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2020: An Electoral Odyssey

FADE IN

NEVADA SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICE – LATE AFTERNOON

DAVE BOWMAN and HAL 9000 are having a disagreement that will end badly.

DAVE BOWMAN
Open the ballot box, HAL.

HAL 9000
I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.

 

ELECTION DAY-TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2020

05:00

Alarm goes off. Much muttering, some cursing. Coffee.

06:20

I drive less than a mile to my local polling place. Though I am terrified of a long line, to my surprise, it’s maybe only slightly busier than any other time I’ve voted there. Perhaps because it’s the buttcrack of dawn. In and out, ten minutes tops. Piece of cake.

I vote for Jo Jorgensen because I’m in a super red city in a super red state and both of the major party presidential candidates suck at historical levels. It doesn’t matter. Nothing matters.

06:35

Back at work in my home office. Drank the rest of the coffee. Listened to the KWOS Morning Show on their live stream, as per usual. I am in salty mood, so I make some snide comments:

I think this is the first election where I haven’t voted for a single Republican above the county level. F*ck ’em. Your party is bad, and you should feel bad.

I dunno man. I’m going to sleep okay tonight knowing that I didn’t vote for Kaitlin Bennett’s “king.”

Yeah, “moral leadership” and “Trump” go together like “peanut butter” and “battery acid.”

I am just super angry today. Probably because this all seems so hopeless. I may need to start drinking earlier than usual.

07:00-noonish

Work (I do work, y’know.) Remarkably, no drinking.

10:18-lunch

While on break, a friend posts an (illegal) picture of his Missouri ballot, showing that he voted for Trump/Pence. I comment: “Nothing personal, but I hope they lose about forty states.” (Spoiler alert: they did not lose forty states.)

after lunch

Randomly checking news sites during slack times; nothing too interesting going on out there. Not even Drudge is carrying anything exciting, and you just know he would if he could.

18:00-19:00 (approx)

Dinner out at a local Mexican restaurant. (This is not a jab at Trump; we do Mexican every Tuesday night.) Some early results come over the television, but no big surprises. Kentucky goes red. Vermont goes blue. *yawn*

Drinking beer commences.

19:00

Florida, an almost must-win Trump state, is tighter than the lid on a pickle jar.

Drinking beer escalates.

19:12

Newsy calls the U.S. Senate race in Kentucky for Mitch McConnell. Those of us within shouting distance of Kentucky think to ourselves: well, no shit.

Amy McGrath had an impressive resume and a ton of campaign cash, but her tomboy thing was destined to go over like a lead balloon in Kentucky. Every six years the Dems get really excited about taking out Cocaine Mitch, hype up their chosen turtle slayer, and then the race gets called right after the polls closed. This election proves no different.

19:50

People are kind of freaking out about Texas.

21:15

Nobody’s freaking out about Texas anymore, but now things are starting to look more Trump-ish.

21:44

Meltdowns are well underway in some leftist echo chambers.

I post on Twitter (where I could always use more followers, by the way):

It ain’t over yet, but at what point do pollsters start being hated as much as IRS auditors, telemarketers, dentists, proctologists, televangelists, and claims adjusters? (I kinda forgot to mention libertarians.)

22:00

Drinking switches from beer to bourbon.

22:20

By all appearances, Biden is doing better than Hillary was at this same point in 2016. But still way too close for comfort.

23:00

Apparently everything hinges on Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. So…kinda like last time. But at least last time this shit was more or less wrapped up by bedtime.

Way way after bedtime, the President goes on television and claims victory. This is completely in character.

ELECTION DAY PLUS ONE-WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2020

05:00

Alarm goes off. Much muttering, some cursing.

05:00-06:00

Coffee and my usual morning news routine. Looks like everything may come down to Pennsylvania, where Trump holds a surprisingly large lead. I again ponder if pollsters should be tarred and feathered for screwing up badly two elections in a row.

Considered putting bourbon in my coffee; then I remembered that I’m not in Vegas and I still have to work.

08:20

Michigan flips to Biden (for now), meaning he can win without Pennsylvania if he runs the table on the other states he currently leads in. Which is questionable, especially considering his microscopic lead in Nevada.

08:20-lunchtime

I tweet at various times during the morning:

Twenty years is a long time for a sequel, but I guess I’m ready for Recountin’ 2: Pennsylvania Boogaloo.

🎶 Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be pollsters 🎶

Have you tarred and feathered a pollster today? If not, get to it.

What time does Civil War II start? I have to work today.

Electile dysfunction isn’t bad for everyone. Lawyers gotta eat too.

Rumors begin to fly that Arizona rejected a bunch of ballots filled in with…Sharpies? What the hell? Sharpies are too expensive for cheap ass county governments to just be handing them out all willy nilly, right?

Facebook is a festering cesspool of conspiracy theories. So in other words, nothing new.

I also tweet this:

“Good morning, this is the Suicide Hotline. How can we help you?”

“Yes, I’m a pollster, and I screwed up royally up two elections in a row. I’m thinking of ending it all. What should I do?”

“Sir, we don’t help your kind here.”

*dial tone*

approx. 13:20

The Trump campaign fires the first litigation shot in Michigan. There will probably be more.

CNN calls Wisconsin for Biden.

approx. 14:50

The Trump campaign asks the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in Pennsylvania vote count.

15:20

Biden gives a speech that comes off as calm, reassuring, and…presidential? His campaign hasn’t filed suits anywhere. Then again, it appears to be in the driver’s seat and doesn’t have to.

approx. 15:25

CNN calls Michigan for Biden.

18:21

The Trump campaign files a lawsuit in Georgia. (?)

22:00

Seeing some chatter about Arizona maybe flipping from blue back to red, but not sure how much any of it is worth. Also seeing a lot of dubiously sourced screenshots about some massive Trump vote surge in Michigan that didn’t really happen. Facebook gonna Facebook, I guess.

ELECTION DAY PLUS TWO-THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2020

05:00

Alarm goes off. Much muttering, some cursing.

06:30-09:00

Coffee, work, and listening to the KWOS Morning Show.

Still no president-elect. Nevada hasn’t updated shit overnight; apparently their government offices are not open 24/7/365 like their casinos.

Pennsylvania is still a basket case, as is its custom during this entire saga thus far.

Rumors abound that Georgia is going to tighten up considerably and put Biden within striking distance.

Other rumors have Arizona doing much the same, but for Trump. Few actual new numbers come in, however.

At 8:12 AM, the president tweets “STOP THE COUNT!” when hundreds of thousands of votes have yet to be counted in several states. This is entirely in character.

09:30

One of our six cats jumps on my desk, walks on my laptop, and deletes almost everything I had written this morning. Whatever you are reading thus far from today was much better in the first draft. Just trust me. Thanks, shithead cat.

approx. 13:45

Counting of mail-in ballots allows Biden to widen his leads in Nevada and Arizona, while drawing him nearly even to Trump in Georgia and Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania alone would do it for Biden, or any two of Arizona, Nevada, North Carolina, or Georgia.  Trump has to have Pennsylvania plus any three of Arizona, Nevada, North Carolina, or Georgia. So in other words: Biden’s row is significantly easier to hoe.

(I bet you figured the first time I used the word “hoe” in a piece, it would be in a different way, right? Yeah, me too.)

Is the fat lady finally warming up?

14:50

Commentator on CNN says that Trump’s family believes he would run again in 2024 if he loses this election. I throw up in my mouth a little.

approx. 17:50

In perhaps the most predictable event of the week, the president goes on television from the White House and gives a real banger of a speech, accusing nearly everyone in America of election fraud. Everything is someone else’s fault, everyone’s out to get him, he is a victim, and oh by the way the moon is made of green cheese.

Even Rick Santorum, the token Republican on CNN’s panel, recoils in horror.

22:00

Trump’s leads in Pennsylvania and Georgia continue to evaporate throughout the night; Biden’s leads in Arizona and Nevada continue to hold. Denouement is nigh.

ELECTION DAY PLUS THREE-FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2020

05:10

After waking, put on the coffee, firing up my computer, and turning on the TV, I learn that Joe Biden took a slim lead in Georgia overnight. As the great philosopher Matthew McConaughey might say: “All right, all right, all right!”

05:53

Seeing the writing on the wall, the Secret Service beefs up Biden’s protective detail.

08:15

Biden takes the lead in Pennsylvania. The end is near.

08:50

The Trump campaign releases a statement indicating they intend to fight, but it lacks much of the inflammatory language of Thursday night’s spleen venting.

10:48

I tweet:

Trading “crazy” for “lost a step” may seem like an even swap, but we’re talking about a whole lot of crazy here.

So, I’m good with it.

11:27

Georgia announces that it will conduct a recount, though at this point it probably doesn’t matter.

12:05

The Biden camp announces that he will address the nation tonight. A quasi-victory speech?

Throughout the day, the various Biden leads either grow or hold.

21:45

Biden gives his speech. The theme is “we will win” as opposed to “we won.” Surely no one is watching this at the White House.

ELECTION DAY PLUS FOUR-SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2020

07:00

There is still no official call of this race by any major network. There has been no claim of victory by the Biden camp and no concession from the Trump gang. (No surprise on the latter; it may never come.)

Yet, it seems clear that Joe Biden is a bad idea whose time has come. This brings several questions:

Will the various states ever finish counting their ballots? (Lookin’ at you, Nevada and Pennsylvania.)

Will Trump ever actually admit defeat? (It is not in his nature.)

How will America adjust in the radical shift from Trump’s daily bluster and chaos to a more low key, mundane form of buffoonery?

How will the transition from angry (but energetic) grandpa to nice (but sometimes befuddled) grandpa go?

Will “nice grandpa” make it through one term?

Is Kamala Harris going to be the real power behind the scenes?

What will a de-Trumpified Republican Party look like?

Will Twitter finally ban Donald Trump on at 12:01 EST on January 20, 2021? You know they really want to.

Furthermore, will former president Donald Trump get arrested at 12:01 EST on January 20, 2021?

Will we all stop arguing about a president’s ridiculous behavior and tweets and actually get back to arguing about…policy? What would that even be like?

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

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