Maybe calling an election off with only 87% isn't enough to make you think there's something fishy in these degraded times of ours. Maybe this will.
This was based on my recollection. But this afternoon we went back and checked our election night notes (remember we report results in real time). And here's the progression of events.
According to our records (and I would strongly suggest other people with information check this against their data), the first report came in at roughly 9:30 PM eastern. With 16% of the vote, McCain ahead 27% to 26%.
Then at 10:15 PM, with 37% of the vote in, Huckabee moves ahead 26% to 23%.
Then there was an hour delay until the next update. That comes shortly after 11:15 PM, with 78% counted, McCain has moved ahead -- 25.4% to 23.8%.
Then there's another delay of an hour and twenty minutes. Shortly after 12:35, they get to 83% of the vote and now it's McCain 25.6% and Huckabee 23.8%.
The next update comes at 1:30 AM eastern. By this time they've counted a whopping 4% more of the vote. And with 87% reporting, it's McCain 25.5% to 23.7%.
So just to summarize here's basically how this works. We start out with McCain ahead. Huckabee jumps ahead with a 3% margin with almost 40% of the vote counted. Then everything slows waaaaay down. And we don't see anything else until about 40% more of the votes been counted and McCain is back in the lead. Things then proceed a glacial pace with Huckabee a little less than 2 percentage points back until 9% more of the vote is counted. And then they decide to declare McCain the winner. Not quite as cut and dry as the conclusion of a Scooby-Doo episode. But pretty close.
Sound fishy to you?