Kerry and Edwards are determined to go down swinging, but down they’re going. Setting aside the inevitable frivolous lawsuits, their hopes are pinned on winning Ohio’s electoral votes, because they’ve already lost the popular vote.
Unfortunately, as of 5:09 AM EST, the vote stands at 2,791,912 for Bush and 2,653,046 for Kerry. That’s a lead of 138,866, with a projected 175,000 provisional ballots that won’t be counted until 11 days from now. Assuming that all of those ballots survive the inevitable challenge, Kerry needs to win 156,933 of them to tie in Ohio. That’s 90% of the expected new voters, just to muddy the results enough to make for a plausible lawsuit, and only if they’re all upheld as valid (which is highly unlikely).
Update: he’s toast. The official count of provisional ballots issued is 135,149, which is smaller than Bush’s final lead. It’s over, and the winner has a clear majority in both the popular and electoral votes.
Update: Highest nationwide voter turnout since 1968, first candidate to win a majority of the popular vote since 1988, and otherwise rational people are still saying things like “225 years is a pretty good run for a republic, historically speaking”. And that’s one of the saner sore losers I’ve seen today.