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Republicans could be blindsided by a devastating ‘late-breaking blue shift’ in November: report

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Mitch McConnell (AFP)

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.

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“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.

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“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.”


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2020 Election

Trump whines press didn’t cover the ‘two Nobel Prizes’ — that he didn’t win

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The leader of the free world spoke of the Nobel Peace Prize as if he had repeatedly won the award.

Trump made the complaints he has not received the recognition he thinks he deserves during a campaign rally in Middletown, Pennsylvania.

"They didn't cover two Nobel Prizes," Trump says he told first lady Melania Trump. "I got two in one week, did you ever hear of that?"

Trump received two nominations, he has never won a Nobel Peace Prize.

"And my only complaint is, I should have gotten about seven or eight, because if you knew some of the other things -- some of the other things I have done much better," Trump argued, despite having not won the award a single time. "I should have gotten seven."

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2020 Election

Senate Dems blast ‘corrupt’ nomination of Amy Coney Barrett: ‘This entire process is illegitimate’

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President Donald Trump on Saturday nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the United States Supreme Court -- and Democrats were livid.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) linked the nomination to the Affordable Care Act and the COVID-19 pandemic.

"A vote for Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a vote to eliminate health care for millions in the middle of a pandemic," Schumer wrote. "Democrats are fighting for Americans' health care."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, ripped the nomination for coming so close to the election.

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2020 Election

Joe Biden responds to Trump picking Amy Coney Barrett for the US Supreme Court

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Democratic 2020 nominee Joe Biden released a statement shortly after President Donald Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the United States Supreme Court.

"Election Day is just weeks away, and millions of Americans are already voting because the stakes in this election could not be higher. They feel the urgency of this choice – an urgency made all the more acute by what’s at stake at the U.S. Supreme Court," Biden wrote.

"They are voting because their health care hangs in the balance. They are voting because they worry about losing their right to vote or being expelled from the only country they have ever known. They are voting right now because they fear losing their collective bargaining rights. They are voting to demand that equal justice be guaranteed for all. They are voting because they don’t want Roe v. Wade, which has been the law of the land for nearly half a century, to be overturned," he explained.

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