Monday, June 05, 2006

Glenn says that Democratic pollster Mark Blumenthal fisks the Kennedy article. Well, not precisely, as Blumenthal states at the outset of his post:

First, despite its weaknesses, the Kennedy article raises some important and troubling questions about real problems in Ohio in 2004. As Ohio State University Law Professor Dan Tokaji puts it, the article is "useful in exposing how shoddy election administration practices can result in lost votes, and how some recently enacted laws will make things worse rather than better." The summary of problems deserving attention includes long lines in minority precincts, efforts of the Republican Party to selectively challenge (or "cage") new registrants and the many examples of pure incompetence by local election officials. And then there is partisanship of Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, now his party's nominee for governor. Blackwell will need to answer to Ohio voters for, as's Farhad Manjoo writes, having "used his powers for partisan gain," issuing "a series of arbitrary and capricious voting and registration rules that could well have disenfranchised many people in the state" (but interests disclosed: I am a Democratic pollster with clients in Ohio)

Second, while I have devoted 68 posts and tens of thousands of words to the exit poll controversy since Election Day 2004, I have never argued that the exit polls can be used to rule out or disprove the possibility that vote fraud may have occurred in Ohio or anywhere else during in 2004.

Blumenthal's overall point: the discrepancy between the exit polls and the eventual announced vote tabulations does not affirmatively demonstrate electoral fraud. As indicated by his disclaimer as quoted above, he doesn't rule it out, either. Blumenthal clearly thinks Kennedy and Rolling Stone are making too much of the exit poll issue, though.

And while maybe I'm dense [maybe?], I don't see how this is an embarassment for RFK and Rolling Stone, any more than the polemics of, say, an Ann Coulter or Mark Levin are for the radical right. Well, OK, maybe it is embarassing, considering those two....

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