Sunday, February 10, 2008

Short Count in Washington State

According to NBC, Huckabee campaign chair Ed Rollins is objecting to the early declaration that John McCain had won the GOP caucuses in Washington State:
Rollins said he was not accusing the McCain campaign of anything, but said Washington Republican State Party Chairman Luke Esser suspended voting with only 87 percent of the votes counted, and then issued a press release declaring McCain the victor. When Huckabee campaign officials reached Esser Sunday, he said the rest of the votes would be counted today and refused requests for the campaign to monitor the tallying, Rollins said, adding Esser said the campaign should trust the party.

It never makes sense to declare a winner when the uncounted votes could change the outcome. Why the rush to judgment? What horrible things could happen if we had to wait a day or two to get a reliable count and a clear winner?

If the short count was an effort to help McCain, it will backfire. Few things anger political activists more than the belief that the other side has won by trickery or treachery. The bad feelings arising from this incident will make it harder for McCain to unify Republicans.

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