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Stateside:New Hampshire Primary Results - Part 2

Stateside With Rosalea Barker

New Hampshire Primary Results - Part 2

It’s nearing 8pm here in California; 11pm in New Hampshire, and the Democratic primary race is still not being called for either Clinton or Obama because the results are so close. The NH Secretary of State’s website doesn’t post any results until tomorrow, but newspapers around the nation are posting live results sourced from the AP. Here is a link to the Yuma Sun (Arizona) results page. [Update: at 9pm, the race is being called for Clinton, though only by two percent.]

The PBS news show, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, was careful in its early evening broadcast to refer to “expectations” rather than results, as it goes to air before the polls close. Here in the Bay Area, the local stations declared as early as 5:15 pm that McCain was the winner, even though only 11 percent of the votes had been counted, his lead over Romney was that great. By 6pm it was reported that Romney had given his concession speech.

The ABC Network News bulletin at 5:30pm reported results that came from 14 percent of precincts for Republicans and 15 percent for Democrats. George Stephanopoulos, the host of This Week with George Stephanopoulos, was brought in for comment and said of Clinton’s strong showing, “It’s unbelievable!” and that “no-one has a good explanation” for it. The internal polling of the Obama campaign had shown him with a strong lead going into the election and Clinton campaign insiders hadn’t disputed that, Stephanopoulos said. (He was a senior political advisor to Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign.)

One explanation for this “unbelievable” result could be that the news late yesterday was heavy with reporting about a supposed stand-off between the U.S. Navy and some Iranian craft in the Gulf of Hormuz, in which the boats reportedly—and shown in computer graphics—dropped boxes in the water and said the U.S. Navy vessels would blow up.

Tonight’s news video released by the Navy didn’t show any boxes, and the audio accompanying it of radio conversations between one U.S. vessel and someone with an accent, sounded like somebody playing a prank. The Iranian government has said it was nothing unusual, but President Bush made a big thing of it, even holding a press conference out in the White House rose garden. Did that sway voters away from someone who hasn’t been anywhere near Commander in Chief circles?

Another explanation, already doing the rounds of the Internet before the voting started, is that the voting technology has in some way been tampered with. Black Box Voting has a discussion thread referring to this here. In New Hampshire, according to the article on the thread, 81 percent of the vote counting is done on machines programmed by just one company, using an optical scan machine that is “the exact same make, model and version hacked in the Black Box Voting project in Leon County” (Florida).

For a comprehensive list of U.S. news sources, including links to them, go to the UK’s Guardian resource website here.

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rosalea.barker@gmail.com
--PEACE—


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