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Sun Apr 24, 2016, 11:59 AM

 If You’re Going to Accuse a Democratic Campaign of Election Theft, You Should Offer Some Evidence [View all]

I think the recent efforts to argue that the reason why one candidate is winning over the other is due to election fraud are incredibly misguided. First, there is no evidence that election irregularities have systematically helped or hurt one campaign over the other. Indeed, to the extent that there has been voter suppression of minorities, you could argue that this has hurt those campaigns, which have drawn more support from minorities than whites.

Second, argue that the whole electoral process is fraudulent and that the results are simply wrong suppresses the vote. After all, how can you get out the vote when you are also insisting that the vote does not really matter, because the tabulations are fabricated? Thus, it does not make sense to try to mobilize voters with wild accusations of voter fraud, because the logical result is that voting does not really matter.

Third, this reeks of Republican efforts to argue that President Obama was not really legitimate. We have gone through 8 years of Republicans insisting that President Obama has somehow usurped the Presidency, that we need to have the people have a voice in the selection of a Supreme Court justice, ignoring the 2012 election results, and we ourselves want to introduce the idea that the Democratic nominee and potential President is not legitimate?

Finally, and I think most importantly, if there was real evidence of fraud, Bernie's campaign would be all of it. He has gobs of cash on hand. Indeed, if he had real evidence of fraud, it might help him to mobilize support. However, making a false accusation would also tank his campaign and totally undercut his message.


But how well do these claims support the charge that the primaries are being rigged? Without getting too deep into the weeds, what’s clear is that Fitrakis and Wasserman don’t require much in the way of evidence to allege that an election is being stolen.

An example: In their original piece, they claimed that in Iowa, “Clinton’s ‘victory’ apparently turned on six coin tosses, all of which she allegedly won.” That would have been odd. But, as I wrote to Wasserman via e-mail on April 3, this was an early report that had later been proven erroneous by CNN, NPR and The Atlantic, among others. There’s no complete record of the ties that were decided by a coin flip in Iowa, but two things are clear: Sanders won his share, and since each flip determined only a tiny fraction of a single delegate, they had zero impact on the outcome. But as of this writing, their post remains uncorrected.

Another: Fitrakis and Wasserman claim that “there’s clear evidence that Bernie actually won the Massachusetts primary, which the corporate media and official vote count gave to Hillary.” They write that polls in Massachusetts showed “Bernie substantially ahead of Clinton prior to the voting,” but FiveThirtyEight’s weighted polling average on the eve of the primary had Clinton up by double digits and gave her a 94 percent chance of winning. Given that Clinton won in a squeaker, it was actually Sanders who did better than the polls predicted.

They go on to cite an analysis by Richard Charnin, who writes a blog devoted to “JFK conspiracy and systemic election fraud analysis,” claiming that, as Fitrakis and Wasserman put it, “Bernie won all the precincts with hand-counted paper ballots but lost all the ones with electronic voting machines.” The implication is clear, but the problem is that, even if Charnin’s numbers are accurate, the vast majority of precincts in Massachusetts use optical scanners. So we run into a small sample problem, and a result that’s easily explained by Sanders’s faring better than Clinton in small, rural towns that hand-count their votes.

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Reply  If You’re Going to Accuse a Democratic Campaign of Election Theft, You Should Offer Some Evidence [View all]
TomCADem Apr 2016 OP
RobertEarl Apr 2016 #1
haikugal Apr 2016 #2
TomCADem Apr 2016 #10
haikugal Apr 2016 #17
TomCADem Apr 2016 #6
dchill Apr 2016 #16
haikugal Apr 2016 #18
Trenzalore Apr 2016 #3
haikugal Apr 2016 #19
Trenzalore Apr 2016 #21
haikugal Apr 2016 #22
LineReply k
riversedge Apr 2016 #4
Hoyt Apr 2016 #5
NWCorona Apr 2016 #7
stillwaiting Apr 2016 #8
TomCADem Apr 2016 #11
stillwaiting Apr 2016 #13
Agnosticsherbet Apr 2016 #9
uponit7771 Apr 2016 #12
Bread and Circus Apr 2016 #14
Dem2 Apr 2016 #15
haikugal Apr 2016 #20