A Hotly Disputed Election
November 4, 2020
IT WAS A GOOD NIGHT FOR REPUBLICANS, but Donald Trump’s 2:30 a.m. charge of fraud and his vow to take the election to the Supreme Court will make the outcome — whether it’s a Trump win or loss — controversial for years to come.
THE NUMBERS FAVOR TRUMP: There are literally millions of mail-in ballots to be counted in states that haven’t been called, but Joe Biden is trailing badly in most of those states; it’s unlikely that he can change the initial outcome in Georgia or Pennsylvania. Winning just Michigan and Wisconsin wouldn’t be enough for Biden, but he hasn’t lost the election yet.
A BIG STORY FOR THE FINANCIAL MARKETS is the likelihood that the Republicans will maintain their control of the Senate. This will lead to gridlock with the liberal House — and as a result, market-unfriendly tax hikes could stall in 2021.
BUT THE SENATE RESULT HAS BEEN OBSCURED by the threat of litigation and uncertainty, even though the Supreme Court recently has deferred to state legislatures on issues like last night’s vote counts.
IF TRUMP DEMANDS A HALT TO VOTE-COUNTING, the courts probably would block him, but this could become so controversial that “faithless electors” could become part of the nation’s narrative ahead of the Electoral College’s mid-December vote to confirm the election.
EVEN REPUBLICANS like Chris Christie and Rick Santorum were distressed by Trump’s charge this morning that there was fraud in the election; there is no evidence of fraud.
WE SAID REPEATEDLY THIS FALL THAT “you underestimate Donald Trump at your own peril,” and he displayed extraordinary energy in the past month. Why couldn’t the polltakers see this coming? They were even worse than in 2016. What can we say? We’ll never get bamboozled by polltakers again.
ASSUMING BIDEN LOST, the Democrats’ recriminations will begin immediately. Why did they seemingly ignore Hispanics until the last couple of weeks? Why did the party lose the voter registration battle? Progressives will be furious this winter, and the party undoubtedly will veer to the left.
IF BIDEN ACTUALLY WON, his presidency would be hamstrung by Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans. Biden could toughen regulations that Trump has eased, but any major legislative accomplishments would be unlikely.
THE REPUBLICAN SENATE PROBABLY WOULD REJECT A MASSIVE BIDEN STIMULUS plan that the financial markets are hoping for. Trump, on the other hand, probably would be able to get a bigger package than Biden’s through Congress. Trump would spend lavishly next year, boosting an economy that should be shaking off the pandemic by spring.
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