Many Americans believe, and always will, that George W. Bush, and/or those who represented him, stole the 2000 and 2004 elections. In the key states that decided those contests – Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004 – the State Chairmen of the Bush For President Committees were also in charge of counting the votes! I know, that sounds… un-American. But, it’s true. The state Governor appoints or oversees the Secretary of State and it is that Office which is tasked with conducting the balloting, counting the votes, and certifying elections.
Imagine you were running for election, and imagine too, your opponent controlled the apparatus and organization that planned and carried out the election; and then that same opponent counted the votes and told you if you won or not. Sounds like it couldn’t possibly happen – not here in America. Well, it did. It happened just that way in Florida in 2000 and then again in Ohio in 2004. The Democrats played the role of the old Brooklyn Bums – “We wuz robbed!”
The most important lesson of those tainted elections – the American people accepted those vote counts as definitive, never raising a serious protest, never questioning how one contestant could operate the election machinery, then count the votes afterward, and then claim it was a fair and honest procedure. Bush may have “lost the vote” but he “won the count.”
Some are afraid Barack Obama’s campaign may meet a similar fate. They fear he might “win the vote” yet “lose the count.” Don’t worry. That can’t happen this time, not in 2008. Why? Because the Republican Party no longer controls the process in the key swing states.
To win in 2008, the Democrats must hold four states being targeted by the GOP. Each of them were previously won by Kerry and/or Gore and before them by Bill Clinton. Those states are:
MICHIGAN, NEW JERSEY, PENNSYLVANIA, WISCONSIN.
All the other states, plus the District of Columbia, that were carried by the Democrats in the 1990s and by Gore and/or Kerry too, appear safe for the Democratic ticket in 2008.
What makes these four key states theft-proof, besides the expectation that Obama will get more votes in each than McCain will? None of the four – Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin - have Republican Governors. Democrats are in charge of all four state governments which includes control of the vote counting apparatus. Bluntly speaking, the votes cast in Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin will be counted by Democrats.
While Obama/Biden must worry about these four, most analysts agree there are eleven Bush/Cheney states that are potentially vulnerable for McCain. In each, the 2008 Democratic ticket has a real chance to win. These eleven are:
FLORIDA, GEORGIA, NEVADA, COLORADO, KANSAS, MONTANA, NEW HAMSHIRE, NORTH CAROLINA, OHIO, VIRGINIA, NEW MEXICO
In order to win in the Electoral College, the McCain/Palin ticket must hold every one. They cannot afford to lose any of these states to the Democrats. Not a single one. Of course, the question is: Who will count the votes in these eleven states?
Only the first three – Florida, Georgia and Nevada – have Republican state administrations. All of the other eight states have Democrats as Governors and therefore, in all eight, the votes will be counted by Democrats this time, not by Republicans. And, look at that list – this time around it now includes Ohio, which no longer has a Republican Governor and a Republican Secretary of State. The Ohio election of 2008 will be run by Democrats and the votes cast will be counted by Democrats. The GOP cannot steal the state of Ohio in 2008.
How significant is this?
If Obama/Biden carry the 18 states and Washington DC - won by Kerry and Gore (who both lost, remember?) - and then add to that list of Electoral Votes ONLY ONE OF THE 11 TARGET STATES – any one of them! - the Democrats will win the 2008 election. Should Obama win Ohio – it’s over. Win Virginia? Over. Colorado? New Mexico? Any of them – its over.
No matter how you look at it; when the states needed to win are theft-proof; when the Republicans can no longer “lose the vote” and still “win the count,” this is a Democratic year.