Okay, we’ve been beating this thing within an inch of its life. In a manner of speaking.
First of all, lets clarify a few things that I think would otherwise come into contention here: there is a specific standard for the hand count, and it was written in 1990, and it is very straightforward. Is any corner of the chad detached? It’s a vote. That’s the legal standard that has existed since 1990 in Florida. Additionally, there are legal standards for requesting hand recounts, you can’t do so just because you like the political demographic of a particular place and you hope to find more votes. In this case, the three counties being hand counted are all punch ballot counties that have demonstrated high rates of error. That is the standard, it has been met. It is a fortunate accident that these counties are Democratic.
So everything that is going on is legal, it is already written into Florida law, nobody changed the rules to make it go their way, and we gotta accept it, at least for the purposes of this poll, if not in real life.
I got to thinking…let’s envision the following scenario:
4 counties recount. Gore adds enough votes to win. Bush adds votes as well, but not enough. The absentees come in overwhelmingly for Bush, but not enough to make him the winner. So after everything is tallied, Gore wins Floridas electoral votes.
At the same time, Bush or the automatic laws of various states have triggered recounts in 4 or five other states. While Bush picks up a few, he doesn’t pick up enough. Gore becomes president. All the activities above are completely provided for by law.
Now let’s look at scenario #2:
Bush wins in the injunction he has requested in federal court to stop the hand count. This effectively stops any further re-counting. He becomes president.
This is, in fact, the two possible scenarios we are faced with, so this isn’t a purely academic exercise.
The poll is this:
Which scenario produces, in your opinion, the more LEGITIMATE president? Please explain your answer.