Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Goat Rodeo notes

Goat Rodeo Roundup, via the Isaac Brock Society.

This guy collapsed two of our scariest preoccupations on Trump—his cognitive disability and ΓΌber-authoritarian inclinations—into one:

It's really true. In Trump's mind, the thing he sees on TV, the "state of the race" expressed as a percentage, is more real than the things he can't see, the ballots, and he can't bring himself to understand that the election itself stopped last night—if that's true how come the numbers keep changing? He can't bear the fluidity, and he feels as president he ought to be able to put a stop to it.

By putting his lawyers on it, of course, as he told the world on Monday:

“We’re going to go in the night of, as soon as that election is over, we’re going in with our lawyers,” Trump told reporters in Charlotte.

I'm very comfortable with the idea that Biden has won, as things are going right now. He has 238 electoral votes (counting Arizona's 11 and Maine's 2), and another 32 (Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada) almost certainly coming; this isn't based on possibly erroneous polls (like the ones that seem to have messed up with the Latino vote in Florida and Texas, but not Arizona or California or Nevada) but on where the count is coming from—urban areas where Democrats are very strong and a Biden lead that already exists, however narrow. That brings it to 269, and the one electoral vote from ticket-splitting Nebraska brings him over the top. Pennsylvania's 20 is also a near certainty, despite a current Trump lead in the count, because there are hundreds of thousands of ballots outstanding and they're all from Philadelphia. A final count of over 300 is still conceivable, but poor polling overall really did lead us astray.

Update:Wisconsin elections commissioner did call it at 11:30, Biden by some 20,000 votes, but that's not yet official.

The Senate outcome is harder to foresee, and doesn't look as good. At the moment, with Hickenlooper and Kelly clearly in for Colorado and Arizona respectively, Democrats and Republicans have 47 seats each, and six seats remain to be called: Democrat Dan Gross doesn't seem likely to win in Alaska; incumbent Gary Peters clearly ought to beat Republican John James in Michigan, but it's not clear he will; I don't know why Susan Collins wouldn't lose to Sara Gideon in now-blue Maine, but she was clearly ahead at last report, with 30% still to be counted. Thom Tillis and Cal Cunningham are very close in North Carolina, with the GOP having a slight lead; and then there's Georgia, where the special election will go to a runoff in January between Reverend Raphael Warnock and insider trader Kelly Loeffler, and things look bad for Jon Ossoff against abominable incumbent David Perdue (which could go to a runoff if neither candidate scores 50%). Two of those seats seems very achievable. Three of them would mean a Senate majority for Democrats, with the vice president as a tie breaker, but I don't know, that's pretty dicy.

Lastly, state legislature contests are looking lousy for Democrats. Not enough changing to even discuss. Here's Matt Grossman at FiveThirtyEight:

Democrats are also underperforming expectations in state legislative chambers, as Democrats representing non-metropolitan areas continue to lose vote share. The Michigan, Iowa and Texas state houses all look likely to stay in Republican hands. Republicans also have a chance to win the New Hampshire State Senate. Geographic polarization in the presidential race makes it harder for Democrats to win legislative chambers, especially combined with Republicans’ control of redistricting. But it could be self-reinforcing, as these results help determine control of the next redistricting process.

If I could teach Democrats one lesson from Republicans, it wouldn't be about dirty tricks or shouting, it would be that downballots really really really matter. But I fear it'll never happen.

And from the Twitter feed

Pompeo rubbing the mote in Tanzania's eye while ignoring the beam in ours

and positive thinking

On the voters, Steve M is righter than I want him to be, as usual.

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