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Wed Nov 18, 2020, 02:22 PM

We came much closer to an election catastrophe than many realize

(Opinion by Paul Waldman, Washington Post - Nov. 18, 2020)
As President Trump refuses to concede that he lost the election, and his dead-enders trot out increasingly bizarre conspiracy theories and legal tantrums, we are witnessing an attack on democracy that is at turns sickening and comical. But as it turns more the latter than the former, we should be aware of how close we came to catastrophe.

You may look at President-elect Joe Bidenís 306-to-232 lead in the electoral college, and his popular vote lead of 5.8 million votes and growing, and say that, thankfully, the results werenít that close. As my colleague Greg Sargent wrote before the election, Trumpís legal strategy was predicated on getting within ďcheating distance,Ē with the margins narrow enough that he could convince Republican judges to intercede on his behalf and hand him the election. It hasnít happened.

But it was closer than you think. And it raises the frightening possibility that if Trumpís team were not such a bunch of buffoons, and if Republican officials at the state level were just a little more corrupt than they already are, he might have been able to steal the election after all.

Thatís because the 2020 election was, in one critical way, even closer than 2016.

Waldman goes on to point out that much has been made of the 77,000-vote margin in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania that gave Trump the electoral votes needed to prevail in 2016. But in 2020, all would have needed would have been 45,000 votes in Arizona, Wisconsin, and Georgia.

Final tallies are being completed; Georgia is conducting a hand recount, and there could be a recount in Wisconsin if the Trump campaign decides to pay for one. But here are the margins by which Biden won three critical states, as of Wednesday morning:

Arizona: 10,457
Georgia: 14,028
Wisconsin: 20,565
Total: 45,050

If weíre thinking about whether Trump could make up any of those deficits in a recount, the answer is almost certainly no; recounts seldom find mistakes that move more than a few hundred votes in one direction or another, and could just as easily make Bidenís leads larger.

But if Trump had managed to get those 45,000 votes, he would have won 37 more electoral votes, making the electoral college a 269-to-269 tie. Under the Constitution, the election would have then been decided by the House of Representatives, with each state delegation getting just one vote. Even though Democrats have a majority in the House, more state delegations have Republican majorities. Trump would have been reelected.

Thatís the bullet we just dodged, all because of 45,000 votes.

Terrifying indeed. More at link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/11/18/how-2020-election-was-closer-than-2016/

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply We came much closer to an election catastrophe than many realize (Original post)
klook Nov 2020 OP
empedocles Nov 2020 #1
calguy Nov 2020 #4
JI7 Nov 2020 #10
angstlessk Nov 2020 #2
calguy Nov 2020 #3
lagomorph777 Nov 2020 #13
calguy Nov 2020 #14
Lysol2020 Nov 2020 #5
klook Nov 2020 #6
gopiscrap Nov 2020 #7
Skittles Nov 2020 #8
klook Nov 2020 #9
JI7 Nov 2020 #11
klook Nov 2020 #12

Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Nov 18, 2020, 02:26 PM

1. We also came much closer to a Presidential Nomination catastrophe than many

will admit.

Rough year.

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Response to empedocles (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 18, 2020, 02:32 PM

4. True That.

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Response to empedocles (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 19, 2020, 04:14 AM

10. Not sure about that

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Nov 18, 2020, 02:27 PM

2. And IF grasshoppers had six shooters, birds wouldn't mess with them.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Nov 18, 2020, 02:31 PM

3. This something the DNC has to work on the next two years

It's great we won the White House, and have a shot at the Senate. But neither party has a strong majority going going forward. If anything. the GOP was able to strengthen their hold on gerrymandering districts to their advantage.
While we celebrate our victory we can't afford to lose sight of the fact that we have much work to do these next 2 years if we want to gain a workable majority in government.

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Response to calguy (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 19, 2020, 11:57 AM

13. +1 We have to get serious about digital. Hack Falsebook and Twit the way Putin/Trump/Cambridge have

Reach the MAGATS and start deprogramming some of them. Obviously, most are pretty far down the rabbit hole, but keep in mind they are ALL incredibly gullible idiots.

EXPLOIT MAGAT GULLIBILITY.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #13)

Thu Nov 19, 2020, 07:53 PM

14. True that

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Nov 18, 2020, 02:45 PM

5. This may be true but

We have to remember Biden had to catch Trump from 2016 in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Arizona and then pass him. It was closer than comfort, but we did well this cycle.

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Response to Lysol2020 (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 18, 2020, 02:51 PM

6. I agree. I'm very happy with the election results.

Reversing the deficits in the midwestern states and overcoming all the Republican treachery, in the middle of a pandemic, took a herculean effort. And I don't think the author is saying the Dems did anything wrong. (I'm certainly not.)

It's just a reminder of how the Electoral College constitutes a hurdle that we have to overcome to win the White House, every single time.

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Response to Lysol2020 (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 18, 2020, 03:18 PM

7. welcome to DU

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Nov 18, 2020, 07:19 PM

8. another reason to ditch the Electoral College

it makes it much easier for Russia or Repukes to manipulate the election

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Response to Skittles (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 18, 2020, 07:21 PM

9. No kidding.

Hope to see the Electoral College scuttled in my lifetime. Not holding my breath, though. I've only got 30 years left, tops.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Thu Nov 19, 2020, 04:15 AM

11. Trump being an incumbent helped . Biden also didn't do a ground campaign

imagine if we had been doing regular campaigns and rallies.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 19, 2020, 08:34 AM

12. Yes. Jen O'Malley Dillon and crew did an amazing job

with many headwinds to overcome.

Trump was in part a formidable opponent, with fanatical devotion from his followers ó and, as you say, the extensive benefits of the incumbency. Fortunately for us, his incompetence and the intense negative partisanship he inspires in Democrats, and in those who respond to our positions and candidates, helped Biden & Harris.

Our candidates inspired strong confidence and hope, and this gave us what we needed to capitalize on Trumpís massive negatives.

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