Monday, November 2, 2020

United States Presidential Election 2016 and 2020

Four years ago on election day, I had resigned myself to Hilary Clinton becoming President. The early morning prediction from a presumably authoritarian source claimed that she had a 96% chance of winning. Around 6 PM I started streaming the major networks, especially CBS which seemed like it had the best coverage.

Only a few results were in by 8 PM, at which time Donald Trump had a lead. My thinking was that this small lead would be obliterated by the large west coast states. By 9 PM it looked like the race could be very close. Trump was still in the lead, but many polls had not been fully counted nor closed yet. However, the network anchors were expressing concern and were looking worried. By 10 PM they were expressing outrage and wondering how could this have happened? They weren't giving the election to Trump yet, but they acknowledged that Hillary was going to have to win most of the remaining races to win the election.

There was a dry spell from 10 PM to 2 AM. Results were coming in very slowly or not at all. I gave up around 1:30 AM because I didn't want to be too sleep-deprived. I had no idea how much longer this was going to take. I went to bed not knowing for sure who won.

Of course, we know who won. The question is could this happen again? Despite what the polls say, I have been arguing for about 3 weeks that Trump is actually winning. The polls don't necessarily reflect who actually votes. There is an enthusiasm gap between the two candidates. Certain recent polls have moved in Trump's direction. Not enough to say that he is winning, but it is hard, very hard, for me to see how the country could elect someone like Joe Biden for a whole bunch of reasons that are already known to most people, so I don't need to restate them here.

We won't know until at least election night, and it may take several more days to sort it all out. Add court challenges and this process could take weeks.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

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