“It ain’t over till its over.” So said the late Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame baseball player, famous philosopher, and king of the malaprops. Of course, he was speaking in a different context, a pennant race in 1973. But, it was true then, and it is true now. Trump supporters, take heart. The official voting may be over, but the postelection drama is just beginning.
When I went to bed on Election Night in the US, or more precisely, in the wee hours of ED+1, Trump was in a good position. He was narrowly ahead in various undecided states with a couple of clear paths to 270. When I woke up later that morning in Soviet Russia circa 1930 things had changed dramatically. Biden had surged ahead in MI and WI, had closed the gap dramatically in other states, such as G, NC and PA, and appeared to be on the clear path to victory. Trump seemed to be all but done.
How had this happened? What had caused such a dramatic shift in just a few hours? If you’re shocked, frustrated and confused over this dramatic turn of events you’re not alone. You have plenty of company, including yours truly. Voting anomalies, to be sure.
As I write this Biden is leading in electoral votes 264 – 214 with six states undecided – AZ, N, PA, G, AK, and NC. Biden is leading in the first two, Trump in the others. We can eliminate AK from this discussion as it only has three electoral votes and Trump is way ahead and clearly will win it. The others are too close to call (including AZ, which some news outlets called last night, perhaps, prematurely).
The situation is very fluid, but the salient points are as follows:
- The Trump campaign is protesting the results in those states, alleging “rampant corruption.” That may be a bit strong, but, in my mind, there have certainly been voting irregularities.
- There are reports the Trump campaign has or shortly will file lawsuits in PA, AZ and GA.
- These irregularities seem to be centered around mail-in ballots. In many states they were being used for the first time due to many voters’ fears of voting in person due to COVID. Many states were simply overwhelmed by the sheer volume as was the USPS.
- There have been allegations of irregularities in other states as well. For instance, Trump was leading in WI all evening. Somehow in the middle of the night a batch of more than 100,000 ballots was “discovered.” They just happened to be virtually all for Biden. They flipped the state.
- There have been alleged irregularities regarding mail-in ballots in PA and N. These ballots are supposed to be scrutinized to ascertain that the voter is eligible and registered, the signature is valid, the timestamp is timely and the form is filled out properly and completely.
- The Trump campaign has raised doubts about these verifications, particularly in cases in which their observers were locked out. One GOP poll watcher reported he was not allowed within “100 feet” of the ballots. Obviously, there was no way to “watch” from that distance. Since I was a child I have heard jokes about dead people voting and others voting more than once, but this year with this system it is no joke.
- The PA Supreme Court arbitrarily changed the rules on the eve of ED. It decided to legalize all ballots as long as they were postmarked by midnight on ED. It is not clear that they had the authority to extend the filing deadline in this manner. Normally, that is the purview of the state legislature.
- There have been various instances of the USPS “losing” ballots. For example, hundreds of thousands of ballots have been found on the floor and in garbage pails. How many have not been found?
Trump supporters should not get their hopes up, even if the transgressions may seem to be obvious and egregious. The lawsuits and recounts are a longshot, a “Hail Mary.” It will be very difficult to prove corruption, fraud or even irregularities. The courts may even decline to hear the lawsuits. Moreover, historically, recounts, though fairly commonplace have rarely changed the outcome of an election. Trump supporters will fight on, but the reality is it is a sad day for America and the American way of life.
Both candidates still have a path to 270. However, Biden only needs to win one of the remaining states to win the election. Trump has to run the table. You do the math. It appears that, for better or worse, Biden will end up as the 46th president of the US.
Already, the protesters/rioters and the “spin doctors” are out in full force.
- Regarding PA, lawyer Rudy Giuliani has asserted that “not a single Republican has been able to look at any of these mail-in ballots.” He said, somewhat facetiously, “we don’t know if these ballots are valid or not. [For all we know,] they could be from Mars or the DNC.” The clear implication is that there has been cheating.
- PA Governor Tom Wolfe (D) took umbrage at this charge. He replied that attempts to “subvert the democratic process are simply disgraceful.”
- Dem supporters are chanting “count every ballot.” The implication of this is clear.
- GOPers have a slightly different chant, “count every legal ballot.”
Some final thoughts and observations:
- As a group, the pollsters and pundits “blew it” badly. They were so far off it was downright embarrassing. As a group, their credibility is at a low ebb. Most of them had predicted a Biden landslide. Few, if any, thought Trump would win, and he almost did (maybe not almost). On election eve they had Trump losing by several points in many states he actually won, such as FL, Ohio, and NC. One poll had Biden winning Wisconsin by 17 points. They had Lindsay Graham, Mitch McConnell and Joni Ernst losing or in tough battles. They all won handily. You may recall that most polls were way off in 2016 as well. On November 4 the headline of the NY Post proclaimed “Polls, Pundits, Press – Wrong, Wrong, Wrong.” The much ballyhooed “Blue Wave” never materialized. Predictions from some, such as the Des Moines Register, were on point, but as a group, they need to reassess their methodology if they want to re-establish their credibility.
- Dems and the mainstream media will criticize Trump for not conceding graciously, but the fact of the matter is the Biden campaign would have done exactly the same thing had they lost. Heck, they still have not conceded the 2016 election. Furthermore, last week the bitter has-been, Hillary Clinton, advised Biden “never to concede.”
- In my view, many Biden voters, due to apathy and/or ignorance, do not have the foggiest conception of what they voted for, such as higher taxes, healthcare for all, the elimination of fossil fuels and fracking, the Green New Deal, the elimination of the border wall, hostile relations with Israel, and various “free” stuff.
- They will soon develop “buyer’s remorse.” “Free” stuff is not free. Someone, somehow, somewhere has to pay for it. Dems’ claims that it will fall exclusively on the wealthy is simply not true. There are not enough of them and the cost will be too high. Everyone will pay to some degree. When the time comes don’t complain. As the expression goes, “you get the government you deserve.”