By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Analyzing fraud claims in Iran (II)

Maybe Ahmadinejad won after all. This analysis in Politico is pretty persuasive to my non-expert eyes.

More: A stunning commentary from the Guardian arguing that Ahmadinejad won.


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Scenes from the Iranian protests


  1. Treg

    Of course, it's not mutually exclusive. Maybe there was all manner of fraud in Ahmadinejad's favor. And maybe he wins anyway.

  2. Bill Baar

    Stephen Hayes takes a look at the Leverett's analysis and polling.

  3. Bill Baar

    Sorry…better link.

  4. Dan Kennedy

    Bill: Juan Cole did it earlier and better than Hayes.No one has all the factors nailed down yet — there are flaws in every analysis. But it would be disastrous for the White House to adopt as fact the notion that Ahmadinejad stole the election unless he really, provably did.

  5. mike_b1

    I wasn't impressed with this article. The authors criticize the lack of evidence of those who found fault with the results, but present nothing (except for a single poll) to rebut the claims of fraud. And in fact, the Guardian piece you pointed to earlier was certainly explicit about problems with the results. It's almost as if the authors simply wanted to be provocative (and their editor, based on the headline, agreed).

  6. matteomht

    Fascinating. Politico blathers on for two full pages about the election, with hardly any actual fact about *this* election at all. Just a breezy, shoot-from-the-hip counterpoint, to give the appearance of being worldly wise when Ahmadinejad emerges as the final victor. Probably assigned 18 hours ago when it looked like the demonstrations would amount to nothing, and probably we'll see a very different view tomorrow now that yesterday's presumption of a fizzle has turned out to be very wrong.

  7. lkcape

    Interesting speculation.This may all be moot as the "election" may be overtaken by events.

  8. Bill Baar

    Check Hitchen's today about calling this thing an "election" too….

  9. Steve

    I have seen links arguing pro and con. Somehow in Iranian elections I think there's only one vote that really counts, but that might just be prejudice and the popular will may even mean something to the one vote that counts.I can't see how ANYONE is going to get a really straight story on this – it's a real journalistic problem just figuring out whom to believe. Real, on-the-spot journalism there must require great courage.

  10. Michael Pahre

    The Guardian commentary is an argument that it is plausible, if not likely, that Ahmedinejad won. But it neither presents facts about the election counts nor refutes any other news reports. It's just commentary and perspective.I agree that the Politico article is persuasive. On the point of comparison with Florida in 2000, however, they are off-the-mark: "Compared with the U.S. presidential election in Florida in 2000, the flaws in Iran’s electoral process seem less significant."While many people may disagree with the Florida process, we at least saw thousands and thousands of ballots being inspected by hand and counted. There was a robust legal process that snaked through the state courts and then the Supreme Court. And that process produced a result that the losing candidate publicly accepted.We have not yet seen those elements in Iran in 2009. We will watch and see.

  11. jvwalt

    The most persuasive evidence of all was the quick announcement of the results. As someone said the other night, they managed to hand-count millions of ballots in a couple of hours. Physically impossible.

  12. Dan Kennedy

    And yet there have been reports that Mousavi was claiming victory before the polls closed. Lots of strange stuff going on.Keep an eye on Rafsanjani, Mousavi's most important supporter. Thoroughly corrupt, which means he's someone who's probably amenable to negotiations.

  13. Michael Pahre

    Dan, I think that, if you looked closely enough, you would find many examples of elections in the developing world where candidates claimed victory either before or right after the polls closed — i.e., before any votes were counted or results announced.I wouldn't be surprised if the two minor candidates (who shared 3% of the supposed vote) claimed victory, too…Most countries do not have the election-day customs that we in the U.S. follow, such as not claiming victory until the loser concedes first (and calls the winner on the phone).

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