Something's rotten in the state of Denmark

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Zogby calls for investigation

John Zogby made it clear on Countdown that he thinks all the questions about this election have not been explained -- and why 4 out of 5 Americans thinking Bush was elected legitimately is not exactly good news.

“But, Keith, 20 percent don’t think the president is legitimate. And worse yet, if you take the other half, those that didn’t vote for him, about half of the other side doesn’t think the president is legitimate. That just hasn’t existed for a long, long time in our system. We need to restore, I think, some semblance of legitimacy and honor to the system.”

“I think it's in the interests of the nation that we study what happened in this election and widen that, let's study what happened with the exit polls, and let's come out with a definitive conclusions by a blue ribbon panel to restore the legitimacy of this election.”

Zogby thinks he knows the steps to take to do that. The first is for those who are raising questions, to keep doing so. “I can reassure them they’re not crazy for asking. It’s not just those who are far out, it is indeed many respectable, responsible people.” The pollster says he’s heard from thousands of them, asking him to get involved in their various causes and investigations, so many he can’t answer them all.

“I’ll take this opportunity right now to say I think that it’s in the interest of healing this country and restoring some unity to this country for us to have a thorough investigation of what happened both to the election and with the exit polls.” Zogby called for the proverbial blue-ribbon commission into the voting irregularities, and the full release of the exit polling data.

And he encouraged the recounts, even when, as they have in the first three of the nine precincts in New Hampshire, they have varied by just fifteen votes from the original count. The second tally in Ohio, Zogby says, “certainly is useful, but I don't think its enough…I called this election for months the Armageddon election, and in that context, one of the things that we discovered throughout our polling was the fact that there were going to be significant numbers, on both sides who were not going to accept the legitimacy of the other guy winning, especially if it was close election.”

Do they have reason? With three weeks’ reflection, he’s not convinced there was an altered vote - accidental or otherwise - at least not on “a grand scale.” But Zogby says the “system is not geared for a close election like this” and if “many millions of people… don’t think that their vote was counted accurately,” the results are almost as bad as if an election was rigged, or decided by static charges in a thousand computers.