For those who can’t wait until the 2012 presidential election is finally over on Wednesday: not so fast. Unless one candidate wins a clear and decisive victory — an increasingly unlikely scenario, given the tightness of the polls — some political analysts predict that the final outcome could be delayed by a bevy of lawsuits, challenges and recounts. “You can bet this year is going to be marked by a ridiculous carnival of grievances,” Virginia-based GOP consultant Mike McKenna said. “I can just feel this one coming from 100 miles away. You’ve got a close election, lousy polling, lots of lawyers — it’s just not a good recipe.”
Democratic strategist Donna Brazile said Sunday on ABC-TV’s “This Week” that she’ll have her eyes peeled for examples of voter intimidation in the aftermath of tougher state laws on voter identification.
“I’m going to focus on the whole issue of voter intimidation, voter suppression, because as you well know, 33 states tried to impose onerous, burdensome rules,” said Ms. Brazile.
She raised the possibility of 2012 turning into a repeat of the 2000 presidential race, in which Republican George W. Bush was declared the winner over Democrat Al Gore after weeks of legal challenges and multiple recounts in Florida, which he won by a scant 537 votes.
“When I think about Florida, my blood pressure, you know, somehow jumps up, but this is going to be a very close election,” said Ms. Brazile, who headed Mr. Gore’s campaign that year. “Clearly, in some of those states where we’ve had this contention battle over voter ID, that’s something I will watch on Tuesday night.”
Republicans, meanwhile, are still smarting over the 2008 Senate race in Minnesota, which Republican Norm Coleman lost to Democrat Al Franken after nearly eight months of legal wrangling. Some Republicans still contend that the race was stolen, just as many Democrats continue to question the legitimacy of the Bush win.