The networks seem to have waited until the last possible moment before making a projection in GA, when Biden’s lead finally exceeded the number of outstanding ballots. In the end, he flipped five states Trump won in 2016: Georgia, Arizona, and the “blue wall” in the Rust Belt of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
And weirdly, that left him with precisely the same margin that Trump finished with against Hillary Clinton, albeit with a different coalition of states.
People on Twitter this afternoon are dredging up old statements made by Trump or his staffers after the 2016 election marveling at what an impressive, decisive victory a 306-232 outcome is.
The Do Nothing Democrats should be focused on building up our Country, not wasting everyone’s time and energy on BULLSHIT, which is what they have been doing ever since I got overwhelmingly elected in 2016, 223-306. Get a better candidate this time, you’ll need it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2019
The Dems have tried every trick in the playbook-call me everything under the sun. But if I’m all of those terrible things, how come I beat them so badly, 306-223? Maybe they’re just not very good! The fact is they are going CRAZY only because they know they can’t beat me in 2020!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 9, 2018
306. Landslide. Blowout. Historic. https://t.co/ObYZDo8cBq
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) November 28, 2016
306 isn’t and never was a “landslide” but it’s a solid, convincing number — especially with a lead of several million in the popular vote, which Trump didn’t have in 2016. The president may be asked about that when he speaks today at 4 p.m. today in the Rose Garden about Operation Warp Speed and the timeline for a vaccine, which *could* be a good photo op for him if he sticks to the topic at hand.
In reality, he’s probably going to end up ranting about how the “medical deep state” delayed the news about Pfizer’s vaccine to hurt his election chances and then claim that Biden’s 306 electoral votes isn’t impressive at all due to the massive, unprecedented fraud that happened … but which he somehow can’t prove in court.
Speaking of which, news from Arizona today:
Attorneys for the Trump campaign said Friday they’re no longer seeking a court’s intervention into the presidential race in Arizona…
At a daylong hearing Thursday, Kory Langhofer, an attorney for the Trump campaign, made clear the campaign wasn’t alleging any voter fraud but instead claimed some poll workers submitted ballots that had errors that voters weren’t given the opportunity to fix. The number of votes at issue was less than 200, and Mr. Langhofer said at the close of the hearing that they wouldn’t ask election officials to recount those ballots if they had no ability to affect the outcome of the race.
In a filing Friday morning, Mr. Langhofer told the Arizona state court that “Since the close of yesterday’s hearing, the tabulation of votes statewide has rendered unnecessary a judicial ruling as to the presidential electors.”
Martha McSally also finally conceded to Mark Kelly this afternoon, as there just aren’t enough outstanding ballots to make up the deficit she’s facing. If I’m not mistaken, the Dominion software/”Hammer and Scorecard” conspiracy theory that Trump’s gone all-in on over the last few days doesn’t implicate AZ; it’s focused mainly on Michigan and Georgia. That being so, if the campaign isn’t alleging voter fraud in Arizona, presumably they’re giving up on challenging the result in that state. Which means, if Trump is still planning to overturn the election somehow, Georgia and Pennsylvania won’t be enough to get it done for him. Turning those two states red would knock Biden down to 270, a bare majority but still a majority. Trump would need to put Michigan or Wisconsin back on the board as well if Arizona is lost.
Certain well-known Arizonans took to dunking on him last night after news outlets finally called the state for Biden:
In light of tonight’s news….
*sorry I had to, the meme is too funny. pic.twitter.com/lo6xHqCbk0
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) November 13, 2020
There’s also news today out of Pennsylvania:
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Boockvar “has determined that she will not be ordering a recount and recanvass of the election returns in the counties, as no statewide candidate was defeated by one-half of one percent or less of the votes cast.” pic.twitter.com/t6S0GuH2Pu
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) November 13, 2020
I have mixed feelings about that. When there’s a widespread public *perception* that fraud may have occurred, a recount seems like the logical thing to do. Double-check the ballots in order to boost public confidence in the result. On the other hand, they could hold 10 recounts and Trump and MAGA Nation still won’t accept that he lost the state. Ordering a recount when he’s not within one half of one percent would also amount to creating special rules for Trump just because he was willing to whine disingenuously about cheating louder than most defeated candidates are, which would incentivize others to do so. And a recount would also buy time for Trump to drag out the transition even longer, which is bad for the country both in terms of national security and in allowing naysayers to remain in denial about the fact that Trump lost.
If the fraud claims are in bad faith such that Pennsylvania will be accused whether it does a recount or not, why do one? Especially when Biden’s lead is north of 50,000 votes and recounts typically produce shifts of just a few hundred either way. Trump — and Pennsylvania voters — can still challenge the results in court. Although that doesn’t look promising today either.
Here’s the president’s latest tweet, in which he once again doubles down on Dominion:
Heartwarming to see all of the tremendous support out there, especially the organic Rallies that are springing up all over the Country, including a big one on Saturday in D.C. I may even try to stop by and say hello. This Election was Rigged, from Dominion all the way up & down!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2020
Interestingly, the host of his very favorite show pushed back on the Dominion conspiracy theory on the air this morning, which caught me by surprise. Maybe this is a little burst of mortar fire in the developing war between Trump and Fox News, with Steve Doocy signaling to the president on behalf of management that if he keeps trying to tear down the network he’s going to find that even the most loyal hosts won’t show as much credulity about the things he says as they have in the past.
Update: Ah, now he’s claiming that the great Dominion conspiracy also includes Arizona — and Nevada. Might as well toss Wisconsin in too. Why not all 50 states, in fact? Maybe he won California after all.
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