On Tuesday night, November 6, 2018, Republicans got some very bad news: they had lost their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. But after Election Night, as the vote counting continued, Republicans realized just how large the blue wave was in the 2018 midterms — an example of what journalist David A. Graham, in an August 10 article for The Atlantic, describes as a “late-breaking blue shift.” And the same thing, according to Graham, might happen in 2020.
“As polling places closed on November 6, 2018, the expected ‘blue wave’ looked more like a ripple,” Graham explains. “Not only had some of the highest-profile Democratic candidates lost, but the party’s gains in the House and the Senate looked smaller than anticipated. The wave, it turned out, simply hadn’t crested yet. Over the ensuing weeks, as more ballots were counted, Democrats kept winning races — eventually netting 41 House seats. In Arizona, the Republican Martha McSally conceded the Senate race to the Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, who picked up more than 70,000 votes in post-Election Day counting. Democrats narrowed deficits in races in Florida and Georgia too. Republicans were stunned.”
Graham goes on to say that that the type of “late-breaking Democratic vote” one saw in 2018 “is the new, though still underappreciated, normal in national elections.”
“Americans have become accustomed to knowing who won our elections promptly, but there are many legitimate votes that are not counted immediately every election year,” Graham writes. “For reasons that are not totally understood by election observers, these votes tend to be heavily Democratic, leading results to tilt toward Democrats as more of them are counted, in what has become known as the ‘blue shift.’ In most cases, the blue shift is relatively inconsequential, changing final vote counts but not results. But in others, as in 2018, it can materially change the outcome.”
Graham notes that because of “coronavirus-related complications,” Election Night 2020 is expected to be more like Election Week 2020 or Election Month 2020. But that phenomenon of a “late-breaking blue shift,” according to Graham, was making its presence felt long before the pandemic.
The journalist warns that this year, things could get messy if Americans aren’t patient enough to wait until all the votes are counted.
“Imagine that as November 3, 2020 ticks away, President Donald Trump holds a small lead in one or more key states such as Pennsylvania — perhaps 10,000 or 20,000 votes — and seems to have enough states in his column to eke out an Electoral College win,” Graham writes. “Trump declares victory, taunts Joe Biden and prepares for a second term. But the reported results on Election Night omit tens of thousands of votes, including provisional ballots and uncounted mail-in votes. Over the coming days, as those votes are counted, Trump’s lead dwindles and eventually disappears. By the end of the week or early the next, Biden emerges as the clear victor in Pennsylvania — and with that win, captures the race for the presidency. If that’s how things unfold, Trump is unlikely to take defeat snatched from the jaws of victory graciously.”
Here’s why Republicans who are calling for a Trump dictatorship should not be taken lightly — and aren’t going away
The United States dodged an authoritarian bullet when former Vice President Joe Biden, a centrist Democrat, became president-elect, winning 306 electoral votes and defeating defeated President Donald Trump by more than 6 million in the popular vote. But when Republican Lin Wood, a pro-Trump attorney who has been fighting the election results in Georgia, implores Trump to impose martial law and elections officials are receiving death threats for acknowledging Biden as president-elect, it is painfully obvious that there is a strong appetite for fascism in parts of the United States. And journalist Sasha Abramsky, in an article published by The Nation on December 4, warns that Republicans who are openly calling for fascism should not be taken lightly.
Welcome to ‘Crazytown’: An unprecedented frenzy in Georgia shows how democracy breaks down
On the eve of the general election, Russ Silva and his family, like many fellow Georgians, watched as the results started slowly pouring across his television set. It was becoming more and more apparent that Georgia was destined to become a focal point for the entire country, not just because it was a contested battleground state between Donald Trump and Joseph Biden, but also because it was setting the stage for an unprecedented situation.
As election night came to an end with many results still uncertain, Silva let out a sigh as he bemoaned to AlterNet what he suspected was inevitable: "Now I pretty much know I'm going to be barraged by endless ads."
Trump Pentagon appointee busted for tweets arguing for martial law following election loss
According to a report from CNN's "KFiles," one of Donald Trump's appointees to the Pentagon has been approvingly retweeting Twitter posts that call the election of former Vice President Joe Biden a "coup," while also helping to promote a petition calling for the president to declare martial law following his election loss.
Scott O'Grady, who was shot down over Bosnia in 1995 which was later the basis for the movie "Behind Enemy Lines," in 2001, recently received a presidential appointment to the Pentagon as the next Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, pending Senate confirmation.