October 9th, 2004


And the winner of the debate is...

John Kerry by a nose, according to Gallup...  47% to 45%.

I'm actually pretty encouraged about this, as the political affiliations of those polled was 38 percent Republican, 32 percent Democratic and 30 percent independent.

Either some of those Republicans changed their minds (not so likely) or undecided voters trended towards Kerry (more likely.
ABC's Insta-poll put the race at Kerry 44%, Bush 41% with 13% saying it was a draw. This is fairly consistant with Gallup's results.

On some issues that might resonate over the next week, lots of people are passing the video around of Bush going ballistic on Charlie Gibson, which was quite inappropriate and may be considered more so if repeated everywhere. Also, factcheck.org says Bush really does have wood.  (Apparently, Bush had wood and didn't notice it.)

End result?! Both sides will be fairly energized in the short term, but the polls will probably continue to trend towards Kerry, which might be an increasing cause of discouragement for Republicans.

Kerry's well-positioned for Wednesday's debate on the economy and domestic issues, and he should have some of the same advantages he had going into the first debate. He should hit often and hit hard until Bush squirms... and if he squirms, he loses.

Bush should be proud of this one.

So... imagine that you were a voter. You go to the polls to vote, and get your finger "inked" with supposedly indelible ink that would not only mark the ballot, but mark your finger for two weeks. You cast your vote and hope for the best.

But after your vote, you notice that the ink used on your finger has disappeared, or rubs right off. Allegations emurge of people coming back multiple times to vote. Polls are kept open longer than previously agreed upon. People report threats and intimidation being used to force people to vote for the current president.

There are 16 candidates on the ballot, and 15 of them cry "Fraud!" and boycott the race in disgust.

You've got the materials for a protest sign... and you also have an AK-47. What do you do?!

Welcome to democracy in Afghanistan.