Live blogging election nights . . .
7:18 AM Thursday
Last post . . . Things are looking great for Biden, and I’m pretty confident at this point he’ll be president.
However, I must say this extended vote-counting process is ridiculous. What’s taking so long? Taking days or weeks to understand the outcome sows uncertainty, makes both sides worry about fraud, and is just generally dangerous. In very close races, this might be understandable (and possibly also Alaska in the winter?), but in general, the count should be complete within 24 hours of poll closure.
In Washington state, ballots can arrive as late as November 23rd, and will be counted. This is crazy. I would argue that mail-in ballots should be postmarked five days in advance of election day. After that, they can be dropped in ballot boxes. The vast majority of ballots would then arrive by election day itself, and a reasonable margin (as week?) could be allowed to deal with any stragglers.
I’m blown away by the change in Pennsylvania. I think it would be strongly preferable not only for Biden to win, but for him to win unambiguously, and that’s looking more likely . . . by the day. But what is taking Pennsylvania so long to count their ballots? They seriously need to review their methodology.
So yeah, it’s been a crazy ride with Trump in the WH the last four years. It’s been both better and worse than I feared and hoped when Hillary lost. I’m sure the next four years will also be better and worse than I hope and fear right now. What does the future have in store for us? Hopefully no more pandemics for a while.
11:02 AM PST
Here are the obvious or highly probably calls, as far as I can tell:
- Alaska (47% counted, 63 / 33) -> Trump (+3)
- Georgia (97% counted, 50.3 / 48.5) -> Trump (+16)
- North Carolina (99% counted, 50.1 / 48.7) -> Trump (+15)
- Pennsylvania (84% counted, 53.4 / 45.3) -> Trump (+20)
- Arizona (86% counted, 51 / 47.6) -> Biden (+11)
That leaves us with:
Biden – 238 (227+11)
Trump – 267 (213+54)
There is one additional vote from Maine in play for Trump, bringing him potentially to 268. The remaining states are very close but projected for Biden. So, it still seems likely that Biden is going to win this thing, 272 – 268.
Fox news is giving Biden a 95% chance of taking Michigan and a 93% chance of taking Wisconsin. Those seem sewn up. That leaves only Nevada; Biden has a 70% chance of winning there. So my current verdict is that it all comes down to Nevada.
8:44 AM PST
I think there will be some interesting discussion about polling after this, but for now, let’s just acknowledge that identifying swing states is important to the candidates, since it lets them know where to campaign. Let’s call a swing states one with 4% or less margin between candidates.
Below is a list of swing states identified before the election by the New York Times, with those that weren’t actually swing states (per the criterion above) crossed out, and swing states not identified added below in bold.
- Arizona (Biden +3)
- Florida (Trump +3)
- Georgia (Trump +1)
Iowa (Trump +8)
- Maine (Biden +11, but single electoral vote could decide election)
- Michigan (Biden +0)
Minnesota (Biden +8)
- Nebraska (Trump +18, but single electoral vote could decide election)
- Nevada (Biden +0)
New Hampshire (Biden +8)
- North Carolina (Trump +1)
Ohio (Trump +8)
Pennsylvania (Trump +9)
Texas (Trump +6)
- Wisconsin (Biden +1)
What is interesting for me on this list? First, Ohio and Pennsylvania are not, as of current count, swing states, nor are they close. Second, there are an awful lot of states with a 1 or 0 point differential –> Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. Those five have turned out to be the crucial swing states. Third, Republicans have lost the Southeast and made gains in the Midwest. Fourth, Texas is still safe, but for how long? Texas is always thought of as the reddest of red, but that will likely change in the next ten to fifteen years, if the Dems can just restrain themselves from turning into socialist radicals.
7:28 AM PST
Need to stop looking at this.
But that one Maine vote just flipped, which would give the election to Biden. Crazy that this election may come down to MAINE.
7:06 AM PST
Things are looking better for Biden this morning. WaPo is now showing a dead heat. Crazy. In a dead heat, it comes down to the House of Representatives. It is hard to tell, but it WaPo is currently showing a projection for a slight Republican majority in the House.
I would really prefer if the House of Representatives did not choose our president, though, ironically, that’s similar to how the rest of the developed world chooses their leaders. (Is there any successful developed nation that chooses their PM or equivalent via popular vote? There must be one or two, I would think.)
I guess there is nothing to do but wait.
I am a big fan of mail-in voting. However, I must say that this situation makes me believe that all mail-in ballots should be required to be postmarked one week before the election OR dropped in a ballot box. One or the other. Washington state only requires that mail-in ballots be received by 11/23, which is utterly ridiculous in my opinion.
10:16 PM PST
It kind of seems like Trump is going to win. I went to bed looking at something like this four years ago, and yet still believed Hillary would win. This time, I guess I’m expecting Trump to win. I still think it hinges on Pennsylvania, which currently has 65% of votes counted, 56/42 for Trump. FoxNews (the only outlet I’ve been able to find actually predicting outcomes as opposed to showing current status, as WaPo is doing below) is now giving Trump 79% odds of taking Pennsylvania.
Biden currently, per WaPo, has a 49.7 to 48.7 lead in popular vote. I think we’re going to have another split election.
Honest to God, I like Biden, I really do. I think he’s a good guy. He’s moderate, and his politics generally agree with mine. But at 79, he just wasn’t the right choice. Roughly half the states have Democratic governors. Were none of those governors a more dynamic choice for Democratic candidate? Inslee is an example of someone who, much as I kind of hate him because he hasn’t done anything to reopen schools, has been a very levelheaded leader throughout this difficult time. He did TERRIBLY in the primary. Why did Biden do so much better than Inslee? Why were our #2 and #3 candidates also, in my opinion, awful – Elizabeth Warren and Sanders — both extreme and both ancient. (And I cannot get over Warren’s false claim of Native American ancestry.) Would they have done better in this election? Who the hell knows, but I doubt it. If Sanders runs for president again in ’24, I swear I will go into politics myself. And then there’s Buttigieg – good looking, young, vibrant, a vet, but for the love of God, he’s the mayor of a South Bend. Rounding out the top five was Bloomberg. He seems kind of sleazy, like Trump. But Wikipedia has some nice things to say about him.
What is wrong with the primary process? No doubt there will be calls for getting rid of the electoral college, no matter who wins. How about we start by having a popular vote for the Democratic nominee – no more caucusing, no more letting Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina pick our candidate. Let the people decide. Let me have a vote.
8:19 PM PST
I was doing my usual evening trolling of international news for Covid updates, and I see that the Herald Sun of Melbourne Australia has called Florida for Trump, though per US newspapers, it’s still up for grabs (WaPo, NYTimes, Seattle Times, and WSJ).
7:53 PM PST
Honestly, it’s looking like Trump has a shot of winning this thing. 538 said that Trump had only a 10% chance of winning and Biden a 90% shot. Last year I went to sleep with the election results showing a trend to a Trump win, but I was still certain that I would wake up to President Hillary Clinton. How wrong I was! This year, I don’t know what to think. But WaPo seems to be leaning towards Trump.
Fox News, on the other hand, is giving Biden a 70% chance of taking Pennsylvania. If Biden takes Pennsylvania, he likely takes the election. My money is still on Biden winning this thing, but at this point, I have enough humility to say I don’t know what the hell is going to happen.
Reading the news and social media, Trump seems universally hated – though I read primarily NY Times and the Seattle Times. And my friends are predominantly liberal. Who are these Trump voters? Do I know them and they are just less noisy than my Democrat friends? Or are they people I don’t associate with?
4:57 PM PST
Now, they have called West Virginia for Trump, despite 4% of votes collected and 54% of those going to Biden. Now, I’m not saying they’re wrong, but I am saying that after 2016’s debacle, could we please have a little more restraint?
It is interesting to me how the electoral map is shifting. Virginia is now a solid Blue state, not even a battleground. Prior to 2008, it was solid red and had not voted Democrat since 1964. I wonder what changed?
4:04 PM PST
The NYT has let me down more than once. In particular, they stated with extremely high confidence (93% to be precise) that HRC would win last time. Their confidence arguably may have dissuaded more Democratic voters than all of Russia’s misinformation.
Nevertheless, I find myself once again turning to NYT for results. And what do I see? Kentucky has been called for Trump with 7% counted and a 3% differential in votes (Trump 50%, Biden 47%). That seems odd. Are the remaining 93% of voters that predictable? Apparently. But worse is Vermont. 0.0% of votes counted – “Not votes reported” – and it’s been called for Biden. Would it really kill them to wait just a little? Polls are still open all over the country.
Also, I’ve been taking the reports and concerns, primarily of Republicans, of fraud with a serious grain of salt, but I’m pretty sure 105% participation is nothing to brag about. From NYT: “The turnout stood at 105 percent shortly before the polls closed at 7 p.m., with 795 ballots cast. When the voter rolls closed ahead of the election, the precinct had 754 people registered to vote there.” It’s being reported as a success story. Supposedly the extra people changed their address, but to me, it’s a red flag we’d be better off without.