VOTERS QUESTION OUTCOME OF 2004 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
At their lowest points of popularity, do you recall anyone who claimed that Presidentsâ€™ Carter and Nixon stole their elections or that they didnâ€™t win fair and square? Did any analysts or activist groups clam massive election fraud in the elections that brought these ultimately very unpopular presidents to office?
How confident are you that George Bush really won the 2004 presidential election? If you are a typical American voter and you have doubts, how did those doubts arise? A mid August Zogby Poll of 1018 likely voters answered the first of these two very important questions (The author was a contributing sponsor for the survey.)
How confident are you that George W. Bush really won the 2004 presidential election?
Very confident that Bush won fair and squareâ€¦â€¦.. 45.2%
Somewhat confident that Bush won fair and squareâ€¦ 20.0%
Not at all confident that he won fair and squareâ€¦â€¦ 32.4%
Other/not sureâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦. 2.4%
This is a remarkable result. Nearly two years into the second term of his presidency, less than half of those polled think that the 2004 election victory was â€œfair and square.â€ 20% say they are â€œsomewhatâ€ confident, which is hardly an endorsement of legitimacy. Websterâ€™s defines â€œsomewhatâ€ as follows: â€œâ€¦in some degree or measure: SLIGHTLY.â€œ This does not exactly qualify as an endorsement of a critical democratic process. The 32% who are â€œnot at all confidentâ€ represent a major portion of the population holding the belief that Bush failed to win without cheating. Combining â€œnot at all confidentâ€ with â€œsomewhatâ€ â€œslightlyâ€, according to Websterâ€™s, produces a category of 52% who â€œdoubtâ€ the legitimacy of the election. Altogether, these results are a clear vote of no confidence.
Combining â€œnot confident at allâ€ and â€œsomewhatâ€ (â€œin some degree measure: SLIGHTLYâ€) produces a category of â€œDoubts.â€ This gives a clear picture on legitimacy versus illegitimacy issue.
Those who doubt: Not at all confident that he won fair and square – 32%
Fifty nine percent of Democrats, 5% of Republicans, and 34% of independents comprise the group with no confidence in a Bush win. Dividing the group by race shows that 54% of Asians and 71% percent of African Americans have serious doubts in the legitimacy of the election, along with 25% of whites and 37% of Latinos. Thus, a majority of Asian and African American voters lack confidence in the presidentâ€™s legitimacy to rule while significant numbers of whites and Latinos do as well.
Groups thought to be in the hip pocket of the Republican administration show no confidence at a significant rate. NASCAR fans doubt the election results at a rate of 28% and born again Christians at 25%. Those in rural areas and the suburbs show some real doubt with rates of 28% and 29% respectively demonstrating a significant level of doubt. Members of the armed forces were right at the survey average with 32% questioning the legitimacy of the election.
The geographical distribution of no confidence was mildly surprising: East, 44%; South 30%; Central States/Great Lakes 24%; and West35%. Given the strength of the Republican Party in the South and relative strength of Democrats in the Central States/Great Lakes, this outcome stands out.
Those who without doubt: Very confident that Bush won fair and square – 45%
Fifteen percent of Democrats, 80% of Republicans, and 39% of independents comprise the group that is very confident that Bush won fair and square. Dividing that group by race shows that 39% of Asians and 9% percent of African Americans are very confident in the legitimacy of the election, along with 51% of whites and 38% of Latinos. Central States/Great Lakes comprise 54% of this group with the South at 46%. The West comprises 42% with the East accounting for just 32% of likely voters.
Whites, 51%, born again Christians, 58%, and people with household incomes over $100,000 are at the top of those very confident in a legitimate election. Only 54% of the rural population was very confident in a legitimate election. This may reflect the significant decrease in rural support for Bush in 2004 when compared to the 2000 election. All of these figures in the low fifties indicate that even among core constituencies, there are barely a majority of voters with a high degree of confidence that the election was legitimate.
Those in between: Somewhat confident that Bush won fair and square – 20%
Democrats and Independents, at 24% and 22% respectively, out number Republicans at 14%. Those who said that they were â€œsomewhat confidentâ€ in the legitimacy of the election were evenly distributed around the country with only 3% separating the lowest reporting region, the South at 19%, and the West at 21%, which was the highest. Born again Christians come in at 15% percent, while non sectarians report at a rate of 19%.
The â€œin betweensâ€ show less difference than the â€œvery confidentâ€ and the â€œnot confident at allâ€ responders among the various subgroups polled.
Where they live: confidence by location
Those with â€œdoubts are more likely to live in a large city. But nearly half in rural areas show â€œdoubts.â€
The Importance of this Survey
Why are these results important? The notion of legitimacy is central to political systems and central to the ability of an elected leader to rule effectively (although a low level of legitimacy can allow a ruler to stay in power for a period). The vast majority of the public, regardless of political leanings, needs to confer legitimacy through a belief that those elected were elected fair and square. Significant numbers doubting basic legitimacy create major problems for those â€œelectedâ€ and for stability in the system. The result of only 45% trusting the system arises in a news environment in which the main stream media simply refuses to doubt the fairness or the 2004 election and studiously avoids any charges of outright election fraud and a corrupted result.
How the doubts arose will require more research. The response to other Zogby Poll questions in the same survey  provides a major hint. 60% of American voters believe that tampering with only one machine can alter the outcome of an entire election. Nearly 80% oppose the use of secret, vendor-only computer code to run voting machines. Plus an amazing 92% of respondents said that they want the right to watch votes being counted and the right to make inquires of election officials regarding vote counting. They want that right because it belongs to them but also, I argue, because they doubt the process and the checks and balances. These doubts about the election occur at the same time there is doubt about the outcome and interact to reinforce each other.
Grave doubts exist about the 2004 presidential election in Ohio  and elsewhere. Questions are asked primarily by mathematicians who cannot tolerate a seeming suspension  of the laws  of mathematics  for one day only, November 2, 2004, voting rights  activists who witnessed voter suppression  and election irregularities at an extraordinary rate, and ordinary  citizens whose civic concern was awakened by the 2000 Supreme Court selection and the 2004  election that defied all logic.
Despite the productivity of election fraud  researchers and voting rights advocates , very little attention has been given to questions of election fraud by the corporate media. The significant vote of no confidence expressed by a representative sample of 1018 likely voters was driven by several factors: from information gained through channels other than corporate media  outlets or due to a general distrust of the President based on his behavior and actions or a combination of these and other influences.
What does this mean? Some preliminary thoughts.
This survey elaborates another Zogby Poll conducted in Pennsylvania and sponsored by OpEdNews.com . In that survey, 39% of Pennsylvania residents indicated that they thought that 2004 Presidential election was stolen. In the current survey, a middle category was created to capture those with doubts, only â€œsomewhat confidentâ€ that Bush won fair and square. By creating that category in this national poll of likely voters, those who doubt legitimacy increased 13 percentage points to 52% while those likely to share the sentiment that 2004 was stolen, dropped from the Pennsylvania 39% to the national sample of 32%.
At this point, the Bush Presidency is an illegitimate one, lacking in the necessary consensus to rule with any degree of confidence by the people. We have entered the Potemkin Village of democracy where the faÃ§ade of legitimacy is nothing more than a Hollywood back lot. This is the inescapable conclusion from this poll of likely voters.
Combining â€œnot at allâ€™ and â€œsomewhatâ€ responders, over half of American voters have doubts about the election, with a third of the total survey expressing serious doubts about the outcome of the election. Despite what the script writers at ABC and the other networks weave into the nightly network indoctrination, there is a vast distrust of this president and this administration; a distrust so profound that it includes a belief that the president wasnâ€™t even re-elected in 2004.
Corporate Media: Asleep at the Switch
There wonâ€™t be much discussion of this Zogby poll by corporate media reporters and pundits. If it occurs, it might go something like this: â€œMost Americans confident in 2004 Election;â€ â€œBush Still Solid with the People;â€ â€œCore Groups Support Outcome of 2004 Election.â€ Of course, none of those headlines will appear. For one or a multitude of reasons, the American corporate media has studiously ignored any controversy concerning election 2004. To discuss questions of legitimacy in public would entail raising the question of a stolen election. It wonâ€™t happen but it should. .
If we assume that this data is actually discussed by the corporate media, a dismissal strategy is available. The headlines would read: â€œDoubt in Legitimacy of 2004 Presidential Election Based on Attitude toward Bush Performanceâ€ or, for certain news organizations, â€œComplainers Doubt 2004 Outcome.â€ Those who think the country is headed in the right direction comprise 79% of those who are very confident in 2004 results. They comprise only 8% of the â€œnot confident at allâ€ group. Those who think the country is headed in the wrong direction represent 26% of the very confident responders and 47% of the not confident at all group.
Of course, President Carterâ€™s popularity dropped below 30%, a majority of Americans were positive we were headed in the wrong direction. You will be very hard pressed to find one single voice rose to challenge Carterâ€™s popular vote victory, even though his victory margin was narrow. The hypothesized right-wrong explanation of this exceptionally low level of confidence in the system is not a particularly good argument but it will not be needed.
There is a uniform failure to address the legitimacy of the 2004 election. It is not the fault of the public. From these results, it is easy to imagine a robust dialogue followed closely by an intense public debate on the real questions that lead those who do to doubt the legitimacy of the 2004 presidential election. With such a debate, the numbers â€œnot at all confidentâ€ would rise even higher. What a shame it would be if the information managers win yet again.
Michael Collins is a writer who focuses on clean elections and voting rights. He is the publisher of the web site, www.ElectionFraudNews.com . His articles in â€œScoopâ€ Independent News can be found here .
MichaelCollins @ electionfraudnews.com
The Zogby poll was conducted from August 11 through 15, 2006. 1018 adult voters were interviewed by phone. The sample of people interviewed reflects the demographic and regional diversity of the United States. Due to the size, it has a 3.1 % (+/-) margin of error. 95% of Zogbyâ€™s political polls have come within a 1% margin of accuracy in predicting election outcome. The survey was commissioned and sponsored by election rights and business law attorney Paul Lehto  of Everett, Washington. This author, Michael Collins, was a contributing sponsor, along with Democracy for New Hampshire.