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2020 Election Scorecard

This is how it looks to me on E-Day -1, based on reviewing available polls and projections. I want to specifically acknowledge this detailed prognostication by Henry Olsen in the Washington Post. I also acknowledge that while I attempt to be objective, I am also subject to bouts of existential dread.

Presidential

The national popular vote will be about 53-45 for Biden. We won’t know the final totals for at least a week because of counting of mail and absentee ballots. By the end of this week though, we should have a fairly clear picture of the outcome. Expect Trump to lead in Election Day voting, and Biden to pass him as the week goes on. Expect Trump to claim victory on Election Night. Don’t believe him.

Expect Trump to lead in Election Day voting, and Biden to pass him as the week goes on. Expect Trump to claim victory on Election Night. Don’t believe him.

Electoral College: Biden 350, Trump 188

Biden wins PA, NC, GA, FL, MI, WI, MN, AZ, NV

Trump wins OH, IA, TX

If Trump wins NH, he might be headed for a good night.

If Biden wins FL, curtains for Trump

Senate

Democrats take ME, NC, GA-1 (Ossoff beats Perdue, gets over 50%), CO, AZ. 

Republicans take AL

GA-2 (jungle primary goes to runoff in January; Democrat likely to win)

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Result, Democrats control Senate 51-48, with the likely GA win in January taking it to 52-48.

If Susan Collins hangs on in Maine, Democratic control of the Senate would be in doubt. On the other hand, Joni Ernst could lose in IA.

House

Democrats should increase their majority, and very importantly, achieve majority control of PA and other state delegations, just in case the election goes to the House, where each state would have one vote.

Legislatures

You won’t hear about this on Election Night, unless you’re watching local news, but Democrats should take control of some legislative chambers. This would give them more clout in post-census reapportionment, for both Congress and the legislatures themselves. PA and TX are among the possibilities.

Local

Out here in Central Pennsylvania, Republicans rule, and this year should be no exception, but I expect Trump’s margin to be down. Union County gave him 61% in 2016, to Clinton’s 35%. With fewer votes going to third party candidates, I expect something like 56-43 this year.

Turnout

Turnout will turn out to break records. That should work to Democrats’ benefit even if the Trump supporters also increase their turnout, because there are fewer of them. Trump’s base is around 43-45% of the electorate.

Mischief

I expect some disruption of voting in areas of strong Biden support like Philadelphia, but it should be easily controlled, except in areas like Houston or Atlanta, where state authorities might side with the disruptors.

Unless the outcome is unexpectedly clear on Election Night, expect Republican lawsuits in swing states, trying to reject ballots they claim are invalid. Some will get to the Supreme Court, with its new 6-3 conservative majority. I would think the justices would want to avoid calling another election as they did in 2000, but who knows how these newer conservatives will see it. Only Thomas and Breyer are carryovers from 2000.

Still, a state’s result would have to be so close that a few hundred ballots could make the difference. That happened in Florida in 2000, but it’s exceedingly rare to have it that close.

impeachment unavoidable

If we get into a 2000-like situation, I worry that there could be street clashes as rival sides demonstrate.

Let us hope we don’t go there.

John Peeler