Election 2020: Trump has stolen the country. Will he steal the election?

Myth No. 1: A vote for Biden is a vote against Donald Trump.

Reality test: It’s the Republican Party, not Trump that is in play. And the Republicans play hard. If elected consider that the Republicans will play harder. Witness the last 4 years. No, witness the last 40 years.

Myth No. 2: Biden will unify the country.

Reality Test: The country is more divided not less divided than 4 years ago and will remain divided despite the outcome. Think 2024 at the earliest for even a serious discussion about unity.

Myth No. 3: Trump will not win the popular vote by a wide margin and this will seal Biden’s victory.

Reality Test: The Electoral College is in play which is not an advantage for Democrats unless Republicans lose by a landslide — 15 plus points — which is unlikely. A Trump Electoral College “victory” is prone to be litigated all the way to the Supreme Court. And then what?

Myth No. 4: Trump’s unpopularity will cost the Republicans the Congress.

Reality Test: “Final days money” for campaign ads are targeted towards Congressional elections. In the last weeks leading up to November 3 large Republican donors like the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson are funding local, not national, Republican candidates. While the media is covering Trump’s peregrinations, local Congressional election outcomes may be the ‘October surprise.’ Biden’s camp acts as if they are just now uncovering this trend. Playing “catch-up” is not a viable strategy 20 days out.

Myth No. 5: Democrats are turning out to vote for Biden.

Reality Test: In 2016 Trump energized nascent “non-voters” to come out and vote. “Outlier pollsters” CORRECTLY predicted in 2016 that the Trump “surge” of un-registered white male non-college educated voters in states like Michigan and Pennsylvania were more of a factor than Hillary’s unpopularity in pushing Trump to victory in those states.

Myth No. 6: The courts will not support or contest the outcome.

Reality Test: Already we see Appellate Courts overturning District Court voting rights decisions in Texas and Michigan. McConnell’s grand strategy of appointing conservative judges to the Appellate Courts is working. And Trump has explicitly chosen a Supreme Court nominee who refuses to recuse herself from voting on 2020 election results litigation.

Myth No. 7: A delay in determining the outcome beyond Nov. 3 is an advantage for Democrats.

Reality Test: Republicans are more energized to contest outcomes than Democrats who traditionally avoid challenging and/or default on challenging election results. Think Florida in 2000. Think Georgia in 2018.

Myth No. 8: It’s about Trump.

Reality Test: This election is not about Trump but about the margins and the marginalized. Trump only votes once. Trump has successfully lost suburban women; Biden has successfully lost the “Latino vote.” It’s a toss-up. Unless you bet the house on the “youth vote” which historically has been the most trenchant of the non-voting group.

Myth No. 9: Trump will leave the White House if he loses.

Reality Test: Trump believes more in weakness than he does in mandates. He will target the weakest institutions and challenge their authority. And the so-called base will keep cheering him on. Prepare for a “period of transition” after November 3 when every vestige of democracy will be shredded to make way for an oligarchic dictatorship. Are Democrats really up for this kind of fight? Is the nation?

October 17–19

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Rodney Clough

Rodney Clough

Refuses to nap. Septuagenarian. Cliche’ raker. Writes weekly.