American Hangover (Day Three)

7:50 am Pacific Time Friday

The Electoral College count is the same as it was 24 hours ago. BUT . . .

Early this morning, Biden took the lead in Pennsylvania and Georgia.

They aren’t big leads. In Pennsylvania, Biden is ahead by less than seven thousand out of some 6.6 million votes counted. FiveThirtyEight estimates another 130,000 mail-in ballots remain. If those break in the same proportion as the mail-in ballots that have already been counted, Biden’s lead should grow big enough that a statewide recount wouldn’t change the winner. In Georgia, Biden now leads by little more than a thousand votes out of some 4.9 million counted. There aren’t many more to count, so a recount is not only likely, but warranted.

If Biden wins Pennsylvania, he’ll have enough electoral votes to claim the presidency. If he loses Pennsylvania but wins Georgia and Nevada, where his shaky 12,000-vote lead is holding, that will also get him beyond the magic number of 270.

Arizona shows a roughly 50,000-vote lead for Biden, but Maricopa County (Phoenix) alone has over 200,000 mail-in ballots left to count, and as noted yesterday, the mail-ins aren’t necessarily Democratic-leaning in that state, so it’s no sure thing Biden will win there. But that’s another eleven electoral votes he has a real chance at.

In a best-case scenario, where Biden wins Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, and Arizona — entirely plausible at this point — he’ll tally 306 electoral votes to go along with the 4+ million lead he has in the national popular vote.

As confidence grows that Biden will emerge the undisputed popular choice and Electoral College winner, and especially in light of yesterday’s egregious White House whine-fest from Trump, pundits are beginning to ruminate on an ugly fact best articulated by Tom Nichols, a conservative and author of The Death of Expertise: “Nearly half of the voters have seen Trump in all of his splendor — his infantile tirades, his disastrous and lethal policies, his contempt for democracy in all its forms — and they decided that they wanted more of it.”

Why?

Rachel Bitecofer, champion of the Negative Partisanship theory (and whose prediction of another Democratic wave election didn’t come to pass) provided an answer in a Wednesday tweetstorm. She thinks the Biden campaign erred by courting working class whites rather than mobilizing the Democratic base even more than it did. [I’ve substantially edited the following, as the tweetstorm was obviously composed in haste; the original can be found here.]

Now, I don’t know if it’s just that I’m one of the few academics who come from the real, unpolished, bottom 50% world, the one where men have 3 kids from 3 different women and get angry when one of the women is reticent to let them visit their kid when they get out jail. AGAIN. In THAT working class, sexism, racism, xenophobia, and bigotry run rampant: and not only are these “isms” prevalent, there is a belief that they shouldn’t have had to be buried, that the old days were far superior because they could just call someone a fag or slap their female co-worker on the ass if they were in the mood. There was a hierarchy, and they were at the top of it. Everything else might be a shit sandwich, their job, their house, their marriage, their debt, but that hierarchy and their place at the top of it, that shit was SOLID. And now it’s gone. And do you know who took it? The Democrats.

She thinks Stacey Abrams and Andrew Yang should be running the Democratic Party. I’d be perfectly okay with that.

Hugo Gellert, The Fifth Column, 1943.