Everybody’s arguing over how Mahmoud Ahmadinejad managed to win re-election in Iran: did they falsify the numbers, prevent people from voting, discount people’s ballots? But pollsters Ken Ballen and Patrick Doherty have an even more depressing explanation: he won. Their independent poll of Iranians, taken three weeks before the election, showed Ahmadinejad winning by a 2-to-1 margin, which is actually better than the 63% he got in the official results. They also note that a majority of Iranians in the survey gave “politically incorrect” answers about other issues, suggesting that they weren’t supporting Ahmadinejad just out of fear. The only demographic group that favoured his opponent was college students, suggesting that Mousavi may be the George McGovern of Iran. Possible election-rigging and fraud over an election that the incumbent would have won anyway? Maybe Ahmadinejad is the new Nixon.
What if he actually won?
Pollsters argue that Ahmadinejad’s victory isn’t inconsistent with pre-election surveys