Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Margin of Lawyer

So, Obama won...

At least in theory...

As of right now, projected electoral college counts have it Obama 303, Romney 206 (with Florida not reporting, due to a very high rate of problems around the state).

In practice...

Well... the next week... Maybe the next 34 days... could get a bit messy.

Understand I'm not saying that Romney actually won here...

... BUT...

You see,  due to the nature of the electoral college, that 303 to 206 number is rather misleading.

In fact, with over 113 million votes counted (and a few million more still uncounted), Obama actually only won by something less than 2 million votes nationwide.

In a couple states, his margin was less than 50,000. Several more had a margin of less than 100,000. In about half the states it he is projected to have won, it was under 200,000.

As of midnight pacific, Obamas reported margin of victory in at least 9 states is far lower than the number of uncounted absentee and provisional ballots.

In some cases (Florida, Ohio, Nevada, Virginia), that difference is by well over a hundred thousand... In Florida it's over half a million, and it may be over a million.

Florida is actually just a disaster all over again; with major errors in election procedure that will result in at least 30,000 people voting today instead of yesterday (and probably more, as they decide what to do about other errors).

Ohio is somewhat better, but there are still huge problems with absentee, provisional, and early voting ballots.

As it happens, if Romney were to win four of those states (Florida, Ohio, Virginia, any other state; or Florida, Ohio, and any two other states in question) when the final count is finished, he would be the winner.

No, concessions don't count (2000 proved that in case there was any doubt). States count until they're done, certify their counts, and then declare their electors by certification day. It doesn't matter whether a candidate as conceded or not, the count is what it is.

... and even if concession did count, the problem isn't with the Romney campaign...

Again, I'm not saying that Romney won.

What I'm saying, is that unless things get much clearer in the next 8 hours or so, there may be a big problem... And it's not with Romney, or Obama.

It's with the lawyers.

Obama may have won... he may even have won beyond the margin of error (though as of right now, that is not actually the case)...

But he hasn't won beyond the margin of lawyer.

Again, as 2000 proved, these days you have to win beyond the margin of lawyer.

Even if the candidate or the party doesn't want it, there are enough rich nutjobs out there, that so long as there is any kind of numerical possibility of forcing an Obama loss, they are going to be suing and suing and suing...

Much like 2000, this election may end up being contested, in a serious way that the courts will actually have to address; until the certification deadline.

And, of course, no matter what happens, the conspiracy theorists (on both sides) are going to have a field day.