Confidence Interval and The 2020 Election

Avatar

Aaron David

A fourth generation Californian, befuddled.

Related Post Roulette

139 Responses

  1. Avatar Doctor Jay
    Ignored
    says:

    Facebook is the best thing that ever happened to conservatives. There is documented testimony from Facebooks employees that Zuckerberg himself insisted that they tweak the algorithm towards conservative outlets, just so they would let him alone. Facebook was instrumental in both Trumps win in 2016 and the Brexit vote. Conservatives figured out how to push their message through FB, including a lot of garbage and lies that are unaccountable, since they are invisible to everyone but the people who are targeted.

    As it turns out, I despise Facebook and I never use it. Precisely because their business model entails them injecting themselves as the middle man in my most intimate and precious relationships, and selling my friendship to third parties.

    You can have your day in court. It won’t change a thing. I think the whole legal challenge thing serves two purposes: 1. It allows Trump to never have to admit to losing. He will be all “I wuz robbed” until the day he dies.
    2. It allows Trump to fundraise on the legal challenges, after stirring people up with “they’re cheating” – based on more lies. He will make a show of legal challenges – such as press conferences as the Four Seasons Total Landscaping – and at some point he will walk away with most the money.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Most of the stuff that struck me as suspicious turned out to be done properly.

    The stuff that looked like shenanigans with the poll numbers (“they found X votes! And every single goddamn one was for Biden!”) turned out to be not a shenanigan at all. The Benford’s Law indicator is a first step, not a last step. I’m pretty confident that there’s going to be a recount and those recounts will find some votes here and lose some votes there but they won’t change the result. The only change will be whether Sam Wang eats yet another bug, not whether Biden gets elected.

    That said, every single late-state needs to get Florida on the phone as soon as business hours start tomorrow and get their election results tabulation process more in line with what obviously works. If *I* wanted to sow discord, the way I’d do it is to have the loser win all of the early states and have the winner win all of the states that take several days to count.Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Their election results tabulation process was amended by the state legislature to allow counting of mail in votes weeks before the election. Many other states tried to get their legislatures to make those changes and were rebuffed. This isn’t a procedural problem for the election officials – its a political problem of legislatures not wanting to help their own citizens.Report

  3. Avatar Mark from NJ
    Ignored
    says:

    This post should not have been published. It is almost completely devoid of facts, and filled with baseless speculation. It generates all heat and no light. “We are heading back into a Civil War?” Seriously?

    As a co-founder of this site, I’m extremely disappointed in this post.

    I’m sorry that the OP doesn’t feel we know the winner, but feelings are not facts.

    Fact: we do know who won the election.
    Fact: the popular vote wasn’t even close.
    Fact: the places where some are trying claim fraud occurred are some of the only places that went LESS for Dems this year in the past. If you want to know why Biden won, look at the percentages in the suburbs in GA and PA and compare those to 2016.
    Fact: virtually every attempt to claim fraud in court has been laughed out of court.
    Fact: voter fraud on a mass scale in a national election has never been shown to exist, nor has even an iota of evidence of such ever been produced. When attempts have been made to show otherwise, they have collapsed within weeks under the weight of reality (e.g., the Kris Kobach “commission”).
    Fact: no election with margins in the 10s of thousands has ever even come close to being overturned. No one reasonably questioned that Trump won by a similar margin in 2016 (they may have questioned HOW he won more votes, but not THAT he won more votes).

    I could go on.

    This site was created to generate light, not heat. It was created to encourage discussion of facts, not baseless speculation. This post fails in both respects and I respectfully ask that it be taken down.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Mark from NJ
      Ignored
      says:

      Indeed we do. Trump clearly won in WI, MI, PA, and GA, and very likely won in Arizona and Nevada.

      There are too many glaring anomalies to explain away, and the right (aside from the usual squishy never-Trumpers) are not buying a bit of this nonsense.

      LIke a vast number of people on the right, I’m digging into the data. Last night I was creating county-by-county spreadsheets of things like the number of ballots that were “President” only with no downticket voting. In 20 Pennsylvania counties, with three exceptions that stand out, that average is 1.7%. In Philly, that average is 4.74% a deviation from average of 3%, which would be 20,862 votes that are rather suspicious.

      Pennsylvania’s mail-in-ballot rejection rate (for various mistakes voters make) dropped from 0.9519% in 2016 to 0.0364% in 2020. Did Pennsylvanian’s suddenly become super-geniuses or did Pennsylvania election officials quit applying any legal standards to the ballots? Which do you think is more likely. The lack of standards indicates that another 24,800 expectedly suspect ballots didn’t get suspected.

      Voter turnouts in some Georgia counties are just absurd. Does any rational person think that almost twice as many blacks voted for Joe Biden, a senile Southern segregationist, as Barack Obama, who was a rock star? In some counties that apparently happened, even though demographic shifts can’t even come close to explaining it.

      If we compare turnout to 2008, NJ, NY, IL, and MA, all non-battleground safe Democrat states, Biden beat Obama’s vote numbers by an average of 1.5%, whereas Trump outperformed Romney by 4%

      In KY, TN, KA, IN, and AL, all non-battleground safe Republican states, Biden beat Obama’s vote numbers by 13%, and Trump outperformed Romney by 18%.

      In Georgia, Biden outperformed Obama by 39%. In Gwinnet county Georgia he outperformed Obama by 78%. In Arizona he outperformed Obama by 60%. Again, grounds for suspicion. If Biden can’t motivate New Yorkers to surge for him, or blacks in Illinois or Alabama to do so (-3% down and 5% up, respectively, relative to Obama 2012), how is he getting a 39% surge in Georgia, that just happened to take days and days and days counting ballots? Why did all these surges only happen in states that were taking days to count ballots, as opposed to the states that posted their election returns in an hour?

      In Africa, UN election observers would flag massively localized increases in turnout as a sign of election fraud. They’d flag delays in vote counting as a sign of election fraud. They tag many things we’ve seen as signs of election fraud.

      As Columbo used to say, crime leaves clues, lots and lots of clues, and we’re seeing lots and lots of clues, from mysterious tranches of late-night ballots that are tens of thousands to zero for Biden, to votes counts where Trump’s numbers go down by thousands in almost the same video frame where Biden’s goes up by an equal amount.

      One battleground county did a hand recount, having grown suspicious about a traditionally Republican county going all-in for Biden, and the recount changed their result from 9900 Biden to 6000 Trump to 9000 Trump and 7000 Biden. Just how bad are the other counties? To find out, we have to recount them all, by hand, and write everything on a white board, and take constant pictures of the white board. They already do that in African elections, because the reported counts didn’t match the local hand-tabulations, because they have horribly corrupt governments.

      Since we’re now seeing the same levels of government corruption and election fraud as Africa, we’re going to have to adopt the same measures. Picture ID’s for all voting, independent verification of every step in the process, paper copies of everything, bi-partisan election monitors, and lots of them, and photos and video feeds of everything.

      Democrats can’t make this go away. The recounts are coming, and after that deep post-mortems that will drag on for at least a year. Interviews with everyone involved. I don’t think it would go well if they rush and put Biden in office and then we found out that Trump crushed him in a landslide, as there is no mechanism to correct the mistake, once it is made.

      Al Gore demanded recounts. Democrats just spent four years saying our elections are easily rigged. They spend countless millions trying to find evidence of 2016 election rigging. Well, we’re going to go looking for evidence of the election rigging that they’ve spent four years telling us is so easy.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Mark from NJ
      Ignored
      says:

      I’ll quote myself: Biden has proclaimed himself POTUS, as it feels like he will win.

      And that is how I feel. But, what I am describing and attempting to talk about in this piece is the general feeling that I am seeing out in the world. And not just in my little blue college town, but across the spectrum. As of right now, Trump has not conceded, nor has he run out of legal options. And, for the time being, at least, Biden is not the president-elect. And that doesn’t matter who at this time says he is. Until one of those two conditions are met, he is not.

      How many baseless posts did we have in the run-up to the ’16 election, telling us that there is no way that Trump could win? Or, do you not consider those baseless? How is describing the feeling that is coursing through one side of the political spectrum, using the facts that are being used by that side, not shedding light? Do we no longer want to know what half of the country is thinking? How is shutting off that bit of perception helpful?Report

      • Avatar Mark from NJ in reply to Aaron David
        Ignored
        says:

        I’ve said my piece and won’t comment further other than to say that the promotion of conspiracy theories without backing that up with provable facts is not something I find acceptable. At best, this is the domain of a comment, not a front page post.

        As for 2016, I was gone by then, so I see no need to answer that charge.

        Sorry if this is harsh, but it is how I feel. If the goal was merely to present that some are upset and not accepting of the results then there are better ways that could have been approached.Report

        • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Mark from NJ
          Ignored
          says:

          In no part do I say that I think there is a conspiracy to dethrone Trump, only that this is a feeling on the right, which is what I am describing. And, I attempt to show that what I am feeling is a disconnect between the assurance of honor system voting and election security. Which for others leads to thoughts of ballot-box stuffing. I feel I was more than explicit in this.

          I seem to remember you being part of a video conference regarding the election of Trump immediately post-election that year, but if I am mistaken on that, you have my sincere apologies. And how you feel is entirely up to you, and is thus legitimate. As is your ability to express your discontent. And I don’t think it was overly harsh, but an example of how you truly feel. So, in my eyes at least, no apology necessary. But thank you anyway.Report

          • Avatar Philip H in reply to Aaron David
            Ignored
            says:

            And, I attempt to show that what I am feeling is a disconnect between the assurance of honor system voting and election security.

            And we keep showing you that in fact here are no election security issues and you keep clinging to your feeling. Which tells me you don’t want to confront reality. That’s a sad position to have pointed yourself into, but I don’t know how else we can help you. Even when all the votes are certified, and the lawsuits dismissed and few if any prosecutions carried out, I can’t see you (or any other Trump Supporters) coming out and saying “Yep, we were wrong. Our feelings were wrong. The election was secure and it was proper.” You have to make that choice for yourself. Your written record here does not lead me to believe you will.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Mark from NJ
          Ignored
          says:

          We keep backing the conspiracy theories up with provable facts. The left insists there was no problems, even when you show them numerous glaring examples. That’s a common behavior in African countries.

          And the left isn’t going to get away with it. Again, recall what Democrats spent the last four years doing. If there was even one vote that was the result of “Russian interference”, they screamed, then Trump was an illegitimate President.

          Well, we have vast, vast evidence of election rigging, statistical, circumstantial, physical, and testimonial. It must be investigated thoroughly, and anyone found complicit in it must be sent to prison, including anyone at the top who was involved. The rest of the country isn’t willing to abide the blatant machine-politics and brazen political corruption that is the norm in deep blue cities.

          If Biden is put into office, the right will never consider him anything but a criminal, a fraud, and an illegitimate President. He will merely stand as clear evidence that we no longer live in a Democracy, but in a system where election outcomes are entirely determined by billionaires, hostile foreign powers, and a completely corrupt elites and a political party that should be declared illegal and shut down. Of course you can’t say anything like that on social media, because now we also have to live under Chinese-style internet censorship.

          If you want to see Republican and moderate Democrat voters in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota get really irate that the were completely disenfranchised by some Democrat keyboard commandoes and a small army low-rent election workers, such that those states never vote Democrat again, then rush Biden into office. If you want to see a “resistance” by the people who provide your water, gas, and electricity, rush Biden into office. If you wanted Trump style populism cranked up to not just 11, but all the way to 20, that’s how you get it.Report

        • Avatar Pinky in reply to Mark from NJ
          Ignored
          says:

          What conspiracy theories did this article support? Which ones did it even mention?

          You should be proud of this site you helped found, both in general, and in having solid writers and pieces like this.Report

  4. Avatar North
    Ignored
    says:

    Biden has won the Presidency, as much as most candidates in modern Presidential history have won the Presidency at this stage of the electoral process. True the votes have not been entirely counted yet but, just as with all the previous elections, the networks and other media figures have calculated that it’s deeply unlikely that there are enough uncounted Trump ballots to give him any chance of catching up. It wasn’t controversial that Biden is being treated as President elect now, just as it wasn’t controversial that the various figures were treated as President Elect back then.

    That being said I’m okay with conservatives publicly working their way through their personal stages of grief.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to North
      Ignored
      says:

      We’re not grieving, we extremely horrified that rampant, African-style election fraud is not only being accepted by officials and the media, but that it’s being promoted by them.

      There’s absolutely no way Biden won Georgia. None. By that I don’t mean “I’m shocked! Shocked! I didn’t expect that!” I mean “These numbers aren’t mathematically possible.”

      Here’s an article from 538 regarding Hillary’s Georgia performance in 2016:

      But the Georgia 6 April primary was a continuation of some 2016 turnout trends too — trends that should worry Democrats. In 2016, turnout among whites was up across the country, and in highly educated areas like the 6th District in the suburbs of Atlanta. This redounded to Democrats’ advantage. At the same time, black turnout was down precipitously, from 66 percent in 2012 to 59 percent in 2016. This black-white turnout gap continued in the first round of Georgia’s special election, where the Democrats got impressive turnout levels from all races and ethnicities — except African-Americans.

      Lower black turnout in 2016 might be explained as a reversion to the mean after that group’s historic turnout for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. It’s possible that Clinton could never inspire black turnout the way the first African-American president could. But even if this shift is more of a return to the old status quo, Democrats will still have to grapple with these turnout levels going forward, and there are powerful lessons we can learn from the party’s failure to raise or maintain previous black turnout levels in 2016. Painting Trump as a bigot did not motivate more African-Americans to vote, in 2016 or in the Georgia 6th. Hope and shared identity seem to be much more effective turnout motivators than fear.

      66% black turnout there was what 538 considered a high-water mark that would probably never be repeated. So, you might argue that Biden was somehow much more popular with blacks than Obama, which is kind of silly, but let’s go there. If that was so, how come Trump made big gains among blacks this time? According to CNN’s own exit polls, he gain +3 from blacks, and about +8 from blacks in urban areas.

      So when you see numbers coming in that say Biden not only got back Obama’s support, which lagged under Hillary (and you’re thinking “66%, 70% turnout?”), no, you’re seeing 95+%, and 117% turnout. And at the same time you have to figure out where all those extra blacks voting for Trump are coming from, because his numbers were surging too. Maybe they bused in a couple hundred thousand Nigerians?

      And then you might think, “Oh, it’s Covid. Mail-in.” Nope. Voter turnout didn’t do anything remotely similar in Alabama, or Florida, even elsewhere in Georgia. It only did it in places where Democrats control all the vote counting machines. But those places always turn out massively, so there’s almost nobody extra there who could be voting, much less voting in such ridiculous numbers.

      So Georgia is having a recount, with Republicans in charge of it, because unlike these various cities and counties, Republicans are in control of the state government. What they’re going to find is that impossible numbers are indeed impossible. And then the whole scheme is going to unravel because people, especially politicians, don’t like going to jail.

      This mess will drag out for at least a month, if not longer. It’s going to go through multiple state supreme courts and the US supreme court not once, but likely several times, during which more and more examples of fraud, whether hacked vote tabulators, hacked election equipment, non-existent ballots, altered ballots, fake ballots, dead-people’s ballots, will come to light.

      And that’s won’t stop even if Biden is inaugurated, because Republicans control the legislatures in Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, and hold the governorship and AG position in Arizona. They will keep digging until the last fraudulent ballot is uncovered.Report

  5. Avatar greginak
    Ignored
    says:

    This may seem like a pedantic point but it isn’t. Half the country doesn’t think as your are describing. We aren’t split into two groups. Lots of conservatives feel this way but neither prominent label, conservative or liberal, describes half the pop. Of course there are also conservatives who say Biden won and aren’t diving into the deep end of the fever swamp. There are non aligned people and a rough group of sort of moderates who swing and aren’t easily described since they tend not to have a definable ideology/philosophy.

    That said, Biden has been declared the winner the same way every prez in the modern age has. Nothing new or unusual about the way this is happening. It has always taken weeks to finish the vote counting it has just never actually mattered. Nor has this been a close election. Biden is up in the pop vote by about 3% and estimates say that will go up another 2-3%. He EV victory is solid, not a squeaker. The way the vote counting would go was widely predicted based on who had voted early and who was going to vote in person.

    Trump also said ahead of the election that he was going to try to get a victory in the courts. Hell his surrogates were doing it also. Let him have his day in court aside from all the cases that have already been thrown out. There is no reason to drag out the result like some reality show cliffhanger. This isn’t TV nor are we here to vamp for ratings. If a court changes something then revisit it.Report

  6. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    This essay is an example of what I was talking about regarding how the modern Republican Party has become an insurgency which sees its opposition as fundamentally illegitimate.

    Notice the language here- “feelings” about illegitimacy, not supported by any set of facts, but simply “feelings of disconnects” or “thoughts of ballot stuffing”.

    It would be easy to laugh at this as unsophisticated and give lectures on reason and logic, but that isn’t the point.

    Aaron and almost all the Republicans are actually very sharp, very modern and intelligent people.

    But we’re not dealing with a disagreement over facts here, one that is solvable by the application of reason and logic.

    There is indeed a “feeling” on their part that dark malevolent treachery is afoot. They didn’t reason their way into this feeling, and reason won’t lead them out of it.
    It is an article of faith by them that the large urban centers of America- New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Philadelphia- are malignant swamps of corruption and crime so naturally any voting process which occurs there must be fraudulent.

    Buts its more than that. Think of the way people talk about Real Americans. Even our major media outlets use the term “heartland” to refer to rural areas in the midwest, and run endless pieces about the invariably white people who live there are representative of the Authentic Americans.

    The Republicans consider these people to be legitimate holders of power, while the people in urban areas are lesser, illegitimate somehow.

    Ilhan Omar, Stacy Abrams, AOC; These are the stock characters of a meme that might say “This is the future liberals want.”
    Their claim on the American character is conditional and subject to revocation when the Real Americans become uncomfortable.

    So any election in which tens of millions of Ilhan Omars and Stacy Abrams note only vote, but are in charge of counting the votes and determining the course of America is inherently suspect to Republicans, and they don’t need facts to support it.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      Though, in this election, a really significant number of “Ilhan Omars” and “Stacy Abrams” voted for Trump, which complicates this racialist narrative rather badly.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to North
        Ignored
        says:

        Not really.
        There are always a number of people who are members of an oppressed class who nonetheless support the oppressive class.

        Because a lot of people find their place and identity within an unjust structure. For them, the injustices doesn’t touch them personally, or it perversely rewards them in some fashion.

        Like I was mentioning about how in authoritarian regimes, only a small number of people actually feel the brutality, while most live untroubled lives, and some even thrive and prosper.Report

        • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          “Like I was mentioning about how in authoritarian regimes, only a small number of people actually feel the brutality, while most live untroubled lives, and some even thrive and prosper.”

          “I won’t insult your intelligence by suggesting you really believe what you just said.”Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to North
        Ignored
        says:

        Muslim women? No. Afrcan-American women? No. He increased support among Black Men and Hispanic men who thought he was more macho macho. But it turns out Republicans actually do better among minorities when up for reelection because of the incumbency effect. The actual percentages are still slim.

        In terms of Hispanic voters, rich right-wing Cuban and Venezuelan exiles in South Florida are not the same as Puerto Ricans in New York and Mexican-Americans in the West.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      Yep. A large section of the GOP, maybe the overwhelming majority of it, has simply declared that it cannot stand the concept of being ruled by urban America and/or inner-ring blue suburbs. Any victory by Democrats is inherently suspect but the alternative is recognizing the end and decline of small-town America or small, industrial city America and that is unfathomable.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        The historian Kevin Kruse tweeted something to the effect that he awaits all the endless profiles of middle aged Black women in hair salons in dense urban cities, as a way of understanding America and How We Got Biden.

        I suspect he isn’t holding his breath.Report

        • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          Back when, I not infrequently asked folks here claiming to represent the Real America what their concerns were and what policies Blue (UnReal) America might adopt (and, given where most of the money is, pony up for) to address them. Most of what I got* was fear of imaginary perils and resentment about cultural trends that, by the responders’ own stated principles, were beyond the remit of elected officials. The professionals will, of course, want to investigate these matters for the sake of getting more votes. As an amateur, I’m still interested, but maybe, since we won this time, they should be inquiring of us.

          * The exception is abortion. That is a substantive issue politicians and governments can address, and if it’s a deal-breaker for you, just say so and save us a lot of time.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to CJColucci
            Ignored
            says:

            We saw it right here in the responses to my question “what would a leftist dystopia look like” and the responses were varying degrees of “I will face public scorn”.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              “It’s only social ostracism! It’s not, like, being *SHOT*!”

              The discussion was about dystopia, not nightmare totalitarianism, Chip.

              “I don’t see what Winston Smith was so upset about. He wasn’t physically hurt and he maintained his position in the lower party.”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Why were so many people walking away from Omelas? The story came out and said that things were downright utopian! The story begins with a festival, for criminy’s sake! No kings, soldiers, priests, or slaves!

                REAL DYSTOPIAN THERE, URSULAReport

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t understand the criticism of the parents in the movie Get Out. They were good Democrats!Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You’re vividly demonstrating my point.

                That experiencing even the mildest form of social censure is excruciatingly painful for conservatives.

                A tiny fraction of the pain which has been felt for eons by marginalized people, yet conservatives paint themselves as victims on par with Winston Smith.

                Conservatives mock the term “microagressions” yet you are describing exactly that.

                Implicit in your comments is what I described, the idea that conservatives being in the social minority is a bizarre topsy-turvy, Planet of The Apes world where right is wrong and wrong is right.

                Also implicit is the conclusion that this world, in which previously marginalized people are accepted and social conservatives scorned, is itself illegitimate.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I make no claims to the legitimacy of dystopias, Chip. If we want to argue that they’re obviously illegitimate, that’d be interesting, I think.

                I will point out that this monkey is in a dystopia:

                And you’re saying that it’s silly to argue that the monkey is in a dystopia and that somehow something silly cannot be true is wrong.

                (For the record, we live in a dystopia. Like: RIGHT NOW. It’s merely not terribly poetic or ironic.)Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You don’t think that maybe you’re defining the word “dystopia” a bit too far downward?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                It must be literary?Report

            • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              Pfffft actual historical examples demonstrate leftist dystopias are constructs you have to shoot your way out of.Report

            • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              Chip, when you asked that question, I referred you to a story I had published on this very site. And you poo-pooed the idea that it was a leftist dystopia. And you were wrong.

              It was a dystopia where people wore blinders so they couldn’t microagress. Were people wore gags so they couldn’t say the wrong thing and be punished for it. It was a two-class society, of the haves and those who are given hand-out jobs, make-work jobs.

              It was an explicitly leftwing dystopia. And not for public scorn, but fear.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      I found the language here to be appropriate. Anyone with business or communication training should recognize the value of “I” statements. Heck, I even started this comment with one. I don’t think (there I go again) that Aaron is trying to heap blame on any one side, nor is he trying to make a case about specific fraud. He’s describing the current mindsets and diagnosing what led to them.

      Most of my comments begin with a question, or “I think”, or so-called weasel words (like “most” or “generally”). It’s not done to be ambiguous; it’s done to be polite. I think (again) that I make my point, but I try not to dump on people. “You” statements don’t start conversations.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        “He’s describing the current mindsets…”
        GOOD! This is helpful and important and we NEED this!

        “…and diagnosing what led to them.”
        Only his diagnosis is off.
        “The election was so close.”
        It wasn’t.
        “Democrats cheated.”
        They didn’t.

        Do folks FEEL like they did? Sure. But why? Because they saw actual evidence of it? Or because their own side actively sewed those fears and then affirmed them with fake evidence?Report

  7. Avatar JoeSal
    Ignored
    says:

    Thanks for writing this Aaron. Survival must be earned. Many countries voting process were good until they weren’t. Voting as a social construct is only as useful as people believe the social truth that the results are just and fair.
    So many people don’t vote which shows it barely has a pulse from the first vote until the last. We will see if it has earned it this time.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to JoeSal
      Ignored
      says:

      If this result stands, we might as well give up on elections and let Zuckerberg, Dorsey, Pichai, Soros, Xi, and Putin just appoint a Governor General to rule over us, because essentially that’s what’s happening.

      Obviously Democratic votes don’t matter to anyone, because Biden didn’t need any of them. The new vote counting algorithm is:

      R_total_vote = sum ( R_votes )
      D_total_vote = R_total_vote + 20000 + random(10000)

      D_votes isn’t even in the code, so why should the government even bother to listen to them? At least the Republican votes have an impact, if only to give the election riggers a numerical target so they can properly assign the required late-night resources.Report

  8. Avatar Slade the Leveller
    Ignored
    says:

    As a nation, indeed as individual states, we are as deeply divided as at any time since the Civil War.

    It appears the 2020 election is supplying America with another Lost Cause. We have Trump supporters alleging fraud on such a massive scale is beggars the imagination. How does one get through to someone who exhibits this level of willful ignorance?Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    From our own ElectionBabe:

    Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      I’ve heard that 134,000 votes in Fulton County will get thrown out, as they’re all fraudulent. State and federal investigators are on that one.

      Meanwhile, here’s an interesting statistical indicator of fraud

      He points out that what they apparently didn’t realize, because they’re not particularly bright people, is that although vote-by-mail makes ballot fraud trivially easy, it also makes detecting it trivially easy.

      It has nice graphs of the vast difference between non-fraudulent states, like Florida, where the trend line over time for mail-ins is very, very slightly Republican, because they tend to be more rural, to the problem states. There, as time goes on, the ballots become heavily skewed toward Democrats, producing upward sweeping curves and discontinuities that aren’t normally present. Virginia is especially bad, even though so far widespread election fraud hasn’t been alleged in Virginia, though I’ve seen signs of it.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        I’ve heard that 134,000 votes in Fulton County will get thrown out, as they’re all fraudulent. State and federal investigators are on that one.

        It’s funny that Googling doesn’t find that story. THEY MUST BE IN ON IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        More seriously, Fulton County is where a poll worker is in hiding, afraid for his life, because some miscreant posted a video of him discarding waste paper and claimed it showed him throwing away ballots. You all need to grow the hell up. This bullshit has consequences.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Mike Schilling
          Ignored
          says:

          Do you find it curious that none of the big tech companies are going to let you know about anything that’s going on? Google can’t find things I’m reading, even as I’m reading them. It’s like living in China. It also seems that about half the people I’m in threads with have been banned by Twitter this week. Benford’s law is apparently now some kind of a sex crime.

          Fulton county’s numbers are pretty much impossible unless you think blacks in Atlanta were unwilling to vote for Obama, because that’s the only explanation for Biden’s numbers – other than rampant voter fraud. Some are arguing that the 134K ballots might not be fraud, they might simply be the result of poor people having to change their address all the time because they’re poor. Except that won’t do it either, because there are simply too many ballots for a given number of people.

          And it turns out that Pennsylvania’s election law specifically says that it is non-severable.

          Section 11.  Sections 1, 2, 3, 3.2, 4, 5, 5.1, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 of this act are nonseverable. If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remaining provisions or applications of this act are void.

          When the Pennsylvania supreme court held that the ballot deadline was dead, they may have killed the entire law. It will take teams of lawyers to figure that out.

          In the meantime, the refusal of Pennsylvania election officials to set aside late ballots, as ordered by Justice Alito, invokes what is known in election law as exspoliatiion. When the prohibited ballots were mixed with the on-time ballots, with no way to then differentiate or sort the two types, the on-time ballots lost their legal standing as ballots. The concept is the same as mixing a bit of poison into a large bowl of punch. What will likely happen is that the Pennsylvania count will reset to election night, though the Court will have several other available remedies.

          This becomes important considering the Justices currently sitting. Perhaps they shouldn’t have tried to destroy Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, and Barrett, and perhaps Joe Biden calling Thomas a “ra-pe ape” was not the wisest thing to do.

          And we have upcoming cases in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Arizona.Report

  10. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    Trump is the main spreader of the “We were robbed!” story (in fairly inane ways, since he seems to think that vote counting ends after election day as well as that Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett owe him a victory).

    He’s also fund-raising off it. You can send a donation to his legal fund, but be aware that the fine print says that 50% goes to retire his campaign debt. If you give enough, maybe you can get a diploma from Trump University.Report

  11. Avatar Marchmaine
    Ignored
    says:

    Eh… enough of the votes in a few states are close enough that they should be audited. There’s nothing wrong with that. I assume the states have built in professional audit standards and practices. (Right?). I personally have no expectation that the audits will turn up anything unusual (but they theoretically could) and aside from Georgia audits/recounts don’t swing tens of thousands of votes. But given the < 1% margin in AZ, GA, WI and PA it's hard to see objecting to an audit/recount. I expect some of these states already have statues that require it anyway. This isn't anything like 2000... we forget that the issue in 2000 was not that it was close, but that we had doubts as to the mechanics of the actual ballots... butterfly punch ballots malfunctioned and we were in the odd scenario of having to attempt to 'discern' voter's intentions after the fact. The whole 'hanging chad,' 'dimpled chad' chadastrophic episode that isn't analogous to the current situation. As I say, I'm convinced Biden has won the election... which is why I'm unconcerned about the audits/recounts; I'm a little concerned about the notion that "President Elect" Biden is something other than a media honorific. He's not President Elect until all the votes are certified - hence the whole audit thing - and the EC votes for him. I also have no problem with the media short-hand calling him "President Elect" as it represents the most likely outcome, and pedantically calling him "Provisionally President Elect" is probably unhelpful. But, for the norm loving, process following, non-fascist, above board left... audit and recount (where appropriate) should be the stated preference. Biden won the election, there's no rush... and if these norms and processes I keep hearing about are so important, we should be bolstering them.Report

    • Avatar gabriel conroy in reply to Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      Yes, pretty much my thoughts.Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      Concur. Follow the process should mean follow the process. No one who supported Biden should be afraid of that.

      I’m a bit confused as to where this assertion of fraud is coming from. Right now it’s an argument from ignorance fallacy. But like… if I was a Republican, and I’m not, I do not see the outcome of this election as catastrophic. The Biden administration is going to come in day 1 as one of the most checked and balanced administrations in decades, maybe the most in modern history.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        Well, the assertation of fraud is coming from… Stacey Abrams. The Democratic party.

        Why would I say that? Well, because for the last few years they ate out on that line. Remember Abrams was the shadow governor of GA? Remember all the Russian collusion hoo-ha, that didn’t even really end with the Mueller rept.? This is has been an SOP for that political party in every election that was close for a while now. They bought and paid for this. And, with an extremely close election, coupled with all the built-in FUD points I talk about in the OP, this is what we get.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Aaron David
          Ignored
          says:

          If I recall correctly Abrams allegation was voter suppression, not voter fraud. And the GOP is on the record all over the place talking about their efforts to suppress the vote of demographic groups they believe predominantly vote for Democrats. That’s rather different from voter fraud.Report

          • Avatar Aaron David in reply to North
            Ignored
            says:

            Same thing in the end – The Election Was Stolen From Me!!

            Both teams are doing everything they can to put a finger on the scales. Tip it just the way they want to help ensure the election ends up in their favor. And this is something I talk about in the OP. Which at this point I am wondering if anyone actually read.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Aaron David
              Ignored
              says:

              I suppose, except the allegations of Democratic voter fraud remain, as far as evidence goes, entirely fictional whereas the GOP themselves has spoken, from time to time, about their need for voter suppression, the voter suppression policies are quite real and typically justified by the, so far, unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud. W Bush and Trump in turn went to great and official lengths to investigate and substantiate their assertions of voter fraud and came up with nothing.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                How long did the allegations of Russia, Russia, Russia remain?

                Referring to GOP vote policies as “suppression” is as wrong as saying that Dem policies are to get illegal votes. What both policies are geared for is to make us a better country in the eyes of the people supporting the laws. The question is, would you like a more exclusionary voter role in the name of who is legally able to vote, which might disenfranchise a few people; or, try to get more people to vote, and maybe a few illegal votes slip through. Take your pick, both sides feel that any problems will fall into the margin of error. Unless it is the other side, then “F*** those Bastards, trying to steal the election!!!”

                People are butthurt right now, just as people were butthurt after the last election. Both sides thought they would win this election, and it seems at this point that the US is on track to split the difference, in that we are back to a divided government.

                And if you were a Political Monster (which, to be fair, if you are hanging out at a place like this, you are) this isn’t the answer you wanted.

                The whole point of my post was that we have an electoral system that is guaranteed to result in uncertainty and doubt when there is a close election. And, we keep making it worse. I don’t think that this is a result of ours being a presidential system as opposed to a parliamentary system, but instead, we have the system we have due to a complete lack of trust. In most cases, the system is a positive, but in this aspect, it is a negative.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      I looked up Pennsylvania; y’all are free to do the rest.

      https://ballotpedia.org/Recount_laws_in_Pennsylvania#Automatic_recount_procedures

      Pennsylvania requires automatic recounts if the margin of victory for a statewide office or ballot question appearing on the ballot in every election district is less than or equal to 0.5% of all votes cast for the office or ballot measure

      Current count:

      Biden 49.8% 3,362,032

      Trump 49.1% 3,316,383

      No automated recount required. Nor would one except a recount to shift 45,000 votes.

      Any other year, we’d call it over and the transition would have officially begun.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Mike Schilling
        Ignored
        says:

        Fair enough
        PA: Trump needs approx 13k more votes for automatic recount (0.5%)
        GA: Recount may be requested… Biden needs 13k more votes to exceed threshold (0.5%)
        WI: Automatic recount will be triggered (1%)
        AZ: Trump needs approx 14k votes for recount (very high threshold 0.1% – would qualify @ 0.5%)

        But this is why Trumps actual chances are vanishingly small… he’d have to qualify for all 4 *and* flip them all in a recount. As I read it, candidates may request a recount (if qualified) within a period of days once the vote is certified. Have any of the votes been certified? based on a quick search on Georgia, it appears not… counties have until 11/13 and the state has a deadline of 11/20.

        Plus, all it would take would be one of the states to close the re-count window and it wouldn’t matter if any of the other states flipped. Once that happens… then sure, start the transition process. Maybe that has happened… but that would be the best counter-argument.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Marchmaine
          Ignored
          says:

          You’re talking about automatic recounts. Trump can have the state recounted anyway, which costs $3 million per state. He can pay for that from money in his sock drawer.

          All those states will have recounts.Report

          • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to George Turner
            Ignored
            says:

            Not necessarily, no. The state laws govern when a recount is even available (and often who pays). The states can, and will, refuse to do a recount if it falls outside their statutes. GA, WI (I got that wrong) and AZ do *not* have automatic recounts… PA does.

            The main point is that the States determine the conditions under which they will do a recount. Candidate’s wishes and willingness to pay are sometimes necessary, but not sufficient causes.Report

            • Avatar George Turner in reply to Marchmaine
              Ignored
              says:

              A state refusing to do a paid recount when the state election officials all but stand being accused of election rigging, with tons of evidence pointing to election rigging, is not going to fly.

              In Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Georgia, the state legislators might instead just appoint Trump’s electors to the Electoral College, which is perfectly Constitutional, and then it’s all over and Trump wins. But rather than just go ahead and do that, they’d want to be sure that Trump would win the state on the post-election most-mortems, so they will loudly insist on a recount.

              As far as the Federal government goes, there is a possibility that foreign governments may have been hacking tabulations. That gets into the ugly details of two widely used voting systems and some of the software that are known to have been hacked by foreign actors, including Russia.

              All those federal safeguards Democrats demanded, to maintain their Russian collusion hoax, should be kicking in.

              We know vote counts were altered electronically and significantly (that’s proven). It would behoove us to recount not just the problem states, but every state, and do a nationwide hand recount, with everything on paper and double-checked three ways.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                If there’s evidence of rigging, then the violation of those laws will determine what recourse is available.

                Make that case, the courts are open.

                But absent any substantiations of rigging? Yeah, the State(s) in question will Nigerian Funeral Dance their certifications on in.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                There is, and it’s overwhelming, and it’s being presented. It may turn out that trying to publicly destroy Kavanaugh, Barrett, and Gorsuch wasn’t a very bright move. I’m sure Robert, Alito, and Thomas were not amused.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Then there’s nothing to discuss or worry about… the process is working. The overwhelming evidence will be reviewed by the people who have authority to review and take appropriate action. Right?Report

  12. Avatar Philip H
    Ignored
    says:

    Since this is about confidence intervals (i.e. statistics) lets look at some numbers:

    Based on reported voted counts so far we see –

    Joe Biden 50.7% of the total at 75,431,637 votes. Based on the Electoral College Distribution that’s 290 EC votes.

    Donald Trump 47.7% of the total at 70,929,159 votes. Based on the Electoral College Distribution that’s 214 votes.

    Adding in Georgia’s 16 EC votes (likely to Biden) mostly get off set by the 15 EC votes in NC (Likely to Trump) and you end up with Biden gets 306 EC votes and Trump ends up with 229.

    If we look back at 2016, we find:

    Donald J. Trump Republican 304 62,980,160
    Hillary R. Clinton Democratic 227 65,845,063

    Which means that in EC votes Joe Biden looks to have replicated Trump’s win. Biden also expanded Hillary’s popular voted lead by between 1 and 2 million votes.

    Now I FEEL like I spent the last 4 years being told how that EC split was a mandate. I FEEL like I spent the last 4 years being told that “He Won. Get Over it.” and I FEEL like I kept being told that the Trump win was exactly what the Founding Fathers wanted in that it demonstrated that there would be no tyranny of the majority in the US.

    So I can understand how Aaron and Co. FEEL like the Biden win means the end of America. But I also FEEL like we may finally have had the alignment of the popular and EC vote the country actually needs.

    I also FEEL like the DNC needs to heed AOC’s words and learn how to campaign. They keep taking statistical models to a knife fight. and MR. Biden’s win doesn’t change that FEELING.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      Did you read the article?Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        Yes.

        Aaron is wrong on numerous counts. As are a good many others. And I am reminding them why.

        Plus being a numbers guy professionally I hate claiming to discuss numerical outcomes absent actual numbers.Report

        • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          What am I wrong on, specifically? Because nothing you wrote has anything to do with my actual post.Report

          • Avatar Pinky in reply to Aaron David
            Ignored
            says:

            Honestly, I’m freaking out a little bit at the reaction to your article. I thought is was really well balanced, albeit too pessimistic about our divisions, although seeing the replies, maybe I should be more worried about our divisions. I also know that this has been the rawest week of the past four years for many political junkies, so I can understand some of the over-reaction. It’s tough. That might be why I’m effusing about this article being so reasonable.Report

            • Avatar Philip H in reply to Pinky
              Ignored
              says:

              I have spent the last four years living among people who believe my liberalism makes me both mentally ill and a traitor to the US. And you think my responses (and those of so many others) are out of line?Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Yup. Not even close, really.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                STOP COUNTING THE VOTES!Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Mike Schilling
                Ignored
                says:

                (In case anyone wondered what “out of line” really looks like.)Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Why?Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                You’ve mentioned before how people have called you a traitor. (I’ve replied that I’ve been called similar.) It doesn’t give you the right to misread this article, though. For the sake of clarity: I’m not the one saying that four years of abuse explain your take on this article; you’re the one who said that. If I misrepresented an article (as I think you’ve misrepresented this one), and you asked me about it, and I said that I’d been beat up a lot as a kid, you’d probably say that doesn’t give me the right to twist the article. I’m saying that you haven’t shown a connection between the accusations against you and your take on this article, and until you do I have to think that it doesn’t justify your stance. Again, if you could back up the claim about Aaron and the end of America, you’d be able to square all this. If you can’t, I’m left thinking that you’re reading your frustration over the last four years into what Aaron wrote.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                You do realize that I’m disagreeing with Aaron, not twisting him right? He’s asserting how people “feel” by asserting a variety of unsubstantiated (and in my cases disproven) “facts.” Which he and you and others have had have a LOT of push back on. That he persists in “feeling” the same way says to me he’s not actually discussing his emotional state so much as creating justifications to keep from address our issues and/or our replies to his assertions.Report

            • Avatar Kristin Devine in reply to Pinky
              Ignored
              says:

              This. The reactions of people I know to be otherwise reasonable and thoughtful, are what freaks me out…about a good many things, not just this article in particular.

              Thank you for this comment.Report

          • Avatar Philip H in reply to Aaron David
            Ignored
            says:

            This is the problem. This election was extremely close, with a huge number of people favoring Trump, while at the same time another just as large of a group favoring Biden.

            Based on reported numbers so far – which come from the several states, not the media – this election is no closer then Trump’s victory. That’s what my numbers are about. If anything its less close, at least on the popular vote side.

            Did Republicans try to disenfranchise thousands of voters and when losing resort to a stacked SCOTUS?

            Yes.

            Have Democrats done the modern equivalent of stuffing ballot boxes and shut out election observers?

            Only if you believe increasing voter registration and turnout equals ballot box stuffing.

            How did we want this? Ballot harvesting. Disparate impact. Unequal access. We went all-in for mail-in elections.

            You keep reminding us (in the context of COVID) that this is how federalism works in as much as ever state creates laws to administer elections, and with the SCOTUS evisceration of the VRA this go a lot messier. Deal.

            Doing this now, even with the specter of COVID 19 hanging over us, is eminently achievable. We knew when the election was going to be held, years in advance. We have been debating what to do with the virus for months. That is no excuse for how this election was handled. You still need to clear the voter rolls; you still need to get ballots to all the people who are eligible. All of this could have been done in the last few months. We chose not to do this. We chose to have fear, uncertainty, and doubt rule us in determining who is the president. What direction our nation is heading.

            Many states did this and did this well. The states with problems – especially for mailed votes – are states where Republican legislatures decided to thwart Democratic election officials when they came to ask for changes to deal with the here and now. When this was pointed out to you beforehand, you again told us all this was how federalism worked, and the states were entitled to do as they saw fit, especially those legislatures because they were the ones who should control the process, not otherwise elected secretaries of state or governors.

            And this path is lit by the lights that we say we want all around the world. Free and fair elections. We do not want dead people voting, we do not want non-citizens voting. We do not want people voting twice. Nor do we want to remove the right to vote from anyone who is eligible. And we do not want votes for the other team to be destroyed.

            One side makes these accusations. One Side. They do not ever hold up to investigative scrutiny. As you have been shown numerous times here.

            At the same time, due in large part to media malfeasance the Trump supporters will feel that the election was rigged.

            No – due to willing lying by Fox News, Breitbart, OAN, and a host of other right wing media. The MSM may not have always pushed back, but for most of the last four years when Mr. Trump and his enablers bring this all out, the MSM quietly and calmly said no that’s not who it is.

            Right now, the left is doing everything in its power to push Biden over the finish line first, even on the narrowest of margins, in a reach for its idea of the future. And in that process, it might just make a martyr of Trump.

            Right now the reported vote totals from the several states – by secretaries of state both republican and democratic – show Mr. Biden having won the EC by the same margin Mr. Trump did and widened Sec. Clinton’s popular vote winning margin. That has nothing to do with “the left” pushing anything. And if it make Mr. Trump a martyr to his base (and you) we as a nation will have to deal with that – but its a work of fiction that he is martyred from.Report

            • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Philip H
              Ignored
              says:

              1. With several states being in the thousands, and still needing to be counted five days later, I think I am correct in calling this a close election. Electorally, we are closer than ’16 at this point, where there was a clear winner that night with its 306 to 232 electoral college votes. As far as the “popular vote” goes, as it has no direct bearing on this, I don’t think about it.

              2. no disagreement here.

              3. This is what the right feels currently. And we are in the middle of a bunch of lawsuits to prove it right or wrong. I don’t feel they did, but that was not the point of the post, as shown in the use of grammar.

              4. Again, the point of the post was to demonstrate how people are feeling, and at this point, the right is feeling no different than the left with its screaming Russian Collusion for years. Or Stacey Abrams being the Shadow Governer.

              5. Again, reading comprehension.

              Many states might have dealt with mail-in votes well, but one state that is currently in contention allowed unpostmarked ballots to be counted three days after the election. So, no, not all states were handled well. And like the hanging chad issue of ’00, there might be contestable ballots, and challenging those ballots is something that Trump is legally entitled to. Again, I doubt that there would be enough to make a difference, but that was not the point of the post.

              Everything else you are bitching about is simply a case of being angry that an election that barely went your way, what with losing gound in the house and not taking the Senate, is being accepted as well as your team did four years ago when the Dems lost an election that they thought was in the bag.

              As Pinky points out, at no point did I say that Biden is the end of America. First of all, I don’t believe that, and secondly, it wasn’t the point of the post, which seems to be completely missed. And as other people got it quite handily, I know it wasn’t my writing.

              .Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                Many states might have dealt with mail-in votes well, but one state that is currently in contention allowed unpostmarked ballots to be counted three days after the election.

                Those ballots have been segregated (at the direction of SCOTUS), and there aren’t enough of them to change the result in the presidential election (according to the Pennsylvania state government).Report

        • Avatar Pinky in reply to Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          I don’t think you did read it, or you wouldn’t be talking about “how Aaron and Co. FEEL like the Biden win means the end of America.”Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      Jeet Heer, of all people, has a thread that ties this stuff together. TL;DR: Biden ran on a return to normalcy, Democrats and Republicans, working together, from the center. This allowed NeverTrumpers to vote for him with a clear conscience while splitting the ticket and voting Republican for their House Representative.

      There’s going to be a lot of people feeling a lot of things. Feeling them very strongly indeed.Report

  13. Avatar y10nerd
    Ignored
    says:

    If I were to comment on some of the posts here and the original message, I would apparently violate the rule about questioning people’s mental states.

    So I won’t.Report

  14. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    “ This election was extremely close, with a huge number of people favoring Trump, while at the same time another just as large of a group favoring Biden.”

    Only one number is 4M+ more.Report

  15. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    For years now conservatives has trumpeted the message that “Facts don’t care about your feelings.” Welp, this article is heavy on feelz and devoid of facts.

    Do people really feel how the author does? Undoubtedly. Does that matter? Yes. Should those who see Election Day 2020 as a victory show grace and humility to those who feel it signals the end of America? I sure hope so. I plan to.

    But let’s not mince words: there are no facts that support the main feelings expressed in this piece, namely that the election and therefore its result are somehow illegitimate.

    Are there likely to be issues with the vote? Yes. There always are. But there is no signs that they are A) atypical given the circumstances or B) enough to change the outcome.

    If that changes, I’ll be right there with you insisting we dig into this.

    Unless or until we reach that point, we should not let our feelings color our understanding of the facts.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      Remember the counter-argument.

      “Feelings don’t care about your facts.”Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Sure. Feelings and facts BOTH matter. As I said in my second paragraph, the feelings expressed here are both real and important to understand. No argument there.

        But what I see happening is a conflation of facts and feelings. It’s wrong when liberals do it. It’s wrong when conservatives do it. It is wrong here.

        There are outright misrepresentations of facts here. I quoted one above but will requote it here.

        ““This election was extremely close, with a huge number of people favoring Trump, while at the same time another just as large of a group favoring Biden.”

        Only one number is 4M+ more.”

        I am happy to hear and discuss and support any of the feelings being expressed here. But we should not entertain falsehoods.Report

        • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          Right now, we are still counting ballots, five days after the election. azcentral.com reported that Biden’s lead there is actually shrinking, and now stands at only a hair under 17,000. But, no matter who wins the state in the end, its 11 electoral votes go to the winner. Now, I call that close. And there are other states that it is within 50k votes. Again, in my eyes close. And as they haven’t been called for Biden yet, officially, to say that this wasn’t a close election is not correct in my eyes at least.

          The 4m+ is only a secondary factor at best in the election of the president. And as it has been tossed around more than a few times in the comments here, I feel that we should make sure that it isn’t misrepresented. We weigh our states by population and then dole out the electoral votes in this manner.

          There is no official designation of what is and what is not a close election. But we did have a huge turnout for Biden and an almost as huge turnout for Trump. No denying that, and at no point did I.Report

          • Avatar Philip H in reply to Aaron David
            Ignored
            says:

            2020 – Biden gets 306 EC votes and Trump ends up with 229
            2016 – Trump gets 304, Clinton gets 227.

            Do you believe 2016 was a close election? Numerically it doesn’t appear to be. Which means 2020 isn’t either by the only metric you have spent 4 years telling us matters.Report

            • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Philip H
              Ignored
              says:

              And when we get to those numbers, it won’t be close anymore.

              But. We are not there yet. As witnessed by ballots still being counted almost a week later.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                Ballots were still being counted a week later last time too. Its how the states work. Most won’t certify until next week at the earliest – and didn’t until late November or early December last time (https://ballotpedia.org/Election_results_certification_dates,_2016). We just had more in-person voting last time so the media FELT comfortable calling things much earlier. Still had counting going on after however for about the same time.

                The process hasn’t changed enough to make this year any different. Your feelings have changed because your guy lost. At some point you might want to start thinking about why his record and his rhetoric wasn’t enough to keep him in office. Hell, you might want to right about that here. I’d read it.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                He “lost” because the Russians hacked the voting machines, and Democrats were dropping off vans full of mysterious ballots at 3:00 AM, with no proper chain of custody. The Chinese were probably paying for much of that. The Iranians might have kicked in a lot of money, too.

                We have to get to the bottom of that.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                AH, now I get it – You are a Satirist!

                Makes way more sense to me now.Report

  16. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    Dude, you said the groups were of the same size. They aren’t. And won’t be.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      OK, Kazzy, you got me. I used a literary technique, poetic license if you will.

      Guilty as charged. Whatever.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Aaron David
        Ignored
        says:

        Oh come off it. You wrote what you wrote. And what you wrote was wrong. You said that to emphasize the closeness of the election because the perception of it being closer than it was is necessary to justify your feelings.

        The thing is… you don’t need to justify your feelings. Jaybird is right… feelings don’t care about facts. You’re feelings are yours and they’re real and they matter. I want to hear from folks like you. But you undermine your own message with all this non-factual crap.

        Do you FEEL it was close? Or it WAS close? I can’t argue with the former. And I won’t. But I will the latter.

        So decide… is this an opinion piece? Or a piece of analysis? The opinion parts are worthwhile. The analysis is crap.Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          cosign in its entiretyReport

        • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          Kazzy, we have a very divided country. Saying One Half in my opening sentence was intended to be just a bit of writing. As I said, poetic license. And it appears that the idea that we are a closely divided country is, well, divisive. OK.

          It is an opinion piece. Just like everything else on this website is. And a bit of analysis. Because that is what opinion writers do, they merge the two acts to create. I have an opinion informed by what I see and feel. When Tommy Frank, or Jaybird, or Tod Kelly write, this is what they do. If this isn’t something that you feel you did when you still submitted regular articles here, OK.

          Was I overly broad in this? Well, it seems you think so. OK.

          You think the analysis part was crap. OK.

          I posted it, I stand by it.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Aaron David
            Ignored
            says:

            As others have pointed out, you played fast and loose with the facts throughout. Then attempted to justify those claims. You initially countered by claim by saying they’re still counting. So was it poetic license? Or you think this was a close election? Closer than 2016?Report

            • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Kazzy
              Ignored
              says:

              What facts am I playing fast and loose with? That the Right is enraged at perceived vote fraud? Would you like links?

              Do think it was a close election? Yes. Was it closer than in 2016? Not sure yet. Let’s see how the electoral college plays out.

              But, me saying this really seems to bug you, so, I can assume that you don’t think it was close? Why not?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                No. You making claims of ballot harvesting and voter fraud.

                You go back and forth between what is felt and what is real as if the distinction doesn’t matter.

                Again, you claimed the two voting groups were the same size. When challenged, you insisted the numbers weren’t final. Then you called it poetic license. Which is it?Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                So, does Califonia not allow ballot harvesting? Did Chip and I not have a long conversation about this recently? Didn’t South Carolina outlaw it recently when Republicans were the ones doing it? The whole time I have been adamant about this, that I don’t think it is a good thing for election integrity. That hasn’t changed one whit. Yes, it is an opinion, but I have had that opinion and expressed it here for years. I think it is caustic and destroys the essential chain of accountability for votes.

                As for voter fraud, that is the claim that is going around on the right as we speak. And no, I wasn’t going to link it, as I don’t want to spread the rumors about it. But here:
                https://nypost.com/2020/08/29/political-insider-explains-voter-fraud-with-mail-in-ballots/

                https://townhall.com/tipsheet/bethbaumann/2020/11/04/usps-whistleblower-in-michigan-claims-higher-ups-were-engaging-in-voter-fraud-n2579501

                https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/11/massive-voter-fraud-in-wisconsin.php

                All of these things are felt. Felt by people who are expressing them. Do I agree with all of them? No, and that is not what I am saying in the piece. I am saying that the perception of these various things causes diminished faith in what is supposed to be a trust system. That the things that are FELT are leading to a REAL feeling of distrust. As shown by what I just linked.

                As for the two voting groups, yes I did say in poetic license that “half of the country is convinced the other half is trying to steal the 2020 presidential election.” And I also said that we don’t know the final outcome at this point as we are still counting the vote. Is that what you are talking about?

                Putting that down at the beginning of the first paragraph is an attempt to capture people’s attention, nothing more. I unsure of what the actual vote tally is going to be, as absentee ballots are being counted, and lawsuits about what is a legal ballot or not are still going on.

                Does this help?Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          It’s so close that Biden almost won.

          I love the Washington Times headline that reads

          PRESIDENT GORE
          Florida Pushes Gore Over the Top

          Good times.Report

          • Avatar y10nerd in reply to George Turner
            Ignored
            says:

            The Washington Times itself said that cover was false, as they had never published such a thing.

            https://twitter.com/WashTimes/status/1325525833713324034

            Honestly, to the people that manage this site, having George Turner in your comments section damages the conversation, damages what people see when they come into your comment section, and had been one of the reasons why I hadn’t really commented until the last two weeks (and makes me question whether I should).Report

            • Avatar greginak in reply to y10nerd
              Ignored
              says:

              It has been a long term issue how to deal with this kind of thing. Don’t let it dissuade you from commenting. Ignore the dross. Some comments are not helpful, to say the least, but that is the internet and you have interesting stuff to contribute.Report

  17. Avatar Pinky
    Ignored
    says:

    Y’all want to keep commenting, you can. I’d suggest closing the thread. No one’s informing or persuading anyone.Report

  18. Avatar Kristin Devine
    Ignored
    says:

    Aaron, I for one enjoyed this piece, I find it a necessary thing to say and speculate on. Thanks for writing.Report

  1. November 21, 2020

    […] all of these complaints, you might think that I found a good deal of common ground with Aaron David on his election piece. But our agreements more or less end there, because I view the above as maddening and unnecessary […]Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *