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UPDATE: No clear winner in US Election, but pollsters got the result very wrong, again

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Although there’s currently no clear winner, officially reaching the magic 270 Electoral College votes and claiming the US Presidency, there’s already plenty of losers – most with the words “poll’ in their name. US pollsters, largely, got the election result wrong, again. They’d promised to refine their models following the 2016 embarrassment but have just repeated their errors this time around.

Whoever eventually wins, and we should have a clearer guide by the end of today, the competition will end up much tighter than just about every poll predicted. That the incumbent president, with a raging pandemic and economic collapse all around him, could cobble together either a slim victory, or a near miss, is astonishing in itself. The polls were, on average, predicting a 6-8% popular vote victory to President Trump’s challenger, Joe Biden. Most of the polls were not even close.

Meanwhile, the US remains in electoral limbo at the current time as officials scramble to count the millions of votes still outstanding after Tuesday’s presidential election.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden sustained an overall Electoral College lead after being projected as the winner in key Midwestern battlegrounds Wisconsin and Michigan. President Donald Trump has vowed to take legal action in both states, as well as in Pennsylvania, where over 1 million ballots remained uncounted.

But international election monitors have come out saying there is no evidence that the US election was marked by “systematic fraud” and that allegations from President Donald Trump and others are “baseless” and without evidence. One of those organisations, The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe says they see no solid ground for any of the claims.

“To the contrary, given the extreme stress test the system was exposed to, and despite problems with resources both financially, and at least initially with the recruitment of poll workers, the American electoral process appears to have passed that stress test.”

“We feel that these allegations of systemic wrongdoing during these elections have no solid ground,” Urszula Gacek, head observer mission for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, told reporters in Washington.

The OSCE mission has 102 observers from 39 countries and has praised the work of state and local election officials, saying the national vote on Tuesday was “well-managed despite the coronavirus pandemic, a deeply partisan climate and numerous legal battles over voting rules”.

“The monitoring team will remain in the United States to observe the final counting of ballots and how legal challenges play out.”

As the situation stands right now, the road to 270 votes to win the Electoral College looks to be mathematically easier for Joe Biden than Donald Trump, although the President has been able to pull out last minute surprises throughout his political career. It is likely that some key states won’t be officially declared for a number of days although the counting in some is getting to a stage where media outlets are confidently calling some state one way or the other.

While former Vice President Joe Biden appears to have taken two crucial swing states, President Trump’s team has already demanded a recount in Wisconsin and filed lawsuit in Michigan to stop outstanding ballots from being counted.

The Fox News’ decision desk has put Biden at 264 electoral votes, meaning that any change could be critical in determining who wins the presidency. If Biden wins Nevada, where he is currently leading, the results from the other states will not affect the outcome.

Meanwhile, the Biden campaign has launched a “fight fund” designed to ensure votes are properly counted. He last spoke a few hours ago via Twitter.

“To make sure every vote is counted, we’re setting up the largest election protection effort ever assembled.”

 

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Toby Andrews

    Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 9:45 am

    The Thais will be watching with envy.
    “Look a government election”
    “The ferangs can have a government election!!!”

  2. Issan John

    Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    I doubt there’ll be much “envy”, as the US is a prime example of a supposed “democracy” that is no more democratic than Thailand.

    Two of the last five “elected” US presidents (George HW Bush and Donald Trump) lost the general election but were chosen over their rivals even though they had less votes – in 2016 Trump had 3 million less votes than Clinton but was still made president.

    … and while the US lower house (Congress) is elected democratically, on equal terms for all, the upper house (Senate) is anything but with voters in some states having over fifty times as much say / representation as voters in other states.

    The UK is little better, with the electorate having no more choice over who is to be Prime Minister than Thailand as there are no direct elections for the post, a lower house (Commons) that doesn’t remotely represent the electorate, and an upper house (Lords) where none are elected but they’re not only nominated (like Thailand’s) but there only by inheritance or because they’re leaders of the only approved state religion.

    Some countries can rightly claim to be “democratic”, but the US isn’t one of them.

    • Brian

      Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 2:09 pm

      Your comment seems to indicate you don’t get the point of the electoral college.

      • Issan John

        Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 3:51 pm

        No, I “get the point”, but it was based on how things were in the 18th century when a “general election” was an impossibility so an electoral college was the “next best thing”, as it was at least better than a vote by Congress which was the alternative.

        That’s no longer the case and hasn’t been for rather a long time, and it clearly goes contrary to how a democratic system is supposed to function, by any definition – particularly when those in the Electoral College are at liberty in a number of states to completely ignore the popular vote and to vote for whoever they want (as ten did in 2016, so not just a hypothetical and unlikely possibility).

        It simply isn’t “democratic” as the term is generally understood, however much it’s in line with the constitution (just as Thailand’s is in line with it’s latest constitution).

        • rr

          Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 5:52 pm

          No you do not get the point at all. Those who drafted the Constitution created a two-chamber compromise because they wanted the two sides to control each other. The House of Representative, as its name tells, follows a representation of the population, that is unequally distributed throughout the US. The Senate is a pool of (supposed) experts which represents equally the number of sovereign states (but DC) composing the US, regardless their population: 50 states, 100 components. The bicameral Congress is thus a compromise between those who feel each state should be equally represented, and those who feel the population too must be equally represented for each state. It worked up to now since the end of the XVIII century, so all those claims saying they are unequal seems dismissed by the history.

          • Issan John

            Friday, November 6, 2020 at 2:04 pm

            I obviously “get it” a lot better than you, rr, since Brian asked about the Electoral College, which has NOTHING to do with the two house system of government you’ve chosen to talk about instead.

            Brian asked about Section 1 of Article 2 of your constitution, but instead you’ve talked only about Article 1.

            FWIW, your claim that “the Senate is a pool of (supposed) experts” is, unfortunately, pure fantasy contradicted by the constitution you imagine you’re such an expert on – Section 3 of Article 1 is the one you need to read. In simple terms, it was “to balance the interests of small and large states”.

            As for your claim that “it worked up to now” since any claims to the contrary are “dismissed by history” that’s clearly pure nonsense.

            While it’s arguable whether “it worked up to now”, “history” hasn’t “dismissed” anything.

            All “history” seems to show, if anything, is that self-interest rules for many in the US and always has done since amending the US constitution to make it democratic would require it to be passed by two thirds of both houses and ratified by three quarters of the states, which is why it’s never got anywhere as that would require the senators and the state legislatures to think about people other than themselves, and all too evidently that’s an anathema for many Americans (but, I hasten to add, by no means all).

    • Don R

      Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 11:51 pm

      The US system is designed to countervail democracy.

      • Issan John

        Friday, November 6, 2020 at 2:09 pm

        Something it’s done very well … until recently.

  3. Manu

    Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    “The Thais will be watching with envy.” says Toby andrews…

    I hope, praise and believe that the Thais, as the rest of world, are not watching this cause basically, we do not care. Biden the puppet or Trump the clown, we do not care. Not sure why at every US elections mainstream medias all over the world have to make a big thing of it as if they were electing the president of the world. The thing is now, we do not care. Trying to make life better at our own doorstep is tough enough, we do not have any time of being interested in what’s happening over there, far away: we do not care as much as they do not care of what is happening anywhere but in their own country. Good luck to the american people.

  4. Ameila Leary

    Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 7:42 pm

    The great victory for American democracy as such, stepping back from the results, was that no significant outbreak of violence or suppression of voters occurred during the final phases of polling. The lack of civil war was perhaps a testament to the spirit of a nation that wanted to move past its recent history of hateful political, racial and religious divisions. It was curious then that Mr. Trump himself had overshadowed a relatively stable political structure in the world’s oldest democracy.

    • Issan John

      Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 3:49 pm

      If a “lack of a civil war” is a “great victory for American democracy”, I’d suggest you must be easily pleased.

      …. and, sorry, but the US is short of being the “world’s oldest democracy” by over two thousand years.

  5. Ameila Leary

    Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    The great victory for American democracy as such, stepping back from the results, was that no significant outbreak of violence or suppression of voters occurred during the final phases of polling. The lack of civil war was perhaps a testament to the spirit of a nation that wanted to move past its recent history of hateful political, racial and religious divisions. It was curious then that Mr.Trump himself had overshadowed a relatively stable political structure in the world’s oldest democracy.

  6. Paul Revere

    Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    Issan John also fails to grasp that America is a constitutional federal republic.

    • Issan John

      Friday, November 6, 2020 at 2:07 pm

      What makes you think that?

      Do tell … 🙂

  7. Don R

    Friday, November 6, 2020 at 12:03 am

    How could the experts be so wrong?

    Actually, if you look back on recent history, it’s clear that group think dominates among experts, from Iraq WMD to marijuana prohibition.

    A better question is, What else are the experts wrong about?

    • Issan John

      Friday, November 6, 2020 at 2:12 pm

      I don’t recall any experts being wrong about Iraq WMD. Not one.

      Do tell … 🙂

      • Don R

        Friday, November 6, 2020 at 3:03 pm

        I’m not even sure what you’re asking. Is this a joke? Playing semantics?

        Many experts said they had WMD, the media almost exclusively went along with this narrative. Aside from a few rusty mustard gas canisters, they found none.

        No one was fired in the media, the politicians who voted for the war continue to get reelected, and now the US is on the cusp or electing a president who voted for the war.

        They’re wrong about COVID too.

        • Issan John

          Friday, November 6, 2020 at 5:29 pm

          It’s actually an excellent analogy.

          Back then the experts knew what the threat was (or wasn’t) and told the Clowns in Chief who first ignored them because it didn’t suit their agendas, and then cherry-picked what they wanted to hear and pass on.

          … and what a stuff up that was …

          Now, the experts again know what the threat is and they’ve told the Clowns in Chief, who’ve first ignored them because it doesn’t suit their agendas,then cherry-picked what they want to hear and pass on.

          … and what a stuff up this is …

  8. bullshiter

    Friday, November 6, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    All American crap the only country in the world where your past doesn’t matter, just let your personal die like bengahzi.all just one big load of bullshit

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