us to tell if it's an alteration by another person or a registrant changing his mind," she said.

Normally, one wouldn't be particularly suspicious about this, but from the misdeeds of Sproul and Associates to GOP canvassers registering students under false pretences, you have to wonder.

Anti-SAIF Head Admits Corruption
Okay, this is actual news. It's also one of the arguments for voting late. Chuck Sides, the president of Oregonians for Sound Economic Policy, has resigned after admitting he cooked his tax returns.

In the past year, Oregonians for Sound Economic Policy has been behind a series of revelations about SAIF, which sells most of the state's workers' compensation insurance. The group uncovered documents that showed SAIF paid former Gov. Neil Goldschmidt nearly $1 million over several years.

Sides provided The Oregonian with copies of what he said were the group's federal tax returns. Those documents showed the group had paid more than $500,000 to unspecified individuals or companies for consulting.

The Oregonian obtained separate copies of the returns directly from the IRS. Unlike the returns that had been altered to hide the payments, they showed that in three years, 1999, 2000 and 2001, the group paid $270,922 in consulting fees to "MGO."

Horse Racing Down the Stretch
Whatever effect the Osama bin Laden video is having on the election is not visible in the polls. Electoral-vote.com notes:

Today we have more state polls than there are states. There are 54 new polls in 22 states today. Furthermore, the lead has changed in five states, and all five changes favor Kerry. As a result, Kerry has now passed Bush in the electoral college.

Zogbythe Post, and Fox all show a tie. Rasmussen has Bush with a lead, but it's about a point--roughly the same it's been the last ten days.

It's up to the voters, now.

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    Zogby "mobile voters" poll:


  • hilsy (unverified)

    I've been thinking about the whole story regarding students being incorrectly, or even falsely, registered as republicans. As long they have been registered properly so that they can vote i have absolutely no problem with it. In fact, I think it is quite hilarious if those students were properly registered as republicans and the republican party paid those canvassers per registrant because that does not preclude said registered student from legally voting for John Kerry. Bush doesn't get a vote and his party pays for registering the person who voted against him.

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    Hilsy, you're right as far as voting for Kerry goes. There's three more issues: 1. Lots of folks (the campaigns, pollsters, etc.) use that registration data to do their work. Having bad data screws things up. 2. They'll get a Republican ballot in the next primary election. It's not likely that they'll even know this happened to them until May 2006. 3. It's still illegal, plain and simple.

  • hilsy (unverified)

    Kari, I do agree with the long term problems you present. But in the short term for this very important genreal election, the thought of all those students completely screwing with the republican party in both votes and finances makes me grin.

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    Thursday night on John Stewart - admittedly before the Osama Bin Laden video - Zogby said he's predicting Kerry to win.

    And, because the Tin Man is up by 10 in his poll ( see http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?041018fa_fact5 )I think Kerry by a landslide.

    That said, I just finished making calls to Hawaii for the Carry Oregon campaign.

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    Hilsy, another major problem is that get-out-the-vote workers won't know that these students are Dems. By registering them GOP, Republicans have effectively hid a group of the most important swing voters--and one of the flakiest--from donkey eyes. That's tantamount to fraud to me.

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