Democrats lose ohio special election

…by about 4000 votes in the 57th most republican district in america and where bush got 72% vs 28% for kerry.

looks to be about -
51% schmidt(r)
48% hackett(d)

if he had won, hackett would have been the first veteran of iraqi freedom to serve in congress.

an interesting race. the national gop promised to “bury him” and dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into the race after former marine hackett called bush a son of a bitch but that he would lay his life on the line for him. the democrats were down 30% at the beginning.

the cook political report on the election reads:

If Schmidt’s victory margin is in double digits, this tells us that there is not much of an anti-GOP wind in Ohio right now. If the margin is say six to nine points for Schmidt, then there is a wind, but certainly no hurricane. A Schmidt win of less than five points should be a very serious warning sign for Ohio Republicans that something is very, very wrong, while a Hackett victory would be a devastating blow to the Ohio GOP.

schmidt’s campaign seemed to be pretty obnoxious. first they questioned hackett’s service, trying to say he was enver in combat during his tour in iraq (turns out he was. whoopsies). then they tried to claim he wouldn’t be the first iraqi freedom vet in congress. (wrong again. whoopsies)

and fun fact: turns out her campaign manager used his home aol account to take campaign emails AND (allegedly) used it in some online profiles at some s&m sites.

as a single special case election, democrat volunteers were able to concentrate their efforts. money, time, blog message spreading, and volunteer calls. on the other hand, the republicans were at the top of their game in the ‘smear the war vet’ department.

have we turned a corner? or are the democrats d0000med as mentioned numerous times before?

http://www.swingstateproject.com/ is the main place to look for the ohio democrats viewpoint.

Bellweather? How about the the end of the DLC and their failed strategy, and the beginning of the complete breakdown of Republican thuggery in the face of their total failure to govern.

this is absurd. taking a 75/25 district and turning it into a 50/50 district is huge. freaking huge. considering how partisan our politics have become and how frequently people kneejerk into their vote, even a 60/40 loss in this district would have been a big deal. it is damn tough to to get people past the liberal/conservative labels and convince them to vote for a political party that they don’t normally associate with. if this really is a forecast for 2006 and 2008, republicans are in big trouble. here’s hoping.

this is absurd. taking a 75/25 district and turning it into a 50/50 district is huge. freaking huge. considering how partisan our politics have become and how frequently people kneejerk into their vote, even a 60/40 loss in this district would have been a big deal. it is damn tough to to get people past the liberal/conservative labels and convince them to vote for a political party that they don’t normally associate with. if this really is a forecast for 2006 and 2008, republicans are in big trouble. here’s hoping.[/quote]

Keep in mind that Hackett isn’t exactly a Democratic poster boy. He’s pro-gun, which alone inspires an instant backlash with the left wing of the party. But he’s EXACTLY the kind of candidate the party needs. He isn’t a professional politican (this was his very first election), he’s a combat veteran who actually VOLUNTEERED for Iraq (and he said he’ll probably go back if he didn’t win), and he comes off as a dutiful guy.

But yeah, the GOP shouldn’t be gloating. They almost lost what is normally a sure thing in an extremely safe district. People are very unhappy with things, including Republicans. And Shrub’s poll ratings is down to 44-percent, an all time low.

Yeah, but, uhm they won, right? It’s not like when you win by a small margin that you get only a fraction of a vote in congress. The GOP is winning by small margins but their control of the 3 branches of government gets tighter and tighter.

I don’t think the democrats should be happy tonight. This simply continues the Democratic tradition of losing.

Atlantic Monthly got it right: the Democrats can’t win and the Republicians can’t govern.

Yeah, but, uhm they won, right? It’s not like when you win by a small margin that you get only a fraction of a vote in congress. The GOP is winning by small margins but their control of the 3 branches of government gets tighter and tighter.[/quote]

No, but it is kinda like a rookie almost beating Michael Jordan in a one on one game of basketball. Very much like it, actually.

Tells you Jordan’s days of dominance might be coming to an end.

And this guy isn’t just “some” democrat. As mentioned he’s a vet, he may well go back to Iraq but most importantly, IMHO, he’s a guy who called Bush a “son of a bitch” and stood proudly by his comments when the press tried to make him recant.

Sure, I’ll take a pro-gun candidate if I have to so long as he’s got the balls to call bullshit on the bullshitters. The beauty part is that all those Republicans went over and voted for him against the party line candidate. The party line candidate, I might add, who had huge, gobbing, piles of money thrown at her by the national organization and various other groups. Did Hackett have anything like that kind of funding? I don’t know but the storyline seems to be he didn’t. The party thought he didn’t have much of a chance and wrote him off.

Imagine if they had the fortitude to go for it there. In 2006 we shouldn’t assume any district is safe for Republicans and we should nominate all the ballsiest candidates we can to run. If they’re vets, that’s great, or pro-gun, that’s something I can live with. An honest debate with an honest broker about an issue we disagree on is one thing. But the current powers that be are so corrupt and manipulative we need to clear the decks completely and not be afraid of speaking our minds as we go about it. Just lay it out and let the people decide. Maybe they won’t go the way we want but, fuck knows, that acting meek’s never gotten us anywhere before.

Screw the DLC.

Actually, I think that he’s become exactly that.

http://billmon.org/archives/002073.html

A series of strange events:

hat being the case, it’s not a big surprise Schmidt did well there, carrying the county with 58% of the two-party vote – less than what a GOP candidate can usually expect, but enough to give her nearly a 5,000 vote margin in Clermont, and thus the election.

At about 9:00 PM ET last night, however, things didn’t look nearly as good for Ms. Schmidt. In fact, her name looked more like Schmud. With 88% of the district’s precincts reporting, including more than half of Clermont’s, the count was almost evenly split – with Schmidt holding a lead of less than 900 votes.

At that point, though, the Clermont election bureau experienced a “technical malfunction” with its optical scan readers:

The Board of Elections in Clermont County, east of Cincinnati, says it's optical scanners haven't counted all the ballots yet because it was so hot -- and humid -- Tuesday.

Board member Tim Rudd says the ballots pick up moisture when it gets hot, making it tougher for the optical scan machines to sort and count.

According to some reports I’ve seen – but haven’t been able to confirm – at least part of the count in Clermont’s final 91 precincts ended up being done by hand.

In any case, when the humidity had cleared, so to speak, Schmidt had picked up another 9,451 votes, compared to just 6,300 or so for Hackett – an edge which, interestingly enough, almost equaled her winning margin for the district as a whole.

Very convenient, no? Or, as one local reporter put it:

Schmidt led by less than 1 percent with 88 percent of the precincts in. But she must have felt secure in knowing that the only uncounted precincts were in Clermont County, her home.

Indeed. But was there anything, well, Floridian, about this particular source of comfort? Beats me. Hackett apparently doesn’t think so. He conceded before midnight. But some others who watched the count much more closely than I did found it all a bit odd:

Out if 91 precincts [in Clermont], about 12% of the [district] total, the margin went from 0.89% to 3.49%. In other words it almost quadrupled . .

I was projecting that, extrapolating from the first 100 precincts, the last 91 would have about 10,000 votes. In fact, the final tally has them giving out 50% more than that...over 15,000 votes.

Also, while Schmidt's margin in the first 100 [precincts] was about 56% to 44%, the margin is much, much wider in the last 91 -- 60% to 40%.

Also, this puts the overall total well out of range of any recount margin.

Of course, none of this proves, or even makes a circumstantial case, that yesterday’s election was stolen. Maybe the inhabitants of Clerrmont County really are just unusually witless in their devotion to the GOP cause. I live in a Republican machine county myself, so I know how that goes.

But it’s still rather remarkable how often the lightning seems to strike in Clermont – and at the just the right time, producing just the right amount of votes for an otherwise endangered GOP candidate. Like I said, I’d feel a lot better about it if the party stalwarts who run the county’s elections were describing the inner workings of the system to a grand jury – under oath.

At a minimum, it would be nice if the Hackett campaign would explain the basis for its conclusion that yesterday’s humidity-related “malfunction” was just that – instead of another demonstration of what Hackett on the campaign trail liked to call the Ohio GOP’s “culture of corruption.” Maybe the Democrats had election observers at everybody’s elbow during the Clermont count. If so, I’d like to know. Even if I did only give the guy $50, there’s still no harm in asking.

Nor is there any reason to be defensive about raising the question. After Florida 2000, Ohio 2004, and everything that’s come light since then about the Rovian death grip on power, it doesn’t seem too tinfoilish to wonder whether the GOP’s approach to close elections in Ohio isn’t the same as the party’s approach to close votes on the House floor – in which the count is held open until the leadership gets the result it wanted.

he raised a lot through grassroots and online. but that was individual donations, as opposed to the national gop hq cash. that is offset by the fact cash came in from all over the country for this one special election.

Oh good fucking christ. :roll:

Oh good fucking christ. :roll:[/quote]

Yeah, seriously. I’ll go along with distancing from the DLC wing of the party, if the rest of the Lefties will agree to stop calling shenanigans every time they lose a fucking election.

It gets old fast, and costs votes down the line. Makes the whole party look like a bunch of fuckwitted conspiracy freaks, and plays to that paranoid stereotype.

I’d be willing to put it to rest if the Republicans weren’t so resistant to every idea that might actually fix the problem.

The problem there is that honest people can honestly disagree as to what is the best fix for the problem. Some like optical scan, others like touch screens, and there’s also permutations within each type which have varying levels of support. Then there’s some industry inertia at work too, apparently touch screen machines with paper receipts seem to not be readily available.

While I haven’t been following the debate as closely as I should have, my understanding is that a solution has also been hampered by tying ballot technology reform to other, more contentious, issues, such as voter registration reforms.

schmidt’s campaign seemed to be pretty obnoxious. first they questioned hackett’s service, trying to say he was enver in combat during his tour in iraq (turns out he was. whoopsies). then they tried to claim he wouldn’t be the first iraqi freedom vet in congress. (wrong again. whoopsies)

and fun fact: turns out her campaign manager used his home aol account to take campaign emails AND (allegedly) used it in some online profiles at some s&m sites.

Fucking priceless.

The problem there is that honest people can honestly disagree as to what is the best fix for the problem. Some like optical scan, others like touch screens, and there’s also permutations within each type which have varying levels of support. Then there’s some industry inertia at work too, apparently touch screen machines with paper receipts seem to not be readily available.

While I haven’t been following the debate as closely as I should have, my understanding is that a solution has also been hampered by tying ballot technology reform to other, more contentious, issues, such as voter registration reforms.[/quote]

It’s simple. SOMETHING THAT CAN BE RECOUNTED BY HAND.

Industry inertia is possibly the most bullshit excuse for undercutting democracy that I’ve ever heard.

Duh.

And, of course partisans can partisanly disagree so as to try to make people who disagree with them look bad.

Never mind that the ballots that had problems in the Schmidt-Hackett race, the same ones that people over on democraticunderground.com are claiming prove the race was rigged, were optical scan (i.e. recountable be hand).

Since you added this while I was posting, let me just add that I totally agree. If everyone agrees to go to some sort of electronic voting system, there has to be a verifiable paper trail, regardless of what the voting machine manufacturers want.

Don’t you find a system crash followed by a big pile of votes for Schmidt, just at the right time, a little mysterious?

I admit I wasn’t there, but the explaination I’ve read indicates it wasn’t a “system crash” it was a mechanical malfunction of the optical scan reader.

BTW - I don’t understand this “just at the right time” stuff. The vote totals are finished, but unknown, the moment the polls close. It’s not like the malfunction caused Hackett’s voters to trip on their way to casting their vote. It just happened right before a solidly Schmidt area was counted.

LOL. He’s like Rove meets Gannon.