Election Day: 2020

Voting in Line

 

Well, it’s Election Day. There have been millions of votes cast early, millions will vote today, and we will likely be counting mailed in votes for days to come as they arrive. Brad is out today due to a death in the family. I asked if he wanted me to put up a post for him on election day, and he indicated he did.

Here’s your chance to make predictions for what happens or generally comment on the election. Today, we are one people, one country. America is a special place. If you go to a polling place, you are likely to see a candidate for office in the parking lot outside asking for your vote. That’s a good thing. It’s still good to see candidates asking for our votes.

No matter what happens, I am hopeful for America.

72 thoughts on “Election Day: 2020

  1. Tim

    Does it matter? If it’s anything than a prediction of a [Biden]* win it won’t be approved.

    My prediction, Trump with 300+ electoral votes.

    *edited for inappropriate language by Bryan Caskey

    Reply
  2. James Edward Cross

    I voted in Anderson about 10:30am, No long lines, 2-3 people already voting when I got there and 3-4 arrived as I was leaving. Took about 10 minutes all told.

    As for hope, where there’s life, there’s hope. But I m not optimistic because I believe, whatever the outcome, the damage has already been done.

    Now I am going to continue my day of avoiding all elections results coverage.

    Reply
  3. Pseudo Doug Ross

    Democrats in SC got crushed.

    Harrison wasted $100 million dollars to get trounced. The worst campaign in SC history.
    Vincent Sheheen got beat.
    Mandy Powers Norrell lost badly.
    Cunningham lost his Congress seat after one term.
    Harpootlian lost.

    And yet the “leaders” of the SC Democratic Party will remain the same and attempt to put some spin on their incompetence. The only winners for Democrats were the consultants who got paid big bucks to dupe Harrison into spending millions on incessant tv ads and a brain dead strategy to try and trick conservative voters into voting for a guy who dropped out of the race a month ago.

    Reply
    1. Pseudo Doug Ross

      Continuing my cheat day:

      If Democrats ever want to win a Senate or Governor race, they have to stop using the same playbook for every single race. We get it. You’re for public education. Nobody cares since you have no tangible platform on that topic except “spend more money on failing schools”.

      Why not pick some issues that could actually drive crossover voters or increase turnout? You’re never going to get the far right / conservative Christian crowd. Here’s a platform that COULD win:

      1. Legalize marijuana — it’s not controversial any more
      2. Legalize sports betting, casinos, and horse racetracks
      3. Fix the tax system. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Flat income tax without all the loopholes. Sales tax with very, very few exceptions.

      After all the millions Harrison spent, I still have no idea what he stood for other than being “not Lindsey”. I voted for him early but regretted it when I saw what he did with the Bledsoe commercials. That showed desperation and proved he was just like most politicians – willing to lie and cheat to win.

      Reply
      1. Pseudo Doug Ross

        Harrison spent more than $100 million to increase the Democratic % from 39% in 2014 with Brad Hutto to 43% in 2020. $25 million per percentage point. Another $175 million and he might have been able to win.

        Reply
    2. Bryan Caskey Post author

      I think you’re looking at flawed (early) numbers on Dick Harpootlian’s race against Dunn. The official SCVotes.gov site has Dick Harpootlian up by about a little more than a thousand votes with 100% of the precincts reporting.

      Richland County was really screwed up this morning with their reporting totals.

      Reply
      1. Pseudo Doug Ross

        Ah, I was looking at around 530 am and assumed they were correct. I’ll stick with my assessment that Democrats got trounced.

        Reply
    1. Pseudo Doug Ross

      Not to the people in the middle. Taxes are most important. And getting an issue that would energize those voters is the only way Democrats can win here. Jim Hodges only won because of the lottery.

      Reply
  4. Mark Stewart

    America has a white race anxiety problem. And underlying that is the problem that white supremacy is moral rot.

    Reply
    1. Pseudo Doug Ross

      Please explain Trump doing better in all non white demographics than in 2016 and better than Romney in 2012. More white people apparently are bothered by phantom white supremacists than people of color.

      Reply
    2. Bryan Caskey Post author

      “America has a white race anxiety problem.”

      “Anxiety”? I’m not following. What are you trying to say?

      Reply
      1. Mark Stewart

        Far too many people have been sucked into the anxiety train Harry Dent and then Lee Atwater perfected; white supremacy tarted up as Republican talking points. We saw it all on full display this election. But it’s subtle now, plausibly deniable. Except, it isn’t.

        No one calls out the moral rot this continues to perpetuate; in fact, religion is complicit as well. It’s a really messed up situation. It is tearing at out country’s foundations now, like a metastatic cancer.

        Reply
        1. Bryan Caskey Post author

          The forces of racism and nativism have always ebbed and flowed throughout the history of the United States. We’ve seen it in the 1760s, the 1860s, the 1960s, and now again in 2020s. We do best as America when we have leaders who tamp down on these forces rather than fan the flames. We, as a country, are best when we enlarge the group of people contemplated by Thomas Jefferson’s sentiment of “all men are created equal”.

          Over the long course of history, we have expanded that idea to encompass first women, then African-Americans. We are on the right trajectory in the long run. There will always be people who want to blame others for their lot in life, and while there are peaks and valleys, I am optimistic in the idea of America for everyone.

          Reply
          1. Randle

            Fourteenth Amendment came before Nineteenth.
            I don’t think racism ebbed in many places for more than a nanosecond; certainly not in the South, where it is a steady undercurrent, always ready to break through at the slightest provocation. To someone not from here, its prevalence never ceases to disgust.
            But I agree, all it takes is a nod from the head honcho to make itself known.

            Reply
            1. Bryan Caskey Post author

              Yes, in voting you’re correct. I was thinking women’s right to vote, and then the Civil Rights movement later – not voting.

              As to our darker impulses ebbing and flowing, they certainly have. There have been times of greater strife and open racism than others, and I certainly hope you don’t believe the overall trend has been anything other than positive. If you don’t want to see anything good, no one can make you.

              Reply
              1. Bob Amundson

                A do believe dawn approaches, but our neighborhoods and schools have become more segregated in the past 40 years.

                Reply
                1. Bryan Caskey Post author

                  Well, public schools take kids from the surrounding neighborhoods, right?. So the school’s student body is really a function of the neighborhood then, right?

                  And you’re saying that our neighborhoods are more segregated in 2020 than in 1980? Ok. First, do you have evidence to support this, or is this just a feeling?

                  Second, let’s assume for the sake of argument that your proposition is correct. How did this occur? Is it based on the free choice of people to move and live where they chose to? What forces beyond their control acted in opposition to their choice? If it’s true that we have forces acting against people’s free will to live in certain areas, what can we do to mitigate these forces?

                  To try and solve a problem, you have to clearly identify it before you can begin to fashion a solution.

              2. Ken

                “Ebbed and flowed…” Ups and downs.
                This is how white folk talk who have at most a rudimentary appreciation of the history of race in America and who would prefer to brush as lightly past it as possible. It’s one of the reasons for our never-ending inability to deal with this history and the problems it continues to create.

                Reply
                1. Bryan Caskey Post author

                  We can’t talk about how things have been bad before, and how we have overcome them? That’s the story of America.

                  But that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.

                2. Ken

                  Spend, say, the next two years reading, listening and studying the history of race in America. After that, maybe we can talk.

                3. Bryan Caskey Post author

                  Sure. I enjoy reading and learning about history. Do you have any recommendations of books that helped inform your thoughts?

                4. Bryan Caskey Post author

                  I recently finished a new (2016) biography on Francis Marion. Since there hadn’t been a solid biography on him in decades, I was excited. Marion was an interesting guy. He was the same age as George Washington for context, and he came from a similarly privileged background. While we all know that George Washington freed all his slaves in his will, Marion didn’t do that. Marion freed some of his slaves in his will, but not others. For the slaves he freed, he was extremely generous, endowing them with a pension to provide for them during the rest of their lives. To me, it seemed that he freed the slaves he got to know on a personal basis, working with closely through his life.

                5. James Edward Cross

                  There are a large number of books on African American history you could read, but here are a couple of broad surveys to start you off: _From Slavery to Freedom_ (9th ed., 2010) by John Hope Franklin and Evelyn Higginbotham and _To Male Our World Anew_ edited by Robin Kelly and Earl Lewis. A recent award-winning book on racism in America is _Stamped From the Beginning_ by Ibram X. Kendi.

                  Or if you would like to go micro and look at say, a different view of the Wild West your could read _The Black West_ (revised ed., 2019) by William Katz and the classic _The Buffalo Soldiers_ (revised ed., 2003) by William H. Leckie.

                6. James Edward Cross

                  A kind of pendant to Ken’s suggestion would be _Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II_ by Douglas A. Blackmon. Won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in Non-Fiction.

                7. Ken

                  And to bring it back home:

                  Peter Wood: Black Majority – Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 to the Stono Rebellion

                  Peggy Lamson: The Glorious Failure – Black Congressman Robert Brown Elliot and the Reconstruction in South Carolina

                  And my favorite on the white side of the story of integration:
                  Jason Sokol’s There Goes My Everything – White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, 1945 – 1975

                8. Bryan Caskey Post author

                  I’ll check them out. Always happy to learn from our history. Been mostly reading biographies, so some broader themes would be a change of pace.

                9. Ken

                  Add some James Baldwin essays, too. Here’s a sliver from his “Report from Occupied Territory,” about police bias and brutality against Blacks:

                  “The police are simply the hired enemies of this population. They are present to keep the Negro in his place and to protect white business interests, and they have no other function. They are, moreover – even in a country which makes the very grave error of equating ignorance with simplicity – quite stunningly ignorant; and, since they know that they are hated, they are always afraid. One cannot possibly arrive at a more sure-fire formula for cruelty.
                  This is why those pious calls to ‘respect the law,’ always to be heard from prominent citizens each time the ghetto explodes, are so obscene. The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer. To respect the law, in the context in which the American Negro finds himself, is simply to surrender his self-respect.”

                  This is from 1966, but reads as if it could’ve been written yesterday.

                  In any case, it’s going to take more than reading a few history books to gain a proper education in these matters. It has to include Black literature, music, film – AND knowing some real, live Black folk.

              3. Randle

                No need to be snippy. It undercuts whatever point you are trying to make.
                I am just observing that racism has been an enduring part of our society since the get-go. Yes, things are improving. No more enslavement, fewer racists and more opportunity. But racism remains a potent and destructive force, seen and unseen. Ask your black friends what they think. They might tell you.

                Reply
              4. Bob Amundson

                Bryan, this is a conversation not suited for a blog; it’s too complex. I appreciate your observation of ebbing and flowing, but how long can a society accept the slow pace of flowing when the starting point of the flow is so low (slavery)? Also, as income for both races has flowed upward, white income has flowed faster than non-white income (see “The Economic Impact of Closing the Racial Wealth Gap,” a 2019 study by McKinsey & Company). Raj Chetty is a Harvard Economist that heads Opportunity Insights, a project that uses “big data” sets to study mobility; upward mobility is not consistent between races and location.

                Implicit bias is very hard to measure, but I believe that natural biases humans are hard wired to have (including tribalism) are a very real problem. POTUS, in a debate, stated, “I am the least racist person in the room.” A few days later, son-in-law Jared Kushner said “The thing we’ve seen in the Black community, which is mostly Democrat, is that President Trump’s policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they’re complaining about, but he can’t want them to be successful more than they want to be successful.”

                IMHO, systemic racism is a very serious problem in our country, and there are many other measures that suggest my beliefs are indeed true. You will never need to have “the conversation” with your son that a non-white parent must have.

                Reply
                1. Barry

                  Taken from a young man who lives in South Carolina and has adopted several children that are minorities, speaking About trump

                  “ It started with birtherism, then he announced his campaign by calling Hispanics rapists and murderers, then it was the caravan, then it was using 1960’s language to say black people were going to invade white neighborhoods.

                  His language is heard very clearly by two groups: Minorities who have to deal with the aftermath. Racists who revel in him speaking their language.”

            1. Ken

              As far as I’m concerned, the election showed that the judgment of approx. 48% of Americans cannot be trusted when it comes to electoral politics.

              My rule:
              Vote for him once shows a lapse in judgment.
              Vote for him twice shows a lack of judgment.

              Reply
  5. Ken

    Welcome back to November 2000.
    Might not turn out to be a perfect match. But the incumbent will do everything in his power to make it seem like it is. He and an army of lawyers and spinners.

    Reply
    1. Bryan Caskey Post author

      There will certainly be some scrutiny where it’s close. Nothing wrong with some close examination, right? Also, We lawyers gotta pay our bills somehow, right? :)

      Reply
      1. Ken

        Did you miss the part about Nov. 2000 redux?
        There’s always scrutiny when it’s close.
        There’s scrutiny when it’s NOT close. That’s what adjudicators are for.

        Reply
        1. Ken

          I’m saying that what the Trumpists are up to is something different.
          Let’s not be naive and call them men of goodwill seeking to ensure that democracy is well served.

          And as for lawyers making their way in the world: many would do well to find a more productive use of whatever talents they may possess.

          Reply
    2. Tim

      And rightfully so. Did anyone expect this election to turn out any different the way it did? I saw this process as a cluster-f from day one. Who thought it was a good idea to drag out voting for weeks rather than the traditional election day? Why does each state get to set their own rules for a federal election?

      Just the rumors I’m hearing and reading are that people who lived in different states are reporting that ballots were sent to their old addresses, people who didn’t request mail in ballots received them, talk of postal workers hand stamping and back dating mail in ballots, poll workers supposedly being sent home but never leaving the building overnight, post master general requiring postal workers to sweep the buildings and vehicles for ballots which went ignored, etc. Then throw in things like I believe it’s in Pennsylvania where ballots would be allowed to be returned and counted for up to a week after the election deadline. Regardless of how this turns out, there will be lawsuits, the losing side will never trust the results, talk of corruption and fixing the election. Go back to one day election day and only the military getting mail in voting. If you can’t physically make it in to vote and aren’t in the military, too bad it’s not like this date suddenly popped up, make it a national holiday so people can come in to vote and open the polls for 24 hours. If they run the 2024 election like they did the 2020 election we’re going to see a repeat of what we’re seeing this week. Nobody cares about the mid-term elections.

      Why does it take days to count mail in ballots? If it’s manpower, bring in more people. Do the people who set this up really think that 20-25 people are going to count a million ballots? No going home for rest, you bring in a second or third shift. With high speed scanners that can process thousands of sheets per hour there’s very little need for people to touch any ballots.

      This country is broken, this election process did nothing to help that, and likely made things worse. At this point is there any adult citizen who trusts the government or any Republican who doesn’t believe that this election was fixed from day one? Democrats will be satisfied because in the end Biden will be named the winner of the election, had the shoe been on the other foot they would be the ones screaming about this process.

      Reply
      1. Bryan Caskey Post author

        “Why does each state get to set their own rules for a federal election?”

        “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress…”

        Each state gets to control how its elections are run. Heck, I think a state could decide to select Presidential electors by pulling names out of a hat if it wanted. :)

        Reply
      2. bud

        Sorry Tim but everything you just said is crap. The biggest problem with this election BY FAR was voter suppression. Republicans all across the country did their best to keep Democrat leaning voters from voting. Absent that Biden wins big, very big. Biden will likely win 80 million votes. So this time the people spoke loud and clear. Trump has been fired!!

        Reply
          1. Barry

            True but plenty of conservatives are arguing for tossing many votes out based on their silly assumptions that they were illegal.

            Reply
  6. bud

    It’s not over yet. AZ has not been declared by everyone yet and it’s getting close. Biden is expanding his lead in MI but it’s still not official. My biggest concern is NV. Weirdly their vote counters took the day off! WTF! PA and GA are very close. Trump has one path – win PA GA NC and stage a comeback in NV.

    Reply
    1. Bryan Caskey Post author

      I don’t think there is enough juice left to squeeze in AZ or NV for the President to come back.

      Reply
    2. Randle

      Arizona is going to release about 400,000 votes in batches. Just released the first batch of 75,000. Leans Trump and reduced Biden’s lead by about 10,000. Some question about whether all of the ballots will be along those lines and erase Biden’s lead. Next batch due at around 12:30 am.

      Reply
  7. Barry

    From Nate Silver at 9:38pm

    Biden has won the last 600k ballots counted in Pennsylvania by 40 points, which is much bigger than the 22-point margin he needs the rest of the way out.

    Reply
  8. Bryan Caskey Post author

    Since they’re still counting votes, some speculation:

    What does a Biden win with a moderate Congress look like? It appears that The House Republicans gained some seats, and it looks very likely that the Republicans will remain in control of the Senate. So the House will be very closely divided, but still controlled by the Democrats, and McConnell will still be running the Senate.

    I would think this is the worst outcome if you’re a hard-left person or a Trumpist. The progressive policies of court-packing, adding states to the Union, increasing taxes, and passing Green New Deal legislation are pretty much out the window. McConnell will also have a say in any Senate confirmable position, meaning perhaps the Biden Cabinet looks more moderate.

    Perhaps this is a gift for Biden who wants to govern from the center. Instead of taking blame from progressives for not enacting a hard-left policy, he can shift that blame to Republicans in the Senate.

    Remember how Joe talked about being able to work with folks on the other side of the aisle during the primary? This might be a chance for him to do exactly that. I would certainly welcome a political climate where the voices at the margins are less important than the pragmatic voices from the center.

    But that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen

      I look forward to discussing this further — for instance, if you want a more “moderate Congress,” you don’t elect Nancy Mace to replace Joe Cunningham.

      Although I will say that I’m very encouraged to see that Mikie Sherrill and Abigail Spanberger, two of my favorite Democrats who helped the party win its majority in 2018, were re-elected.

      But from the perspective of a South Carolinian, dealing with the shock of seeing some of the best, smartest, AND most moderate legislators we have, regardless of party — Mandy Powers Norrell, Vincent Sheheen and Laurie Funderburk — be thrown out of office for NO discernible reason whatsoever (and no, I don’t consider party to be a reason — I utterly reject it among both Democrats and Republicans), it’s hard to have hopes of moderation.

      Anyway, folks, I’m back, and completely swamped with three days of backed-up work. When I have some time, I’ll post. Until then, frankly, I’ve only kept up with bits and pieces of election news…

      Reply
      1. Brad Warthen

        And I’ll add, you HAD a moderate House already. Nancy Pelosi has fully appreciated that her speakership was a result of the wins of moderates like Sherrill and Spanberger, and has been governed by concern for them at every stage.

        Trump likes to talk about those marginal figures the “Crew,” and media have helped amplify that. But beyond defending them from the gross racism of Trump, the speaker hasn’t given a damn about them and what they want…

        Reply
    2. Ken

      You are wrong.
      There is no “gift” waiting for Biden. No honeymoon. No meeting in the middle.
      McConnell will practice the same massive resistance he did while Obama was in office, with the 2022 mid-terms constantly in view. He is all about power, meaning electoral advantage, and very little else.

      Reply
  9. bud

    Moderate is code for Republican lite. We’ll still have millions without health insurance. Fracking continues unabated and our planet continues to warm. Our military will remain bloated and intrusive. Trillion dollar companies will still pay little or no tax. College will still be exorbitant. Sure Biden will be more presidential and the nastiness will stop. That is a good thing. But sadly our country will continue to lag behind the rest of the world. Besides the election is not over just yet so this type of discussion is premature.

    Reply

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