…and this is for all the marbles.
A blue wave, a red wave, Biden landslide, mirages, Trump landslide, more status quo, or will Kanye surprise?
As Victor Davis Hanson notes, the 2020 election is not just about Joe Biden sitting on a perceived lead and trying to run out the clock against barnstorming incumbent President Trump. It is really a choice between changing rules when they are deemed inconvenient and respecting constitutional norms and long-held traditions that have served America well for many years.
Watch the 2020 Election results (or not):
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TRUMP: Total 19 – KY (8), IN (11)
BIDEN: Total 16 – VT (3), VA (13)
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State of play (as of 1905ET)
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Here are the deadlines in battleground states:
Axios reports when each state official has said we can expect unofficial election results:
Arizona: Early ballots will have to have the signatures verified, and there’s no way to know how many voters will turn those in on Election Day, according to Sophia Solis, spokesperson for the office of Arizona’s secretary of state.
Florida: Election night results will not be released at the state level until 8 pm Eastern, according to a spokesperson for the Florida Department of State. The spokesperson declined to provide any other projections for the timing of results.
Georgia: Results are expected late Tuesday for non-close races. Even in the close races, Walter Jones, spokesperson for the Secretary of State office said, they will probably have it sorted out by Wednesday.
Michigan: The Secretary of State’s office expects it to take until roughly Friday to process and count all the ballots, according to spokesperson Tracy Wimmer.
Minnesota: “We expect that all or substantially all of in-person election day votes and absentee votes will reported election night or soon after,” said Peter Bartz-Gallagher, a spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s office.
North Carolina: “Results reported by the end of election night will include 97 percent or more of all ballots cast in North Carolina in the 2020 general election,” according to the Board of Elections.
Ohio: “We expect results from Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning,” said Maggie Sheehan, press secretary for the Ohio Secretary of State’s office.
Pennsylvania: Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said in a recent interviewthat she expects the “overwhelming majority” of votes will be counted by Friday, Nov 6.
Texas: The Texas secretary of state’s office declined to provide any expected timeline given the large size of the state and that elections are run on a county-by-county-basis.
Wisconsin: “In some bigger cities, especially where they count absentee ballots at a central location instead of the polling place, we might not see all the results until the next morning,” said Reid Magney, a spokesperson for the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
On election night itself, Michael Snyder says the most important state to focus on will be Florida. As I discussed in a previous article, Florida is one of the states that allows mail-in ballots to be counted in advance, and we should have a really good idea of what the results are going to look like in the state by the end of the night.
If Biden is declared the winner in Florida on election night, that is going to be a really, really bad sign for Trump. There really isn’t a path to 270 electoral votes for Trump without Florida.
If Trump wins Florida, or if the vote is too close to call, then Pennsylvania becomes crucially important.
Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is one of the states that does not allow mail-in ballots to be counted in advance, and they are going to have millions of them to count.
At this point, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is openly admitting that “it may take longer than usual to count every vote”…
‘These are unprecedented times. Because of the coronavirus, there were millions of votes cast by mail so it may take longer than usual to count every vote,’ he says in a new ad for the nonpartisan group, The Voter Project.
‘The folks in our election offices – your neighbors, family and friends are working hard ensuring every single vote is counted,’ he says.
Pennsylvania is supposed to have every vote counted by Friday, but we are deeply skeptical.
Interestingly, and not exactly confidence-inspiring, Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon reportedly said this afternoon that:
“We continue to have multiple pathways to 270 electoral votes” says they can win 270 even without PA and FL,” according to Time’s Charlotte Alter.
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Or follow along with Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper as they drink and comment on the state-by-state counts (but definitely do not declare any victory).
As Matt Taibbi writes, in life, as in cult sci-fi/adventure thrillers starring Geneva’s own Christopher Lambert, winner takes all:
Unfortunately, there are good reasons to doubt we’ll see anyone’s head fully lopped off this evening. The enormous number of mail-in votes, coupled with a slate of conflicting state rules about when such votes are counted – added to a high likelihood of unpredictable logistical difficulties associated with the pandemic – make a delayed conclusion to the Trump-Biden electoral contest very possible.
Usually, high in-person turnout favors Democrats. This year, because so many Democrats voted early (and Republicans have been warned away from mail ballots), the situation will likely be reversed. This means we could very well have early results that look confusing, maybe even like a wipeout for Trump, when what we’re actually seeing is just in-person votes being counted faster than mail votes. We also could see opposite scenarios.
Overall, the likelihood is that Joe Biden will win, and comfortably, but the issue is when that result comes in. Imagine the chaos of the Iowa Democratic caucus, with all the attendant scarcely-believable explanations coming from officials and vote-counters, expanded to presidential scale. That’s the horror-movie scenario for this evening.
Because of the fear both sides have about the results, the quantity of media spin tonight is likely to be, as rule 7 below notes, “unprecedented.” Partisans from both red and blue camps will be prepping audiences for bad news in ways that deflect blame from their own consultant pals, and also planting seeds for arguments likely to be made in contested-result scenarios. Expect Republicans to tell tales of trucks of fake ballots shipped over the Rio Grande in burlap sacks, while Democrats might counter with photos of wheelchair-bound minority voters invited to exercise their democratic covenant at ad-hoc ballot stations re-located to the top of hundred-foot climbing walls.
DRINKING GAME RULES
The main rule is implied: just start drinking and don’t stop for the next few years.
As for tonight specifically, here goes:
Drink for EVERY MENTION of:
1) “Red mirage”;
2) “Blue mirage”;
3) “Path to victory” or “route to victory”;
4) “Most important election of our lifetime”;
5) “Still too close to call”;
6) “Shy Trump supporter”;
8) “Firewall.” Double if this is accompanied by an awkward effort by an anchor to inoffensively characterize the minority voting bloc to which they’re ascribing monolithic voting tendencies;
9) “Neck and neck”;
10) “Broward County” or “Miami-Dade”;
11) “It could be a big night for (whatever)”;
12) “It all comes down to Pennyslvania.”
Drink EVERY TIME:
13) A commentator says “(something) is on the ballot tonight,” and that something is not the name of a candidate;
14) John King looks visibly aroused on the way to the Magic Wall;
15) A member of the media uses the word “we” to describe Democratic Party results;
16) A Republican accuses Democrats of stuffing ballots. Double if the alleged plot involves use of undocumented immigrants as sham voters;
17) A Democrat mentions voter suppression. Double if this is accompanied by a warning that this is the “only way” Trump could win;
18) Any commentator suggests Trump will not give up power if he loses;
19) Someone reports the possibility of results-delaying litigation over a new set of voting irregularities detected today;
20) A commentator reacts to a result by seriously wondering aloud if Russians are meddling;
21) There is video of Melania Trump looking a little too happy that her husband is losing;
22) Trump ups the ante on an outrageous lie about his opponents at the 11th hour, like that Biden has already written an executive order canceling free enterprise, or has decided to grant American citizenship to everyone in Bangladesh;
23) Biden says something incomprehensible, dozes off, or forgets whom he’s talking with in a TV appearance;
24) Someone cuts to: shot of boarded-up windows. Double when windows are actually broken.
25) Someone cries on set as results come in. Or, alternatively, does the political version of the Bill Simmons fist pump:
Finally, we fall back to Buckminster Fuller’s infamous quote for some context tonight:
If you take all the machinery in the world and dump it in the ocean, within months more than half of all humanity will die and within another six months they’d almost all be gone; if you took all the politicians in the world, put them in a rocket, and sent them to the moon, everyone would get along fine.
Stay safe and remember that politics is all about subverting you emotionally and then reaping your production. The rest are details.