Pelosi Sets Stage for Stolen Election Claims

In an interview hometown paper San Francisco Chronicle, would-be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said the only way the Democrats could fail win back the House is if the Republicans steal the election.

Pelosi cautioned that the number of Democratic House victories could be higher or lower and said her greatest concern is over the integrity of the count — from the reliability of electronic voting machines to her worries that Republicans will try to manipulate the outcome. “That is the only variable in this,” Pelosi said. “Will we have an honest count?”


Via AllahPundit, who puts this in context of three major polling firms showing the GOP gaining ground in the generic ballot.

Now, I don’t put much stock in the generic ballot and see no reason to think the Democrats will fail to capture at least the 15 seats they need to re-take the House. Still, there are an inordinate number of very tight races and all manner of variables to consider. It’s not outside the realm of possibility, then, that a confluence of events could lead to the GOP holding on nor that the opposite occurs and the Democrats pick up 30 or 40 seats and make it a blowout. That’s the nature of the prognosticating game.

It’s unseemly for the Democratic leadership to continually beat the illegitimacy drum. That’s stuff for the Kos Kids, not the grown-ups.

FILED UNDER: 2006 Election, , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Rodney Dill says:

    Sounds like she’s hedging her bets on a possible loss.

  2. Since when did the grown-ups take over the DNC?

  3. lily says:

    Comment in violation of site policies deleted.

  4. legion says:

    Well, in all the various “oops” stories about electric voting machine glitches, has anyone here seen even a _single_ story where the glitch favored Dems?

  5. Tim says:

    I believe the press has done a tremendous disservice to the country in its constant drumming on the ‘unreliability of electronic voting’ story. At this point, it is nothing more than pure speculation. No one has ever shown it can happen in the real world. In each scenario discussed, the players have had unfettered access to a machine, access to the proper code to hack, access to propriatary memory chips. They basically pretend there is no security around the machines. All this is going to do is to cause some people not to vote because they think the whole thing is rigged and others to drive endless challenges in close races. In the end it’s American democracy that loses. If they want a real story, they should talk about the ballot boxes that litter the bottom of Lake Michigan and the Ohio River. That’s 60 years of real vote fraud.

  6. Bandit says:

    Leg –

    In Chicago, St. Louis, Boston, Phil, NO there’s not even a pretense that elections aren’t rigged and they always favor the Dems.

  7. legion says:

    While true, it’s no different from GOP machines in Texas, etc. I’m specifically asking about electronic voting machines – every single story I’ve seen discussing problems has only spoken of problems that favor GOP candidates.

    And Tim? It ain’t speculation. And it ain’t “unfettered access“. It’s their standard operational parameters that are badly broken.

  8. Legion,

    Can you please identify any GOP machine along the lines of Chicago, east st louis etc. There are some old yellow dog democrat hold outs down towards the border, but those are decidedly not GOP machines.

    As another aside to this, I was talking to a friend who is a volunteer poll worker for the early voting this weekend (in Texas, most of the poll workers comes from party volunteers). He was saying the early voting volume was huge with the numbers looking more like 2004 vs 2002. This is in a state that no statewide office is in doubt of going to someone other than the republican. He is working in a precinct that really has no federal election in doubt (usual number of local elections in doubt though). So even though there is no real question on the outcome of most of the races above the local level, the people are voting in droves in the early election. I have heard anecdotal reports of similar early voting in other places around the country. So for some reason the turn out is looking to be huge even though the races being voted on are about as exciting as the Nelson/Harris election. There may be a republican GOTV ‘machine’ pushing people towards the polls, but it isn’t an east st louis type of vote buying machine.

  9. Super90 says:

    If the roles were reversed and the very suspicious (yet admittedly unproven) things that have been going on were disfavoring the Republican, and they were losing races that they were locked in to win, the outcry would be enormous. So save your criticism.
    Remember, Democrats won every exit poll in Ohio in 04, yet some how GB took it. It was the only state in the US where he lost the exit polls and won the race. However, in 08 Ken Blackwell will not be in charge of the Ohio election machinery. I can’t wait to see what happens.

  10. Tim Barlow says:

    Anyone of any party who thinks it is ok to have voting machines without paper receipts is an idiot. I will be happy to design an ATM machine for these peoples use.

    When the government says trust us you know there is a a problem.

  11. Super90,

    Take a look at ACORN filing hundreds of bogus voter registrations. And this is in a state that the senate may very well hang on one voters vote. You are crying about possible conspiracies, but ignore actual voter fraud being done in your parties name. As in documented and convicted vote buying. Of multiple democrats.

    Exit polls are not the election polls. If the idea of “Conservative” voters not wanting to talk to “liberal looking” pollsters (or even liberal pollsters disregarding their instructions and approaching “liberal looking” voters).

    I personally would be happy to see a mandatory paper trail with electronic voting (which should toss out every electronic voting conspiracy theory, especially if the parties got to designate some “test” precincts to match the paper valid to the electronic totals. Would you be willing to have a voter ID to stop the ongoing voter registration fraud from the left?

  12. Tom says:

    Why don’t the (all) machines print out what you have chosen? Why is it that if you deposit $0.01 in your bank account, you get a receipt showing exactly what you have done. Buy a penny candy (if there is one) and you get a receipt. Do you see where I’m going here? Every other financial or important transaction comes with a paper “trial” to document the intention and status of the transaction – but not our voting machines. Do you know why that is? Who has been in charge for the last decade? You guessed it – rethuglicans. If the voting machine spelled out exactly what happened to each voter, then the rethugs would not have a “wiggle room” for legal challenges. You see? By keeping you and me “in the dark”, they have a chance to re-write the history of the election. By having no verifiable proof of the vote of the voter, who can really say what is going on? You will never know if your vote counted toward the candidate of your choice or not. Why don’t the rethugs care about America? They don’t. They only care about staying in power – through any means possible. That is why the machines don’t work correctly. Would you do business with a company that said “trust us” when you entered into a transaction with them? Of course you wouldn’t. Why do you trust the voting machines then? Go to Brad Blog for details on how the machines are being used to undermine democracy. Bushco has not given you any reason on earth to trust them on anything. They do not deserve your trust now, either.

  13. Gars Luber says:

    Still crying about Nancy Pelosi?

    You might as well get used to it.

  14. John B says:

    Comment in violation of site policies deleted.

  15. jaw says:

    To justanotherjohn:

    While there is always voter registration fraud, with people like Micky Mouse getting registered, there is no evidence that Micky Mouse actually showed up to vote, and the pollster allowed him to , and that he voted Democratic. So that charge just doesn’t stick.

    As far as exit polls go, if they are done fairly and ina non-partisan way, they are an extremely accurate way to oversee an election for fraud. That’s why election watchdogs use them in other countries.

    Lastly, if you are in favor of paper trails, and I have heard a lot of conservatives say that they are (I have no idea if you are a conservative), you have to ask yourself why is it that the only people fighting tooth and nail against a paper trail are republican politicians? If we all are in favor of it, why is it not a reality?

  16. John says:

    And the Republicans are already saying “the exit polls will be wrong and favor Dems”. Sounds like people on both sides of the aisle think there may be a rigged election. If you live outside of the US, and think it is rigged, you can wager and get
    around 4-1 at if you bet on the republicans. I would love a pieece of that if it were legal here.

  17. Lex says:

    Yo, James, it’s those of us who’ve actually done the research who are the grownups.

    And before you drag out that tired Nancy Pelosi bushwa, I’ve been a Red State Republican since 1978. My state adopted electronic machines with voter-verified paper ballots and was absolutely correct to do so.

    The damn paperless touch-screen machines are simply unreliable. Period. End of story.