Kerry wins in Michigan, but race hangs in the balance

By |2018-01-15T16:40:58-05:00April 11th, 2004|Uncategorized|

DETROIT – Sen. John Kerry scored a narrow victory in hotly contested state of Michigan in the 2004 presidential election. Kerry received 51 percent of the vote to Bush’s 48 percent. The close nature of the race resulted in Michigan not being called for Kerry until the early morning of Nov. 3.
Neighboring state Ohio is the center of controversy in this election, much like Florida in the 2000 election. Although results show Bush receiving the majority of the popular vote across the country, the outcome of the election has come down to Ohio’s 20 electoral votes.
At press time Bush was holding at 254 electoral votes to Kerry’s 252. A total of 270 votes are needed to win. New Mexico and Iowa were also too close to call at press time with a total of 12 electoral votes.
Bush held a lead of over 136,000 votes in Ohio at press time. However, provisional ballots will likely determine the outcome of this election and Ohio election officials said the provisional ballot numbers may not be known for another ten days, the amount of time election officials have to determine the validity of the ballots. The Associated Press reported that Ohio Sec. of State Kenneth Blackwell speculated that 175,000 provisional ballots, which include overseas ballots, had been cast.
Many Kerry supporters in Michigan were surprised at how close the race was considering the easy lead early exit polls depicted for John Kerry. As the night wore on it became clear that exit poll numbers bore little resemblance to actual numbers.
Weekly Standard Editor and New York Times columnist David Brooks criticized the exit polling on Detroit Public Television Tuesday night, saying that the pollsters have been wrong two elections in a row. “We’re building our predictions on a swamp,” he said.
The 11 state sweep of anti-gay marriage amendments across the country is speculated to have helped Bush’s numbers in the polls. Republicans were successful in using lesbian and gay families as a wedge issue to divert attention away from issues like the war in Iraq, a weak economy, and skyrocketing healthcare costs.
Battleground states including Michigan and Ohio passed anti-gay marriage initiatives by wide margins. Michigan and Ohio’s amendments were seen as two of the most far-reaching and damaging amendments being considered Tuesday.
One group that Republicans failed to divide with the issue of marriage for gays and lesbians were African American voters, according to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Detroit’s strong showing for Kerry/Edwards was citing as proof that the marriage amendment did not pull support from the Democrats in Michigan. “It’s clear that the Bush/Cheney strategy to press the marriage issue in the African American community in the hopes of wedging votes from the Democratic ticket failed miserably,” NGLTF Executive Director Matt Foreman said.
Democratic pollster Ethel Klien called the election “a race between anger and fear” on Detroit Public Television Tuesday night. Voters who listed terrorism and moral values as their primary concerns in this election favored Bush while those unhappy with the economy and the war in Iraq favored Kerry.

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