Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Should Chet Culver be watching his own election?

Monday Radio Iowa reported that Hilary Clinton went after Ohio’s Republican gubernatorial candidate and current Secretary of State.

… New York Senator and former First Lady Hillary Clinton suggested Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell -- a Republican candidate for governor in Ohio -- should not run the November election there. She said it's a "conflict of interest."

Iowa Secretary of State Chet Culver -- the commissioner of elections here -- is the Iowa Democratic Party's candidate for governor and Culver rejects the idea he shouldn't oversee Iowa's 2006 election.

"I am proud to be the Commissioner of Elections, the State Registrar of Voters," Culver says. "We've had a tradition in this state of having a partisan in that office to make sure that someone is held accountable and responsible." …

… Culver was criticized in 2004 for waiting several days before declaring that President Bush had carried the state.

That’s right; the leading Democrat presidential wannabe has doubts about a Republican SOS turned gubernatorial candidate in a swing state, but conveniently ignores our Chet Culver. I suppose Hilary’s fine when post election vote counting is directed by a Democrat willing to politicize an election process. From the November 5, 2004 Des Moines Register.

Last state standing

Three days after the presidential election, Iowa is the only state not able to declare a winner.

The presidential campaign started in Iowa - and it's not over here yet.

After Tuesday's election, Iowa is the only white spot on a red and blue U.S. electoral map. That doesn't make the state a star.

"We're borderline on being an embarrassment," said Dave Roederer, Iowa chairman of the Bush-Cheney campaign. "We've got every state in the union being able to call the election except us."

Unofficial results Thursday showed Bush defeated Kerry in Iowa by 14,045 votes. That tally will keep changing through Tuesday, as special precinct boards across the state continue to meet to count 15,264 provisional ballots and as many as 50,000 uncounted absentee ballots.

The margin is larger than Wisconsin's, where Kerry defeated Bush by 11,813 votes, according to unofficial results. However, Wisconsin has been declared a Kerry state.

But no one's officially calling Iowa for Bush, despite Republicans, Democrats and election officials agreeing Thursday that Iowa's uncounted ballots are unlikely to change who won the state.

"I don't think it is too close to call, but whose job is it to call?" asked Phyllis Peters, the spokeswoman for the secretary of state's office in Iowa. "There's no one here that is holding out any belief that what numbers do come in are going to change the result. All we care about is that the votes are counted." …

…Culver, Iowa's top election official, was seen election night at the Hotel Fort Des Moines huddling with fellow Democrats, including Norris and Iowa Democratic Party chairman Gordon Fischer, talking about the election. …

Outside of looking like an idiot, Chet Culver was obviously attempting to hold open an election in the vain attempt to change the outcome, which, given the Bush margin, was statistically nearly impossible to change by enough votes to put Kerry in the lead.

I consider this one of Chet’s finest Dance Off Pants Off moments; oblivious to how ridiculous he looked three days post election flailing around on the tube with only supreme confidence in the correctness of it all holding him up. We can only hope that if this guy makes it to Terrace Hill, he’ll listen to wiser voices and give up on his bad ideas.

A glimmer of that thinking might have shown through in Chet’s decision to get out of the way on the eminent domain veto override fight.


Comments:
get your facts straight. You look like the idiot. The Iowa SOS does not call the presidential race, the A.P. does
 
Okay, but the AP usually takes its cue from the election officials in each state. Am I wrong?

If the official charged with tabulating the votes wants to keep counting ballots and the AP says, "we'll wait", despite the fact that it is statistically almost impossible that the outcome will change, who is responsible?

Thanks for the insult, I don't get enough on my own blog. I usually have to travel outside of this space to get smacked with a little degrading innuendo.
 
you are wrong. do you also think the SOS is calling all of the election returns you watch on tv? nope. it's all national media. Sorry Charlie.
 
So you are suggesting that the AP and other news media acquire their vote tabulations from...where? Doesn't the SOS office aggregate vote totals from all of the counties? Or, as you seem to suggest, the media has some ability to collect the vote on their own.

It's funny because the only way your argument really holds up is when a news organization uses exit polling techniques to call a race and, as far as I can tell, they weren't running exit polls three days after the election.

So why the wait? Perhaps because Chet Culver, our elected SOS official, did not call the race, and instead huddled with operatives on election night trying to figure out how to make things work out differently. And perhaps the Iowa AP didn't want to make an unfortunate gaffe by pissing off a potential governor.

The only explanation -- Chet must have missed the lecture on concepts of probability.
 
If you don't have a basic grasp of the facts, but quasi-publicly spurt out your opinions, I don't have the time or energy to correct you.
 
I suppose you have no idea what I mean by concepts of probability, and I don't have the time nor the interest in educating you.

(Stick out tongue here)
 
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