When decision time comes this fall, the real swing votes in the 2004 presidential election might not come from Pennsylvania, Ohio or even the notorious Florida. The ultimate Bush-Kerry battleground could turn out to be somewhere more far-flung and unexpected: Israel, Britain, even Indonesia.
Both political camps say they are getting ready for the fight, courting American voters who are living overseas and taking no chances that the expatriate vote will undermine them at the finish line. Although an official census has never been taken, between 4 million and 10 million American citizens are believed to be living abroad. Those over 18 are entitled to have their absentee votes counted in the state where they last lived, no matter how long ago that was. And many are planning to do just that.
"There's enormous interest abroad, because the whole of the world depends on the result," said Phyllis Earl, 72, who lives in Britain and has not voted in a U.S. election since 1956, two years after she moved overseas.
Overseas voters are considered particularly important this year. Polls suggest razor-thin margins in several battleground states, and votes coming in from abroad - a score here, a dozen there - could well tip the balance.
Contrary to widespread belief, it was more likely American voters in Israel, not Florida, who put George W. Bush in the White House four years ago, a phenomenon that has Kerry's supporters in Israel vowing to do whatever it takes to make certain that doesn't happen again in November.
Monday, August 16, 2004
Ex-Pats Could Decide Election
This is an interesting analysis at Newsmax.com saying that expatriots could decide the 2004 election--just like they did in 2000.