Author Topic: Election Nightmare Scenario  (Read 559 times)

nebo113

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Election Nightmare Scenario
« on: July 28, 2020, 05:46:26 AM »
Because of the specificity of this article, I am starting a new topic on Election 2020, but MODS, please merge if you think it best.

In addition to the issue posed in the article regarding mail in ballots, here's another scenario:  Election held.  Mail in ballots still being counted.  Both sides mount legal challenges in different federal circuits.  Arguments heard by SCOTUS.  Vacancy occurs on Supreme Court.  4/4 decision (s).  What happens??

I think what I'm asking for is for legal beagles to step in and speak to the legal issues raised by the Guardian article and my own scenario.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/27/trump-loses-election-what-happens-possibilities

waterboy

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Re: Election Nightmare Scenario
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2020, 08:02:57 AM »
I'm certainly no constitutional lawyer, but doesn't it go to the House to decide?
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clean

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Re: Election Nightmare Scenario
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2020, 09:34:39 AM »
My own theories (well, not my own) are that the Great Pumpkin loses by a small margin.  His team contests the results in a few key states arguing voter fraud (mail fraud, China/NKorea/Russia meddling) and has those states' Electoral College votes challenged. This means that no one has a majority and it does go to the house. 
As I understand it, each state gets one vote. So while there are more democrats in the house than republicans, I believe that there are more republican states, so he is reelected through the house.  (California, for instance, gets one vote even though it has more representatives than say Wyoming which also gets one vote. Small states have equal representation with large states if the election goes to the House). 

I dont see that the Supreme Court will get involved except to say that the electoral college will not be delayed. IF the votes can not be confirmed by the states, then the votes do not count in the EC. 
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Parasaurolophus

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Re: Election Nightmare Scenario
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2020, 10:13:43 AM »
A clear loss without stepping down is about as bad as the outcomes could get. But while I think the pandemic will muddy the waters, I don't think that's the likeliest of the worst-case scenarios.

What worries me more is what I think is a likelier worst-case scenario: re-election despite an even more massive vote deficit than last time. It looks to me like the ground he needs to make up on Biden is actually a lot smaller than the current polling leads us to believe, even if the current polling is perfectly robust and holds up through November. I don't think anyone believes he can win the popular vote, even if he makes up a lot of ground. No matter what, he's going to be millions of votes behind. That translates to a very large % gap in the polling. But he can win the EC with a pretty large vote deficit. In fact, his path to victory could work out despite lagging behind by 2-5+ million votes. So I worry that the ground that needs to be made up is single-digit percentage points, not double-digits. And that looks pretty doable to me, especially because the pandemic will be muddying all kinds of waters.

Winning despite losing by three million votes is already a pretty hard blow for a democracy to swallow. Doing it again, especially if the margin is larger, seems catastrophically bad. And that's not even counting how bad this particular winner would be for... everything.
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Anselm

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Re: Election Nightmare Scenario
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2020, 01:32:19 PM »
Vague, somewhat related reply:

Long ago on the radio I heard some political scientist explain how there are about a dozen scenarios that present difficulties for presidential elections.  They are unsettled gray areas of Constitutional law.   I have no memory of these scenarios or the name of this expert.
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Puget

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Re: Election Nightmare Scenario
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2020, 03:32:37 PM »
A clear loss without stepping down is about as bad as the outcomes could get. But while I think the pandemic will muddy the waters, I don't think that's the likeliest of the worst-case scenarios.

What worries me more is what I think is a likelier worst-case scenario: re-election despite an even more massive vote deficit than last time. It looks to me like the ground he needs to make up on Biden is actually a lot smaller than the current polling leads us to believe, even if the current polling is perfectly robust and holds up through November. I don't think anyone believes he can win the popular vote, even if he makes up a lot of ground. No matter what, he's going to be millions of votes behind. That translates to a very large % gap in the polling. But he can win the EC with a pretty large vote deficit. In fact, his path to victory could work out despite lagging behind by 2-5+ million votes. So I worry that the ground that needs to be made up is single-digit percentage points, not double-digits. And that looks pretty doable to me, especially because the pandemic will be muddying all kinds of waters.

Winning despite losing by three million votes is already a pretty hard blow for a democracy to swallow. Doing it again, especially if the margin is larger, seems catastrophically bad. And that's not even counting how bad this particular winner would be for... everything.

It might reassure you somewhat (or not) that currently Trump's electoral college advantage-- that is the gap between the "tipping point" state (the state that would put Biden over 270 ECVs)  polling average and the national polling average-- is only 1.5 percentage points, or roughly half of what it was in 2016. Also things currently aren't all that close-- Biden has a lot more plausible paths to 270 than Trump, and is over 50% in the polling average, which Clinton never was in 2016 (and the polls actually weren't that far off in '16).  Of course that could change, but it could change in either direction. Three months to go!
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Parasaurolophus

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Re: Election Nightmare Scenario
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2020, 04:08:11 PM »

It might reassure you somewhat (or not) that currently Trump's electoral college advantage-- that is the gap between the "tipping point" state (the state that would put Biden over 270 ECVs)  polling average and the national polling average-- is only 1.5 percentage points, or roughly half of what it was in 2016. Also things currently aren't all that close-- Biden has a lot more plausible paths to 270 than Trump, and is over 50% in the polling average, which Clinton never was in 2016 (and the polls actually weren't that far off in '16).  Of course that could change, but it could change in either direction. Three months to go!


Phew, but ugh.
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mahagonny

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Re: Election Nightmare Scenario
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2020, 05:00:34 PM »
As I understand it, 'losing the popular vote' is a figure of speech. It's not the endgame, so referring to it that way suggests one is bitter about the outcome. If the popular vote were how the winner is determined, then that should affect your campaign strategy.

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financeguy

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Re: Election Nightmare Scenario
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2020, 11:24:48 PM »
He hasn't started going after Biden yet at all, who's been able to sleep in his basement after the coronation...Legit or noise, Trump will relentlessly address the following:

-Hunter Biden Payoff
-Various Assault allegations and the double standard of all the Me Too bandwagon suddenly needing due process.
-Crime Bill
-Treatment of Anita Hill
-Various Non-PC Statements (You Ain't Black, 7/11 comment, etc.)
-Questioning of Mental Competency

etc.  etc. etc. You are talking about a candidate who will say ANYTHING regardless of factual accuracy, social norms or inconsistency with his own behavior. Trump does not need to "make up ground" or improve his numbers at all. He just needs to knock down a very easy target who isn't currently actively campaigning by a few percentage points once the gloves are off. You could do that to almost anyone if you are willing to go as low as Trump has and will. You have an even greater shot of knocking Biden down a peg or two knowing that he has very little enthusiasm (compromise vote to almost everyone) and Trump's base will not make him pay for going low no matter what he does. If you were on board after access Hollywood, the Muslim Ban and the Khan family, it's very unlikely anything will turn you off that's going to happen this time around. Biden can fall a lot further and you've got one of the most aggressive sales and marketing experts in history that's going to ensure exactly that happens. Anyone who thinks this is over is crazy, especially considering how many times that assumption has been wrong thus far.

waterboy

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Re: Election Nightmare Scenario
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2020, 04:40:38 AM »
ok. That's a list of 6. Biden's got at least a list 2 orders of magnitude larger to use on Trump.
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Ruralguy

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Re: Election Nightmare Scenario
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2020, 06:59:29 AM »
I think Puget has more or less nailed it. That is though obviously Trump can win and has some structural advantages (incumbency, RNC, etc.), based on *current* polling, his path is narrow. For instance, if he loses TX and AZ then based on starting with his 2016 electoral wins he'd be a dead man walking.  Similar for if he loses, say, FL and PA, etc.. You can make a case for it not being likely he'd lose either of those exact pairs, there's enough of those types of pairs or triplets where he's losing in the polls. Taking anywhere where he's ahead as a basis there are fewer places he's likely to lose that would be a big shot to the electoral total. But it can happen, and has, so he and voters can't get complacent. In particular, the gap in AZ and  some rust belt states is narrowing.

As far as the popular vote thing goes, no, it doesn't affect the end game, but it does make people wonder that if we had two seemingly less than totally democratic presidential results in 16 years, and at least 10% of all presidencies, then maybe we should change to more of a "one person, one vote" system.

dismalist

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Re: Election Nightmare Scenario
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2020, 03:49:50 PM »

As far as the popular vote thing goes, no, it doesn't affect the end game, but it does make people wonder that if we had two seemingly less than totally democratic presidential results in 16 years, and at least 10% of all presidencies, then maybe we should change to more of a "one person, one vote" system.

This Republic, never intended to be a Democracy, protects the marginalized groups living in less populous states by granting more weight to their votes.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2020, 03:52:32 PM by dismalist »
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financeguy

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Re: Election Nightmare Scenario
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2020, 04:39:32 PM »
Waterboy, I'm aware that one could easily find 600 Trump scandals but the public has already shown that these are baked in to the price. If Biden is the "boy scout" to Trump, he has a lot farther to fall, and a history of scandals hurting him more, including the plagiarism debacle that was the end of his first presidential campaign. Trump sees something like that and says, "A plagiarism scandal?! I can do three of those in a week and add a few escorts and money laundering accusations to boot without even making the news because of whatever else I'm doing that's even worse!"

There's a difference between buying a BMW or Audi that breaks down every now and then and a Toyota or Honda that breaks down the exact same or even less frequently. In the case of the former, you bought for other reasons and knew you'd have frequent service, but the latter brands are often purchased specifically for reliability. 

quasihumanist

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Re: Election Nightmare Scenario
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2020, 04:47:35 PM »
My worry is that, on Wednesday morning, Trump looks at the trends in absentee ballot counting and tweets that all patriotic Americans should march on Madison, Harrisburg, and Tallahassee to stop the fraudulent mail-in votes from being counted.  A few thousand armed white supremacists shooting at random stuff in those cities won't stop the vote counting (which is all done in counties or towns anyway), but it could be bad.

I also think that, if Trump loses convincingly, we'll see a significant increase in low-level white supremacist domestic terrorism.