It’s probably about time to mention the “Hillary hacked New Hampshire” story that has been gaining traction. The basic crux of the story is this:
- The Clintons absolutely needed to win New Hampshire to arrest Obama’s momentum.
- The Clintons are ruthless and willing to do whatever it takes to win.
- Virtually all of the polls from New Hampshire in the last few days before the primaries showed Obama up by 7-11 points. These include the Clintons’ own polls – leading some of her top advisers to privately concede the election to Obama.
- The exit polls showed that Obama won by approximately 5 points. ((Fox News removed the headline the writer for the Guardian refers to by the time I viewed the link.))
- The exit polls and the polls conducted before the election accurately predicted the levels of support for McCain, and the entire Republican field, and for Obama and every Democrat except Senator Clinton. Which is why the first reaction from commentators was to suggest that the votes for Dodd and Biden and the undecided overwhelmingly broke for Senator Clinton. But the exit polls did not show this either – they showed Obama marginally winning those who decided within three days of the election.
- Obama won votes not counted by Diebold’s machines by a large margin.
- Hillary Clinton won the votes counted by the Diebold machines by an unusual margin even “after controlling for any and all of those demographic variables” The conclusion is not necessarily vote-rigging, but as Chris Chatham reasonably observes: “As you can see, something appears to be highly amiss. There may be an unmeasured third variable (it’s probably not urban vs rural) or there may be something more nefarious.”
- Dennis Kucinich attempted to get a recount of the New Hampshire ballots, and the Secretary of State conceded.
- Now, we get to wait and see what happens.
Jon Stokes over at ArsTechnica points out an important fact often ignored in post-election analysis:
In a truly democratic election, the burden of proof is on the state to provide evidence of the election’s integrity. This sentiment is behind the idea that ballots should be counted under the watchful eyes of the public’s representatives. So elections are held to a much different standard than criminal proceedings, where the burden of proof is on the one who brings a charge of wrongdoing.