Jansing and Co | October 12, 2012
>>> a spokesman is now walking back the suggestion congressman darryl isa will look into the october jobs report. here is what he said originally.
>> the way it's being done with the constant revision, significant revision tells us it's not as exact a science as it needs to be.
>> joining me now is rick hassen, professor of law and political science . author of the book "the voting wars." professor, good morning.
>> good morning.
>> as we all know, it's not just congressional republicans who questioned the jobs number. first was legendary ceo jack welch . we heard there is no basis for these accusations, so what gives?
>> i put it into a larger context of when we get into election season, people have a hard time believing things contrary to what they want. we can put this in the same category as many republicans who thought that the opinion polls which were showing obama in the lead were actually mistaken.
>> it's interesting because slate, and you wrote for slate, did a poll. they asked about whether the books were cooked on the polls which showed barack obama strongly ahead. 71% of self-i.d.ed republicans and 41% of tea partiers think those polls were skewed?
>> yeah. this is kind of a reverse of what we saw in 2004 . that's when george w. bush was up against john kerry .
>> you're more concerned about republicans not buying into the final outcome of this election than the democrats. you write in this article, "all these conspiracy theories indicated that we are unlucky enough to have a very close election in november in which president obama ekes out a victory, we can expect republicans to question the election results, too."
>> there's been this huge cry on the republican side about voter fraud and on the democratic side about voter suppression . it's what i call the voting wars. people have lost trust and confidence in even how the votes are counted. when you're on the losing end of a close election , you think there is a problem. when you're on the winning end you think they counted the votes fairly. all this churning does undermine the public's faith that the votes are going to be fairly counted.
>> isn't there a difference between normal questioning and legitimate questioning, and having those questions clearly answered, and still not accepting those answers if they are contrary to what you want to hear?
>> is there a difference in that. we've seen if you polled democrats after 2004 , about 22% thought the way the election was run was unfair compared to 3% of republicans. if you look at a state like washington state where they had a contested governor's race, 68% thought the way the election was run was unfair compared to 27% of democrats. it depends on who is the winner and who is the loser. we are in this atmosphere where any kind of incompetence how an election is run is made into a conspiracy theory that somebody is trying to steal the election. that's what i'm worried about.
>> you made a great point in the slate article, many, but this one in particular. you believe there is serious consequences to all this because if you believe the election is illegitimate, how do you work with the other side if you think they are cooking the books ?
>> that's right. it may sound trite but democracy is only as strong as our faith, that our votes will be fairly and accurately counted. where you hear results dictators get 90% or 100% of the votes, nobody believes it. we need a system where people accept the votes. it's a recipe in this partisan, polarized atmosphere for things to go wrong.
>> is there anything we can do about it?
>> i think is there a lot we can do about it. first thing get those partisan election officials who run our elections, get rid of them and replace them with nonpartisan officials who will have as their allegiance the integrity of the system and not one or other political party . that would be a great start.
>> professor hasen, thank you for getting up early on the west coast . good night to talk to you.
>> it's been a pleasure.