How the Republic Voted

A play by Bruce W. Morlan
1 Feb 2004

PAUL POLESTAR - a slick-hairdo, pretty-boy talking head news anchor

(Speaking very fast in a "radio announcer" voice)
Welcome to full ballot by ballot coverage of Election NOW! We will be bringing you all the news that's here to hear. From the first ballot to the final tally ho! I'm your host, Paul Polestar.


Thanks Paul. Hi everybody, I'm DR. GEORGE WHIZCH, though you all know me a "Gee whiz". I'll be running the numbers through every tortuous bit of logic statisticians have made available. By the end of the night you not only will know who (lowers voice) probably (normal voice) won, you'll also know which tiny itsy bitsy demographic COULD HAVE CHANGED HISTORY if they had only voted the "other way". I'll smoke out the most critical and obscure group and drag them into the light of our analysis to expose them as THE REASON WHY someone else won.


Thanks Gee, hey, its 6:01 somewhere, the polls have been open for 58 seconds, lets see who's winning! We go now to our reporter in the field, Ralph Blitzmeinungsforscher. Hello Ralph-can-I-just-call-you-Ralph-Blitzer?

Sound of murmuring ... we hear a door open to reveal the sound of slot machines ringing.

RALPH BLITZMEINUNSFORSCHER - a field reporter in winter gear.

Hi, Paul-no-I-want-you-to-struggle, we are here in the frozen tip of the most eastern part of the United States and I want to tell you that with one voter having voted we are projecting that the GOP candidate, Condi Rice, will win the election by a margin of 51% to 49%, with a margin of error bigger than the deficit, based on a projected standard deviation of plus-or-minus 79 percentage points. Might as well close the polls out West, cause this election is "in the can".


Thanks Ralph-who-will-NEVER-see-the-inside-of-a-studio, well, back to you, Dr. Gee, can you add anything to that?


No, Paul, let's just hear a word from our sponsor.

Sound of jingle fades out before finishing, lights go down - lit clock advances 14 hrs over a 40 second period.

( ---------- Scene 2 ---------- )

Same jingle fades in and finishes, lights come up - ashtrays are full, paper coffee cups are crumpled on floor, camera crew is clearly exhausted, news anchors are still fresh and bright, though they are now hooked up to IV's. Nurse finishes checking IV and sneaks off-camera as they resume speaking.


Well, the polls have closed, and we have the results of our exit polls coming in fast. Dr. Gee, what are they telling us?


Well Paul, they are telling us that we were right once again.