Three more days until the election. I rate myself 2 to 3 on the Fauci scale. The feeling is a bit complicated, so let’s assume 2.5 + √-1. (Thanks to Karen Errichetti for thinking of this wonderful image.)
But seriously, these are my thoughts on what I’m watching at home. Read it between phone banking and canvassing.
The big unknowns are perhaps whether the buzz will continue after Election Day, or whether North Carolina and Florida will give us an early evening. Early evening seems more likely at the moment.
None of these will stop Republicans from one of their core strategies this year: prevent vote count. One big story this week was a series of court decisions that laid the groundwork for not counting ballots sent by mail after Election Day. Because of pro-Democrats mail-based votes this year, courts have begun introducing new, rather radical flows of logic. Principles known to legal scholars under names such as Purcell and Anderson / Burdick have fallen – or have been selectively cited, almost always in the way that the juror’s partisan relationship. judgments in accordance with the results. This association of partisan interests undermines the credibility of the federal courts as a place for resolution of voting rights disputes.
I think such effects can work in extremely close races. I would be surprised if they could close the gap by more than 1 percentage point. So they probably won’t make a difference in Pennsylvania. But they can make a difference in Iowa, and in key state legislative races in North Carolina and Texas. (If you have evidence that those effects are greater, please provide them in the comments.)
If North Carolina and Florida split between Biden and Trump, the final solution would come from counting votes in other states. Back in September we are Review the timetable to count ballots by mail in all 50 states. States that only started counting votes by mail on Election Day or the night before include Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. The polls did not show particularly close races in those states at this time.
What I am most closely watching, more than the President, is the Senate. Because there are so many closely contested races, there are so many possible outcomes, from 50 to 57 Democrats seats. This is because the number of votes can be up to 3 points based on previous presidential years. At the low end of that, there will be a lot of deadlock. At the high end, there is the possibility of action, including the finale of the movie. That has many consequences for the law, from economic stimulus to climate change to judicial reform.
The candidates for the Senate are pretty solid with the top spot. Above is the average current poll for the 13 states where the Senate poll amplitude is 10 points lower. In all cases, the Senate leadership matches the party of the President’s leadership. In 11 states, the Senate disparity is closer than that of the President. The exceptions are Arizona (Kelly, D) and Texas (Cornyn, R), where Senate leaders are doing better than their presidential counterpart. Maybe they were unusually strong candidates, or maybe their opponents were unusually weak.
This coattail effect explains why such great efforts are being made against Georgia. The chances of Senate candidates Jon Ossoff (D) and Raphael Warnock (D) can be closely linked with how well Democrats can give votes for the entire ticket, in particular. Joe Biden.
Of least importance to the political landscape in 2021 are the state legislatures, both in terms of local law and regional redistricting. More than 100 seats of Congress may be under bipartisan control over redistribution, depending on how legislative elections take place in our Redistricting Moneyball states. Just as Republicans had a big wave in 2010 affecting regional redistricting, Democrats could get the benefits of the wave in the other direction by 2020. Examples include states there are close Presidential or Senate races: Texas, Kansas and North Carolina. Next Tuesday, I will probably monitor those three states most closely. The consequences will last for a decade.
If you’re looking for last-minute things to do, maybe this is a good time to text and phone banking. Georgia, Texas (especially Tarrant and Harris counties), and Iowa are the primary targets. Or you can give a final bit of money to party organizations in the ActBlue and WinRed buttons in the sidebar. As I said, Tarrant and Harris Counties are quite important.