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How to Approach This Week
After two decades of following politics, my approach to much of the news is detached. The heat is always turned up right before the election, and emotions run high. I personally am not worried.
I often have to remind myself that many people are paying attention for the first time. Things feel worse when one is going through something for the first time, which is why being a teenager sucks while being awesome. Over 55% of Americans say this Election Day will be the worst day of their life. I wanted to put together a few links for those unsure of what may come the next few days.
The anxiety is very high, and the antidote is good information. I say “good information” because a lot of news is geared towards clicks. That means driving an emotional response. If you’re REALLY anxious about this election, avoid TV news at all costs. Stick to reading the AP our Reuters as your source of information. They’re usually the most lacking in dramatics. Here is my list of sites I trust.
James VandeHei wrote a great guide on how to stay sane this week. Read it here.
Election Day Notes
If you have not voted and you’re still looking for HOW to vote, check out my guide here.
One other note: It’s common for campaigns to have people at polling places handing out literature. This is an incredibly effective way to win votes for down-ballot candidates. If they’re blocking a clear path to enter, that’s voter intimidation. Their presence is not so please don’t report them. This is the most common call-in on Election Day. Spread the word to your friends voting for the first time. If you’re a poll worker, keep in mind that blocking the door, even mindlessly, can end causing some partisan nut to cause problems. Holding open the door is ok.
Tomorrow I will make my predictions on the Presidential race, the Senate, and the House.
The Day After
Here is a timeline of how a President takes over power.
The news is discussing a contested election. What would it look like if the result is close and Trump sues? We broke it down for you here.
I think there is little doubt what Trump is going to do based on statements this weekend:
“I don’t think it’s fair that we have to wait for a long period of time after the election…We’re going in the night of — as soon as the election is over — we’re going in with our lawyers.”
— President Trump, quoted by CNN.
If that is the case, any taxes post-marked after the 15th shouldn’t count!
“Trump advisers said their best hope was if the president wins Ohio and Florida is too close to call early in the night, depriving Mr. Biden a swift victory and giving Mr. Trump the room to undermine the validity of uncounted mail-in ballots in the days after.”
“Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller falsely claimed on Sunday that Democrats would try to “steal” electoral votes after election night if President Trump appears to be ahead, signaling a coming legal fight over mail-in ballots that are counted after Nov. 3,” Axios reports.
“Electoral College votes are not awarded until December, and no state ever reports its final count on election night — despite Trump’s insistence that the election should end on Nov. 3 and that the courts should not allow ballots to be counted in the days following.”
The full and fair counting of votes is "stealing an election" to Republicans. What an insane strategy. Let's say he wins... How does one govern with no legitimacy because Biden took 6% more in a popular vote but Trump suppressed enough votes to 270? The results for Republicans would be catastrophic, but no one on the right seems interested in long-term thinking. This article nailed it:
There is no way to really know what might happen. Trump’s strategy is always to go to the furthest point of a scenario to negotiate a better position. He wrote about it in the Art of the Deal. So it is likely that if he clearly lost, he will not contest the election. He is simply trying to keep his options open.
He believes this strategy helps him. In hindsight, trying to de-legitimize the vote was a major factor in driving Biden’s surge in early voting. He unintentionally created a GOTV drive for his opponent by scaring everyone to make sure their vote counted. If Biden wins big, then nothing happens and the country starts to move on and heal.
What is the worst-case scenario of all this? I gamed it out here.