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  • Sofia Manouki

U.S. election 2020 - commentary

Updated: Nov 13, 2020

🇺🇸 U.S. to have two Presidents 🇺🇸

As the rest of us are taking a crash course in U.S. geography & politics by watching Fox and CNN news anchors boop states and raising the view count of YouTube videos with fancy infographics that explain what the electoral college is, Americans are anxiously waiting for the septuagenarian with the suspicious-looking teeth or the one with the suspicious-looking hair to undeclare victory.


[Wed, 16:59, GMT+1]

Swing States (results): Florida, Ohio, Arizona. Significant lead for Trump in Pennsylvania.


💰Trumpism, or money listens💰


In 2016, Trump got elected because amidst political establishment sneers and media jeers, he managed to cultivate the image of an anti-elite tycoon who gets things done not only because (his) money talks, but because he is (a) money(maker) that listens to the disenfranchised white voter.


In 2020, the anti-Trump (inoffensive, uncontroversial, but lacking in star power) candidate, who happens to be Joe Biden, made the covid-19 pandemic a focal point of his campaign. However, as Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania are still counting votes and no winner has been declared yet, it has become apparent that neither the pandemic, nor the BLM-/ police brutality-related protests outweighed fears of economic collapse in the American (un)conscious, which hasn’t forgotten the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath.


In between getting partially censored by Twitter and further boosting his relatability by actually catching the coronavirus but quickly getting well and continuing his campaign with renewed strength (a fitting comeback arc for someone who likes playing up his outsider status), Trump is still in tune with the zeitgeist. He was right to take advantage of Biden’s miscalculated prioritization of public health concerns over economic ones, by emphasizing how many jobs have been lost by lockdowns, in his campaign; As paths to victory are still open for both candidates despite grossly misleading Biden-favoring polls, Americans seem to have received the message, loud and clear: the moneymaker is still listening.


Now, the whole world’s looking on uncomfortably, as the U.S. election saga indicates that, far from shying away from it, Americans are embracing plutocracy more and more.


[Wed, 21:38, GMT+1]

Battleground States (leads): Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Alaska. Biden won Wisconsin, which is the second state after Arizona to be flipped from Republican to Democrat.

❄️Nevada fun facts🏜️


Nevada gets its name from the first Europeans to explore the region. They were Spanish and named it snowy (=nevada) because the snow-covered mountaintops during winter reminded them of the Sierra Nevada in Andalucia, Spain.


Nevada is full of gold and silver (there's literally a canyon called "El Dorado" there)! Because of the desert conditions and climate, silver formed on the surface and could be shoveled off the ground. Back in the Nevada Silver Rush (which began in 1858) prospectors swarmed into the land and picked entire silver beds clean. Nevada, also known as the "Silver State", is currently the second largest producer of silver (after Alaska) in the U.S., and, if it were a country, it would have been number six on the list of top gold-producing countries in the world.


Nevada has a lot of hotel rooms too: one for every 14 residents, by far the most per capita in the U.S. This makes sense since its largest city is Las Vegas (the capital is Carson City though).


Also,

Biden won Michigan and is leading the electoral tally with 264 votes (270 to win).


Now Trump needs to win Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, and Nevada. He has a lead everywhere except for Nevada where votes left to count are at 25% and the current margin is +7647 in favor of Biden. Nevada has 6 electoral votes.


[Wed, 00:16, GMT+1]



🇺🇸Thursday, day two of the U.S. election🇺🇸



(🐴) -The election will end when it ends!


(🐘) -The election will end while we're ahead in the vote count!












Kanye





[Thurs, 18:37, GMT+1]


🔮Astrological charts, tarot cards, opinion polls, and… election results?🔮


Regardless of who the winner actually is, there’s, perhaps, a certain aesthetic satisfaction in watching state after state get colored in the U.S. map: a picture emerges and we can all start making calculations about the remaining states where a winner hasn’t been “called”. Nevertheless, and setting aside The Immensely Disappointing Inaccuracy of Opinion Polls -the sequel, it has now become apparent that media outlets are reporting different U.S. election results.


The fine print, is that the call about who won which state takes place before the vote counting has finished there. Normally, this shouldn’t be an issue. Media organizations are using reliable statistical wizardries to come up with which candidate still has a path to victory, and which one doesn’t. In states where the margin is too small, networks don’t call election results until there’s more data.


And then… Arizona. For the current electoral vote count for Biden (264), I have used the Associated Press news agency -which has called AZ and its 11 electoral votes for the Democratic nominee-, as my source. That being said, I did wonder if it was too soon to call a state with 80% of the expected vote counted, even if Biden was ahead by 5 percentage points.


According to the AP:

“The AP called the race at 2:50am EST Wednesday, after an analysis of ballots cast statewide concluded there were not enough outstanding to allow Trump to catch up. With 80% of the expected vote counted, Biden was ahead by 5 percentage points, with a roughly 130,000-vote lead over Trump, with about 2.6m ballots counted. The remaining ballots left to be counted, including mail-in votes in Maricopa county, where Biden performed strongly, were not enough for Trump to catch up to the former vice-president”.


Now, however, there is a less than three percentage points Biden lead for 88% of the votes counted, in AZ.


Interestingly enough, Fox News has also called Arizona for Biden, a decision which prompted a direct call to Fox’s owner, Rupert Murdoch, from Trump's team.


[Thurs, 22:24, GMT+1]


🇺🇸Friday, day three of the U.S. election🇺🇸



Arizona, aka the Grand Canyon State, update

  • Biden has a 1.6 percentage point lead over Trump (about 46,250 votes).

  • "Sharpiegate" in Maripoca County where a lawsuit was filed against county officials, alleging sharpies were purposefully given to Republican voters to mark their ballots, in order to bleed through the paper and make the ballots unreadable, invalidating them. Democratic secretary of state said ballots would be counted regardless. Maripoca County's Elections Department tweeted that sharpies were being used in vote centers because the ink doesn't smudge, and that the "bleeding" won't impact the vote.

  • According to AP, Maripoca County accounts for 60% of the state's vote and Biden has a 3.4 percentage points lead there.






[Fri, 9:50, GMT+1]


Whereas Biden won the popular vote with a 4m votes margin by securing solid turnout in urban centers, Trump gained votes in rural counties. This situation hints at the widening political polarisation between people who live in cities & suburbs, and those who live in rural areas.


Pennsylvania, Nevada, the presidency, first woman of color to be a U.S. vice president


[Sat]

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