Biden 306 + Ohio Election Thoughts

The NYT election results map, showing Biden with 306 electoral votes and Trump with 232.

John ScalziNews organizations have finally called the last two uncalled states (see the New York Times graphic above), with Georgia going to Joe Biden and North Carolina going for Trump. With those last two pieces set into the election puzzle, Biden has 306 electoral votes, and Trump 232.

You may recall that in 2016, when Trump won 306 electoral votes, he termed his victory “historic” and a “landslide,” even though he lost the popular vote by a few million. I doubt Trump will call Biden’s equivalent electoral vote victory historic or a landslide, despite the fact that Biden has won, to date, roughly five million more popular votes than Trump has. Indeed Trump, like the whiny, pissy baby he is, continued not to acknowledge his “historic, landslide” loss at all. There are still some votes to be counted, and Trump has unleashed a barrage of dubious and ineffective lawsuits, but everyone who is not either delusional or a sad partisan hack recognizes that this cake is baked. It’s been baked for about a week now, and it’s well past time to start serving it up.

A map of Ohio with each of its counties; Darke County is highlighted. It gave 81% of its vote to Trump.

Locally, the 2020 election is notable in that Ohio, where I live, has now officially shed its status as a bellwether state; for the first time in at least half a century, I think, it went for the loser of the national election. Nor was the vote all that close; Trump ended up getting 53.3% of the Ohio vote, about eight percentage points more than Biden. This was roughly the same vote percentage gap that Trump had over Clinton in 2016 as well (although in 2016 Trump the overall vote percentage was a couple of points less). I don’t know if this means Ohio is now officially reliably red, but it certainly was reliably Trumpish.

In my own neck of the Ohio woods, Darke County, it was a blowout for Trump: 81% of the vote and just 17.5% for Biden (including my own vote). This is the highest percentage of votes that any presidential contender has gotten from the county in any election going back to 1856, the second place going to Trump in 2016, when he won just under 79% of the vote. Those couple of extra points seem to be because of higher turnout, not because of voters in Darke turning against the Democrats (well, any more than they already had). Biden got more voters in Darke than Hillary Clinton did, by a couple hundred votes, but Trump got about 1,500 more votes than he did in 2016. While I’m not thrilled with the results, I am generally happy about increased voter turnout. People should vote if they can.

I’m going to be very interested in what the trend will be for 2024. Not in Darke County — it’s been Republican for most of a century and as a 98.5% white rural county is likely to remain so — but in Ohio. Trump is making noise about running for president again in 2024, but I doubt he’ll be able to, in no small part because he just might be in prison. I am curious to see how Ohio reacts to a Republican presidential candidate who is not him. We’ll have to see.

That said, I’m not going to give it that much thought right now — that’s four years from now. Right now Ohio will have to stand there in its wrongness and be wrong. No cake for Ohio! Let’s hope it’s learned its lesson.

— JS

65 Comments on “Biden 306 + Ohio Election Thoughts”

  1. That’s an impressive national map, blue states in various regions. It’s a real sign of hope to see Georgia blue. I was quite moved when I first saw it colored that way, relatively early in the vote count.

  2. I think anyone who voted for Trump this time has to be considered a racist until they demonstrate they’ve seen the light. That very much includes some relatives of mine.

  3. Trump may think he’s running in 2024 but I’d bet some of the more ambitious republicans like Ted Cruz or Tom Cotton won’t be content to wait for 2028. I think we’re going to see a couple of years of MAGA limbo as republican candidates all debase themselves to capture the MAGA base.

    How low can they go?

  4. Interesting how states change, and how quickly. Virginia (where I live) was reliably red for decades–nobody but LBJ had won it for Dems since FDR’s days, I think. Then Obama won in 2008, and since then it’s been reliably blue and getting bluer. Glad to see that the total number of electoral votes isn’t close. If this was another 2000 (where the presidency came down to a few hundred votes in Florida) I’d be a lot more concerned about Trump’s shenanigans than I am now.

  5. With my pre-election pessimistic prediction, I did not predict AZ, and GA turning blue. But I am glad we do not have a repeat of 2000 with one state and a 500 vote margin deciding the race. Resounding endorsement for President-Elect Biden, but not against the GOP

    Wisconsin (my home state) is interesting in that the polls were off by 8 points, and it was a lot closer then polls predicted

  6. Also worth noting (to me, anyway) that Trump only won 304 electoral votes. He was given two extra by faithless Hillary electors.

    Regardless, I’m happy that Biden did as well or better than Trump in every measurement. I wish he’d done even better, but he pulled it out and that wasn’t exactly guaranteed given all the voter suppression and fuckery abounding in red states. The fact that Biden won Georgia is nothing short of miraculous – that NC is as close as it is should also be a cause for celebration.

    Here’s hoping 2022 and 2024 get better.

  7. I used to live in Summit County, Oh, which usually goes blue, like Cleveland. Now I’m living to the East, in Portage County, which is barely red, so I understand a bit of how you feel. It will be interesting to see how Ohio goes in 2024.

  8. Ohio has NOY learned it’s lesson, and will not..
    Me?
    I’d have pulled up stakes ages ago if I lived there.

  9. Matthew: Slight correction – Trump got 306 electors but only 304 voted for him (the other two voted for Ron Paul and John Kasich. Five of Clintons electors voted for other people, but none of them were for Trump.

  10. John, he’s a rich (well, allegedly, and kind of) white (ok, sort of orange) male, he ain’t ever going to jail. He will probably end up wrapped up in court cases for the rest of his natural life, but sadly won’t ever see the inside of a jail cell. If there were tapes that Epstein had, Billy Barr will have destroyed them by now, that may have been the only way he’d be in jail, but even that’s unlikely.

    He will however establish a 2024 grift, sorry, campaign fund the millisecond after Joe Biden is sworn in, need to keep fleecing the rubes.

  11. Even if Trump avoids prosecution and prison, I’m skeptical of his actually running for 2024. Even if he’s still living then, I have my doubts that he’ll be able to fake a healthy appearance. I think he’s going to show a quick decline in his health and it will be obvious to look at him. It will erode his Tough Man imagery and he’ll fade away in the primaries if he even runs.

  12. The thing that has worried me for quite a while is that Trump and his enablers act as if they never expect to face a reckoning. Now, with his firing of senior Pentagon officials and replacing them with toadies, the outlines of a coup (or, at least, an attempt) begin to appear on the map.

    Unthinkable? But so was the idea of a defeated president refusing to accept the will of the voters.

  13. “News organizations have finally called the last two uncalled states”

    Most countries rely on the electoral commission to call the election, not the media?

  14. Personally, my best-case-scenario picture for 2024 would be that the R’s nominate someone else – anyone else – and then Dump decides to run as an independent. That would pretty much slam-dunk guarantee a Dem win.

    I don’t think that’s likely, though. I suspect that Dump Senior will be so deep into dementia by then that it’s likelier to be Dump Junior running. Junior got a taste of how easy it is to skim millions of taxpayer money from the Oval Office over the past four years, and he wants another shot at it.

    As to states going blue or red, I spent 18 long years living in a red state where my vote never, ever counted toward the presidential choice because the state’s electoral college representatives always voted for the Republican. I now live in a purple state – we were blue for a few elections, flipped to red in 2016, and are back (barely) blue again in 2020. I wish to hell they’d just eliminate the electoral college entirely, but that would mean those tiny red states would lose their outsized share of power over the outcome, and that won’t ever happen.

  15. I’m sorry to see from the map that my childhood home of Erie County went for Trump. Pinkishly. God.

  16. I know how you feel. In Ottawa county in Michigan where I live they would elect a baked potato if it was Republican. What is sad is that rural America relies on government money than urban areas although they like to project an air of independence. Trump has just notched the delusional feeling up more than is healthy for everyone.

  17. David Hunt: I came here to basically say what you said about Trump’s likely health in 2024. He will then be the same age Biden is now. (I’m not happy about Biden’s age either.) But Biden is generally fit while Trump is so much not.
    I don’t worry, personally, about Trump’s mantle being passed. While he’s alive, he will insist on being the center of attention himself. After he’s dead, or unable to campaign, his kids and/or Pence will have to rely on their own personal charisma, and none of them have any.
    LarryH: as we all know, you included, the press is predicting rather than officially calling the election. As they have done for every presidential election for many decades. Strangely, nobody ever got upset about that before this year. I’m willing to be corrected, but as I remember the very weird case of the 2000 election they rightly refused to call the election at all until the Supreme Court ruled.

  18. @LarryH

    The media has called the election by prediction for decades. No one has been screaming and tantrumming about it until this year. Maybe give it a rest, hm?

  19. Trump’s niece Mary spoke on MSM earlier this week, and said she is certain that the Mango Moron will not run in 2024. Why? Because he is terrified of losing AGAIN.

  20. As a resident of NC, all I can say is that it sucks hard that NC went for Trump. I did what I could to prevent that, but oh well.

    It sucks even more that we sent Thom Tillis back to the U.S. Senate, rather than Cal Cunningham. *weary sigh*

    On the bright side, at least Roy Cooper retained governorship instead of it shifting to Dan Forest. One out of three isn’t great, but given that Trump still lost anyway, the biggest of those three was nullified, at least.

  21. Santa baby, just slip a trump subpoena under the tree for me. Been an awful good girl. So hurry the grand jury tonight.

    Santa baby, a trump chapter 11 too, light blue. I wait up for you dear. So hurry the grand jury tonight.

    Think of all the grift prosecuters missed. Think of all the porn stars trump has kissed.
    Next year he could be broke and in jail, if you check off my christmas list.

    Santa baby, i want trumps finances to flop, and really thats not a lot. Been an angel all year. So hurry the grand jury tonight.

    Santa baby, one little thing I support: trump in court, for decades of fraud. So hurry the grand jury tonight.

    Santa cutie, and fill my stocking with trumps tax returns, i yearn. And signed affidavits by his accountants. And hurry the grand jury tonight

    Hurry the grand jury tonight…

    Hurry… the grand jury… toooniiiight.

  22. I no longer consider Ohio a swing state. Of course, I live in Arizona (which noone calls a red state anymore). Wisconsin was never really a reliable blue state, and I fear that Michigan is also trending that way. Democrats should start planning more on winning swingy sun belt states (including AZ and GA) in the future.

  23. Celebrate this wonderful concept that millions can freely vote undeterred and change their government. Meanwhile, thousands in one county in a single state can say no thank you. It doesn’t change the result but they get a voice. I don’t want one party monolithic government. I want many parties where you have to form coalitions and try to achieve a compromise and actually convince people what you believe. Anything else is a totalitarian mess. Trump was never going to be a leader and he couldn’t convince a majority to vote for him. He paid the price of failure by a simple vote of a nation not cowed but empowered to vote in record numbers.

  24. I saw a compilation of smug Trumpists on Fox News crowing about Clinton and democrats being sore losers and cry babies. The juxtaposition of 2016 crowing against 2020 petulance made for some serious amusement round these parts.

    I also find it amusing that the same right-wingers waving “media” declarations of 2016 Trump victories in democrats’ faces have moved “the media doesn’t call elections” to a place of prominence among defensive Trumpist talking points.

    I’m also loving that the freeze-dried legal minds they’ve unleashed are being laughed out of court as Trump is thoroughly trounced in what used to be reliably red states.

    Even more lovely are the gut-punches from Trump allies who are prepared to deal in the objective reality of DJT’s defeat.

    What worries me, if only slightly, is the potential for “faithless electors” to aid in the trampling of the popular vote under the cracked and wreaking feet of Trumpism.

    I know that there are more than 30 states that require electors to echo the popular vote, but it’s still a worry.

    I agree that trump is symptomatic of a nationwide sociocultural cancer, one so aggressive that his support at the poles increased by nearly 10,000,000.

    Biden’s victory notwithstanding, the prevalence of bigotry, internalized racism /self-loathing (looking at you, Trumpists from marginalized groups) and status anxiety (and they should be, as their inherent superiority has and continues to be challenged) is not a good look for Americanism, no matter how we define it.

    Here’s hoping things work out the way we need them to in Georgia so that Biden can actually get things done.

  25. Just a note, but “faithless electors” aren’t going to be a problem in 2020.

    Electors are chosen by the party (either Republican Party or Democratic Party). For example, Hilary Clinton is chosen for the NY election. Think she’s going to be faithless? Think ANY Democratic Party elector is gonna be faithless this year?

    Nawgonnahappen.

  26. I wonder if we have to draw a distinction between the post-digital and pre-digital political universes. No doubt the internet has made things wildly different in some ways. The way our Paleolithic emotions intersect with our technological darlings continues to be a changing field.

  27. Sara Marie, I don’t know if you saw the same compilation I did, but I agree: it was seriously funny. The one I saw followed up with a sequence of clips of Democrats from 2016: Clinton conceding, Obama acknowledging Trump’s victory, Pelosi saying that the transfer of power needed to start right now, Kerry saying that our new president had his good wishes . . . quite a contrast, especially putting Kerry (then Secretary of State, in case anyone reading this doesn’t remember) next to Pompeo and his second Trump administration “joke.” Feh.

  28. I’m overjoyed that Georgia went for Biden narrowly over Trump, but the GOP has such a stranglehold in Georgia that I’m not expecting the same for the Senate runoffs. I and my family will all vote for Warnock and Ossoff, but we know we’re in a distinct minority here. It would definitely make my year if Democrats could cosign Mitch McConnell and the Senate GOP’s control to the trash heap of history, but I won’t hold my breath.

  29. Sure hope those reassured about faithless electors are right to relax (I’m not so sure about that, but…); the #WalkAway movement has peeled off nearly half a million dems (and counting); here’s hoping none of them wind up in one of those chairs.

    Now we just have to hope the faithful electors aren’t replaced in states with republican legislatures.

    In any case, I won’t relax until Biden is inaugurated on 1/20/21, though it is really, really tempting to do so.

    @Mary Frances:

    Wasn’t it delicious?

    The whataboutism and right-nesia RE: Hillary’s recount efforts are especially so, given the validity of her concerns and her prompt and gracious concession speech.

    That McCain was swift in chastising booing, hissing sore loser supporters in 2008 only further emphasizes the reality-averse, hypocritical but all-too hilarious foot-stompery of Trump’s camp.

    The fact that they’re willing to endanger the country for the sake of hobbling a president with which they disagree puts the lie to all of their blathering about loving this country and striving to make it “great again.”

    No one who voted and re-voted for this mess is above contempt.

  30. I’ve not polled my kin in the Cincinnati area – though at least 1 set lives just across the river in KY – but I suspect they are not Biden voters.
    The Tantrump cut their taxes, That is all. I guess they consider themselves Covid-immune.

  31. I think it is just Trump perpetrating his particular brand of psychological terrorism to say he’ll run in 2024. Not only will he most likely sport a state felony, but I have no doubt that he will have violated the Federal Records and Presidential Records Acts with some mad frenzied shredding/nuking/deleting/sledgehammering. You know that’s what he’s up to.

    https://www.justsecurity.org/73265/destroying-federal-documents-during-a-presidential-transition-is-a-federal-crime/

    If convicted, he would be banned from ever holding public office again, along with prison time and fines. A self-pardon (if it passes muster) or Qtip pardon might eliminate the prison time and fines, but perhaps not the barring from holding public office. Would he risk it? To obliterate traces of all his other crimes? Hell yes.

  32. Biden voters this time around should focus on the 2022 midterms rather than speculating on whether Trump will be the 2024 presidential candidate. It’s like trying to forecast what the weather will be like on Election Day 2024. It might not necessarily be Donald. It could be Ivanka or his large adult sons.

    Seeing the trajectory of the GOP over not just Trump but since — you could peg it back to Nixon or even Barry Goldwater — well, the GOP might desire a capable Trump. What might have undone Trump and got Biden and Harris elected is a desire for competent governance. Biden was the Democrat most closest to the center, prevailing over far more liberal rivals including his eventual running mate. Biden also knows that a president has to project empathy and humanity — Trump was completely devoid of that. Take a tragedy like a mass shooting or something solemn like a veterans tribute; Trump had the uncanny ability to shit on a moment and make everyone feel worse for having experienced it.

    This of course works the other way as well, toward a dark end. The GOP interprets a loss as a change in tactics and strategy, not a moral re-evaluation. The Republicans really want Trumpism without Trump. They don’t believe the election was a referendum on authoritarianism and they were on the losing side. They can point to holding half the seats in the Senate, gains in the House, and expanding their hold in statehouses that they are the real winners. They’ll just blame it on bad management from the White House and believe that voters yearn for authoritarianism, if done competently enough.

    Zeynep Tufecki argues this in a new Atlantic piece, “Trump proved that authoritarians can get elected in America.”
    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/11/trump-proved-authoritarians-can-get-elected-america/617023/

    Out of the White House, the GOP can engineer authoritarian outcomes at the state and local level and scale it nationally when the time comes.

  33. Paul DeConnick: “Major Major’s father was a sober God-fearing man whose idea of a good joke was to lie about his age. He was a long-limbed farmer, a God-fearing, freedom-loving, law-abiding rugged individualist who held that federal aid to anyone but farmers was creeping socialism. He advocated thrift and hard work and disapproved of loose women who turned him down.” — Joseph Heller, Catch-22

  34. In addition to all the people properly correcting LarryH about media projections being completely normal, I will add that most countries’ ballots are far simpler than those in America.

    In Germany, for example, your national ballot has two items: candidate for your local parliamentary district and party to determine proportional representation. That will be the only election on that day. While I have not personally seen a UK ballot, they do not even have proportional representation, so for a national election you choose one MP. Then the district tots them up. Done!

    My Texas ballot in 2020 included electors for president, US Senate, US Representative, Texas Supreme Court, Texas Court of Appeals, Texas Railroad Commission, Texas State Board of Education, State Senate, State House of Representatives, District Court of Appeals, District Judge, Country Tax Assessor-Collector, County Clerk, County School Trustee, Justice of the Peace, Constable, and much, much, much more. America has a complicated system!

  35. @Kat:

    Agreed, especially when you consider that threatening a 2024 run is the most effective way to save face in addition to “owning”/ terrorizing the libs and sticking his forked tongue out at those republicans he deems insufficiently deferential/delusional post-trouncing.

    You paint a lovely picture of Trump as a greasy, disgraced C-lister relegated to the fringes of political society and floating on the backs of his easily grifted cult members.

    He is injured, humiliated and vindictive and will doubtless do anything and everything possible to “exonerate” himself and his accomplices; kneecapping the Biden administration will be a cherry.

    What worries me is the potential for the republican party to turn out a more sophisticated, less incurious Trump-like candidate, an attractive, well-spoken figure emblematic of staunch conservatism who will peel off tribalistic democrats (I hope you know who I mean) who espouse a handful of democratic precepts (most often the ones that serve their specific interests only) but who are just as terrified for and protective of their privilege as are their right-leaning counterparts.

    Trump was the claw back president, and the groundswell of support (I’d call a nearly 10, 000, 000 increase in Trump voters a groundswell) is indicative of a nation that isn’t as resistant to that pull as we hoped.

    Perhaps Romney was correct in his assessment of split-ticket voting as a clear indication that The United States is a right-leaning nation.

    Maybe he’s correct in his observation that this vote was more so a “referendum on a person” than a repudiation of conservativism.

    Given that conservatism has well-earned its synonymity with all things bigoted, social Darwinist and reactionary, this does not bode well.

    What worries me even more is that Biden will take the “look forward, not back” approach to the matter of investigating and prosecuting those who aren’t pardoned.

    It is my hope that, provided things work out in Georgia, Biden will be able to assemble a professional, qualified and proactive cabinet with the support of a congress who will work to replace wooden supports with something more durable and impermeable so that American institutions, sociopolitical norms and guidelines are as inviolate as they should be.

    I want to see as many members of Trump’s criminal outfit punished to the fullest extent of the law.

  36. A republican, albeit a disgruntled one, outlines the potential consequence of Trump’s tantrum:

  37. I have to confess I go over to RHSDs site to troll to try to convince them that Drumpf has a chance, I can’t wait until Jan 20th to see their howling. I think I’ll actually have to visit fly over country to see the loser’s lament, this is so great.

  38. You are a braver soul than I, as I didn’t even make it one sentence before the need for brain bleach overtook me.

  39. My state results were 62/36.5 % Trump/Biden (home county Madison-Huntsville was roughly 53/45%) but our greatest (saddest) accomplishment was trading Senator Doug Jones for the person who will be the stupidest Senator ‘Coach’ Tommy Tuberville.
    Coach is incredibly ignorant ( already bragging about fundraising for Georgia from his federal suite of offices) and he doesn’t know squat about civics ( he thinks the three branches of government are the presidency, the senate and the house. I think he may find out about the judiciary the hard way).

  40. I find it amusing that Biden has the same number of electoral votes as in Trump’s supposed historically massive victory four years ago. Sweet justice.
    At one point in the count, when Trump led in both PA and GA, the count if it finalized that way would have had Biden winning by exactly one vote, 270-268. Perhaps that possibility would convince a few more people that the electoral college is a silly thing.

  41. @Paul deConinck: Well, it wasn’t so long ago that many Dems were declaring they would vote for a Democratic baked potato (or equivalent) if it denied Trump the win. Fortunately, it never got to that point, and while Biden isn’t FDR, he’s still perfectly cromulent compared to the Angry Yam.

    I’m sad your graphic has Cincinnati and Dayton covered; I would have liked to see if that area of Ohio went with other urban areas and voted blue.

  42. Any number of very red states’ red governors are purported to have had and still do presidential 2024 ambitions, including both gubs of North Dakota and South Dakota. All these gubs are from the redest of the red states too, meaning with the highest rates of covid-19 infections and deaths, day-after-day-after-day.

    But there’s this, as with the ND governor: it came to this, he had to mask mandate as of last night. Not that anyone will. We’re North Dakota. We hunt deer and drink beer in herds, we don’t wear no masks, by golly.

    In the meantime local and state officials in Minnesota want to close the borders between themselves and them on that western side of the Red River of the North. Which would also mean and Minnesotan sneaking over to Wahpeton from shut down Minnesota to hang out in a bar, dancing, howling and drunk drivin’ until the wee hours wouldn’t be allowed back over the bridge again for 14 days, with a doctor’s certificate and negative covid-19 test form.

  43. TheMadLibrarian: I’ll try to put a link in to an Ohio map for you. Politico Ohio Map

    If it doesn’t work, just google “ohio election results map Politico,” and something should come up.

  44. Dear Matthew Hughes,

    Doesn’t matter how many civilian Pentagon officials Trump replaces. The generals (ALL commissioned officers) oath is to uphold, protect, and defend the Constitution. Not the President, not even the government of the United States. The Constitution. They take that utterly seriously.

    (In the same vein, no the President cannot launch a nuclear attack. He can only authorize it.There is historical precedent for the military deciding to ignore the civilian chain of command.)

    ~~~~

    Dear MartianDogg,

    You win the Internet for the day!!!

    ~~~~

    Dear gwangung,

    Faithless electors aren’t going to be a problem because there simply wouldn’t be enough of them. Two thirds of the states have laws against them, which the Supreme Court has upheld, and even before the Court did that there were only seven. Trump needs to flip 37.

    It’s like worrying whether the Supreme Court will throw out ballots received after the election date. Doesn’t make any difference in the outcome.

    ~~~~

    Dear Kat,

    Well, yeah, that’s what 18 U.S. Code §2071 says, but it’s NOT a restriction on the office of President that’s in the Constitution. The Constitution sets only birth, age, and residency requirements.

    If I were a Supreme Court justice, much as I would love to be able to rule Trump unable to run, I’d vote for the Constitution over a federal law. Otherwise, there’s really nothing to keep Congress from passing laws that say only whites, men, straights, etc. can run for President.

    Most prevailing legal opinion is that a convicted felon COULD run for President.

    – pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    ======================================
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. http://ctein.com 
    — Digital Restorations. http://photo-repair.com 
    ======================================

  45. Realistically, do you think there is ANYTHING Democrats can do to be more competitive in Darke County and places like it? Having all of their vote come from urban centers (and, even now, suburbs) may not be a sustainable path for the party as the GOP becomes increasingly anti-democratic.

  46. > Realistically, do you think there is ANYTHING Democrats can do to be more competitive in Darke County and places like it?

    Not without abandoning some key parts of their platform. Large swathes of the country will never vote in a president who isn’t anti-abortion.

  47. Sarah Marie, you and I fear the same thing. The GOP might take the lesson learned from this electoral loss as the search for a capable Trump. Republicans should have imploded as an institution after Watergate, but the GOP didn’t take the moral lesson of political dirty pool to heart.

    They saw Nixon’s and the burglars’ actions as fundamentally moral, in a Nietzschean “master morality” kind of way, but saw his resignation as a management failure. Reagan came along six years later and there was no need for soul-searching. When Iran-Contra happened, they learned not to repeat the mistakes of the Watergate hearings.

    The GOP sees Reagan, and likely the Bush 43-Cheney war on terror days between 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina, as the template of what Republicans see as a winning formula in a president. Get an amiable dunce as the face of the party, and surround him/her with capable henchmen who are unappealing on their own but are useful for running ideological gambits and know the processes and protocols of steering Congress and the federal bureaucracy.

  48. As you know, the electoral college effectively mandates a two party system. This means that for the sake of health, both parties should be big and functional. I don’t want the republicans to wither away.

    I’m not a party member, but I seem to recall that people within a party can manage to gain numbers and change their party’s platform. Let’s hope the republicans are capable of change. Losing an election is a good first step towards the needed humbleness.

    Meanwhile, our host likes us to put all our thoughts in one comment, versus multiple comments. Here goes: My other thought was sparked by the comment of Foxessa of closing state borders to covid. I will know that covid is being managed (go democrats!) when Canada finally reopens her border to us. Won’t happen this year, but I can dream of that sunny day.

  49. Very happy my state of Georgia has flipped blue. We only have a Republican governor because he stole the election in 2018. (Kemp was Sec. of State, in charge of the election, while running for Governor and doing everything he could to keep Black people from voting.)

    Flipping the two U.S. Senate seats is a long shot, but it could happen.

    So, in 2016, a guy who lost the popular vote by 3 million nevertheless won the EC vote, 306 – 232.

    In 2020, a guy who won the popular vote by 5 million … won the EC vote, 306 -232.

    We really need to get rid of the stupid Electoral College.

  50. It’s certainly nice to see my very valid worries RE: faithless electors allayed so thoroughly by some posters (you know who you are); here’s hoping my equally valid fears about republican legislatures replacing faithful electors are as unnecessary as you claim.

    Thoughts?

  51. Active voter suppression from one major party and probable fraud (albeit on a consistent but small scale) from the other. Makes me glad I couldn’t stand either option and went third party this year.

  52. I have lived in Colorado for three years now. It is becoming more reliably blue with the eviction notice given to Cory Gardner. But my home is in Colorado Springs, one of the redder parts of the states–military bases and home of Focus on the Family. I periodically see letters to the editor that anyone who moves here should ‘assimilate’ to the politics and attitudes. There is a lot of grumpy chatter about the Californication of Colorado. But since I moved here from Missouri, which is getting redder and redder, I am pleased to live someplace that has a progressive view on politics.

  53. Sean Crawford: The phenomenon you’re thinking of is Duverger’s law, and it’s not unique to the US Electoral College. It’s in district-based democracies with first-past-the-post voting, like at all levels of the US.

    Also, in our system, if one of the two parties were to collapse on their own (as opposed to the GOP’s efforts to consolidate power), another would rise to fill the vacuum.

    What’s often not brought up in the US is why the hell we stuck with 18th century governance infrastructure when our peers, educated and urbanized democratic nation-states, instead went toward parliamentary systems. Granted, it would be Sisyphean to attempt to modernize Congress with our Constitution, but it would be comparatively easier to implement at the state level. All US states except Nebraska have two legislative chambers. Why? States, as the laboratories of democracy, could take however many existing legislative seats are in their capitals and divide them up between a district-based lower house and a party-list based upper house.

  54. CAC: “Makes me glad I couldn’t stand either option and went third party this year.”

    Lord, grant me the confidence of a mediocre white man who congratulates himself for voting third party.

  55. Jon, how do you think the redistricting of Ohio will play into the next vote? I think it’s time we use a open source nationwide algorithm to determine uniform representation, but that’s pie in the sky stuff.

  56. @MartianDogg: Two thoughts for you to consider. First, where I live it’s so reliably red that my vote essentially doesn’t count, so you mistake disgust with the options for self-congratulations. Second, your assumptions about me are off-base. Since you don’t know my background, either ask or don’t assume. Thanks for the laugh though.

  57. Sean: “As you know, the electoral college effectively mandates a two party system.”

    Nope. The electoral college with a population+2 electoral vote per state gives rural states a natural advantage over urban states. But it is up to the individual states to decide how to award those EC votes.

    The fact that most states do a “winner takes all” approach is what reinforces a two party system.

    The national popular vote interstate compact keeps the electoral college at the federal level, but states agree to award their EC votes to whoever wins the popular vote at the national level. It effectively gets rid of the rural-state bias inherent in the electoral syatem without a constitutional ammendment.

    There are currently 190 ec votes worth of states who have joined the compact. When they get 270 votes, the compact kicks in.

    It is still a first pass the post system, but with the popular vote, so npv will still encourage a two party system. However, the ec system as it is now disenfranchises nearly half the population. Red voters in blue states and blue voters in red states effectively have their vote tossed. A republican in california could vote or not vote and currently it has zero effect on the outcome. Same with a democrat in texas.

    The NPV would go a long way to enfranchising tens of millions of people.

    Once everyone has a voice, maybe then we could move toward a ranked ballot and get multilple parties. But right now half of all voters are disenfranchised and that needs to be fixed first.

  58. CEC:”your assumptions about me are off-base”

    Naw. You told me everything I needed to know about you when you forwarded republican propaganda about Democrats committing voter fraud.

    If you had even a little bit of skin in the game, you could have found that claim was bullshit. That you couldnt even bother to google tells me who you are.

  59. John, thanks for your reasonable optimism. I can’t see this election as anything other than a disaster and an augur of catastrophe. On par with 2000 and as dispiriting as 2004. (Remember swiftboat?) I hope your take on it turns out to be sage and mine mere doomfoolery.

  60. @MartianDogg: Well, I thank for the entertainment, but I’m going to step away from your jump-to-conclusions game. Have fun with that.

  61. CEC, the Democratic party did not commit “probable fraud” in this election. Your attempt to pass that propaganda along means I dont need to jump to any conclusion about you. You made the conclusion abundantly clear.