The Fight for White House

Kerry probably will barely lose the election to Bush    

A.H. Jaffor Ullah


The political pundits in America have always said that among the 10-12 battleground states whoever would win two of the three populous states � Pennsylvania , Florida , and Ohio � will win the race for White House.  The election has ended hardly 4 hours ago and the vote count started right away.  One-by-one, 50 states were divided into two columns, namely Bush column and Kerry column.  Before you can count ten, most eastern states were given to two either Kerry�s or Bush�s column.  Pretty soon, a stark picture had emerged.

The industrialized states where the citizens are well educated and enlightened, those went for Senator Kerry.  On the other hand, the states that are not affluent and where the citizens are not that well educated and where most people live in rural areas have opted for Mr. Bush.  The electoral map looked very deceptive in the beginning.  Bush�s states were colored with red and Kerry�s was with blue.  Soon, the map looked all red excepting some blue in the northeastern corner.  Then as the time wore by, some blue started to show up in the in the upper Midwest .  Also, the western seaboard states took the blue color.  As of this writing, 45 states were divided between the Bush and Kerry column.  That leaves only 5 more states hanging in the air, metaphorically speaking of course.  These are Nevada (5 electoral vote), New Mexico (5 electoral vote), Iowa (7 electoral votes), Wisconsin (10 electoral votes), and Ohio (20 electoral votes).


At the time of writing this article, Bush has garnered 249 electoral votes while Kerry has secured 242 electoral votes.  If Bush wins only Ohio amongst the seven undecided states, he will receive 269 electoral votes and he will become the next president because then John Kerry will also receive 269 electoral votes.  Under this peculiar circumstance, the House of Representatives will cast the extra vote to end the deadlock.  Since there are more Republican House of representatives in the Congress, Mr. Bush will get their nods and become the next president.  But realistically, Mr. Bush will probably win another state such as New Mexico or Iowa and by doing that he will garner 274 electoral votes.


But then, there is another scenario in which Ohio vote count continues for a day or two and Mr. Kerry wins the state by only 400-500 votes, then Republican will go to the court and then it will be D�j� vu all over again.  I hope that does not happen and drag the election for 2-3 weeks as it was the case in November 2000.


The 2004 presidential election was a picture perfect event.  There was no surprise, which was predicted by a few pollsters.  The Zogby International poll made a forecast on the Election Day at 5:30 p.m. when it announced in its website that there may be a few surprise.  But that did not happen.  The electoral map looked exactly a repeat or carbon copy of the year 2000.  Mr. Bush had received the exact same set of states and Mr. Kerry carbon copied the states won by VP Al Gore.  But there is one big change.  In the election 2000, Gore had received 266 and Bush had received 271 electoral votes.  Because of demographic change that took place in the last four years, by carrying the same states, Mr. Bush will earn 278 electoral votes and Mr. Gore will receive 259 electoral votes.  Therefore, Senator Kerry had to win more states to win the election.


Tonight, Senator Kerry had won the state of New Hampshire (4 electoral votes), which Mr. Gore could not win in 2000.  But that won�t be enough this time around.  Kerry has to win Ohio or else he could not receive 271 electoral votes so easily.  In all probability, Bush will receive 20 precious electoral votes by winning Ohio .  There is this outside chance that the election may be tied as far as the electoral votes are concerned.  But realistically that probably won�t happen.


Kerry camp had executed a flawless campaign but I suppose that was not good enough.  Americans in the southern states are becoming more conservative and they view the liberal Democrats as not worthy of receiving their votes.  That is precisely why no Democrats can win any of the southern states.

The political commentators will come in droves as soon as the dust settles and when either Bush or Kerry is declared the winner.  I will only do a thorough postmortem of 2004 election at a later time.


The present election had become a cliffhanger and we all had nail biting times watching the poll report in early evening.  It is almost 1:30 a.m. in the morning.  It surely looks like we are not going to know the final results in this wee hour of the night.  Senator Kerry is yet to deliver his concession speech.  Until that happens, the race is on.  But then again, while the Americans are asleep, some news organization may say that as far as this race is concerned, it is over.


By reading many international newspapers, I learned that citizens of many other nations were rooting for Senator Kerry.  But Americans are Americans, and they have their own priorities.  They see the world through a different lens.  Come to think of it, Osama bin Laden�s videotaped message, which surfaced 4 days before the election may have spooked some voters and did Senator Kerry in.  We will hear more about it soon after the election results are made public and a winner is announced.  Therefore, stay tuned for more developments.  


Dr. A.H. Jaffor Ullah, a researcher and columnist, writes from New Orleans , USA

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