American Hangover (Day Two)

7:30 am Pacific Time Thursday

That blue-shift phenomenon started to take hold yesterday. After clearing their avalanche of mail-in ballots, Wisconsin and Michigan were projected for Biden. The result in Wisconsin was almost as close as it was in 2016, but in the Democrat’s favor this time. Michigan turned more decisively; Biden won by nearly 3%.

With Wisconsin’s ten electoral votes and Michigan’s 16 added to his total, Biden now leads the Electoral College, 253–214. He needs 17 more to win.

Some media are reporting Biden’s total at 264. They’re including Arizona. But if you remember yesterday (does anyone?), Edison Research made a mistake and a lot more ballots were uncounted than thought. Arizona is anomalous in that its mail-in voters are not predominantly Democratic, and therefore Biden-leaning, but more representative of the state population, which is heavy on independents and Republicans. So it appears that as the unprocessed ballots have been counted, there’s been a red shift. Arizona’s vote counters have been mum, but the early projection for Biden — first called by Fox News, in another of the unamusing ironies that is life in 2020 —may prove incorrect.

In Nevada, all remaining ballots are mail-ins, which unlike in neighboring Arizona have been trending blue, so Biden is likely to retain and even augment his narrow (.6%) lead. We should know more in a couple of hours.

Trump continues to lead in North Carolina and Georgia. The former appears safely his, but as the votes from Atlanta and its moderate suburbs trickle in, Biden has been gaining in the latter. The question is whether enough of those votes remain to boost Biden over Trump. We should know today.

And, finally, Pennsylvania, fast becoming the lawsuit capital of the universe. As more mail-in ballots from Philadelphia get counted, the news gets better for Biden. They’re consistent with Philadelphia’s 2016 voting pattern — roughly 80% for the Democrat — and they number in the hundreds of thousands, so, as with Georgia, the question is whether there’s enough volume to get Biden past the election day lead Trump established. It’s unlikely we’ll get an answer to that question until tomorrow at the earliest.

We’re starting to see protests. On the Biden side, Protect the Results has not activated, so the organizing force, to the degree there is one and I can perceive it, is Refuse Fascism, an offshoot of the Revolutionary Communist Party — not my favorite people, but in my experience non-violent. On the Trump side, it’s hard to know who, if anyone, is organizing the protests, but targets have included Fox News (for calling Arizona early), Arizona registrars of voters (who they demand should keep counting), and Michigan registrars of voters (who they demand should stop counting). Last night the vandals and looters did their thing in Portland (where else?) and New York City, but I haven’t heard any reports of bodily injury.

We’ll see how the activists react once the race is called. In the meantime, most Americans seem to have gone back to their routines, and I suspect they’ll persist in unruffled behavior regardless of who is named the winner. Hung over? Take the cure that works for you and carry on.

Las Vegas Airport, 2018.

Former Risk Manager at UC Berkeley, author of four books, ectomorphic introvert.