This projection is based on data collected from W&T permabloggers who have voted or are likely voters in today’s election, as well as known votes of family members volunteered by the participating perms. Here is the data volunteered by W&T perms:
- Permabloggers: All 13 perms responding voted for Joe Biden. Of those 13, three had always voted Republican until the 2016 election, and one had always voted Republican until the 2020 election.
- Spouses: Six spouses of perms voted for Joe Biden and one spouse voted for Donald Trump.
- Kids: Ten kids of perms voted for Joe Biden and one kid voted for Donald Trump.
- Other: One mother-in-law voted for Joe Biden after declaring she was “done with the GOP after Trump.”
In total, therefore, we have 30 adults voting for Joe Biden and two adults voting for Donald Trump. I recognize that some of you have taken a statistics course or two and will be tempted to point out in the comments that sample data collected from the W&T contributor group does not provide a sound basis for projecting the behavior of the entire United States voting pool. I agree. For that kind of a projection, go visit FiveThrityEight.com or some other reputable polling site. The purpose of this W&T internal poll is to show how a handful of relatively informed more-or-less Mormon adults have cast their votes. And, yes, to allow dozens of relatively well informed commenters to weigh in with their votes and responses in the comments.
Let me hasten to add that this W&T projection is at least based on actual date provided by actual voters. That alone makes it more reliable than many of the posts you read about the election on Facebook (which might very well have been posted by a twenty-something Russian troll living in Azerbaijan) and some of the media posts you have read (which are often long on opinion and short or even totally lacking in actual data).
The Next Three Days
Alas, November 3, 2020 will not be the end of the election. There will be late-arriving but entirely valid votes to count for several days. There will be legal challenges that could drag on for three days or three weeks. If Biden wins as projected here, there will be 78 days in which a lame duck President Trump will still control the levers of executive power. For some of us, that’s a scary thought. As recounted in some detail in the Atlantic article “The Election That Could Break America,” the legal and constitutional procedures for resolving disputed election results in various states and at the federal level are disturbingly ambiguous, particularly in a close election when neither candidate is willing to concede. Here are a few quick points to ponder.
- We won’t have a winner on election night. It is possible but not likely that a landslide result will support a suitably certain determination that one of the candidates will get 270 or more electoral votes. If that does not occur, we may see a few very ugly days in the courts, in the media, online, and even in the streets.
- Trump will never concede. It doesn’t matter what the actual voting numbers are. It doesn’t matter whether it is a close election that turns on a state or two, or a landslide. Pres. Trump will never publicly concede that he lost a fair election and will never make a concession call to Joe Biden. We’ve never had an election where the losing candidate did not, at some point, end the contest with a concession.
- Expect the unexpected. Just as Trump’s presidency has been full of surprises and this election cycle has been unusual — because of Covid if nothing else — we can confidently expect some surprises on election day and during the post-election period, and, if Biden is elected, during the transition period and during the formal exchange of office on January 20, 2021. Of the many guesses about what Trump may do if he faces a lame-duck period between now and January 20, the most probable is that he would issue a large number of presidential pardons. The most interesting possibility is that a peeved Trump might simply resign from office and let Mike Pence assume presidential duties until January 20, which isn’t really such a bad idea and might appeal to both Democrats and Republicans.
A Few Final Comments
Let’s be entirely serious here in the final paragraph. If you haven’t voted yet, get out there and vote. Wear a mask. Be patient. Don’t bring firearms. Don’t argue with other voters. Don’t let politics, including this election, cause a rift in your family. Remember that it’s only four more years until another presidential election. This too shall pass. God bless America.