pageok
pageok
pageok
More on RFK Jr. & Election 2004:

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. defends his Rolling Stone article, and Salon's Farhad Manjoo responds here. Also Salon's Joan Walsh answers those who've criticized the magazine for publishing Manjoo's article in the first place.

Meanwhile, Democratic pollster Mark Blumenthal dissects Kennedy's reliance upon exit poll data here, and finds it wanting.

While it covers many topics involving alleged suppression and fraud in Ohio, the article disappoints in its discussion of the exit poll controversy, because on that aspect of the controversy Kennedy manages to dredge up nearly every long-ago discredited distortion or half-truth on this subject without any acknowledgement of contrary arguments or the weaknesses in his argument. It is as if the exit poll debate of the last eighteen months never happened.
Blumenthal promises to post Part II of his critique shortly.

UPDATE: RCP's Tom Bevan weighs in on RFK Jr's "incredble shrinking credibility":

Last Friday RFK, Jr. asserted on CNN, "There's no legitimate dispute that there was a massive, concerted, deliberate effort by high level-Republican Party officials to fix the election in Ohio. And the press has not covered this issue." This is a grotesque lie unsupported by even a shred of credible evidence, yet Kennedy is out on national cable television spewing it as gospel truth.

Houston Lawyer:
So it's now the democratic party position that since exit polls are more favorable to them than actual polls, that the exit polls should be binding?
6.7.2006 10:44am
billb:
Mark Chu-Carrol has a great analysis/shredding of RFK, Jr.'s article over at Good Math, Bad Math, though we're still waiting for Mark's answer as to why he thinks the election was stolen.
6.7.2006 11:02am
Rational Actor:
Houston Lawyer:

So it's now the democratic party position that since exit polls are more favorable to them than actual polls, that the exit polls should be binding?

Is that a statement or a question? It seems to be phrased as a statement, but the punctuation indicates otherwise.
If it is a question, the obvious answer is "No." And if it is a statement, what on earth would lead you to draw that conclusion?
6.7.2006 12:07pm
te (mail):
Is it true that the Republican Ohio Sec. of State had issued an order that voter registration cards were to be thrown out unless they were printed on 80 pound cardstock?

If so, it seems like either a) strategem to limit new voter registrations or b) someone who is really, really concerned about paper quality.
6.7.2006 2:31pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail) (www):
Rational Actor, I didn't study sarcasm in college or anything, but I suspect that Houston Lawyer was being, how-you-say, not serious... you know... trying to make a point through exaggeration and tone.
6.7.2006 2:36pm
Tom D:
I agree that Houston Lawyer's tone was unserious, but I'm not sure what valid underlying point he may have been trying to make. Therefore I concur with Rational Actor's response.

The 80-pound cardstock nonsense and the failure to provide adequate numbers of voting machines in Democratic precincts are quite sufficient evidence that Kenneth Blackwell was doing his best to reduce the number of Democratic votes. Pointing this out is not a "grotesque lie." RFK seems to have given too much credence to the exit poll results without acknowledging the debate around them, but that hardly exonerates Blackwell.
6.7.2006 2:59pm
Rational Actor:
Mike BUSL07

I didn't study sarcasm in college or anything, but I suspect that Houston Lawyer was being, how-you-say, not serious... you know... trying to make a point through exaggeration and tone.

So what was his point? I missed it under the weight of the sarcasm.

And, while we're at it, didn't you really mean to write "I didn't study sarcasm or anything in college"?
6.7.2006 3:21pm
just me:
As I said in a comment in the other post, some folks wrongly assume that Ohio's Secretary of State controls aspects of the election process that are actually under the control of local officials. For example, Tom D. says


The 80-pound cardstock nonsense and the failure to provide adequate numbers of voting machines in Democratic precincts are quite sufficient evidence that Kenneth Blackwell was doing his best to reduce the number of Democratic votes.


I admit I don't know all the details about the cardstock, but I have read up on the voting machine allocation, and it turns out that the local Board of Elections runs that. Secretary Blackwell has zero control over which machines are sent to which precincts. Further, the local board is bipartisan, and the CHAIR of the Franklin County board was William A. Anthony, who was also CHAIR of the Franklin Co. DEMOCRATIC party. And, for those who count such things -- he is an African-American male. Just Google him and you'll see how many times he's explained that the machine problems may have been a blunder, but they were not part of some Rove/Blackwell plot. Anthony has sharply criticized Blackwell for other things -- things that Blackwell actually did control -- but he confirms consistently that the machine issue cannot fairly be cast as "sufficient evidence" of GOP wrongdoing.

Given that, I can't give much weight to any argument that lumps in the machine issue as part of "Blackwell's control" or Rove's plot or whatever. Try again.
6.7.2006 3:41pm
Houston Lawyer:
I think RFK Jr.'s argument boils down to "Who are you going to believe? Me, or your own lying eyes?" It's good to see serious people on the left actively debunking him.
6.7.2006 4:55pm
Rational Actor (mail):
Houston Lawyer -
I could not agree with you more about the debunking of absurd views held by people on one's own "side" of the political spectrum. If that was the point of your original post, I am sorry I missed it.
6.7.2006 10:37pm
The Divagator (mail) (www):
Anybody grabbed by the irony of a Kennedy kicking up dust over electoral fraud during a presidential campaign? I would love to see Junior's 'investigation' of the 1960 election in the state of Illinois.
6.8.2006 2:42am
save_the_rustbelt (mail):
For all of Blackwell's minor mistakes, politics and sneakiness, John Kerry lost in Ohio because he ran a lousy campaign.

Ohio has the 49th worst economy in the country and Kerry could not articulate any economic policies that could excite anyone.

And in the big urban counties the Boards of Elections tend to be dominated by Democrats, so if there were problems........

In some of the rural counties Kennedy mentions, there are barely enough Democrats to hold a meeting (these counties are overwhelming pro-life and have overwhelming rejected the Democrats for 30+ years).

Ohio has enough problems without a Kennedy sticking his nose into our business.
6.8.2006 10:46am