The election

I wouldn’t normally put up another post meant for discussion, but this is an unusual day. The Presidential election is still a toss-up, and results change from hour to hour. Before we begin, have a gander at this map  (data here, h/t Nicole). I don’t think there’s a correlation with the map below it:


Here’s the latest from the New York Times:


Of course, we’re all pundits now, but here are my thoughts, which are mine.

1.) I think Biden/Harris will squeak through, and we’ll know tomorrow.

2.) I think that most of the mail-in votes will be from Democrats, which heartens me.

3.) I am, perhaps like most of you optimists, deeply surprised that Trump is doing so well. My only explanation is that Trump voters did not reveal that they favored him when they were polled. That, of course, means that they are ashamed of voting for him. I cannot IMAGINE anybody voting for Trump after seeing him for four years in office, but people who vote their pocketbook think he’s helped the economy and they may agree with his xenophobia, faux religionism, love of guns, and authoritarian stand.  I was depressed when he won in 2016, but now, after we’ve seen that he’s even more horrible than we imagined, it’s even more depressing, not to mention the damage he’ll do to the country and to the world

4.) As usual, the Northeast and the Far West are democratic. I’m pleased that New Mexico went for Biden, and of course Arizona will be a key capture for the Democrats (Biden’s leading there). Fingers crossed

5.) Everyone I know is sweating bullets lest Trump wins (I don’t have any close friends who aren’t Biden supporters), and that includes people overseas. It’s gonna be a tough two days.

6.) I’m especially worried that the Senate will stay Republican. That, like the days of Obama, is a recipe for stalemate, especially now that the Supreme Court is deeply conservative. When I told a friend this, and that I was worried that it would lead to a lack of “progress”, he said, “forget about progress—we’re doing damage control here.

7.) To add to the distress, Trump said yesterday that he wants the vote-counting stopped now, and will take the election to the Supreme Court. As far as I know, he can’t do either of these things, particularly the first one.

Let’s take a poll, and please vote. Make that two polls, and remember, you’re just guessing. Nobody knows the answer to either question; I’m just assessing feelings.

Weigh in below.

248 thoughts on “The election

    1. Yes.

      I have him at 270 if he wins MI, NV, and WI (which I’m still seeing as not locked but favoring him). Is that correct?

      It would be a crazy win without either FL or PA. And him winning with exactly 270 EVs would practically guarantee a Trump lawsuit over mail-in ballots pretty much everywhere, since even just one meaningful (i.e. outcome-changing) court ruling would give him the election.

            1. Interesting that Fox gave Biden Arizona last night, none of the others have yet. That single Omaha, Nebraska vote, with AZ, Wisc and Mich comes to 270 if I added right. If so he wouldn’t need Nev, Geor or N.Car, nor especially Penn.

              If exactly that happened, what if some pair of idiot Dem electors say they’ll switch or abstain if legal, unless Biden publicly commits to universal government health care? or similar.

              1. I’m much less worried about that than the Barrett court deciding that mail-in voting in some districts was unconstitutional.

  1. It is surprising how quickly one can go from feeling like anything less than a landslide will be unacceptable…to just hoping against hope that Biden squeaks through against this lunatic.

    I wouldn’t be able to face four more years of this cretin, and I don’t even live in America.

    1. It happened last time too.

      It’s because the EC is more out of whack from the popular vote than it’s ever been. If Biden wins the popular but loses the EC, it will be the 3rd time in 20 years (5 elections) that that’s happened…all favoring the GOP.

      Prior to 2000, this happened once, in 1888.

      There were also a couple of times in the 1800s when the vote went to Congress because of EC issues, but aren’t direct analogies to “won the popular vote, lost the EC vote.”

  2. A Biden win means damage control. However, with Mitch in the Senate, nothing will be accomplished. Biden will have a lame duck presidency as long as the senate belongs to the republicans.

    1. Agreed. I think McConnell (et al) is in many ways far worse than the Donald. If anything, the president distracts people from the corruption in the Senate…which may be why the support him. I don’t know.

    2. Not necessarily, Irena. Consider the huge remedy a Biden presidency would be for the massive damage, and threats of further damage, that Trump has wreaked on fragile ecosystems and vulnerable species. The President, via executive orders and other powers—particularly when backed up by a blue House—has the authority to intervene for great ill or great good in environmental matters. And that’s just one area where we can expect a Biden presidency to heal the
      pathological vandalism carried out by Trump and his lickspittle minions in the legislative branch. A red Senate can block needed legislation on behalf of non-billionaires, but there’s a lot they can’t do without executive muscle.

      1. *Exactly.* To me, ‘damage control’ suggests termination of a destructive process, nothing more. But a Biden presidency could go far to *restoring* rational policy-making in many sphere, such as these, where the Senate need not come into the picture at all.

        1. Not to mention that Biden would conduct a sane foreign policy, therefor avoiding a nuclear holocaust. Not bad for a days work.

      2. Reviving the EPA? Reconstructing the State Dept? Get a proper response to Corona? All things he can do without Senate approval.
        I’m deeply shocked by the Senate elections, I expected a rout.

    3. To pile on what others have said, these things are generally all executive branch areas of decision-making:
      -International trade policy
      -Military policy
      -Foreign alliances
      -Immigration policy (i.e. not putting immigrant children in cages)
      -EPA regulation (Type Logician)
      -Paris Agreement (rickflick)
      -COVID recovery (rickflick)

      There’s a lot of good that can be done there, even without Mitch.

      Lastly, there are 22 GOP vs 12 Dem Senate seats up for reelection in 2022. So I don’t expect Mitch to be shutting down the government or doing anythnig like that in the next two years. He’ll compromise on budget and spending bills, not because he wants to, but because he wants people to go into 2022 upset at Biden, not upset at the GOP-controlled Senate.

  3. Trump is America’s Id. To think that half of the population has embraced their dark side & willingly bought into Trump’s willful delusions is deeply depressing.

    Four more years of Trump would doom the planet but if Biden squeaks through, half of the US population will still resist any progress.

    It’s very disturbing. The light on the hill is sputtering and soon to be extinguished.

    1. Trump is America’s Id.

      As Hunter Thompson wrote of Richard Nixon, Trump is “a hubris-crazed monster from the bowels of the American dream with a heart full of hate … and the shock of recognition is often painful.”

      Trump has all Richard Nixon’s multifarious seething resentments, but as though unleashed on bath salts. And Trump has none of Nixon’s overdeveloped Quaker Superego keeping any of it in check.

  4. The fact is that the Dems put up a weak ticket, “Dodders” Biden and “Giggles” Harris, which is having trouble overcoming the disadvantage of having to win the EC. Perhaps they can still squeak through, but even so it will be an indecisive win and Trumpism will live on.

    It will be interesting to learn how much the disorder in the streets and anti-police rhetoric helped tRump.

    1. Very true. The Dems desperately need a leader. Biden is not one, and Harris is about as likable as Hillary Clinton. I’d much rather see folks like Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard leading the way. I could actually vote for them (if I was American). The Dems also need a positive vision that people can vote *for*, as opposed to simply voting *against* Trump. Biden spent little time campaigning but most of what he did do was simply criticising Trump for character flaws, which we’re all perfectly capable of seeing for ourselves.

        1. I find Kamala likeable, too. She got an easy smile and a quick sense of humor, and a good-natured, up-front sex appeal (not that that last is something I usually look for in a politician — not for no reason is Washington, DC, known as “Hollywood for ugly people” — but it’s part of her persona. It’s also something Maya Rudolph parodies when she plays Kamala in SNL skits.)

        2. Sadly there are millions of Americans who do not agree with you, and many despise her. Some of those folks are my Midwest relatives who say things ranging from “I can’t stand her whiney voice and superior attitude” to “she f$#^@% her way to the top.”

          1. Remember that since there is no evidence for their criticism, they are operating out of ideology. This means they are persuadable, given time and effort. Your Midwest relatives are no worse than my Midwest relatives. 🤨

              1. Ha! Tough habit to break. They may encounter people of another race they can finally relate too, or they will simply have to go to their graves and leave the future to the young.

          2. “she f$#^@% her way to the top.”

            Weird how no one ever accuses a man of that, huh?

            There’ve been times, I must admit, when I wished I could’ve just f*ck*d my way to the middle. 🙂

      1. Tulsi Gabbard? The Tulsi Gabbard who went on Fox News to criticize the Trump impeachment hearings? Who cited the far right-wing Project Veritas in warning about Democratic candidates ballot harvesting?

        I’m a life-long U.S. Democrat, and I do not want Tulsi Gabbard anywhere near the leadership of the Democratic Party.

        1. Gabbard also has very Trump-like foreign policy notions. I.e. retreat and withdraw everywhere, and if Russia rolls over the Ukraine, China rolls over Taiwan, Afghanistan becomes a Taliban terrorist safety zone, and Iran gets nuclear weapons, well [shrug] not her problem.

          1. “Gabbard also has very Trump-like foreign policy notions. I.e. retreat and withdraw everywhere, and if Russia rolls over the Ukraine, China rolls over Taiwan, Afghanistan becomes a Taliban terrorist safety zone, and Iran gets nuclear weapons, well [shrug] not her problem.”

            Gabbard served in the military in Iraq. I wonder if her experiences there, like those of not a few other service members, influence her views on U.S. military intervention.

            Regarding retreating and withdrawing everywhere, thus far we seem to be most everywhere.

            I contemplate what “carrot” interventionists would offer a classroom of 17/18 year-olds to prompt them to volunteer to enlist to go in harm’s way to be possibly (probably?) killed or maimed for life. I doubt that detailed foreign policy discussions are part of military recruiters’ modus operandi. I doubt most late adolescents are inclined to such discussions, but they surely have high regard for their physical well-being, not a few of whom having an unsurprising “not my problem” attitude. (It would be their feet in the “boots on the ground,” not those of policy makers and think-tankers.) I wonder if it would be unpatriotic for maimed service members to have the same access, and give their perspectives, to students.

            1. I taught adolescents for 20 years, and I was always surprised at the number of them who expressed the desire to join the military. It was almost never the ones who had the grades and the financial means to go to college, of course.

              A recurring theme in stated reasons for joining the military was to gain training in a desired skill, such as vehicle maintenance.

              As far as the ideology of the typical student who expressed the desire to join the military, this verbatim quote from a former student captures the typical thinking:

              “I want to kill some towel-heads.”

            2. I’m sure her experiences did influence her view.

              I’m not disrespecting her service, but I do strongly disagree with her foreign policy notions. They put her last or close to last in my ranking of the primary candidates.

            3. I don’t think that Gabbard wants Iran to get nukes. What she is rightly questioning are interventionist approaches involving military force.

              In the last two decades, how successful have the US’s use of “boots on the ground” been? Maybe you’re a big fan of drone strikes too?

              It’s strange to see liberals (I assume you are one same as I) criticizing folks who caution against sending our young people to die on foreign soil.

              I’ve always associated our swollen military as wasteful, probably 30X bigger than it needs to be. And “send in them troops and blow em’ up!” usually is the cry of the simple-minded who are too impatient or dim to understand other means to deal with our foreign affairs.

              I suspect that the only reason you are doing this is because Trump also is a non-interventionist, and therefore non-interventionism must be bad now. Don’t make that mistake.

              1. ‘In the last two decades, how successful have the US’s use of “boots on the ground” been? Maybe you’re a big fan of drone strikes too?

                It’s strange to see liberals (I assume you are one same as I) criticizing folks who caution against sending our young people to die on foreign soil.’

                How is it that you so misconstrue my comments? I try to write/speak clearly. I am not an interventionist. Did you read where I wondered what “carrot” interventionists would offer adolescents, who would be the boots on the ground, not policy makers and wonks? That maimed for life service members should have no less a right than interventionists and military recruiters to present their perspectives to adolescents? Are you sure you meant to respond to me and not someone else?

              2. @ Filipo

                My reply was to Eric, not to you. He “strongly disagrees” Gabbard’s foreign policies…I see them as quite reasonable.

                Sorry for the confusion.

              3. It’s strange to see liberals (I assume you are one same as I) criticizing folks who caution against sending our young people to die on foreign soil.

                It’s not that interesting; despite the ‘GOP hawks, Dem doves’ meme, both parties have been somewhat hawkish since, oh, 1980 or so. 40 years! Clinton and Obama were both fairly interventionist, and not a lot of liberals complained about it.

                I subscribe somewhat to the “you broke it, you fix it” notion. No, we should not have gone into Iraq in response to 9/11; there was no justifiable reason. But once we did, and we had groups like the Kurds fighting for us, then it is highly unethical (not to mention a terrible foreign policy precedent) to pull up stakes and let Turkey and the Shi’ites in Iran kill them. Likewise with the Syrian resistance. Yes, it’s questionable why we got involved in the first place. But we did, and going in just to pulling out as Russia sarin-gasses them is worse than staying in.

                Do I want Biden to intervene in hotspots not directly related to US security? In general, no. Do I want him to stand by allies that former administrations committed the US to stand by? In general, yes.

        2. I’m not sure whether I saw her on Fox criticising the impeachment hearings but that makes me like her more. I won’t claim to be an expert on US politics but the impeachment attempt seems to have backfired on the Dems. Not only could they not find sufficient evidence against Trump but they appear to have shot themselves in the foot. There are a few folks who will be sweating bullets if Trump gets back in and they start up that investigation again.

          And what makes Project Veritas “far right-wing”? I know James O’Keefe is a conservative but far right is a little hyperbolic, surely.

          1. Impeachment had to be done. With all due respect, if you think there wasn’t enough evidence to impeach Trump, then you weren’t paying close enough attention.

            1. I don’t have time to read it thoroughly due to work commitments but I skimmed it. Frankly it appears to be not much more than a list of unfounded opinions, at times bordering on school-yard language and personal insults. I’m disappointed with Snopes, but not surprised as their reputation has taken a hit in recent years. They made a few off-hand claims that O’Keefe was right wing (not going as far as calling him far right) which seemed to be just an attempt to discredit him personally. To me it just looks like an ad hominem attack. It doesn’t convince me of anything except that Snopes’s credibility has plummeted if this is what passes for “fact checking” now.

              I’m bowing out. I joined in this conversation because I think it’s usually interesting and enlightening to engage with people who have a different opinion than I do, but it only works if both sides try to understand each other. This feels more like a confrontation. I did my best but in hindsight I was naive to think I could have a thoughtful and insightful discussion involving American politics immediately after an election that already appears to be headed for the courts and a decision that most people won’t be satisfied with. So it looks like regardless of who wins this election we’re stuck with 4 more years of what we’ve just had.

          2. Wherever one might place O’Keefe on the political spectrum, he’s an unethical hack who promulgates dishonestly edited videos of his so-called “investigative journalism.”

      2. The Democratic Party is a broad church. It has to accommodate viewpoints from AOC to Biden and everything in between. You only have to look at the other two replies to your comment to understand the problem.

        At this point uniting against the common enemy (Trump) is about all you can really hope for. Hopefully, the will change in the future but for now, Biden is fine (assuming he wins).

  5. I have been wrong concerning the U.S. public and their propensity for Trump. Especially so after watching his performance for four years. The only thing I have been correct on is the future of our government and country. To have done what was done in 2016 was simply stupid but this goes way beyond that. People prefer very low quality in their highly paid government officials and seem to expect very little or nothing for it. They show this in the fact that they can’t even take the majority away from the republicans in the Senate. So even if Biden manages a slight win, his administration will likely be sitting in the same condition four years from now. There really are no bold new ideas from either party and there is plenty of evidence for that. Just sitting there drawing a big salary and pretending to care sometimes is all you get.

    1. I don’t know how new they are, but there are lots of ideas from the Democrats. Most require a modicum of support from Republicans to be realized, which has not happened since the ACA.

      1. Maybe I do not have them all but for the most part they are pretty standard. Improve on Obama care. Maybe add a single payer (not going to happen without control of congress). Increase taxes on the rich and corporations so they have some money to do some other things? Try to do something about immigrant problems? But how about taking on the idea of getting money out of politics? Nobody wants that…too hard. Our congress, our government is never going to amount to a damn if we do not get the money out.

  6. That, of course, means that they are ashamed of voting for him.

    With due respect I think that’s a somewhat cynical assumption and unlikely to be true for anybody. It’s due to cancel culture. There’s a very real possibility that people can be disowned by friends and family, or lose their jobs, and more if they reveal that they vote for Trump. I wish we could get back to a time where it was possible to just respectfully disagree.

    1. Reporting as an election worker from rural Texas, it is the exact opposite here — people are afraid to tell friends and family they voted for Biden. I’m sorry.

    2. Based on this man’s behavior they should be ashamed of voting for him. There are criticisms of cancel culture that are perfectly reasonable and I certainly am not a paragon of political correctness, but this narrative of “suffering in silence” is one of the major lies in our culture.

      1. Why should they be ashamed? People have their reasons for voting the way they do and people have different priorities. We’re all free to disagree with people’s voting choices but I feel it’s going too far to say people should be ashamed because they have a different opinion, priorities, etc.

        Everybody can see Trumps character flaws in his tweets and his speeches. Like all of us, he’s flawed, but there are also positives. The economy was strong (until Covid hit), unemployment was historically low. Trump is the first president I can remember that hasn’t started a war. He brought a lot of American troops home. He helped broker at least 3 peace deals between Muslim countries and Israel. That last one is a huge positive, at least to me.

        Are there things he could have done better in the last 4 years? Of course there are. But the choice is not between perfect and evil. We’re voting for the better option between 2 people who both have strengths and weaknesses.

        If you were voting for somebody to be your friend then maybe his abrasive and sometimes offensive style would rule him out. But you’re voting for a president, not somebody to hang out with. Does his personality really matter more than his performance in the job?

        1. How much do you think Trump’s contribution was in the record employment and record economic growth or the three peace deals? I suspect he actually had very little to do with it.

          On the other hand, dismantling the EPA, building a useless wall, tear gassing protestors in Washington DC, dismantling democracy and putting children in cages was all Trump.

          Damned right people who voted for him should be ashamed

          1. Using tear gas on protesters is hardly unusual. Tear gas was used under Obama on demonstrators against police shootings of black people:
            Also, German and French journalists were handcuffed and taken into custody to get them out of way for a night of brutal semi-military police enforcement.

            “Putting children in cages”: Both Obama and TRump put children in “cages” (actually, fenced enclosures). The only thing What Trump did that Obama didn’t do was separate children from parents (but note that most minors came without parents anyway, at least under the Obama administration). If I remember rightly, the courts decided one couldn’t incarcerate children, which left the option of either not incarcerating illegal immigrants with children, or to separate the children from the parents. TRump chose the latter. I don’t like it either. But I don’t think making immigration law unenforceable is a good idea either.

            1. Using tear gas on protesters is hardly unusual.

              Pretty sure deploying tear gas against peaceful protestors in a public park to clear a path so Dear Leader can waddle across it to pose in front of a church for a photo-op with a prop bible remains a bit unusual — at least among functioning first-world democracies.

    3. I suspect most people unwilling to reveal their preference for Trump are acting out of paranoia and distrust. The paranoid and distrustful folks often subscribe to conspiracy theories involving secret groups within “big government.” However, these same folks openly display their support in other ways. Sometimes at rallies, other times on the streets with hats, and other times through signs in front of the homes. And sometimes they just harbor their views in secret.

      One thing that led me to posit a Trump victory: People across many states treat Trump as if he were the second coming of the Beatles. Seriously.

      Biden might win. One can hope.

    4. So Trump supporters are afraid to tell an ANONYMOUS poll taker what they think because they are afraid of “Cancel Culture” ???

      1. ‘So Trump supporters are afraid to tell an ANONYMOUS poll taker what they think because they are afraid of “Cancel Culture” ???’

        Is the pollee ANONYMOUS to the ANONYMOUS poll taker? Does the former have the latter’s phone number?

    5. I wish we could get back to a time where it was possible to just respectfully disagree.

      Would sure help if the president of the United States would use his bully pulpit to set a proper example for respectful disagreement, instead of issuing a nonstop stream of slurs, insults, mockery toward the handicapped, and fomenting violence among his followers.

  7. Even if Biden squeaks by with a win, we are a deeply damaged and depraved country. The harm we have inflicted upon ourselves is immeasurable. My mind keeps going to Francisco Franco’s Spain. 🙁

  8. Number three is a very important one for me. It really is depressing that so many people still prefer this lunatic. It helps a lot to know that others feel the same way. Also, this is my day off and I usually don’t day drink, but this beer from Three Floyd’s Brewery is quite good.

      1. Alpha King. I live in upstate New York and Wegmans has started selling Three Floyd’s. There is another one called Zombie Dust which is probably my favorite pale ale

  9. My only explanation is that Trump voters did not reveal that they favored him when they were polled. That, of course, means that they are ashamed of voting for him.

    We have known for several elections that Republican/conservative voters under-poll. The mainstream media has been selling these poll numbers for reasons of their own, whether it be voter suppression or just whistling past the graveyard. There have been counter-vailing polls for months showing a much closer race, and a potential Trump win. Only people like Michael Moore have spoken up, and said this isn’t in the bag. Part of the reason for the under-polling is not that they (we) are ashamed, but that we don’t want to be shamed. The media thinks that all Trump supporters are knuckle-dragging racists. They can’t conceive that there would be any valid reason to vote for Trump or against Biden, and it isn’t worth the effort to debate them. We don’t care to share with people who so clearly hold us in contempt, and are so clearly just an arm of the DNC.

    I don’t know who will win. I still hope it’s Trump. The Woke are already warming up the fires for the Cubans. The Senate will stay Republican, which is great. The House could go either way. I can live perfectly happily with a Democratic President and a Republican Congress. The Democrats will try their shennanigans for four years, and in 2024 we’ll have a Republican elected. It may even be Trump; he’ll be eligible to run again. 😉

    1. I’m interested to hear your reasons why you want Trump to win. Is it simply because you are against the “Woke”? Also, you criticize people for not trying to see any reason to vote for Trump or against Biden. Do you think there are any reasons to support Biden over Trump?

      1. I would say my vote this year was an anti-Democrat vote, as my vote for HRC in 2016 was an anti-Trump vote. It’s not just about the Wokiees, although that is part of it. Biden and the Democrats have let the rioting go on with only token statements against it. He will not rule out packing the Court, which will be an end to democracy in this country. Biden will not stand up to the Chinese. He is clearly corrupt, and compromised (in the sense of open to blackmail) by his son’s business activities. His spending plans are absurd. He will not be able to stand up to the progressives on anti-racism or climate. He will probably not survive his first term, and Kamala Harris seems to be an unprincpled hack. I don’t like Trump especially, but I don’t think he’s nearly as bad as the press has been telling us for four years (they’ve been as wrong or dishonest as they have been about the polls).

        1. There’s too many things for me to break down everything in that statement, but a few things really stick out to me there.

          1) I would like to know what you expected Biden to do about the riots other than issue a statement, seeing he held no public office at the time.

          2) Packing the court isn’t any more inherently anti-democratic than have at least three justices appointed by presidencies that did not even have the most votes in their respective elections. I don’t necessarily support packing the court, but that doesn’t make it anti-democratic.

          3) When you say that Biden won’t stand up to progressives on climate, what is your ideal action on this? Is your preferred action having a president that doesn’t acknowledge the evidence on climate change and takes no action whatsoever?

        2. Your worries about Biden seem vastly over the top. What makes you think a pretty middle of the road Democratic known for working across the isle and promising to unit the country, would do more damage than DT has done and would continue to do? You seem breathtakingly ignorant on Global Warming which brings your judgement into question right from the start. What do you think will happen if nothing is done to reduce carbon emissions over the next 50 and 100 years? Puzzling. 😒

        3. Umm, raging pandemic? If you can reconcile your vote for him with that then you have a broken moral compass.

          “as the press has been telling us”? They don’t have to tell us a thing—everything comes straight out of his own mouth.

          Every talking point in your paragraph above is lifted straight from FOX news. Zero evidence for any of your claims.

    2. “The media… can’t conceive that there would be any valid reason to vote for Trump”

      Trump has repeatedly assaulted the legitimacy of the vote. He has refused to state that he would accept the results of the election if it went against him, he has encouraged (or, at least, failed to adequately condemn) political violence by his supporters, and now he’s whinging about how the election is being “stolen” from him and how he wants to stop mail-in ballots being counted.

      Regardless of what you think of his policies, this alone should be enough to disqualify him in the eyes of any truly patriotic American. Let’s forget, for the moment, his colossal ignorance, dishonesty, narcissism, bungled pandemic response, etc. He has rejected the democratic process. He’s not against Democrats; he’s against democracy.

      What possible reason could there be to vote for him that outweighs this? He has betrayed his oath of office. Whatever you hope to get out of electing him – lower taxes, bigger 401(k), fewer illegal immigrants, no abortion, more guns, making woke SJWs cry – is it really worth it to hand over power to a would-be autocrat?

    3. Regardless of your apologia for the last four years of Republican insanity, if Trump loses he will have lost against one of the single weakest Democratic candidates ever, and he will have done so in spite of co-opting most of the government to work in his favour, in spite of kneecapping the postal service, in spite of being the incumbent and in spite of having an entire conservative party and media environment 100% united behind him. He will have lost…against Joe Biden. I can say it openly now, but he really was a staggeringly weak candidate.

      And he will be a huge problem for whichever GOP leader comes after him. Huge. No-one will be able to replicate his particular brand of empty headed charisma. He’s a one-off. The GOP are in deep, deep long-term trouble once he leaves. The Dems however, are not.

      Of course, if the lunatic ends up winning re-election that changes things, but in the event that he’s beaten the GOP are cratered. They will have been hollowed out. The Trump party is nothing without him. I’m pleased to say I think your optimism/gloating is misplaced.

        1. And you wonder why Trump voters under-poll? Perhaps there is another kind of compassion, which doesn’t think that government agencies can know all individual’s problems, and solve them with government’s two tools, money and laws. Where being kind means not telling them how to live their lives, but letting them live on their own. Government has shown itself to be perfectly capable of regimenting lives, but not of fostering success.

          1. Shall we compare health care outcomes, educational outcomes, poverty rates, and crime rates in Rebuplican-controlled states versus Democratic-controlled states?

          2. Hi DrBrydon,

            You might not believe me, but I say this sincerely: I want people to be free to live their lives as they see fit. I really do – except when their freedom impacts other people.

            If you block policies that would address climate change, you screw up my son’s future, and the futures of millions of children like him.

            If you oppose gun control, you leave my son vulnerable to being murdered in a school shooting by any random lunatic who manages to get his hands on a firearm.

            If you oppose face masks and social distancing, you leave me and my loved ones vulnerable to a potentially deadly virus.

            And it’s not just about me; it’s about millions of people, in America and abroad, who are impacted by your political choices. For example, I have good health insurance through my husband’s employer, but I still want single-payer healthcare, for the sake of the millions of Americans who don’t have that luxury.

            I don’t want to monitor your Twitter feed for microaggressions; I don’t care where you live, what work you do, whom you have sex with (as long as it’s with a consenting adult), or what God you worship. Have a good life, just don’t mess it up for the rest of us.

            1. Well put. Something tells me there are a lot of people who are not very good thinkers. This idea of working to benefit society through common sense policy and not focusing on narrow self interest, should be obvious. But, apparently it’s not.

              1. It’s a bit mystifying. Most parents sincerely teach their children to care about others and not be selfish, but then many of them turn around and fight for selfishness in public policy. I wonder why they think legislation and government are exempt from the same moral standards they teach their children.

              2. Wasn’t it Warren Buffet who said he wanted to be taxed at a higher rate than his secretary? I don’t think many others in the business community took the hint.

              3. musical beef said, “Most parents sincerely teach their children to care about others and not be selfish, but then many of them turn around and fight for selfishness in public policy.”

                Those parents see those things only as social skills that their child needs in order to make friends, not caring about them as a benefit to society as a whole.

          3. Another kind of compassion? Can you even cite one compassionate thing Trump or the GOP has done? The response to Covid is a case in point, but we might as well pile on- separating families at the border, putting children in cages, banning Muslims, actively destroying the environment for short-term profit, stripping civil rights and voting rights and if not stripping them, doing their damndest to try. Voters like you are the problem and Trump is not the cure.

            1. “Another kind of compassion? Can you even cite one compassionate thing Trump or the GOP has done?”

              Hmm, mocking someone with cerebral palsy?

          4. I know that I am right, Dr Brydon, to have
            over a couple of decades’ span of time
            successfully taught my three sons what … …
            ” being kind means ” and to save them from
            their anywhere near becoming raging hypocrites.

            BEING kind and never coming close to BEING hypocrites
            means having, over their e n t i r e lifetimes,
            i)never mocking with flailing hands and arms
            a person with neuromuscular differences and
            means ii) that, of no one, did or do Any One
            of The Three, e v e r brag about, let alone,
            assaultingly grab genitalia which,
            in Mr Trump’s sense, IS a crime. Yeah.

            Aaaah, no. No woke. Just fact.


            1. ONE o’m’sons is an Atlantan and, this
              afternoon, is vigiling at a called event
              specifically to ” Count Every Vote ” there
              and all over Georgia. OF COURSE.

              Kindness ? Trump supporters ? I now have
              to send him warnings cuz, today, thus in re
              my fb – Iowan friend, Mr Jacoby, just posted:

              ” Dave Jacoby

              My brother was a regional chair for
              the Biden campaign in Arizona.

              Today he is wearing a bulletproof vest
              due to Trump supporter threats. This is
              what is encouraged by Trump. Count ALL
              eligible votes.

              And if you supported the person (Trump)
              responsible for threats against my family,
              unfriend me immediately. ”

              ‘member ? = ” Shoot someone on Fifth Avenue
              and I ‘ld still not lose ! ”


          5. Again, The PANDEMIC!
            Do you find it acceptable that Trump abandoned fighting the COVID virus resulting in hundreds of thousands of your fellow citizens dying? Is that the kind of “compassionate” hands-off governing you would prefer? We don’t need to discuss any other talking point than the pandemic. His epic failure and the consequential loss of American lives is a dis-qualifier if there ever was one.

            Are you a REAL Dr.? If so: Hippocratic Oath?

      1. With respect, I don’t think Biden is “one of the single weakest Democratic candidates ever”. He’s old (against him), a centrist (I’d say that’s for him, if he’s to get enough votes to defeat Trump), and – under difficult circumstances (unlike Trump, he’s not prepared to hold COVID superspreader events) – he has gotten a consistent message of reason and hope out. I’m not wowed by him, but the Democrats could have done worse: they did in 2016. They do need a succession plan, however, a way to bring the younger leaders forward now so that they will have a chance in elections to come.

    4. Could you be specific about what “shenanigans” Democrats will try?

      Also, is “wokeness” from private citizens worse than anti-LGBTQ, anti-environment, anti-science, anti-regulation, anti-choice policies from actual policy-makers?

    5. Are you committed to the principle of counting all votes? Trump is actively trying to stop vote counting and will use the courts to disenfranchise voters. Trump is correct on at least one claim: the system is rigged, but it is rigged in favor of entrenched GOP interests–from gerrymandering, to the electoral college, to voter purges. If you don’t want to be shamed, one approach would be to stop supporting shameful politicians and policies.

    6. The Woke are already warming up the fires for the Cubans.

      In hindsight, Biden’s failure there is predictable. He and Obama started normalizing relations with Cuba. In the grand scheme of things, that might be the right move, but (in my limited understanding) most Amrican-Cubans hate the regime and would rather we blockade it for another 100 years than open our doors to it. Moreover, the status quo gives Cubans who can get both feet on the ground here (admittedly, very hard to do) a huge immigration benefit. Normalizing relations with Cuba would likely end this special status and mean future Cuban immigrants would have to go through our regular (expensive, long, and broken) immigration system.

      1. At first thought, it is appalling that after his disastrous pandemic “policies”, Trump has not been swept away in a landslide.
        But permit me to suggest that DrBrydon’s comments, like the position of James Lindsay, reflect a significant reason why Trump did
        as well as he did: Woke Derangement Syndrome.

        The exhibitionists of the performance Left, with their endless demonstrations including occasional looting and not-so-occasional vandalism and arson, provoke a response. When the authorities in some cities appear to coddle such behavior, that provokes a response. And, finally, the incessant Diversity training hustle, which has spread from Academia to public agencies and private corporations, also provokes a response.

        The history of the Left is filled with cases of such counter-productive behavior. When I first saw the Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh gang at demos against the American war in Vietnam,
        I thought they had to be FBI plants. I soon realized that neither FBI plants nor agents provocateurs were involved: the Left always provides this service to the Right itself.

      2. “In the grand scheme of things, that might be the right move, but (in my limited understanding) most Amrican-Cubans hate the regime and would rather we blockade it for another 100 years than open our doors to it.”

        I’d like for these “most Cubans” to state for the record their opinion of, and compare their own U.S. health care with that provided by, the Cuban health care system , and, whether they would prefer life under that U.S. darling dictator, Fulgencio Batista.

        1. Huh? Are you saying they’re hypocrites who prefer Cuba’s health care system over the U.S.? I think you might want to read my comment again, it was pretty much the opposite of that.

          1. “Huh?”


            “Are you saying they’re hypocrites who prefer Cuba’s health care system over the U.S.?”

            No. I can it again. I simply want to hear them compare their U.S. health coverage with what they would get in Cuba. I hear that Cuba has an excellent health care system. (To the extent that its quality is not diminished by the “blockade” American Cubans support.) Is that true?

            1. I’m still not sure what your argument has to do with their position re: normalization. Are you implying that the Cuban refugees that fled the country, often under threat of death, should want to support the regime because the regime had better health care?

              Look, even if the refugees that make it to the US were fairly well off under the regime, that doesn’t necessarily mean the logic “well Castro put in a good health care system, so I should be okay with normalization” holds good.

              And even if they agreed with you about the health care system, it is still true that normalization would likely mean an end to their special immigration status, and I suspect that some of them oppose normalization for that reason alone.

              1. Oy. Typing on a phone doesn’t always work.

                I tried to say this… The Cuban diaspora to Florida happened sixty years ago. Few of the folk who were involved are still alive.

      3. … Biden’s failure there is predictable. He and Obama started normalizing relations with Cuba …

        The old-line Miami Cuban community has been staunchly Republican since JFK declined to provide air support to Brigade 2506 on the Playa Girón during the botched Bay-of-Pigs invasion.

        It’s a blood feud with the old-timers. (It’s no coincidence that four of five of Nixon’s Watergate burglars caught in the DNC headquarters were Cubano.)

    7. … and in 2024 we’ll have a Republican elected. It may even be Trump; he’ll be eligible to run again.

      You really think the GOP is so stupid as to buy the ticket and take the ride a third time with a candidate who couldn’t win the votes of a majority of the American electorate in his first two tries? (Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a Party being that dumb since the Democrats put William Jennings Bryan at the top of their ticket for a third time in 1908.)

      And never mind about nominating once again an incompetent buffoon and pathological narcissist. I mean, those aren’t bugs; those are features. (These are Republicans we’re talking about here, after all.) 🙂

  10. Trump gets credit for two things; turning out the vote (my rural county had 83% voter participation yesterday, more absentee voters than in person) and benefitting publishing, as books about Trump look to exceed those of all the Kennedys together.
    I don’t see that anything has changed from Matt Taibbi’s 2016 formula derived from Trump’s first campaign. It is, briefly:
    1. Our leaders are corrupt and unresponsive
    2. We have noticed
    3. Being Americans, we have replaced their corrupt propaganda with our own conspiracy theories.
    So many voters yesterday commented that COVID was all a conspiracy, rejected the offer of hand sanitizer or gloves, and scornfully declined a “face diaper”. I’m trying to think of ways to shut my brain down for the next four years.

    1. I now take no comfort in the high voter turnout, because, as the travel writer Thomas Swick points out:

      “I remembered an article I read many years ago in a British magazine. The author argued that the habitually lackluster turnout in American elections, rather than a disgrace, was a sign of the nation’s health. It is in corrupt, disastrously mismanaged countries, he noted, where the population (if allowed) flocks to the polls out of desperation.”

  11. “My only explanation is that Trump voters did not reveal that they favored him when they were polled. That, of course, means that they are ashamed of voting for him. ”


    Many of us who voted for him were unashamed to do so, but reject the emotional violence coming from the Blue World just on the mention of Trump, let alone when told someone is voting for him. We see no reason to submit ourselves to this, so we decline polls, etc. Not to mention, “is this pollster on the phone going to forward my Trump-inclination for targeting?”

    I voted for Trump, a person I despise personally. It was a vote to stem the Blue.

    The bigger reason the polls were vastly wrong: the polling agencies are slanted left internally. Therefore, they asked questions tinged with Blue Bubble penumbra, which makes a non-Blue scoff and look on the pollster with a shake of the head — we know slant when we hear it, and either decline outright, or take the opportunity to lie, thus skewing the poll on purpose as a political statement. This resulted in a huge and embarrassing failure.

    The most astonishing thing as that the pollsters made the same errors as they did in 2016, and learned nothing, changed nothing in their methods. Did the same thing over and over and expected different results.

      1. I’m asserting it on the same level of justification as Professor Coyne asserted his claim. For the moment.

        I know at least 10 people personally (and have heard of legions) who voted for Trump with a bad taste in the mouth, in order to help stem the Blue. Get it: we don’t like him. But we don’t like social democracy (or anarchy) worse.

        The meme about Red voters disdaining Blue-tinged pollsters, and also lying to throw off the stats, has been asserted by many on my side of the fence as having been witnessed and done. That is not “evidence” that proves my take.

        1. “…we don’t like him. But…”… we prefer a mass murderer (not just mass man-slaughterer what with Woodward’s tape) of USians now on Covid, and on climate change of the entirety of humans in the ongoing decades, to someone who will try to reduce that result of Drumpf’s vicious immorality.

          1. Every US president I remember well was a mass muderer. They all killed lots of brownish people in shithole countries with cluster bombs and with embargoes (Irak, Syria, Venezuela…) and for trumped-up reasons, not counting the weapons and nerve gas they delivered to countless “our bastard” militias or dictators.

            TRump was horrible for Covid, especially because he discouraged masks, but he ‘s not the only one responsible. Covid policy is the job of states and local authorities. Cuomo bungled the response horribly. And in relative numbers of deaths per population, the US are as yet even slightly better off than several western European states.

            Sorry about the whataboutism. I think people in their visceral revulsion for Trump judge many of his actual actions (which are often saner than his words) more harshly than they would otherwise.

        2. I think it’s a bit presumptuous to presume that the answer to why the polls are off is shy Trump voters rather than improper weighting or not correctly assessing the “likely voter” category. These are more typical reasons to be off. I think you could find as much evidence for shy Biden voters as you could for shy Trump voters.

    1. Emotional violence? For Pete’s sake. You deserve to lose some respect from others when you vote for the people who will undo LGBTQ rights, undo women’s bodily autonomy, trash the planet, enrich multi-millionaires at the expense of the struggling, celebrate ignorance, the list goes on. But losing respect (“emotional violence”) can’t be equated with the experience of those at the losing end of all those right-wing policies listed above.

      1. You took the words out of my keyboard, I was struck by the term “emotional violence” that John cited. It certainly sounds like something a wokish snowflake would say.

      2. Shall I post 33 links to videos of emotional violence against Red supporters by Blue partisans? Professor Coyne himself has linked many.

          1. I recall around the time of the 2018 midterm elections, there was a general consensus around here that it was impolite and counterproductive for members of the so-called “Resistance” to harangue Republican officeholders in public places and to refuse to serve Donald Trump’s press secretary an entrée at a farm-to-table middlebrow restaurant.

            Now maybe it’s just me, but on the grand spectrum of politesse, I think it’s a bit more rude (not to mention dangerous) for Trump supports to sideswipe a car and to try to run a Biden-Harris bus off a Texas road. But Donald Trump actually encourages (and takes a perverse pride in) such conduct, while the rest of the GOP pretends not to notice.

    2. With our current political divisions, I completely understand someone not wanting to engage with their opposites in political dialogue or discussion.

      But I find this argument for not participating in polls:

      Not to mention, “is this pollster on the phone going to forward my Trump-inclination for targeting?”

      A bit paranoid. Gallup simply doesn’t care about you enough to bother wanting to hurt you. Neither does Marist, etc.

      Moreover, the ‘shy Trump voter’ notion doesn’t really explain why FOX’s own polls was showing Biden 8% ahead. John D., are you really telling us that if FOX called you up to poll you, you’d refuse to participate for fear that FOX planned on forwarding your data to some liberal organization so they could target you?

      This is not just a point for John, but for everyone: if even FOX’s polls were showing an 8-point lead in the last days, then “shy Trump voter” can’t really be the reason for the 8-point lead.

      1. What makes you thing Fox is Red? Didn’t you pick up their drift left? Fox failed for the reasons I gave. We saw that. I would not respond to a FOX poll.

        Additionally, you are taking my “targeting” outside context. I’ll clarify my context: not physical harm, rather: marketing, scrutiny on line (phone number correlated with email) and other profiling. Go ahead if you think that is paranoid, you are welcome to your assessment.

        BTW, what is your explanation of Fox and all the other pollsters failing so miserably … for the second time in the same way???

        1. You let the mask slip when you characterize a defense of mask-wearing and a caution against taking unproven medicine as a “drift left”.

          Those are scientifically established facts, not political philosophies that are soluble by debate alone. Calling a defense of scientifically established fact a “drift left” is an act of pure tribalism. Relatedly, the right’s greater commitment to tribalism is why the election looks the way it does.

          1. You don’t see what I see, what we in the RED see, with regard to FOX. That station is a plaything of MSM/Blue now. You should be happy, you co-opted it!

              1. “Is OANN red enough . . . .?

                Just went there. Apparently “Biden” is not a headline-worthy word.

        2. John… You really ought to wait for the results before concluding that the polls failed “so miserably”. There’s a good chance you will be embarrassed by the words.

          1. James, no. Surprised you are blind to the reality. The polls, including FOX, predicted a landslide for Biden. That the race is this close is a miserable failure.

        3. I’ll clarify my context: not physical harm, rather: marketing, scrutiny on line (phone number correlated with email) and other profiling.

          Then your fear is misplaced, as you don’t have to give them your email and most polls don’t even ask for it.

          1. They have my phone number, right? marketing, scrutiny online (phone number correlated with email, which they are very slick to accomplish) and other profiling.

            1. “They have my phone number, right? . . . phone number correlated with email . . . .”

              Am reminded that the “Center for Voter Information” tells me that I can opt out of receiving mailers by EMAILING a given code. Guess I’ll instead write them a letter.

    3. The exhibitionists of the performance Left, with their endless demonstrations including occasional looting and not-so-occasional vandalism and arson, provoke a response.

      What I don’t understand is that if looting, vandalism, and arson provoked such a strong response in you, why didn’t James Alex Fields deliberately driving into a crowd and murdering someone provoke a response in you? Why didn’t Trump’s going on national TV and defending the neo-Nazis at that rally – of which Fields was one – provoke a response in you?

      Biden isn’t defending the looters. He’s actually spoken out against them. Trump has spoken in favor of neo-nazis. He’s also defended literal murderers in pardoning three people convicted of, yes, murder and war crimes by US military courts.

      Your logic seems to be that you couldn’t possibly vote for the candidate who spoke out against looting by the far left. So you had no choice but to vote for the guy who spoke out against looting by the far left…while calling neo-nazis “very fine people”. Do you know how that sounds?

      Pick Trump because you like his attempts to work with Russia and NK. Or because you think immigration is really bad. Or because you’re a single issue pro-life voter. All those things make sense. The logic of voting for him because woke people in Seattle rioted? I see no sense in that at all.

      1. “What I don’t understand is that if looting, vandalism, and arson provoked such a strong response in you, why didn’t…” The answer to that question should have been obvious from a careful reading of what I wrote. It did not provoke such a strong response in me, as I voted straight Dem. It evidently provoked a response in a few million other voters the Dems can ill afford to lose.

  12. With regard to the Senate, it has been reported that Republicans needed to win Tina Smith’s seat in Minnesota to maintain control of the Senate. As of now, Smith is ahead and the AP has called the race for her. Fingers crossed!

  13. Trump has no redeemable qualities as a leader, but one massive appeal over anyone the Democrats field: Trump does not make any supporter feel ashamed. Very fine people… regardless of vices.

    The Democrats campaign on making everyone feel ashamed. We are collectively guilty of everything and are nothing but privileged, racists and -phobes.

    Golly gee whiz… I wonder why reasons and reality don’t matter a tinker’s damn for 100 million Trump voters, or why doing things the same way but expecting a different result surprises and depresses the other 100 million Biden voters.

    1. If they didn’t feel ashamed they wouldn’t hide that they voted for him. And to say that Trump people, who include white supremacists, are “very fine people” is ridiculous. Some are, but many aren’t. Perhaps you’re just echoing Trump’s own words at Charlottesville.

      You are completely distorting the message that Biden conveyed, which includes a plan to curb the pandemic and universal healthcare. Have you forgotten about those?

      1. Of course I haven’t forgotten. I stand second in line to no person wishing Trump and his enablers gone. But I think I understand why 100 million citizens think he deserves another term; it’s about how voters FEEL, and which party offers better support for just that.

        Admitting voting for Trump has social consequences: you are deplorable and stupid if you are thinking about it. So, as the Democrats seem to have no problem going along with, you self censor. But Trump does not make you feel deplorable and stupid like the Democrats do. He says you are “very fine people” regardless of how deplorable you may actually be. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous this may be in fact; it’s his central campaign message. And it works to very real effects.

        Of course the message reflecting Biden is distorted! Again, what’s true, what’s real, what’s full of good reasons and solid supporting evidence doesn’t matter when we’re talking about why 100 million fellow citizens find Trump an acceptable alternative to Biden. It’s not about Biden! It’s not about reasons and evidence. It’s about being told by the Democrats just how terrible a person you are, how YOU are responsible for the crimes and misdemeanors of your ancestors, how YOU are inherently a bad person full of racism and bigotry and the YOU need to kneel and raise the fist in support of BLM, and so on. None of this messaging makes you feel as Trump’s messaging does, a member citizen of some “very fine people.”

        Your turn: how do you explain 100 million citizens choosing Trump as the better alternative… not once but twice!

        1. There is a philosophy called Depressive Realism. I think there is something to it. It postulates that as a person’s views move closer in line with reality, the less rosy their outlook. The world is full of problems, and the party in the US that wants to address at least some of them is the Democratic party. I don’t really see a way to take care of problems without acknowledging them. The Republicans, on the other hand, have embraced “ignorance is bliss” as a guiding principle. So it’s quite natural that Republicans campaign on “don’t worry be happy” while Democrats campaign by trying to address problems and proposing remedial actions.

      2. In my experience, if you speak critically of BLM or the rioters or the people who want to shut down the police, you are tagged as a racist, and might find protestors camped out at your home. That is why some tRump voters are shy. (I am not a tRump voter.)

        1. Biden should have found a “Sister Souljah” moment and spoken out against the excesses of the woke and police defunders. He may have turned some of the white voters in FL and other critical states.

      3. It’s a real problem. There aren’t many people on the woke left (that’s why Bernie Sanders never won the nomination) but they shout loudly and their message is negative and the GOP brings everybody’s attention to it at every opportunity.

        tildeb’s comment shows that they have been at least partially successful.

        1. Wokism doesn’t account for Sanders never having been nominated. That can be laid squarely at the feat of unbridled, irrational, fear of the word “Socialism”.

          1. Yes, I probably should have left the “woke” qualifier off. Nevertheless, he doesn’t get in because most Americans are not as far to the left as he is.

            And , as you imply, some of them don’t understand what socialism is and the GOP stoke that fire too.

            1. tRump was able to improve his Latino results in Miami-Dade by telling them Biden and Harris are Socialists. The Cuban and Venezuelan communities down there respond to that sort of thing. Imagine if Sanders were the candidate!

  14. Greetings from the old world.

    I keep my fingers crossed that Biden/Harris win this thriller. There is also too much at stake for the EU.

  15. The Guardian just wrote: “Joe Biden has become the presidential candidate to receive the most votes in a US election in history – with many ballots yet to be counted.

    His current tally of 69,759,833 surpasses the 69,498,516 amassed by Barack Obama in 2008, the previous record. The total is already more than 3.9 million higher than the number of votes secured by Hillary Clinton in 2016 when she won the popular vote but lost the presidency to Donald Trump.”

      1. Yes, but also a higher turnout. There are a lot of uncounted Biden votes from California that aren’t included in the tally The Guardian mentioned.

  16. Apropos the first map, my wife is from Idaho, and she is now wondering where she would get a kangaroo licence. Not the Dept. of Fish and Game. The Idaho Dept. of Agriculture requires you to have a permit for brush-tailed possums, which are classed as deleterious exotic animals, but there’s no mention of any other marsupials. You also need a permit to keep lions or tigers, apparently. Very sensible.

  17. “I cannot IMAGINE anybody voting for Trump after seeing him for four years in office, but people who vote their pocketbook think he’s helped the economy and they may agree with his xenophobia, faux religionism, love of guns, and authoritarian stand.” It may not be love of Trump driving his numbers. Probably 45% vote Repub (or Dem) in every election, and they will always find a way to support their party’s candidate. For the rest (by definition the less political band of people), fear (justified or not) of what the other side might do may be as big a factor as love of Trump. (I think any Trump vote is a mistake, but just offering another way of looking at the numbers.)

    1. About a third of the US population comprises ignoramuses ready to fall for any authoritarian demagogue, however blatantly incompetent and phony that person may be.

      Hell, 35% of USians continued to support Sen. Joseph McCarthy even after he was censured by the United States senate.

      That third seems to be pretty much a constant of American life across the nearly two-and-a-half centuries of this republic’s existence.

  18. So this is what a “90% chance of victory” looks like.

    Maybe the US media will learn something from this about relating the data collected in polls to actual reality. And maybe not — why limit yourself to only reporting on one result often months or years off, when you can report it breathlessly hundreds of times over, again and again.

    1. “So this is what a “90% chance of victory” looks like.”

      You do understand that vote counting is ongoing and that the polls will most likely be correct when the counting is finished. Right?

      1. Yeh, but I also notice everyone’s freaking out. And that the statistic sounds great but is meaningless in terms of reality — in terms of who actually winds up voting and how, whether the vote is ever counted, and events external to voting & vote counting, like court challenges and all the other things Trump has been openly promising to do for months.

  19. My takeaways from this:

    1) Biden has zero coattails. This indicates that more people are voting AGAINST Trump than FOR Biden. Ticket splitting is looking like it’s going to save Susan Collins’s seat. Bad candidate.

    2) Dem leadership needs a clean sweep. Pelosi, Schumer, Perez all need to step down. Net losing seats in the House is unforgivable.

    3) Trump could have easily won if he’d done ANYTHING about COVID. Or even looked like he was trying. Virtually every leader and every leadership party around the world has seen its popularity boosted merely by the illusion of competency in the face of an external crisis, regardless of how objectively bad some of their performances have been (Andrew Cuomo). If Trump had had the bare sense to even pretend to take the virus seriously, he would have cleaned up.

    4) Diane Feinstein should be run out of the Democratic Party for boosting Lindsay Graham in the final weeks of the election with her televised hug and glowing public endorsement which effectively lit millions of dollars of Jaime Harrison campaign spending on fire.

    1. The last four years have been completely bloody awful. Yet I still have that pathetic, superstitious desire to see it end, as though on the turning of midnight, new year’s eve, covid, Trump, etc, will all disappear like a pumpkin carriage. As though changing the digit at the end of the year makes some tangible difference.

      I remember in 2016 thinking, ‘well next year can’t possibly be any worse.’ Reality simply responded ‘why not?’, and has been proving me wrong on what feels like a monthly basis ever since.

  20. To repeat myself, I think that Tildeb and Darwinwins have the right explanation for much of the Trump vote. It is people who, though they may despise Trump himself, are voting against the Blue, which they associate with riot, vandalism, the indulgence of riot and vandalism (as in Seattle’s ludicrous, short–lived CHAZistan), and the bullying sanctimony typical of woke verbiage..

    One of the stranger logical contradictions in wokery is the selective use of the concept of “offense”. The woke go to create lengths to avoid giving offense to the Islamic faithful, whose delicate sensitivities must never be provoked to murder by cartoons, historical criticism, the Crusades of 800 years ago, or insufficiently reverential language. But it never occurs to the woke that endlessly berating all of European culture for micro-offenses and implicit sinfulness might offend many into voting Republican out of sheer irritation.

  21. Looked bleak today at noon on the Old Continent, when various important states to settle were shown reddish. That gave us here, colleagues and I, already an idea how a Trump victory would taste like. Later on we were relieved that Biden might come through eventually. But that also tasted badly, but slightly less so. Matt Taibbi has called this election a “vomit milkshake”. I don’t know how such would taste like, but knowing this election, I can say I have an idea now.

    Another line I’ll remember is how Jimmy Dore wondered why Biden wasn’t winning by landslide, or might even lose (as it looked like all night) — what’s not to like? And described him as a “demented, walking death rattle”. Someone else seconded that Biden went AWOL for months and Democrats made no effort to explain what’s in for the voters. My point too. That’s why leftist grand wizard Noam Chomsky criticized the fire-and-forget mentality to politics. The vote is really just making the best of the situation. The important political work happens every other day but election day. In that sense, Americans have a lot of work to do.

  22. I stayed up till about 5 am watching the election returns, feeling much like Alex from A Clockwork Orange undergoing the “Ludovico technique” — my eyes pried open, staring at the screen, wave after wave of nausea rolling over me as I watched the numbers come in (a nausea I’d last felt on election night 2016).

    Then I finally nodded off for an hour or two, and when I came to, things didn’t look quite so bad for Biden.

  23. Does a citizen/voter somehow have a civic duty to participate in a pre-presidential election poll conducted by a for-profit polling business? What is in it for the voter, other than taking up their time? That the voter is somehow influencing other voters in how to vote, in that it is important to a certain fraction of voters to always be on the winning side of a vote? Purposefully undermine polling accuracy?

    Perhaps voters should negotiate a whatever-the-market-will-bear fee in exchange for their time and trouble, so as to make them less “shy.” (Which of course would not necessarily guarantee that the “pollee” would more likely tell the truth.)

  24. The shy Trump voter thing is crap. The problem with the polls since the disappearance of landlines is that you don’t really get accurate samples anymore. Second, when polling “likely voters”, its GIGO, if your profile for “likely voters” is off (and you can’t know until after the election), your poll is off.

    Will polling go away? No, there’s too much money in it. Should you rely on polls? Nope.

      1. No, I am saying that the inaccuracy is a result of mis-sampling voters creating a skew against Trump versus people intentionally lying in a statistically significant way about their preferences.

        I guess you could say who is to blame, is it a methodological error by pollsters, or is it the people being polled lying.

  25. The reason many people voted for Trump was that they don’t like Democrats and the elite who take every opportunity to sneer and denigrate them.

    They and their communities have been screwed by the global economy and, yet,they are laughably called privileged. They are tired of being called deplorable and racists. They believe in god and are proud of it. They have seen their well paying jobs go to poorly paid immigrants and their factories go to China. The opioid crisis and suicide decimate them. They believe in law and order and find rioting and arson deplorable. They believe the SJWs represent the Democrats. They know that Democrats want to shut down every energy business which will kill one of the few sectors where they can find well paid jobs. They see the media serve the progressive agenda and are scared to speak up because of cancel culture.

    They told the elites this 4 years ago and the elites double down instead of listening to their concerns. They rejected the Republican elites by picking Trump and the Republican listened.

    1. Oh, nonsense. They blindly follow a man who is the very definition of deplorable racist. And then wonder why they are thought to be deplorable racists? They find rioting and arson deplorable but make a hero of Kyle Rittenhaus.

      You are correct that they as a group have been hit badly by opioids and suicide. But they support a political party that does nothing about these problems, one that pretty much refuses to do anything to address any real problems at all.

      There are far more good paying jobs in the solar industry than there are in what you call the “energy business”. (Are solar and wind businesses not energy businesses?)

      I will grant that you are correct in their proud belief in imaginary beings. But they prefer a creature like the Orange Menace to an actual church-going Catholic candidate.

      1. Nothing says Champion of the Common Man like riding into presidential politics on a gilded escalator in your Midtown Manhattan trash palace, your Eurotrash trophy wife riding three deferential steps below.

        They like Trump because he’s a stick in the eye to the people they hate.

        Plus, he resents having to press 1 for English, too.

    2. Well, if they think that Trump -or the GOP- is going to solve any of those problems, those voters are seriously misguided.

      1. The Trump years have been great for the working class. Pay has gone up, unemployment has dropped and inflation has been low.

        “Pay for Americans on the bottom pay scale rose 4.5% in November from last year … Wages for low-skilled workers have skyrocketed since 2018, the Atlanta Fed found.”

        Coronavirus has obviously reversed this. IMO, it was unsustainable because the gains have been paid for by borrowing tons of money. That does not change the fact that the first three years were an economic bonanza for the people who voted for Trump.

    3. And now it looks like their candidate is going to get beaten by Biden. Think about that too. There are more people with a voice in the world than just angry-right-wingers-upset-about-the-‘elites’*, and Trump has motivated those people to turn out in huge numbers and vote against him.

      Now if Biden wins, as is looking entirely possible, Trump is gone, leaving a shell of an American right-wing opposition party. Do you really think anyone in Trump’s base is going to unite around whichever milquetoast they get in? After they’ve had pure, uncut Trump for four years? Of course not. Whoever it is who comes in will be yoked to Trump’s base. He or she will have to contort themselves into all manner of grotesque, insane, QAnonny positions, and further alienate America’s shifting ethnic demographics. All of that while not having Trump’s unique skills at bullshit-dozing reality into oblivion.

      If Biden wins Trump voters will have completely cratered America’s only opposition party to the Democrats. That’s what they will have succeeded in doing with their votes ‘against wokeism’. And that’s all they’ll have done. So congrats on that protest vote, I’m sure it felt great, just like the Brexit vote did for some people I know. Very cathartic, such a rush to finally stick it to all those elites. And in the process hollow out the GOP for a generation. That’ll show all those sanctimonious young progressives.

      *and who knows what that means given how loosely it’s used, and given that Trump’s entire cabinet and sustaining media environment is made up of elites.

      1. Obituaries were written for the Republicans in 2008 as well, but the party debased itself further to survive and triumph.

        If Biden wins, as seems increasingly probable, he will likely face a Republican-controlled Senate. McConnell and his army will put everything they have into sabotaging Biden’s presidency. After two years of gridlock voters will respond as they usually do in mid-term elections, by voting for party opposed to the President. That means increased Republican control of congress, further national gridlock and stagnation, and then, two years later, an electorate prepared to vote for any “outsider” Republican who he says he wants to clean up Washington.

        I’m beginning to think the United States would be better off if it split into countries. But that would probably involve a Civil War much worse than the first one.

        1. Yes Revel, quite a few of us in the colder
          parts of the continent think Mr. Lincoln, great-soul though he was, made a mistake in not letting the Confederacy go. And some of us entertain the thought, even after Brexit, that Thomas Jefferson and his pals may have made a bit of a mistake too.

        2. I’m beginning to think the United States would be better off if it split into countries.

          Problem is, though we speak of “blue states” and “red states,” the division isn’t nearly so neat. It’s actually a series of blue islands of intense cultural and economic activity in a vast, comparatively empty, red sea.

          A state becomes “blue,” when the blue islands become sufficiently large or numerous to outvote the surrounding red countryside.

          1. Mostly, yeah, there is an urban/rural division. That’s always been the case. But there’s something else involved, too. If you look at a map of Wisconsin’s results you see Milwaukee and Madison are predictably blue. But Racine, Kenosha, and Green Bay are all red. And we have some very rural counties that are blue (Salk, Iowa, Green, Rock, Portage, Menomonee, and Door counties). I think this pattern is partially due to culture history, religious traditions tied to the communities that settled the state long ago. Red north-west counties have a lot of very conservative Catholics and the Fox Valley red counties (northwest of Milwaukee) have a lot of evangelical fundamentalist residents.

            1. Sounds like that might be a lingering effect of the old Wisconsin Progressive Party of the La Follette family echoing through the years.

      1. Huh? A big company moves a plant in a small town overseas and nobody loses? Tell that to the residents of that community.

    4. “The reason many people voted for Trump was that they don’t like Democrats and the elite who take every opportunity to sneer and denigrate them.”

      Boohoo, poor snowflakes. Oh, and Trump is not an elite, and he never uses any opportunity to sneer and denigrate democrats? He’s above all that! Give me a fucking break. What is your definition of an “elite” anyway? What does a Trump cultist think an elite is? Whatever it is, they’re at the pedestal bowing to the elite. Trump voters are misguided fools, conned by the malignant narcissist and fool-in-chief. I’m so nauseated by Trump apologists.

  26. I have a few preliminary observations.

    1. Even if Biden wins, it appears that the Senate will remain Republican. This means there will be no chance of court reform. The arch conservative Supreme Court will have as much influence on American society as the president. In the near term, the ACA and Roe seem to be doomed. Religion will get preferential treatment. Millions of Trump supporters will lose their health coverage. But, what the hell, they sure done stuck it to those libs. West Virginia is a happy place.

    2. Trumpism is not an aberration and will be around for a long time, thus jeopardizing democracy. Around 50% of the voters are so easily offended that they will vote for a con man that promises to be their messiah. Those who think that the decline of religion will usher in some age of enlightenment are simply wrong. The appeals of demagoguery are as strong now as in Hitler’s day.

    3. There is no indication that the extreme partisanship is even remotely diminishing. Hate and contempt abound throughout the land. Personal relationships are being destroyed.

    4. The American political system is broken and there is no way to fix it. Minority rule, or the likelihood of it, has now become routine.

    1. Historian –

      What you say is probably true. But it would still be a good thing if the fire was put out, or the rot stopped temporarily – or however you want to put it.

  27. I will go ahead and address the main question raised by this post, which I am sure everyone was wondering about but did not dare ask.
    The recommended fencing for kangaroo should be two meters high. It should be mesh instead of stranded wire, with a grid no wider than 2×4″. It also needs to be flush to the ground or even buried.

    So that answers that burning question.

  28. I’m done with humanity…., fuck this shit…, idc who wins or loses this result, however it turns out is a fucking embarrassment…

  29. Great placard at a demo in Detroit: “Counting votes isn’t ‘stealing’ an election, it literally *is* an election”.

  30. Local press:

    According to CNN’s compilation, Biden has now secured 253 of the 270 required electoral votes.

    In other news US withdraw from the Paris Agreement today.

  31. The Atlantic has just posted an article about a frightening possibility. The way things stand now it is not all that inconceivable that Biden could win the electoral college 270 to 268. Now, imagine that one of the Biden electors goes rogue (a “faithless elector”) and switches his/her vote from Biden to Trump. The election would then be thrown into the House that would decide the election. The vote in the House is determined by state, each one having one vote. This means, for example, that Wyoming would be equal to California. Since Republicans control more state delegations in the House, under this scenario, Trump would be elected.

    What is not discussed in the article, but is also not implausible, what if two electors go rogue? Then, Trump would also be the winner. As the article states, in many states there is nothing preventing an elector from going rogue, as was the case in 2016, although this didn’t change the result of the election.

    I think it will be hard for Constitution worshipers to talk about the genius of the Founders.

    1. But surely the Founders must have written something about kangaroos. Maybe the next
      proclamation of the Federalist Society will enlighten us on this issue.

  32. As someone who predicted the Trump win in 2016 and expected the 2020 race to be close, I think the reason the standard polls failed in both those elections is that they did not properly incorporate “likelihood to vote”. These elections depend largely on turnout, which depends on enthusiasm.

    Look at a Trump rally vs a Biden rally; it was obvious that Trump voters were really excited about Trump. There was a whole culture of Trump rally followers, almost like the Grateful Dead “deadheads”. I never met anyone who was really excited about Biden. The audience reactions to the two candidates were strikingly differentthe their respective rallys.

    So let’s say that Biden has a 5% margin among likely voters. And let’s say that Trump supporters were 5% more likely to make the effort to vote, relative to Biden voters, becuase of their extra enthusiasm. There goes Biden’s margin.

    This last election also had a new twist: there was s difference along party lines in the assessment of personal risk when voting. Trump people think the coronavirus is s hoax, while Biden voters, especially elderly ones, recognized the risks. This difference would remove another few percentage points from Biden’s poll advantage.

    And then there was the somewhat successful voter supression by the Republicans. In states like Texas, that may have been critical.

  33. Sam Harris explains an insight to Trump’s appeal :

    … this suggested to me that Trump’s supporters feel weak and powerless, unable to defend themselves from the woke religion — unable because nobody showed them how to apply reasoning to anything, especially when it is about something nobody can control — like the color of their skin, or their ancestors’ skin. Trump, as Harris eloquently explains, is incapable of judging exactly that person who is fearful of the threat of wokeism.

    1. I listened to Sam’s comments the other day and found them interesting. But I’m not really satisfied with explanations that represent tRumpism as a reaction to unfettered wokeness. tRumpism is just the latest version of a right-wing Republican worldview that has been percolating for at least sixty years. It reached the boiling point after they developed their separate media echo chamber of Fox News and talk radio. They have been telling each other of the horrors of Democrat communists coming to take their guns for so long that it is the core to their sense of selves. Wokeism just provides another layer of paranoid grievance to the heap.

      1. Since the vetoing of the Fairness doctrine in broadcasting licensing by Reagan, we have seen broadcasting partisanship rise. I don’t know if this would have happened organically or not. But this divide really has created the means for a separate reality bubble for viewers, and so you have a good point about Fox’s role in creating this. But they are not alone. My own CBC is so Woke it’s obvious and plays a role furthering this bigoted slant in favor of identity politics.

        What I am interested in is the exit poll that shows an increase across ALL ‘minority’ categories in favor of Trump. The decrease in support comes from white males. I think this is worth pursuing because perhaps the political pushback against the party that represents the social justice warriors might be a stronger pushback than one might have expected. My opinion leans in favor that the pushback is a response to the bigotry of lower expectations towards these minorities that fuels so much Wokeism.

      2. I agree with all that.

        I would emphasize that a victim of this fear uncertainty doubt etc. is a victim because they, like everyone, probably notice imperfections in themselves, in part from being pushed around by the messages in the milieu.

        The distinction, I’d argue, is that the victims in the worst positions have never cared to apply or seek out skills in reasoning of any sort, as a tool to evaluate the messages in the milieu. Correlated with that would be incompetence in social skills. The product of those two factors is a profound terror, and insecurity – unable to even express this, they fall prey to the personality who somehow comforts them because the personality is guaranteed not to judge them in any way, as they are obviously a disgrace, a potlatch of everything but ignorant, selfish features.

  34. “Nineteen former United States attorneys — all of whom served under Republican presidents — released a statement on Thursday calling President Trump’s legal threats, claims of fraud and false declarations of victory “premature, baseless and reckless.””

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