Election thread: it’s still a squeaker, but Biden leads

I’ll be at the dentist this morning, taking care of more business, so posting may be light. But everyone’s attention is focused on the election, and my planned post on the purported three new species of gentoo penguins (a ludicrous case of “splitting”) will have to wait. In the meantime, I stand by my prediction that Biden will get 306 electoral votes and win the election. Just remember that when you’re asked who called the election first, and correctly, it was your host.

I see in the New York Times that the headlines haven’t changed since I went to bed, with the Electoral College vote still standing at 253 for Biden and 214 for Tr*mp. However, Biden has slipped into a small lead in Georgia—about 1,000 votes. It’s a squeaker! Biden still trails by about 18,000 votes in Pennsylvania. As of 4 a.m., about 12,000 votes remain to be tallied in Georgia and 50,000 in Pennsylvania.

Biden is still leading narrowly in Nevada (by 11,400 votes) and a bit more substantially in Arizona (by 47,000 votes).

This is the place to exult, kvetch, and mourn. Perhaps we’ll have a winner today.


  1. jezgrove
    Posted November 6, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Yup, it looks like there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Marina Hyde’s take on Trump’s latest tantrum: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/06/president-donald-trump-temper-tantrum-meltdown

  2. Posted November 6, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    306 is the golden number.

  3. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 6, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    I can recommend the YouTube offerings by Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Late Night with Seth Meyers for some comedic balm for the disturbing stuff out there — look for Kimmel’s monologue and “A Closer Look” by Meyers.

  4. rgsherr
    Posted November 6, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, between the likelihood of several contested delegations of electors going to Congress and the possibility of Supreme Court involvement Trump still has several paths to victory. Don’t get your hopes up.

    • sugould
      Posted November 6, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Not without good lawyers, he doesn’t. Lawyers were always his firewall. He doesn’t have them anymore. He doesn’t pay his bills.

  5. Harrison
    Posted November 6, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    I’ve been waiting somewhat impatiently for the day when the Republican Party would try to discard Trump having extracted as much value from him as they can, and it seems to have finally arrived.

    Of course he still holds sway over their voter base, so they may have a harder time getting rid of him than they imagine. If he recognizes that he’s being abandoned he will hopefully lash out at the Party and we’ll get to see some entertaining fireworks.

    It’s looking like GA, my state, is going to be the key decider in whether Dems get to pursue a legislative agenda or not. We’ll have two Senate runoffs and Dems have to win both of them. Once again I curse Biden’s lack of political coattails, because if he wins the state by all rights you’d expect him to drag at least one Senator over the line with him.

    • GBJames
      Posted November 6, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      In normal times this would be a scandal.

  6. Type Logician
    Posted November 6, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Fivethirtyeight’s numbers suggest a lot bigger base for a Biden lead in PA than that 50,000 number—Micah Cohen, one of Nate Silver’s hotshots, observes that ‘as of this Friday morning, [Montgomery C]ounty’s vote stood to give Biden at least 130,000 over Trump’, and that’s just one of the reserve pools of support for JB that *isn’t* part of metro Philadelphia. As he notes, the surge now building for Biden is actually being driven by the suburbs, and that is going make it near-impossible for Trump’s minions to make the case that the PA results reflect a corrupt political operation in Philly.

    • Type Logician
      Posted November 6, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Sorry, that post I cited was from Dan Hopkins, not Micah Cohen.

  7. Historian
    Posted November 6, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    I feel no exultation even as Biden hangs on, which I think is likely. Perhaps, I’m just exhausted. But, the crisis of American democracy is far from over. It’s really just beginning. There was no blue wave. Aside from the probable defeat of Trump, the Republican Party lost no significant ground, particularly on the state level. Trump will not concede graciously. That has already been demonstrated by his talk of last night. He will continue to file a flood of lawsuits; maybe one of them will reach the Supreme Court and who knows what it will do? The Trump cult will never accept the election results. Egged on by Trump, they may take to the streets with violence ensuing. Mitch McConnell will block everything in the Senate. The virus hovers in the background. Mutual contempt and hatred characterizes both parties. There is no way out.

    • Alexander
      Posted November 6, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      There is a way out: a multi-party system. A two-party system is in reality a one-party system, which is not a democracy. McConnell, who seems to have more power than the president, and known for blocking anything sensible, is an example.

      • GBJames
        Posted November 6, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        What’s your plan for getting that change enacted?

        • Alexander
          Posted November 6, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

          This should be a people’s initiative. Finland has a few dozen parties with about 10 in the government. In Belgium, when I vote, I can choose among about 10 parties, and they are represented in the senate, even when there is just one representative. I know that in the US implementing this idea is difficult, especially with a constitution that is basically 250 years old. But when enough people become aware of the absurdity of this situation, change may become possible.

          • GBJames
            Posted November 6, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

            “This should be a people’s initiative”

            We should also all have a pony with a unicorn horn. There’s no such mechanism.

            • Alexander
              Posted November 6, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

              Well, a mechanism must exist in other countries with multi-party governments. The absence of such a mechanism must be caused by an obsolete constitution. I’m not a political scientist, but there must be people on this list who would be able to explain why this would not be possible in the US. There is a third party in the US, but somehow they cannot establish themselves.

              • GBJames
                Posted November 6, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

                Other countries have different kinds of systems. Non of them operate under the Constitution of the USA which pretty much specifies how things work. That would need to be amended and such an amendment is theoretically possible but here in the real world, completely unrealistic.

                We have lots of third parties. At best they operate as spoilers at election time. Usually nobody knows they even exist.

              • Alexander
                Posted November 6, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

                GBJames says:

                “…under the Constitution of the USA which pretty much specifies how things work. That would need to be amended and such an amendment is theoretically possible but here in the real world, completely unrealistic.”

                Why is that so? France is at its Cinquième République.

              • GBJames
                Posted November 6, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

                Last I remember, France doesn’t operate under the rules established in the our US Constitution.

              • Alexander
                Posted November 6, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

                GBJames says:

                “France doesn’t operate under the rules established in the our US Constitution.”

                Does that mean that the US Constitution should not be amended regularly? Will we have the same constitution in 2050? Forever?

                I don’t think the Constitution should be a religion.

              • GBJames
                Posted November 6, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

                Of course it can be amended. It has been amended many times. But amendments are not easy to accomplish and one this fundamental has near-zero chance of happening. We’re still trying to get the ERA through.

  8. Posted November 6, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink


  9. Type Logician
    Posted November 6, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    As usual, Jerry nailed it. PA has just given the lead to Biden and the remaining vote pool offers The Great Baby no way, none, to regain it. ABC Decision Desk has just called the ELECTION for Biden!!

    • rickflick
      Posted November 6, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      “Great Baby” Hey, that one might stick. I can see it now. High school text books in the future will refer to the Great Baby as the worst president. Students will read that and give a little chuckle as DT turns in his grave. Am I gloating too soon?

      • Mark Joseph
        Posted November 6, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        What to do when your baby throws a tantrum.

        • sugould
          Posted November 6, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          The Guardian has it covered— “What to do when your president has a temper tantrum”: https://www. [remove added space] theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/06/president-donald-trump-temper-tantrum-meltdown

      • Type Logician
        Posted November 6, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        No, Rick, I think you’re right on target!

      • Posted November 6, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        You’re bang on, rick. Here’s an interview that Alan – (10 correct presidential predictions in a row) – Lichtman gave today. He called the win for Biden and didn’t mince words in lambasting d’Rump.

        • rickflick
          Posted November 6, 2020 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

          Sounds like an optimistic prognostication. Biden may be what we need right now. Yes!

  10. Blue
    Posted November 6, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    From Ms REKHA BASU, long and long the awesome
    columnist of the Des Moines Register and not
    ( yet ) behind a paywall and who concurs:
    It should not have been this close.
    Its boding / its telling:



  11. Blue
    Posted November 6, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    MY Georgian – CHILD at the COUNT EVERY VOTE –
    vigil within downtown Atlanta:


    • cyan
      Posted November 6, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      A fine man he is

  12. Jon Gallant
    Posted November 6, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Nonetheless, it remains to be explained how Trump got as many votes as he did, after the
    covid disaster and his increasingly unhinged behavior during the past year. I think this is partly credited to some very conspicuous helpers whom the GOP cannot thank enough.

    Donald Trump owes a huge debt of gratitude toward the wing of the Left which reminded the American public of that old Arab proverb “A day of anarchy is worse than a hundred years of tyranny”. This is the wing which displayed its allegiance to Black Lives Matter by scrawling graffiti everywhere, by looting stores in memory of George Floyd, by briefly setting up the idiotic CHAZistan enclave in Seattle, and, most of all, by campaigning vigorously for the abolition of all police, courts, and incarceration.

    Of Trump’s minions, only Steve Bannon has nodded briefly in the direction of these benefactors. Most Republicans will not thank them publicly, anymore than the “Days of Rage” wing of SDS received Nixon’s thanks for its invaluable contribution to his 1972 landslide reelection, or a salute later from the GOP for their help in generating the voters called “Reagan Democrats”.

  13. Raskos
    Posted November 6, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    I am looking forward to the post on Gentoo penguins.

  14. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 6, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    2016-2020 was just warm-up — the largest scale Fantasyland show ever has just begun.

  15. Posted November 6, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    A week ago I said that Biden was going to win and bigly. Last year I even said the Democrats would win.

  16. Posted November 7, 2020 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Very good call there prof. Kudos.

    Years ago for awhile I made some good money as a proprietary trader betting on various things in the market like currencies, stocks, bonds, etc. It was cool.
    But every 4 years I manage to get my presidential pick wrong.
    Every single damn election since I came here mid-90s.

    Like you can bet that anything tRump says is a lie you can put similar money on me getting my presidential pick wrong.

    I’m happy to be wrong this time also. Bye bye Orange Horror and we should count the White House silverware once he’s gone.

    D.A., NYC

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