My take in @politico: Against Pardon Panic
- It’s causing a lot of unforced errors from legal commentators;
- Most are going to be ineffective and/or backfire;
- Trump pardons are a hidden political gift to Biden & the DOJ’s renewed independence.
My take in @politico: Against Pardon Panic
Don’t worry about Trump’s election suits. Welcome them.
My argument in @washingtonpost:
1) the best way to legitimize Biden’s victory
2) Expose bogus complaints about voter fraud
3) keep options open in case of real fraud in Georgia in January.
Remember when I was frantically emailing and posting about Pennsylvania voters who had ordered absentee ballots, but understood it was important to vote in person because they distrust Trump’s mail? And many people were saying you may have to use a provisional ballot?
Many of those voters were Democrats and especially people of color.
Well, update from MSNBC:
“Pennsylvania officials say a lot of the remaining votes are provisional ballots cast in urban precincts on Election Day, and they are the last votes we count.”
Biden already has a good lead with lots of Biden batches to count. Nate Silver says the red areas have a few more votes left than we have thought, but they’re small and not as red as the rest of those counties. The PA count has been slowed down by Trump lawsuits and 2 mechanical/logistical errors, but it’s still on track. Still no legal basis to stop the count or reverse the lead. PA Dems still say they project a win by 100,000, but it’s going more slowly than they hoped.
8 pm update: “The Pennsylvania SOS office is reporting 100K mail ballots left to be counted statewide. The top six counties are all Biden counties, with a combined 70K (inc 35K in Allegheny, 23K in Philly). Biden’s lead will just keep going up.”
And the Biden 80/20 pace continues in Allegheny County: link.
1. Pennsylvania is starting to get called officially for Biden by decision desks. That’s 273 electoral votes w/o GA or AZ. And still on track for Biden to win by well over 50,000, beyond any plausible recount or overseas/military ballot(which is relatively 50/50 see below)
And keep in mind that Obama and Clinton kept adding millions to national popular vote over the following weeks. Biden’s national margin will be around 7-8 million, bigger than Obama over Romney 2012.
2. Lots of people asking about 10,000 overseas and military. GA Military is more mixed vote this year. A. It’s not Iowa military. More Black servicemen (who are more Republican than Black men generally, but the military vote won’t be red enough to catch up. B. August polling of military showed major shift against Trump (see Military Times poll below). C. Overseas non-military is Democratic. D. There is even more blue Atlanta and Savannah coming in today. The margin will be big enough today. Overseas gets counted next week, too little too late.
3. AZ probably stays Biden. The trend towards Trump slowed down in the last batches. Too little too late.
4. Too many states have a margin too big for a recount to have any reasonable chance.
Likely 306 Electoral Votes.
From Military Times Aug 31: “In the latest results — based on 1,018 active-duty troops surveyed in late July and early August — nearly half of respondents (49.9 percent) had an unfavorable view of the president, compared to about 38 percent who had a favorable view. Questions in the poll had a margin of error of up to 2 percent. Among all survey participants, 42 percent said they “strongly” disapprove of Trump’s time in office.”
This Pennsylvania update shows why Biden will win:
1. Even PA’s reddest counties like Carbon are still netting more votes for Biden, because the absentee/mail is solidly Dem everywhere in PA.
2. The Philadelphia absentee votes are coming in for Biden at 90%-10% or better, at an even bigger turnout than for Obama 2008/12. And that’s the lion’s share of remaining ballots.
3. PA Dem officials tracking the vote totals project a Biden win by 175,000 overall. See image below.
4. Nevada is going to called for Biden soon to get Biden to 259 electoral votes beyond any realistic recount or legal challenge, just like where Pennsylvania is headed: a politically clear and legally unimpeachable count for Biden.
All signs point to Biden winning the Philadelphia absentee ballots by a lot over the next 24 hours, and winning Pennsylvania by at least 100,000 votes. And that gets Biden to 273 electoral votes without any other undeclared states NV, AZ, GA or NC.
See below. Trump is up by 130,000, but there are about 600,000 absentee ballots left, mostly from urban areas, and Biden is winning them overall 80% to 20%:
By a cautious estimate, Biden will net over Trump at least 200,000 votes, and will win Pennsylvania by about 100,000 votes by Friday.
There is no legal basis to stop this count, and the margin will be too big for any recount to make a slight bit of difference, or to need to count pre-election postmarked/late arriving ballots under the legally vulnerable state Supreme Court extension.
So this is the winning map: PA gets Biden to 273 without AZ, NV or GA:
Biden 369-Trump 169:
By the way, this is no wildly optimistic fantasy. I’m assuming the polls are right, and underestimated minority Election Day turnout, which offsets the problems of mail delays and rejecting absentee ballots. But the mail and the absentee process are still problems.
Senate: Dems flip CO, AZ, ME, NC, IA, and 2 surprises: MT and GA (Ossoff wins 50%, no run-off). Lose AL. +6 = 53-46 Dem Senate. GA Special will be a run-off.
House: Dems gain for 243-192 majority: flip NJ2, NC2, NC6, AZ6, MN1, TX23, TX24, PA10, OH1, GA7, IN5.
Gov: One flip: Dems lose Montana.
…that the Democratic Party was on a path to totally acquiesce to Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, especially after Roberts steered to the middle (June Medical, DACA…). And in all likelihood, Barrett wasn’t enough to tip the Dems to act. Biden and Harris punted it like it was 4th and 40. But the last week of the election, Barrett made herself into a Trump campaign Il Duce balcony photo op (after a first one was a superspreader disaster), showed she would recuse from election cases, for which Trump bragged he has appointed her as (his own) 5th vote. And then Gorsuch and Kavanaugh and a bunch of lower court judges jumped the shark in utterly brazen, sloppy, and unstrategic decisions and botched the long-game and seem to have provoked many moderate, incrementalist cautious Democrats like me to embrace sweeping judicial reform.