Monday, August 17, 2020
The media loves a horserace, and 2020 is no different. My opinions are not meant to convince you or reassure you, but here's what I believe will happen on Election Day.
Trump will try to steal the election. He will be assisted in this endeavor by the Russians, the Saudis, and probably some combination of the UAE, China, and Turkey. Their efforts will largely fail because the turnout will overwhelm previous elections and hew very closely to the 2018 Blue Tsunami that swept the GOP out of power in the House and out of power in numerous states. The rejection of Trumpism will mean electoral defeat.
I think Biden will win the popular vote by at least six points, perhaps seven million votes in total. That may be conservative, but he is not the same figure as Hillary with the same baggage. The panic you see right now ignores the fact that it is still summer and the numbers won't start to harden for at least a month, if not longer. Trump has done nothing to appeal to the center and he has done nothing but celebrate an unstable, unreasonable base that will vote only for white supremacy. There is no other appeal with Trump, nothing else that redeems him and no other way that he appeals to Americans. He represents white power and nothing more.
Remember this phrase. "The cake is baked."
That means that the race is largely already decided. Trump is not going to win any more voters over to his side. The opposition to his presidency hardened within weeks of him taking office. Americans have to turn out and vote if they want change. I believe that there are enough to end his presidency and these are the voters who voted in 2018 to put a stop to the criminal insanity of GOP governance. Structurally, the Republicans control enough of the country to hold back a massive landslide that would otherwise leave them with 30 Senate seats and 100 House seats.
If we're really, really lucky, that's what Election Day 2022 will look like in terms of repudiating the last four years. But that's the optimist speaking here. The realist says we're in for a tough road ahead.
What concerns me is that the American people are never going to be "reasonable" in the years ahead. What should be a four hundred electoral vote for the Democratic candidate blowout will probably be about 325 for Biden. It will be convincing enough to force Trump and his army of lawyers to fight a rearguard action against being hurled out of office that will fail. They will scare people, they will muddy the transition, and then the pardons will come in a flurry. Biden and Harris will take over a broken government that is littered with destruction, empty chairs, and overflowing paper shredders.
The media will be depressed by this outcome. They want four more years of chaos and upheaval. The far right wants to crush their enemies, who happen to be other Americans. The far left wants a 1917 styled revolution that destroys the moderate wing of the Democratic Party as well as all other pretenders. Nobody will be happy.
The thing I have to remember is that a centrist campaign for the presidency is going to drive me crazy. Biden will appeal to every single voter that he can get and try to win Ohio, Texas and Georgia. This is probably not the wrong strategy, but it won't inspire the people who handed him the nomination.
If the GOP holds the Senate, we're in for at least two years of paralysis and gridlock, which the media will love.
I'm probably wrong, but there it is.