Coyne calls the election for Biden

I’ll look pretty dumb if I’m wrong, but it won’t be the first time. But based on the facts that both the Associated Press and Fox News have already called Arizona for Biden (though other outlets have held off) and that Biden is gaining ground rather than losing it in Nevada, where he was already ahead, I’m declaring that Biden has now been elected President. Those two states give Uncle Joe 270 Electoral College votes, which is a WIN. Pennsylvania would then be the icing on the cake, but it’s not needed.

Go ahead, call me premature, call me overly optimistic, call me uninformed and naive (but don’t call me late for dinner)! The Orange Man is toast!

I think I’ll be proved right, and you can say that PCC(E) was the first to call the election correctly.


h/t: Karl for the picture

123 thoughts on “Coyne calls the election for Biden

    1. I’m also from Canada. Likely it will affect you, or at least your descendants, because the policies of US on climate change will be much better now.

      And just possibly a thermonuclear holocaust will be avoided, as long as Drumpf doesn’t go bananas before Jan. 20 (or the Pentagon takes away the keys and grounds that brain which never developed past an 11-year old’s in most respects, and even never progressed past the 4-year old stage when suffering a temper tantrum).

      1. I guess you are right. I was quite surprised when he even got elected. I guess it was either him or Hilary, but I doubt Mrs.Clinton would even be half as bad as cheeto boy.

      2. Canadian trade (the US is our largest trading partner), economy (see Cuba), environment (we share the Great Lakes and a border), transportation (we fly over the US all the time and get a lot of our goods via the US), NATO (Canada is a strong NATO member and we lead many missions. A NATO without the US means we need to pull back from some missions to fight in others and perhaps engage in a proxy war with Russia if Russia makes aggressive moves to smaller former USSR members). That is only a few.

  1. I do hope that you are correct! I am still dismayed that so many people would vote for a person such as Trump! Do they have no sense of decency?

    1. Joe and Karmala made a tactical error not denouncing the riots earlier and more vehemently, and especially not doing it at the DNC. That’s my guess – people were scared and ran toward “law and order,” even if only in name. From those who have opened up to me (many relatively recent immigrants and POC), I don’t think a lot of people who voted for Trump like him or much of his platform very much. The “shy” Trump voter is very real.
      That’s something to consider as we worked to reunite this country.

      1. How ironic that the people concerned about “law and order” would support for the most lawless and disorderly administration in living memory.

        1. Everyone with half a brain knew Trump’s platform was going to be “Whatever Pleases Trump.” The more distressing from a political science perspective was when the Republicans as a national party decided their platform was ‘Whatever Pleases Trump.’

          1. I apologize, that came out harshly. Didn’t mean it to, just meant to emphasize the fairly radical turn of the GOP abandoning anything resembling their standard talking points to worship at the altar of Trump.

            It will be interesting to see which way the party goes if/when he loses. He’s kinda like Ted Cruz, I suspect; his entire party hates him, yet wants to use him.

  2. This is nice to learn. But even if and when Trump concedes, Biden is going to have a tough 4 years. And if we take the Senate (it still seems a dead tie) we are going to have a very hard time keeping it two years from now.

    1. Did you say something about Trump conceding?

      Maybe when hell freezes over.

      Lemme know when Trump & Melania invite Joe & Jill to the White House for crumpets & tea on the morning of the Biden inauguration.

      1. Barring those who died in office*, has any outgoing President ever failed to attend the inauguration of his successor? Attending would seem to represent the very minimum of grace and courtesy but I can’t see Trump playing along with that.

        (*I guess the Nixon-Ford handover is also excluded from the question)

    2. The 2022 Senate class has 22 GOPers up for reelection vs. 12 Dems.

      Biden will still have to fight against the trend of midterms being bad for the party in power, but he probably doesn’t have to be super popular to take the Senate in 2022. He just needs to keep even in the public’s eye.

  3. Gloating is never a good look, so here goes. Trumps fils are tweeting that the GOP is deserting them: I think some phone calls aren’t being answered. “Infamy! Infamy! They’ve all got it in fer me!”

      1. Carry On Cleo, wasn’t it?

        From Carry On Up the Khyber (the best of the lot, for my money):

        Khasi of Khalabad: “May the great God Shivoo bring blessings on your house”

        Sir Sidney: “And on yours.”

        Khasi: “And may his radiance light up your darkness.”

        Sir Sidney: “And up yours.”

        And up yours, Mr Trump

        1. Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Barbara Windsor, etc – they nearly made a documentary about hyenas called Carrion Laughing.

  4. I certainly hope that you’re right. Someone pointed out on the earlier discussion thread that the gambling odds being offered by the betting markets favo(u)r a Biden victory. The people setting those odds stand to lose money if they get it wrong and don’t have a political axe to grind, so that sounds encouraging.

    1. What sort of odds just now (17:00 eastern time)?
      I figured about 16 to 1 as of this morning, but have been incommunicado on the bike.

  5. You’re the first but hopefully not the last to make the call. This brings up a point about voter ignorance. Despite what some voters, usually Republicans, think, the vote counting does not stop because a network makes a call or an opponent concedes. The vote counting stops when all the lawful ballots are counted. Apparently, the Trump supporters in AZ are protesting to count every vote there because some networks, including Fox, called AZ for Biden. They seem to think that stops the voting. And the looney tunes Republican candidate here in WA won’t concede because he “wants every vote counted” even though he is eight hundred thousand votes back and there is less than
    four hundred thousand votes uncounted.

    1. Despite what some voters, usually Republicans, think, the vote counting does not stop because a network makes a call or an opponent concedes.

      Ratiocination has never been Trumpists’ strong suit.

  6. I hope you’re right! I went from thinking Biden would win before Tuesday, to Trump during the night when he won Ohio, back to Biden after Michigan, then I was blacked out for the better part of a day, and now I’m very, very nervous again. I think Biden will clinch it, but sometimes I think Trump will pull it off. I just don’t know, this is driving me nuts and I’m not even American!

    I know someone here in Edinburgh from Ohio who apparently hasn’t slept for two days due to anxiety. He’s a very, very left wing person from a small, conservative Trump-loving town. Poor guy.

  7. SO hoping you are right about the win! But even if Biden wins, Trump will haunt us forever. He’ll spin conspiracies and stir up his troops and cause endless mayhem.

  8. I already paid off my bet on Trump. I only wish it meant that I don’t have to hear from him or about him every day going forward. Unfortunately Biden being the terrible candidate that he was, and only having barely squeaked by Trump, means we now get a 4 year long lame duck whilst Trump continues his rallies as he gears up to run against Kamala in 2024.

    We used to get a 2 year break from the non-stop presidential race talk in the news. I fear that is over. Trump will announce his candidacy as soon as it is officially over and we already know Kamala will be the likely Democratic candidate in 2024. Trump will begin campaigning against her immediately and the press will eat it up.

      1. Some states disenfranchise felons from voting, but I don’t believe a felony conviction bars one from running for federal office.

        After all, Eugene V. Debs ran for the US presidency while incarcerated in a federal penitentiary for violating the Espionage Act.

        Received damn near a million votes, too.

        1. AFAIK ou don’t even have to pass a urine test to run for any office anywhere in the US, let alone for POTUS. Less scrutiny than with race horces and (I assume) kids applying to work @ McDonalds.

      1. In 4 years he will be the same age Biden is today. And he only barely lost. Trumpism now owns the Republican party. He isn’t going away. Maybe Don Jr.

  9. I can’t believe T is finally gonna lose at something. It seems like somehow he always survives, like the devil is running things. There’s light on the horizon.

  10. This will be so much better not only for the environment (think Paris accord)but hopefully for the many women’s rights organizations world wide. And then there’s the happy world leaders, except putin. Not only getting rid of Trump is good, but saying goodbye to the whole damn family is worth celebrating.

    1. Except also Brazil’s Bolsonaro, and the two whose names I forget from Poland and Hungary. I wonder what Kim of North Korea thinks? Mr. Shi (sp.?) of China may be happy now to at least deal with an adult.

      1. President Trump referred to this very matter in his famous tweet: “Votes cannot be cast after the Poles are closed!” Maybe he was referring to President Andrzej Duda, although he is not known to be closed, like one of the two Kaczynski twins, one of whom (nobody can tell which) was closed by an airplane crash.

  11. I hope AZ, NV, PA and GA all go for Biden, and they likely will. Trump will finally have to concede, or GOP will surely abandon him at that point.

    1. It looks very likely he will (and I ‘predicted’ it last night while flagellating myself’s bad 370 to 270 earlier prediction).

      That would give Biden 306. And Trump only got 304 last time (should have been 306 but a pair of Texan electors were uncooperative IIRC).

      So now Trump loses to the Dems also on the sum of both years’ EC votes. Just another little thing to tell him to take it and shove it up his, ‘um well, where the sun don’t shine.

      And I seriously doubt he will be in any kind of shape to run against Kamala or whoever in 2024, especially from the clink serving a good solid sentence for maybe 2% of his actual crimes in NY state.

  12. Dr. Coyne is right about the final counts in those states but it is always possible (even likely) that Trump will take his case to the SCOTUS where his psychophants on the court will throw out the vote counts and hand Trump the presidency just like they did with Bush v Gore. The GOP shows no signs of abandoning their new lord and savior any time soon.

  13. I called it last night. Who’d have thought that the election would come down to Nevada!

    I am exhausted and hope this isn’t drug out for months, weeks, or even days.

    Trump should step down.

  14. Well, it certainly looks that way. I’m looking forward to DT’s concession speech. Or is that an oxymoron? If he actually does give one, it will play like a SNL skit. Should be fun.

      1. Through random twitter clicking I ended up watching John McCain’s concession speech. FWIW as a foreigner I disagreed with him on almost all of the issues, but boy do Americans have class*.

        *Current incumbent aside, this has been my experience of the majority that I’ve met.

        1. Oh yeah McCain was total class. I’ve seen clips of him telling his supporters that no Obama is not a Muslim terrorist ans he’s actually a very smart man. And this is while he was running against him. A total mensch.

            1. Yeah but i think that was just a bad political decision made by his team. It basically cost him everything too.

              1. Well, it certainly cost him what respect I had for his political judgement. Telling crazy people that Obama isn’t a muslim foreigner is an awfully low bar for political backbone. I will give him props for not killing the ACA, though. (Again, not being a healthcare murderer is also kind of a low bar.)

  15. No matter which candidate wins, we lose. Not just because they are two really poor candidates, but it seems like both parties seem willing to destroy the legitimacy of the election process itself in a quest for power.

    The latest news from NC is that they do not expect to release any further results for another week.

    It would not be much of a challenge for the US to institute a voting system that is both fair and secure, or at least one where the average person perceives that to be the case.

      1. I said both parties, not Biden himself. It is pretty clear that the republicans are doing it, it is pretty hard to miss. Not just the last few days, but the gerrymandering and suppression.

        It does seem to be the democrats who have generally campaigned for no identification to be required, for universal mail in votes without signature verification, or even a postmark. As far as I know, any proposed measure to add transparency or security to the system has been opposed by them.

        Trump is not going to accept the results. Hillary still has not accepted 2016. Stacy Abrams believes that she is the rightful governor of Georgia. All of these people probably know better, but some percentage of their followers are going to listen to them and become skeptical of the integrity of the system.

        People will put up with a lot of crap from an elected official if they believe that they just have to put up with it for a while, them they can vote the bum out. When we don’t have that belief, we start to see the official as a tyrant, with a cartoon bubble over their head containing the words “What are you going to do about it, vote at me?”

        1. Except that Hillary did accept her defeat and conceded to Donald Trump. Mr Trump, by contrast launched an investigation into the election because he could not accept that he’d lost the popular vote.

          1. She conceded, and obviously realizes that she does not get to fly on Air Force One anymore. But I don’t think that is the same as accepting defeat.

            But there are many lists of people and organizations she blames for this, and last year she told an interviewer that if she were to run in 2020, she could beat Trump again.
            “In an interview with Jane Pauley, the former First Lady was asked if she gets offended by Democrats distancing themselves from her on the campaign trail, or when Trump insists she needs to be “locked up.”
            “No, it doesn’t kill me because he knows he’s an illegitimate president,” she said”
            Sometimes, she is introduced at speeches as “The real president”.

            In August, she advised Biden to “not concede under any circumstances”.

    1. First of all, Americans still have the imperial system, pennies, dollar bills, and a patch work of credit cards with chips implementation. And you think they could come up with a national standard for running elections?

        1. Not all of them use it uniformly. I was today using a recently-purchased machinist square marked only in Shaku.
          The last time I was in the UK, new cars were advertised with a miles per gallon rating, but fuel was sold by the liter. So the amount needed to drive to Edinburgh was not a calculation easily done without pen and paper.

  16. As poster #21 points out, Professor Coyne’s call does not take into account the legal maneuvers that we can now expect. First, Attorney General Barr will move to exclude all votes for Biden in Pennsylvania, on the constitutional ground that they are against
    the Commander-in-Chief. And the GOP will bring suit to revoke the membership of Wisconsin, Michigan, Nevada, and Arizona in the United States, on the ground that none of the Founding Fathers mentioned these states.

  17. You’re gonna jinx us, Prof! Trump is a horror-movie villain, like Freddy Kruger or Jason Voorhees: just when you think he’s dead and gone, he comes back again and again.

  18. If so, the score will be two to two.

    Pres/House = Blue
    Senate/SCOTUS = Red

    This is what the elites want. Stalemate and stability, so the hyper-pragmatistic game of power/control/wealth can proceed without the annoying radical American and French revolutionaries and their ridiculous childish moral positions.

  19. Hilarious Trump press conference going on now. Among his crazy claims is that Pennsylvania has counted ballots that came in more than three days after the election….yet we are only in the second day after the election.

    1. I can usually find humour everywhere, but somehow not here. Crazy yes, and deeply worrying. I can’t bring myself to laugh.

    2. I saw that. The NBC anchors didn’t let him get through his spiel before they interrupted him to remind the viewers that he was lying. Then they cut to the local news. The man is getting rattled, and one wonders what he’ll do and say in the next few days.

      1. He certainly looked like a man defeated.

        I’m watching fox news (know your enemy) and even they’re not defending what he said.

      1. This is all so defeating. Nearly half of America wants to take away LGBTQ rights, take away a woman’s right to choose, and allow rampant discrimination in employment and elsewhere. I’m not surprised, but I thought the critical mass of selfish idiots was a ways away yet (yes, ask me about my theory concerning the inevitable triumph of stupid and selfish).

        1. Not quite. My estimate is far fewer than half of Americans want all of the GOP conservative agenda. Three-quarters of Americans say they want to keep Roe v. Wade. Support for same-sex marriage is at about 50%, but more than half are generally OK with LBGT. The vote for DT is an array of overlapping attitudes and fears.

          1. Talk is cheap. Someone may say they’re not homophobic but a vote for Republicans is a vote for homophobia. You surely know, as so Republican voters, that the SCOTUS has been making noises about overturning Obergefell.

            1. You seem to want to say that Republicans are monolithic in their thinking. I’m suggesting each individual Republican may have a different take on things. One may be a Republican mainly because of economic policy and care little about race, or other issues. Generally they do cluster around fear of change, thus the “conservative” label. But there is undoubtedly a spectrum along many axes.

              1. I’m saying it doesn’t matter how “fractured” they may claim to be. Their votes indicate that they’re not very fractured at all. A Republican vote from someone who says (wrongly, actually) “my 401k is the reason” cannot undo the effect their vote has on gay marriage. You’re naive if you think they don’t know that. They don’t care about gay rights as much as they care about money (again, with their confidence misplaced), no matter what their mealy mouths may say.

  20. I am glad Trump will lose, however, why is it so close.
    The vast majority of people who vote Trump are just valid normal decent people as who don’t.

    To claim otherwise points to a mammoth. That they do points to a mammoth problem.
    I hope you can sort it out.

    1. There are a lot of people who are essentially single issue voters. Lots of people vote for whichever candidate will protect abortion rights. Or gun rights. Others will vote for any candidate likely to suppress those rights.
      A bunch of people who have personally (or their parents) suffered under communism voted against the party that seems very cozy with Marxism. Che Guevara imagery is just sort of a fashion statement for most people, but there are people in Miami who believe that he personally had grandma shot. Using that image at political marches was unwise.

      I doubt there are any measurable number of people who support all of either candidates positions, and approve of their personal behavior and history.

      In my experience, the vast majority of people everywhere are normal, decent people. They are going to vote differently because of different priorities or life experiences. And sadly, we have to pick from the menu with no substitutions.

      1. The thing that many don’t seem to appreciate about “suffering under communism” is that people who “suffered under communism” suffered under a ruthless autocrat who happened to espouse communism. The suffering was a result of the ruthless autocrat part. There is nothing inherently oppressive about the, say, socialist policies Bernie Sanders advocates for.

        1. That is an argument that sounds best to those far from personal experience with the system.
          If you tried to convince my wife of that, you would have a hard time of it, as her father spent years in a Chinese reeducation camp.
          I voted for Sanders because he comes across as a decent and sincere person, and a realist about political goals. But doing so required some serious debate on my part, because I know that his tourist experiences in the USSR were different from my own. I was an exchange student there, so I got to see what was on both sides of the curtain.

            1. I think there is a pretty reliable tendency for such systems, often established with the best of intentions, to go bad in predictable ways. Even if you don’t start out by defining some people as class enemies, when you start collectivization, there are always issues. Often, people will not want to give you all their stuff. Others might balk at being pulled from their university positions, and assigned to pick turnips on a collective farm someplace cold.
              Generally, those in charge will be unwilling to negotiate such things, so people end up in camps, and later, in mass graves.
              The same goes for the people whose work on the front lines led to the revolution in the first place. Once the new system is established, there is much less need for people whose primary talent is violence against perceived authority. The new authority sees them as a threat. So up against the wall, or out with the long knives, or permanent rustication.
              But those systems seem to always create a power void, which ends up being filled by a Stalin or Pol Pot. Or Mao, Kim Il Sun, Uncle Ho, Castro, Guevara, Tito, Ceausescu, and the rest.

              the iron fist of totalitarian rule is obviously not a goal in any of those movements at the outset. Nor are the mass graves. Those are unintended side effects. but common enough to be more or less universal.

  21. I’m keeping my eyes on GA & PA.

    The spread in GA is just 3.5Kvotes out of 4.9M, and that number just tightened by over 1/2,

    In PA Biden keeps closing the % gap. He’s now at 49.0 vs 49.9%, a gain of 1.0% over the day, still with 11% not reporting/to be counted, which are the absentee and provisional ballots. If he gains by just 2/3 of today’s gain, he’s ahead! The spread is something like 55K out of 6.5M

    1. As of 20:00 Biden needs about 63% of the remaining-to-be-counted votes. He has been getting about 76% of these mailed-in ballots. It would be extraordinary if he did NOT win Pennsylvania.

  22. Thought I’d at least stay awake till Georgia changed from red to blue, the only actual qualitative change till tomorrow.

    Midnight and to not nod off, work out the chances:
    Assume Trump gets Alaska and N.C. I get just about 1/200 for Trump to win, including that tie at 269 votes each if Biden won only Georgia, Trump won all three others, as below.

    His only ways to a clear win are two where he wins all of PN, GG and AR, plus one where he loses AR but wins NV, PN and GG.
    Those 3 possibilities are disjoint (4 ‘paths’, as they say, the middle 2 depending on winning or losing NV)

    I’ll write down the formula below for any who want to calculate with their own estimates.
    Mine are 1 in 5 for him to win AR (despite Lou thinking 1 in 2), and only 1 in 10 each for Trump to win any of the other three states. The last are overly generous to him.

    It then works out to Trump winning with probability .0046, a bit less than .005 which would be once in 200 tries. So Biden wins in 199 of 200. Might as well say it’s a sure thing for Biden.

    For other nerds, the three disjoint possibilities, add together


    for your own p,g,a,n — the probabilities of Biden winning PN, GG, AR and NV respectively (which for me are are .9, .9, .8 and .9).

  23. If the election were decided by the majority of all voters rather than the Electoral College system, there would be no question of who has won. As a resident of a non-battleground state, I deeply resent the fact that my vote counts much less than someone in PA, GA, Michigan, etc.

    As to Hillary saying that Trump is not the legit pres, she won the popular vote by 2.9 million, which I think is her point.

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