It may not have been the biggest story of last week but Trump’s gyrations in an attempt to tarnish democracy and steal the election sucked up much of political oxygen last week. Sometime after noon on January 20, 2021 Joe Biden will be the President of the United States and Kamala Harris will be the Vice President. Getting there will give us plenty of conversation material. Let’s explore the latest aspect of it.
With a string of embarrassing defeats in the courts Trump now appears to be turning directly to underhanded manipulation of the results. It is any extreme longshot of historic proportion! The electoral vote count as generated by the peoples’ votes is Joe Biden 306 – Donald Trump 232 with 270 required for an outright win. (We’ll briefly cover a tie at 269 later.) The numbers are important; in fact they are the entire game.
Trump is zeroing in on the electoral votes of six states: Arizona (11), Georgia (16), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), Pennsylvania (20) and Wisconsin (10). As of this writing that isn’t working out very well for Trump either.
It is a matter of arithmetic and the reality is that with one exception Trump needs to steal three states to overturn the election. Trump needs to subtract 37; preferably 38 votes from Biden’s column and that cannot be achieved with any combination of two targeted states. The best he could hope for is a combination of Pennsylvania and either Michigan or Georgia for 36 electoral votes.
If he can flip two of the three big states he would still need a third to get Biden below 270. The other less likely path is to flip two big states and get one of more faithless electors to flip. A 269-269 tie goes to the House of Representatives to resolve. This is not a situation where each member has a vote which would favor Biden. Each state delegation has a vote and the Republicans control more delegations than the Democrats which theoretically favors Trump. In my mind Trump wins a tie but a clear path to the 269 tie is unclear at best.
Trump’s current gambit is to get several elected Republican state legislators to step into the fray and negate the will of the voters of their states. I don’t think that is likely. Trump and most of his DC sycophants may not realize it but Trump is temporary –and his sell by date is fast approaching; the people are permanent. State lawmakers know that if they betray and defy the voters on something this serious the memories will be long. Come their next election quality opponents will arise and they will have a plethora of money behind them.
With a tip of the hat to Biden’s Irish heritage it will take shenanigans by several hooligans to make this malarkey reality. I’m betting against it.
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