Waiting for The Win

Yesterday was a long, uneventful day, a day of waiting for a conclusion that didn’t come.  The suspenseful process of counting the ballots for the presidency continued all day and into the night, with the frontrunner Joe Biden holding a good lead over Trump.  By the end of the day, Biden had won Wisconsin and Michigan, flipping them blue and preserving his path to victory.  Attention then shifted to Nevada (6 electoral votes), Arizona (11), Georgia (16), and Pennsylvania (20) where mail-in ballots outstanding are expected to run mainly in Biden’s favor, but where races remains too close to call.  Alaska (3) and North Carolina (15) are also still in play but more likely to end up in the president’s column.  At midnight, according to CNN, Biden had 253 electoral votes to Trump’s 213.

Today, the presidential contest will come to a climax, as Georgia, Nevada, and Arizona report additional returns.  If Biden holds his lead in Nevada and Arizona, he will have exactly 270 and Trump will have lost.  If Biden pulls ahead in Pennsylvania on the strength of the remaining 763,000 mail-in ballots still being counted in mainly urban and suburban areas, Trump will be toast.  It will be many days, however, before Pennsylvania completes its count.

Meanwhile, Biden leads in the popular vote, being the choice of  70,470,207 voters, or 50.3 percent of the electorate nationwide, and counting.  Votes for the president stand at 67,280,936 (48.0 percent).  Record numbers of Americans voted in this election, with about 67 percent of all eligible voters, or over 160 million citizens, taking part this time.  This enormous mobilization registers Americans’ verdict on Trump’s presidency and the direction they want the nation to take.

If Biden wins, the losing candidate and his supporters may cause mayhem and violence.  So far, state officials and the major news outlets (including even Fox) have wisely projected respect for the election process and the people’s will.  It is very important to the stability of the country that they have refrained from rash claims for one side or the other, instead reporting only full vote counts while urging calm.  Michigan is a prime example, where Governor Whitmer and her dynamic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, have been speaking out on the imperative need to respect every vote and the collective will of the people.  The protracted nature of this election count, and the fact that Biden has been leading the bulk of the time, is a good thing, in that it allows voters of all stripes to accept the final outcome as being authentic, if word of a Biden victory comes.

This morning the stock market is surging on expectation that Biden will win, while the Senate will remain under Republican control.  Whereas a plunging stock market would signal a foreboding of post-election violence and instability, the surge indicates investors’ confidence that the people’s will in selecting the president will prevail.

Image: C. B. Slemp, secretary to Calvin Coolidge,
receiving word of the election in 1924,
from this source.

 

Day 53: The state of the race


There’s no sure-fire way to know the mind of the electorate, but this map from 270 to Win expresses where pollsters and other experts think the race for the White House is going, based on the information on hand now.

To win, Donald Trump will have to hold the states of Texas and Iowa and swing all the toss-up states (Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, and Arizona) into his column.  In addition, he must recapture pivotal northern states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania that he narrowly won last time but that are trending for Biden now.

Trump is a shrewd campaigner, but, as president, he has alienated and outraged so many Americans that it is hard to imagine him winning their votes.  He’s likely to do poorly anywhere with sizable minority communities.  The black population, in particular, is highly energized against Trump and eager to destroy him at the polls.  His predatory and retrograde treatment of women dooms him with this crucial demographic, too.  From day one, Trump has treated his political opponents as enemies, spoiling any hope now of making new “friends.”

Underneath Trump is a Republican party that is rotting away.  The compromises its leaders have made for Trump’s sake have driven thousands of reputable and influential followers away.  Hundreds of high-ranking Republicans have washed their hands of Trump, declared their support for Biden, and counseled rank-and-file voters to do the same.

This discord isn’t free-floating.  It’s playing out in states.  Former governors and legislators are actually working to defeat their own party’s leader.  Trump’s funding is drying up.  Many Republicans up for election are shaky.  As Trump continues to war against his own party’s establishment, he risks a victory that may doom him, too.

RELATED:
Ruth Ben-Ghiat, “Co-opt and Corrupt: How Trump Bent and Broke the GOP” (NYR)
Jacob Greber, “James and Kathryn Murdoch Become Some of Biggest Anti-Trump Donors(AFR).
“Trump’s August Fundraising Lags Biden’s By 150 Million” (NPR)


Image:
from this source.