Monday, October 12, 2020

Don't Panic! We will know on Nov. 4


Don't Panic!  

Two Good Reasons Why We May Know Right Away


1) In 2016, 16 states received over 50% of their votes by mail, early voting or absentee ballots. They are highlighted in green in this article. Every one of them had results available on election night in 2016 to call the election accurately for Trump - well before 11:00 p.m. EST, even though the election was close. This year should be no different.

2) 19 States have rules allowing for early processing of mail in ballots.  They should be in good position to report their results soon after the polls close. 4 crucial “toss-up” states are on that list: Arizona (11), Florida (29), North Carolina (16), and Ohio (18),

As a result, it is safe to say that 25 states have rules and/or experience to make early results a reasonable expectation. Of the other 25 states/D.C., 22 are not competitive and can be easily predicted. Only 3 states are both inexperienced at large scale mail in, and also have rules that delay their ability to count on election day: PA, WI, and IA.

Conclusion: DON'T PANIC! We should have results or excellent predictions from 47 states & Washington D.C. on Election Night. The process of counting will continue for a week, and state certifications will be delayed by lawsuits and recounts. But we WILL know who won the election by the morning of Wednesday, November 4, 2020, even if the courts, politicians and media drag out the story. Remember "Sore Loserman?" This will be no different... although... there is ONE election night scenario which will lead to a delay...

What Will We Know on Election Night?

Based on the chart, below...


A) Electoral Votes from Non Competitive Contests with Results Expected on Election Night:


Biden        129

Trump        117


B) Total of Electoral Votes "known" on Election Night, including Results from Non Competitive Contests that will come after Election Night:


Biden         249

Trump        164


THE POINT: We will "know" on Election Night that Biden needs 21 of the remaining 107 "toss-up" electors to win the election, otherwise it is Trump's victory. So let's look at that.


B) Of the 107 electors from "toss-up" states, 4 can process votes before election day: Arizona (11), Florida (29), Ohio (18) and North Carolina (16).  3 of those have extensive past experience with mail in voting. These states will be in position to deliver preliminary numbers pretty quickly, though the losing party will surely demand recounts and begin lawsuits.


THE POINT:  If Biden can win Florida OR any 2 of those 4 states, he will win the election. We will know if that is the case ON ELECTION NIGHT, NOVEMBER 3, 2020.  However, it is entirely possible that Biden fails to win AZ, FL, OH or NC.  That is the one case scenario....


C)  Should Trump win AZ, FL, OH and NC - all of which we should know on election night - then Georgia (16), Iowa (6), Pennsylvania (20) and Wisconsin (10) are the only "toss ups" left and 3 of them are among the likely last reporters of their results:


Biden     249        Needs 21 = Any 2 except WI+IA.

Trump    237        Needs 33 = Any 3, or PA + GA.


D)  Unfortunately, PA and WI are both "late night counters" for mail in ballots, and Iowa only needs a postmark of election day.  If Georgia comes in with a result for Trump (253), and Wisconsin for Biden (259), as are very possible, the fight will center on Pennsylvania (20), as Iowa (6) will be insufficient by itself for either candidate to reach the 270 needed to win. [10/20 see below* for update]


E) Final analysisWe will know on election night if Trump has won AZ, FL, OH, GA and NC, and therefore remained viable for the election.  If he does, then we will probably have to wait for PA's 20 electors to decided the contest.  If he loses any of those, it is Biden's victory.  


And regarding Pennsylvania: of the 74 polls listed on 270towin.com since January 1, only 3 have gone for Trump and none since July 22.  While this may be enough to blow a gasket, and sounds hauntingly familiar to 2016, it would seem that Joe Biden will come through eventually in this worst case scenario.


Mail in Voting Time Line by State

Green = more than 50% mail in/early voting in 2016.

State

Rec’d By

Begin Counting

# days to count

Finish Date

# Electors

likely winner

Arizona, Florida

Nov 3

14+ Prior


Election Night

11, 29

?

Colorado, Conn., Hawaii, Mass., Minnesota, New Mexico

Nov 3

14+ Prior


Election Night

9, 7, 4, 11, 10, 5

Biden

Kansas, Utah

postmark

14+ Prior


Nov 6

6, 6

Trump

N. Carolina, Ohio

postmark

14+ Prior


Nov 6

15, 18

?

Delaware, Oregon

Nov 3

1-7 Prior


Election Night

3, 7

Biden

Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina

Nov 3

1-7 Prior


Election Night

8, 5, 7, 9

Trump

California

postmark

1-7 Prior


Nov 6

55

Biden

Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Tennessee, Wyoming

Nov 3

Nov 3 a.m.


Election Night

6, 11, 8, 10, 3, 11, 3

Trump

Michigan, Vermont

Nov 3

Nov 3 a.m.


Election Night

16, 3

Biden

Georgia, Pennsylvania,* Wisconsin

Nov 3

Nov 3 a.m.


 Election Night

16, 20, 10

?

Texas, West Virginia,

Postmark

Nov 3 a.m.


Nov 6

38, 5

Trump

D.C., New Jersey, Virginia

Postmark

Nov 3 a.m.


Nov 6

3, 14, 13

Biden

Iowa,

Postmark

Nov 3 a.m.


Nov 6

6,

?

Alabama, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota

Nov 3

Nov 3 p.m.


Nov 6

9, 4, 3, 3

Trump

Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Nevada

Nov 3

Nov 3 p.m.


Nov 6

4, 4, 4, 6

Biden

Alaska, Mississippi

postmark

Nov 3 p.m.


Nov 6

3, 6

Trump

Illinois, New York, Washington

postmark

Nov 3 p.m.


Nov 6

20, 29, 12

Biden

Maryland

Nov 3

Nov 4 a.m.


Nov 8

10

Biden


[*UPDATE 10/20/2020: US Supreme Court, by a 4-4 tie, leaves a lower court ruling in place allowing PA to follow "postmarks" rather than the "received by" date of Nov. 3.  With a new Justice joining the court, this will absolutely be a subject of review after the election, seriously slowing down a PA result].

-----------------------------


Postscripts and Questions.


Q: How Does Mail In Voting Swing the Vote?


Joe Biden holds a 44 point advantage among those planing of voting by mail, and Donald Trump holds a 32 point advantage on those planing to vote in person.  In part this is due to the fact that some major Democratic strongholds, such as California and New Jersey (along with Vermont, Nevada, Washington D.C., Hawaii, Colorado, Utah, Washington and Oregon) are holding 100% mail in elections this year.  Nevertheless, the campaigns have been pushing their respective voters differently on this topic, so in the swing states it may be voter “turnout” (Mail/In Person) that will determine the winner.


Q: Is Mail in Voting New?


Contrary to popular belief, every state has mail in and in person voting this year. According to the NY Times, 75% of registered voters are eligible for mail in ballots, upon request, nationwide. Roughly, 50

+ million people are expected to vote early or by mail, or 40+ % of all ballots this year.


Q: “When will we absolutely positively know for sure?” 


The short answer is Tuesday, December 8. After Bush/Gore in 2000, the election was contested into December because Florida’s results were in the courts.  Due to Constitutional restraints, all states must report their electors in time for them to meet on the second Wednesday in December (December 9, 2020).  All court cases will have to be resolved by that constitutional deadline. The Supreme Court's ruling in Bush v. Gore was in part forced upon them due to that time constraint, leaving the state-certified result as final regardless of any underlying irregularities or unresolved legal issues. There is NO redress possible beyond that date.