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« Kissell | Main | Changed »

Nov 05, 2008


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Happy Obama Voter

I wondered in which medium I would find out how N.C. went ... I didn't think it would be checking your blog before turning in! Thanks!


Margin less than the number of write-in votes.

Dave Ribar

It looks like Bob Barr might have played a role in this outcome--and without any butterfly ballots.

Jonathan Jones

The only thing you can definitively say about Bob Barr in North Carolina is that libertarian-minded Tar Heels rejected him, for whatever reason.

In every other statewide race with a Libertarian on the ballot, the Libertarian cleared 120,000 votes. Barr only managed 25,000.

Dave Ribar


And those 25,000 votes were still more than the margin of victory for Obama in NC. Given Barr's positions, it's hard to imagine many of those votes going to Obama.

Barr was only going to be a factor (if indeed he was one) if the voting margin was whisker thin.

Patrick Eakes

interesting that none of the major networks has called NC yet

Jonathan Jones


Any assumption of which way those votes might have gone without Barr on the ticket is a gross assumption that one can't make with any reasonable degree of certainty, unless a credible exit poll, of which I'm unaware, was run yesterday on attitudes of people who voted for Bob Barr. Surely you recognize that.

Claiming that Barr affected the outcome in North Carolina starts with the presumption that those voters still would have voted given only the choice of McCain and Obama. The second assumption is that, if those voters still vote, more than 72% of Barr supporters would have switched to McCain in order to overcome any defectors to Obama and the tentative margin of victory Obama appears to have this morning.

The idea that Barr supporters would automatically move to McCain carries the implicit assumption that Barr supporters also would ignore the real, libertarian arguments in favor of Obama (the heaviest of which is the end of the Iraq war).

It's also a somewhat pointless thought experiment given that Bob Barr was on the ballot and 25,000 North Carolinians chose to exercise their franchise in his favor. Those are facts that simply aren't changing.

Dave Ribar


The words "might have played a role" and "Barr was only going to be a factor (if indeed he was one)" were intended to convey my recognition that strong assumptions were needed.

I agree that it's pointless to the extent (a) that Obama's victory did not depend on North Carolina, (b) that Obama captured more than half of the vote nationally, and (c) that Obama and McCain together captured 98 percent of the vote.

Barr, Nader and other kooky, fringe candidates weren't much of a factor in the final, national outcome. Put another way, Barr did his part to make it a pointless exercise.


Robert Reddick

Over 14,000 presidential "write in" votes? Now there's a list I'd like to see.

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