Probably not if you are not paranoid. I was not paranoid until about 5 minutes ago. Clermont county is in the 2nd congressional district of Ohio. This is a very very Republican district. In a special congressional electon, Democrat Paul Hackett is currently ahead of Republican Jean Schmidt 25920 votes to 24527. This is amazing. Another odd thing is that with over a third of precints in the district reporting 0 precincts in Clermont county have reported results. That is zero. Hmmmm now where have I heard that name before ? Here, here or here ?
Blogs with tinfoil hat internet access reported white stickers covering up Kerry-Edwards votes on optically scanned ballots scanned in, you guessed it, Clermont County Ohio.
Will I be able to keep my sanity if Schmidt wins because of suprisingly strong support in Clemont county ? Do I have any sanity to keep ?
Update: Now its Schmidt 46,304 Hackett 43,708 with 81.19 % of precincts reporting. Schmidt did indeed do well in Clermont but is also winning outside of Clermont. The Republicans keep a seat in one of the most Republican districts in the country, but at least I keep my sanity.
Update 2: I called it too soon. I mean still looks like Schmidt is going to win, but I'm not so sure about my sanity. Votes in Ohio 2nd outside of Clermont county are complete and Hackett won outside of Clermont by 877 votes. Schmidt is ahead in Clermont by 1770. All remaining non reporting precincts are in Clermont county. Time to invest in tinfoil futures. The real world might not notice but I predict interesting times in the left reaches of the left blogosphere.
Update 3: I guess some of you have heard of Clermont county. In fact some of you might live in Clermont County. I have a link from a daily newspaper ! OK it's for being paranoid and it's not the highest circulation newspaper in the world but thanks for noticing me Jessica Fisher.
Schmidt did indeed win by slightly less than 4 %. This is bad enough for the Republicans for Charlie Cook to call it a serioius warning that they are in deep trouble. So far I have kept my sanity. The strongest blow was finding that I am on the same wavelength as Michelle Malkin who also predicted tin hat accusations of fraud. nnnoooooo not Michelle Malkin who now has a zillion and one undeserved links.
Checking around it looks like Michelle and I are mostly wrong. First of all, Hackett is smart enough not to act paranoid (I made no prediction). My guess is he will run for Senate next. At the DailyKos there are proud and, I think, sincere declarations of moral victory herehere and here. A lot of victory laps for a moral victory, but no tinfoil. I haven't read the comments. Atrios declares moral victory, Josh Marshall calmly notes moral victory as does Kevin Drum.