Jewish World Review Nov. 9, 2004 / 25 Mar-Cheshvan, 5765

Joe Scarborough

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I told you so


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | My mom always knocked me on the head whenever she heard me say "I told you so." No bragging allowed in the Scarborough home or else.

Maybe that's why I have been biting my tongue and laying low since election night. There were so many predictions that I made about the election that ended up being dead on, I figured anything I wrote would end up gaining me nothing more than knots on my head.

Let me show you the conclusions of my final blog on election morning when most polls were showing a Kerry bump, and almost every media type I spoke to was predicting a Bush beating.

Here was my take:


Two political insights on reading all these final polls:

1) Except in the last days of presidential races, polls are usually not taken on the weekend because weekend polls always trend Democratic. Every pollster I ever met while in Congress told me the same thing. So I am not paying too much attention to tracking polls that take Friday and Saturday surveys into account.

This would include every tracking poll in America.

2) Pollsters like John Zogby believe that young voters are preparing to swarm to America's voting booths to boot Bush out of the White House. All I know as a guy who started his run for Congress as a 29 year old maverick is that my greatest political frustration then- and now-was how hard it was to get people under 30 years old to the polls.

Unless John Kerry has some magic pixie dust that I don't know about, I seriously doubt the granite-faced senator from Blandsville will be the one candidate who unlocks the mystery of pushing millions of new young voters to the polls.

Last prediction: Bush 279-Kerry 259


Well, nobody's perfect. Iowa belatedly went for Bush and I ended up being 7 points off in my final prediction. Considering I was almost the only media types predicting a Bush victory, I would guess the seven vote difference still made me the only one among the media chattering classes to call it this way.

I spent two nights trying to give viewers a reality check on that dreaded youth vote that the entire media world swore would drive Kerry to victory. And when bloggers of all types started gloating about those exit poll results spelling doom for the White House, all I could do was laugh it off. The numbers were skewed 59%/41% female to male.

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I told anyone who would listen that if Bush were only one point behind in Florida and Ohio with that kind of gender gap in polling, it was going to be a good night for the president.

Sorry Mom. But I was right again and almost everyone else was wrong. My frustration with dealing with a confederacy of dunces throughout election night continued as results started pouring in from Florida. Knowing Sunshine State politics as I do, it was very obvious to me that Bush was giving Kerry a pounding.

Precincts around Tampa and Orlando that had gone for Gore were swinging Bush's direction. By the time polls closed in Northwest Florida, Broward County's votes had already been cast.

The GOP calls Broward the "Killing Fields" for good reason. Republican candidates usually lose the liberal county by 200,000 votes. But with Broward already tallied and conservative Northwest Florida polls about to close, Bush was holding a 250,000 vote lead. Meanwhile, I was getting reports of 600 college students singing "God Bless America" in the pouring rain while waiting three hours after polls closed to get a chance to vote in my hometown of Pensacola. I knew in an instant Florida was a done deal.

But the networks, who I trust had the same numbers in front of them, took hours to make the painfully simple call. Just as CBS News refused to call Ohio for the president when he led by 139,000 votes.

It seems there were 140,000 provisional ballots yet to be counted.

Poor CBS.

Once again their professional judgment was clouded by their hatred of President Bush. It's too bad, because in the end, they and the rest of the mainstream media only ended up making fools of themselves.

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Former Congressman Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.) hosts “Scarborough Country,” 10 p.m. ET, weeknights on MSNBC. He is the author of the recently published "Rome Wasn't Burnt in a Day : The Real Deal on How Politicians, Bureaucrats, and Other Washington Barbarians are Bankrupting America". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)Comment by clicking here.


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