Discover more from De Civitate
I wrote this on Facebook yesterday (Wednesday) at 10:06 PM. If anything, it's even more true now than it was then, so I figured it worth posting here as well.
You can look at each state that's out and say, "Hey, Trump has a chance. He could get lucky." So why have I been saying that the race as a whole isn't a tossup? Let's break it down.
There's two states where Trump is currently favored: North Carolina and Georgia.
There's three states where Biden is favored: Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Nevada.
To win, Trump has to hold the states where he's favored, then get lucky in Pennsylvania plus one other state. So he has to get a little lucky twice, then VERY lucky twice. It's easy to imagine Trump getting VERY lucky once, but he has to roll lucky four times in a row -- and his most important state, Pennsylvania, looks like his toughest right now.
To win, Biden has to either hold Pennsylvania* OR the other two states where he's favored… and nothing else. So he needs to get a little lucky once, and that's it. If he gets unlucky in PA (or loses a Pennsylvania lawsuit that sways the vote total), then Biden has a fallback: he needs to get a little lucky twice in the Southwest. But he has a fallback for that, too: he can win by getting VERY lucky once and winning one of the Southeast states in play. Trump has no fallbacks.
Trump's BEST path forward is to hold Georgia and North Carolina, flip Arizona, and then win a lawsuit in Pennsylvania that somehow invalidates what looks like a fairly comfortable Biden margin. But… urk. Every path I see for Trump is as weird and convoluted and unlikely as the paths that panicked network anchors started drawing on the walls at 12:30 AM on Election Night 2016, by which time I was openly mocking them.
That's why I think it's over.
I'm going to lose the $0.60 I bet on an official race call coming before midnight Wednesday. There will be no call tonight [Wednesday], because networks are being appropriately cautious. It might be another week. In the meantime, I honestly don't know whether Arizona will stay blue (it really might flip! and Georgia might just as easily flip to blue!).
Nevertheless, one way or another, and for whatever it's worth, I project that Joseph Biden is President-Elect of the United States.
WHAT ABOUT FRAUD?
I trust the Trump campaign will take all evidence of fraud to court, and I trust the court system (now largely staffed, at the federal level, by sound judges) to sort it out. I do not think Trump has much hope here, given the margins, but I am open to being wrong. We do need to count all the valid votes and discount all the invalid ones, and I support that process.
My projection of President-Elect Biden does not take into account the possibility of rampant voter fraud being proved and removed. So that's a path for Trump.
But this would require a fraud conspiracy on a scale not even seriously alleged in American politics since the 1960 presidential election. (And, even there, it's pretty unclear whether the alleged fraud actually changed the result of the election.)
*NOTE: Yes, Pennsylvania still shows Trump in the lead, but that lead is down to less than 2 points. It was 14 points this morning. Trump is very much on track to lose PA and would have to get quite lucky not to. That's why I said yesterday morning to ignore everything PA did on Election Night.