Even if he claims on election night that he won, a lot of other things would have to happen for him to get away with it.
By Michael A. Cohen Contributor, Updated September 27, 2020, 3:00 a.m.
After four years of shredding practically every democratic tradition in American politics, President Trumps actions last week represented a dangerous new front. On successive days, he refused to commit to the peaceful transfer of power should he lose the presidential election, because according to Trump the widespread use of mail-in ballots will be unfair to him. This comes on the heels of a major article in the Atlantic that lays out a strategy Trump and his GOP enablers could use to, in effect, steal the election.
The collective freakout that followed is understandable, but it feels disconnected from reality. The fact is, to steal the election Trump would have to rely on an extraordinary confluence of events dominoes lined up one after another and falling in precise order.
For example, one scenario being floated imagines that Trump is leading in key battleground states on election night and declares himself the victor before all mail-in ballots are counted. Then he questions the legitimacy of those ballots and tries to get Republican legislators in battleground states to appoint pro-Trump electors to the Electoral College, irrespective of the final outcome.
To call this far-fetched is putting it mildly. Nearly every poll, going back to the spring, shows Trump losing badly to Joe Biden. If Biden wins by a significant margin theres a good chance well know that on election night, making any effort to steal the election largely moot.
Posting this with a warning. Don't even begin to think this is over with all the crap they are going to try and pull. Get out and vote and get everyone and their grandmothers to the polls.
Vanity Fair Magazine
The presidents attacks on mail-in voting are backfiring spectacularly.
BY BESS LEVIN
SEPTEMBER 30, 2020
If youve turned on a TV, radio, phone, or computer in the last several months, odds are youve heard Donald Trump ranting about how mail-in voting is rife with fraud. Obviously hes taking this approach not because he actually thinks thats the casehe and the first lady requested mail-in ballots to vote in Floridas primarybut because hes trying to sow fear in the system and undermine the election. And so far, its working! While Republicans once had an edge in requesting mail-in ballots, the president seems to have successfully scared off his own supporters. Now, Democrats ballot requests are reportedly surging ahead in key battleground states, making Republicans more than a little bit anxious.
The Washington Post reports that the Democratic voters who have requested mail-in ballots and sent them back greatly outnumber Republicans in states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maine, and Iowa. A similar trend is apparently occurring in Ohio, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin, and GOP leaders and strategists are freaking out. The disparity has reportedly been the subject of urgent discussions among GOP officials, who are stunn[ed] by the margins and fear the news is not just bad for Trump but for other Republicans on the ballot. While the party is said to be focused on voter turnout on Election Day itself, Whit Ayers, a longtime Republican pollster, told the Post the fear is that older voters, who typically support Republicans, are concerned about being infected with COVID-19 and could choose to stay home if the pandemic intensifies in the run-up to November 3 (which would be yet another reason not to cast a ballot for Trump, whose handling of the crisis has been shambolic at best).
While theyd likely never say it in public, privately, officials know they have the president to thank for the skewed numbers when it comes to mail-in ballots, and Republicans have spent the last few months frantically trying to clean up the mess:
...several Republicans acknowledged privately that there is little upside for their party in the numbersand said they are working feverishly to reverse the trend with a last-minute press with voters. Its astronomical, said one Republican strategist involved in Senate races who said he was horrified by the discrepancy and, like others interviewed for this report, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal concerns. You see these numbers in a state like North Carolina, and how can you not be concerned?
The issue is reportedly of such concern that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has twice met with Trump to urge him to shut the hell up with his talk of fraud and rigged elections. And while hes clearly been unable to get through to the guy, Republicans have a not-so-secret weapon theyre prepared to deploy should Bidens edge continue through election day:
Ugly, Ugly, Ugly
SEPTEMBER 30, 2020
I have seen every presidential debate ever held.
I began taking an interest in politics when I was still in grade school. The first presidential election I followed was the race between John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon in 1960. I was twelve years old. It was an historic occasion.
Most of you are probably way younger than me. JFK died before you were born. You may not even remember the day he was shot, let alone the election that won him the presidency, or the debates that played such a big part in that contest. But fortunately you have YouTube. Take a look.
Millenials, Gen Xers, Gen Zs, play a little of this. The opening statements, at least. The issues and controversies of 1960 are part of history now, and may not seem hugely relevant to us today (though some of them still are) but it is the TONE of the debate that I want to draw your attention to. This is what a presidential debate is supposed to look and sound like. Two candidates exchanging views and ideas, debating facts, dealing with the issues of the day, all the while treating each other with respect. It was a DEBATE. Lincoln and Douglas would have been proud. Maybe it was not the most exciting television in the world, but it gave us a good view of both candidates, where they agreed, where they differed.
I have seen every subsequent debate as well. Nixon and Kennedy had three more of these, and I watched. I was watching when Ford blew his election against Carter with a gaffe about Eastern Europe. I was watching when Bill Clinton turned the 1992 race in the three-way debate with Bush the Elder and Ross Perot. I saw Ronald Reagan debate Jimmy Carter, and John Anderson, and Walter Mondale. I watched Obama against McCain, and Obama against Romney. I saw all the good moments, and all the bad ones.
I have never seen anything like what I witnessed last night.
It was appalling. Offensive. Disgusting. Donald Trump was bad four years ago in his debates with Hillary Clinton, but last night he set new records for being offensive, obnoxious, and rude. He ranted, he raved, he shouted, he interrupted again and again and again and AGAIN, refusing to let Joe Biden finish a sentence without breaking in. He spoke over Biden, he spoke over the moderator, he ignored the questions, he ignored the rules rules his own campaign had negotiated and agreed to he told shocking lies, and doubled down when called on them, he engaged in smears and personal attacks, he tried to discredit the result of the vote before most of America has even voted.
and go away will be extremely loud from basically everywhere even the Republican party who will want a shot at winning another election eventually and who cares what his loser followers say. Especially if Dems take the Senate. We will feel the power shift from all directions and Trump will look like like a sore loser, crazed lunatic. There may be a few outbursts of violence from some nut cases but if they realize they may be dealing with the military it won't last long.
To get a methodologically rigorous look at who won the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden if winning is defined as helping their presidential campaigns chances youll have to wait a bit longer.
The indicators we have right now are necessarily incomplete and limited; theyre focus groups of tiny, handpicked samples of undecided voters, or polls of people who watched the debate rather than the electorate at large, or just pundits making stuff up. Plus, the true impact of a debate is often determined in the spin war fought in the hours and days afterward.
Keeping these limitations in mind, overall those preliminary findings so far look better for Biden.
CBS News and YouGov have been tracking respondents in battleground states, and they were able to quickly contact some of those respondents and ask those who watched the Tuesday debate what they thought. Overall, 48 percent said Biden won the debate, while 41 percent said Trump won, and 10 percent said it was a tie. As CBS elections and survey director Anthony Salvanto pointed out on air, this was pretty close to the support for each candidate going in
"That was a hot mess, inside a dumpster fire, inside a train wreck," @jaketapper says. "That was thehttps://twitter.com/oliverdarcy/status/1311134754503356419
I still picture Biden for the most part TRYING to remain calm, respectful and serious. I still picture Trump as a raving crackhead and I don't remember hardly anything discussed because it was so chaotic with Trump's antics. So those lasting impressions of their personalities are what are going to linger in folks minds. Biden trying to calm things down just like he will try to calm down the country and bring folks together is really what stands out for me. Trump chaotic and people are tired of the chaos.
Polls show Biden won and that is really the most important thing. The trajectory hasn't changed, betting markets moved in Biden's direction tonight. Trump needed a win and he didn't get it.
Basically debating Trump is like debating your 3 year old child. On every subject he lies and it's just exhausting. How can you debate someone who says white is not white and 1 + 1 = 5 on every topic? His idiot supporters believe him and 42% of the country knows he is full of shit. Nothing changes which is a net positive for Biden who was was winning and still is after the shit show.
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