ANOTHER 226 VOTES FOR BUSH

Andrew Sullivan —  Jan 20 2001 @ 5:24pm

Don’t hold your breath for the New York Times or the Washington Post to report this, but today’s Naples Daily News reports on the results of their hand-recount of all uncounted ballots in Collier County, Florida. If you count every thing from dimples to pin-pricks, Bush gains an extra 770 votes to Gore’s extra 544. No big surprise in heavily Republican Collier, and a slight confirmation of Mickey Kaus’s “sloppy Dem thesis,” and Sullivan’s Law, which argues that Democrats are disproportionately likely to screw up their votes, especially if they’re female or elderly or black. Gore got 41 percent of the dimpled votes for the two major candidates and 33 percent of the real votes in Collier. Nevertheless, W still gained votes, even with sloppy Dems, which suggests that outside Democratic strongholds, Gore may well not have enough dimples, pin-pricks etc to pull ahead in a media recount (barring of course, the “over-votes,” which in most places on earth are known as spoiled ballots). The extra 226 Collier votes, after all, is almost half W’s state-wide victory, an impressive number, and shows the logic behind the Gore team’s effort to recount only in their own counties. They were worried that their own attempt to win the election might go awry if they allowed every county a hand-recount. Even so, Miami-Dade came up dry, and it even helped W. Bottom line: Florida wasn’t stolen by anyone. It was nearly stolen by someone. And that someone wasn’t Bush.