In 2004, John Kerry appeared to be a clear winner based on the exit polls. But the recorded vote counts deviated sharply from the polls and were too one-sided to attribute to mere chance. The political pundits claimed the polls “behaved badly”, calling the three million Bush margin a “mandate”. They failed to report the impossible late adjustments made to the National, Florida and Ohio exit polls that were necessary to force them to match the recorded vote.
Spreadsheet-wielding internet bloggers analyzed the statistical anomalies on election forums. Heated debates took center stage on the mainstream media’s lockdown of election fraud, pre-election and exit poll manipulation, inflated approval ratings, vote-switching incidents, undecided voter allocation, uncounted votes, reluctant Bush responders (“rBr”), Gore voter “false recall”, “swing vs. exit poll red-shift”, etc.
And of course, the famous “Urban Legend”: the inexplicable large increase in Bush’s vote share over 2000 in heavily Democratic urban locations and slight decline in Republican rural areas. Very counter-intuitive. A tremendous red-flag.
But the “Smoking Gun” was the Final National Exit Poll, which indicated that there were 5-6 million more returning Bush 2000 voters than were alive in 2004. This “phantom voter” anomaly has never been discussed by pundits in the media or political scientists in academia even though similar anomalies occurred in 1988, 1992 and 2008. The media pundits still claim that the recorded vote is correct (and the exit polls are wrong) despite millions of uncounted votes in every election.
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