10. Down the Wire – Election Final

Down to the Wire (Issue #10 – Pre-Election Final Edition)

By David S. Kerr (a product of Morningside Communications)

Has early voting already decided the outcome? – Will elderly voters warned off of early voting by President Trump not show up on election day because of the COVID surge? – Who does Presidential Chief of Staff Mark Meadows work for anyway? – The Dems look poised to take the Senate (Look for Ross Duncan’s, what does the outcome mean, in next week’s post-election edition).

Is it over yet? Early voting may have already decided the outcome Is it over? Oh, how I wish I could say that, but there are still a few days to go before election day. However, the question is not misplaced. Arguably the election could be over. Thanks to COVID, and fears of election day mess-ups and super long lines at the polls, it’s possible, thanks to in-person early voting and mail-in absentee ballots, that over half of the American electorate that planned to vote has already voted. Though that said, this isn’t completely unprecedented. There were a substantial number of early voters in 2016 and again in 2018. All were counted with relatively little incident. This year roughly 75% of the electorate can vote early if they choose.

Trump’s attacks on early voting may hurt Republican turnout particularly amongst older voters President Trump may have hurt himself by so adamantly decrying early voting as rife with potential fraud. This is particularly true with his more elderly base. They may well have taken the President’s message to heart. However, these very same voters tend to be a little more nervous about the Coronavirus. Which is now surging. Florida is a case in point. So is Arizona, Georgia and Texas. Many elderly voters decided against voting early based on the President’s warnings, and now with COVID rising sharply in these states, they may opt not to vote on election day either. Surely that’s not what the President had in mind. For the record, President Trump voted by mail in Florida.

Most of the Electoral Machinery in key swing states is controlled by Republicans

Curiously, most of the electoral machinery in the swings states he needs to win, and in red states where polls are a little tighter than expected, are run by Republicans with GOP appointees serving as state secretaries of state (responsible for collecting and counting the votes) and on state electoral boards. Florida, North Carolina, Texas, and Georgia are three examples. That’s why concerns about voter fraud favoring the Democrats seem a little misplaced. “the Electoral Map is getting very weird right now” A journalist in the Washington Post, Philip Bomb, made a curious observation in an article called “the Electoral Map is getting very weird right now.” He contrasted two very different states and made this observation about polling margins that seemed out of whack. In Montana, a red Trump state, the margin for Donald Trump has shrunk so much that it is about the same, in terms of the breadth of the margin, as the somewhat narrow Biden lead in Michigan. Yes, Mr. Bomb, it’s getting weird. Who does Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows work for anyway? Recent news begs the question.

Who does Mark Meadows, the President’s Chief of Staff work for?

A good question, because when it comes to having his boss’ back and managing the message, he and the President seem to be on a very different sheet of music. A case-in-point, while the President was recovering from COVID, and his doctors were all but saying he was something of a wonder patient, Chief of Staff Meadows was saying that things had been a lot more serious than the President’s medical team had let on. Apparently, President Trump wasn’t happy. Now, Mr. Meadows, in very specific terms says that “we’re not going to control the pandemic.” Pray tell, does he know what he said? The White House did some subsequent spin control, but to limited effect. However, COVID, now resurging at record rates is issue number one among voters and Mr. Meadows and his comment left a lot of Trump supporters in shock. It might be a fair guess that Mr. Meadows’ resignation might be one of the first that’s asked for on November 4.

U.S. Senate calls — Even the President has acknowledged that the U.S. Senate may flip this year. The Democrats need to turn a net of four seats. Three if Joe Biden wins. It’s a close count. First, it’s a given the Democrats are going to lose one and that’s in Alabama. Doug Jones is way behind. However, Iowa, Maine, Arizona, and Colorado look like solid pickups. Add in closer states, like North Carolina, and even Georgia and the Democrats have the Senate. Of note, both seats in Georgia are on the ballot. One is a two person contest, with a Democrat in the lead, and the other is a multi-person contest that may force a runoff, so if the Democrat, who is in the lead, doesn’t get more than 50% of the vote on election night there will be a runoff a few weeks later. These tend to favor the GOP in states like Georgia.

2020 Wrap — That’s almost it That’s it for our pre-election coverage and comment. We’ll be back just after the election with analyses of what happened. Including our own Ross Duncan in London.

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