A bit confused

I don’t understand why Kerry admitted “defeat” so early? Was the counting completed?
I mean, in my mind, there was still a chance for recounts and a more finalized number without having to stir up a big legal mess…

I’m not going to pretend I follow this very closely, but some sort of explanation of why he “gave up” so early would be great. I’m not saying he SHOULD have stirred up legal problems, but wasn’t Ohio still coming in? And was FLA results final?

Oh, well. I guess Bush can’t do much worse of a job than he’s already done, I just hope that he just gets his act together.

The spread in Ohio was 135,000 +/-. There are estimated to be 175,000 provisional ballots plus a much smaller number of overseas ballots. Many provisional ballots will be disqualified for legitimate reasons and it is a near impossibility for Kerry to make up the gap.

Early reports of possible fraud and shenanignas did not pan out either, while their were legitimate problems and discrepancies in 2000. There was simply not enough basis for any legal dispute, much less enough to make a substantial difference.

Add to that the national popular vote. Had it been closer, maybe Kerry and Co. could have justified trying to pry a legal victory out of the process. Given that the gap is in the millions, along with the realities in the Ohio numbers game and the sense that New Mexico was going to Bush, I guess they had to face the music.

Had the popular vote been close–I mean 2000 close–they might have drawn it out. That is simply not the case this time.


The margin in Florida is such that it is out of consideration.

Kerry’s chances in Ohio hinge on a statistically improbable (if not actually impossible, I’m not sure what the final numbers are) distribution of the provisional ballots, and what’s more, require that virtually all provisional ballots be accepted as valid. This is unlikely in the extreme, and even if possible, would result in a bruising court battle in which Kerry could only prevail with the acquiescence of the Supreme Court, and that in the face of a popular-vote count that is clearly in Bush’s favor.

Given this confluence of factors, Kerry really had no choice but to give up. Continuing the struggle would only have further poisoned the political atmosphere with no real possibility of success.

Because he was defeated so early.

Right now the OH SoS’s site has:

Bush: 2,783,655
Kerry: 2,653,005
Misc: 25,924

With 150,000 ballots to be counted, Kerry needs 94% of those votes to overtake Bush. But, according to some reports I’ve heard, there’s as many as 400,000 ballots yet to be counted, of which Kerry would need “only” 67% of those to overtake him. Unless those ballots are coming out of downtown Cleveland or a Kerry/Edwards van, such percentages are unlikely. Even at a healthy 60% break for Kerry and 400k votes, he’d still fall short by 50k in the overall total.

That’s why he conceeded. It’s not mathmatically impossible, but it’s like the Cubs in June, yeah they’re in it, but not really.

I have a related question about the mechanics of a presidential race concession. If it turns out that Kerry did in fact win, but he has already conceded, is he the president or does his concession officially bow him out of the race?

BTW… I’m not seriously proposing that Kerry actually did win. I’m just curious if the concession is purely a formality, or if it has some sort of binding ramifications.

from my memory of the constitution you just need the 270 electoral votes.

but you do get made fun.

It’s a formality, it doesn’t mean anything to the Constitutional process. If the actual results of, say, Ohio, turned out to favor Kerry once every last vote was counted, then it would be Kerry’s Ohio electors that get together with the electors from all the other states, and in that case there would be enough Kerry votes among the 538, and the name that would come out of that election would be John Kerry, and they’d go knock on his door and give him a nice surprise.

This would also happen if some electors decided between now and the EC vote that they really couldn’t support Bush and cast their votes for his opponent, even though their state had chosen them specifically to vote for Bush. But between the fact that elector candidates are chosen because they’re strong partisans, and the fact that everybody would know within hours who was the ungrateful bastard who had the audacity to think for himself and deny the will of the American people (or at least of his/her state), that’s not likely to happen.

Concession speeches basically exist as a way of showing that both sides agree on what the reality of the situation is.

One thing about a bunch of electors just going nuts and voting for the opposite guy or something, is that it would probably lead to a swift abolition of the electoral college.

That would put a nice, ironic finish on the election, however, allowing many European countries to continue to get a good chuckle out of our presidential and political system yet again. If this were all a badly penned novel, I believe I’d be expecting just that from one of the more libertarian leaning states about now.

On a side note, does anyone know if the CO prop. that would have ended up with electoral votes getting split got passed? I assume since it looked as if it would only benefit Kerry this election, and he didn’t pull the state, that it got shot down as well.

It did not pass.