With President Donald Trump and his Republican allies working tirelessly to suppress turnout, halt expansions of ballot access, and delegitmize the outcome should it not go their way, a group of Senate Democrats late Sunday delivered an urgent message to the American public just over two weeks out from an election that’s shaping up to be closer than recent polls suggest: “Vote—and vote early.”
In a 13-page report (pdf), five members of the Senate Democratic caucus—Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.)—outlined the various ways in which Trump is attempting to “sow fear and chaos” through disinformation and intimidation tactics, provided key information and deadlines for voters in battleground states, and vowed to “fight to ensure that every vote is counted.”
“What we are doing with this effort is ensuring that the American people understand that if American democracy means anything, it means that every vote must be counted—no matter how long it takes.”
—Sen. Bernie Sanders
“In a democracy, citizens should not have to risk their health or their lives in order to cast their vote,” the report reads. “Given the pandemic, there will be a huge increase in mail-in ballots. We urge voters to cast their ballots as early as possible. Despite the president’s false claims, according to the leading election experts in our country, voter fraud is nearly nonexistent. The integrity of the election process is strong and election officials across the country are working around the clock to ensure that all votes are counted and counted accurately.”
The brief report echoes election officials’ concerns that the unprecedented surge in mail-in ballots—disproportionately used by Democratic voters—could “create the false appearance that Republicans are ahead” on Election Night as in-person ballots are tallied and early results are publicized.
“President Trump’s rhetoric indicates he may exploit this illusion and claim victory for himself, then falsely claim that there is ‘massive fraud’ in mail-in ballots that have not yet been counted or reported,” the lawmakers warn. “Americans should be prepared to reject misinformation and be patient about results in places where counting ballots may take longer.”
Because Trump's been laying the foundation to undermine them
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) October 18, 2020
In a statement late Sunday, Sanders—who for weeks has been sounding the alarm about Trump’s repeated attacks on the legitimacy of the election—said “the American people must be prepared for an election that is unprecedented in our history due to the enormous increase in mail-in ballots that have been, and will be, cast as a result of the pandemic.”
“One of the worst lies that Donald Trump is spreading is that there is a massive amount of voter fraud in this country,” said the Vermont senator. “That is a total lie which no election official, Republican or Democrat, can support. What we are doing with this effort is ensuring that the American people understand that if American democracy means anything, it means that every vote must be counted—no matter how long it takes.”
“The very searing truth is that Donald Trump can still win this race, and every indication we have shows that this thing is going to come down to the wire.”
—Jen O’Malley Dillon, Biden campaign manager
Schumer echoed Sanders, saying, “Senate Democrats want to be clear to the American people that the most powerful defense against this type of autocratic behavior in our country is the will of the American people and that is why we are encouraging every American to vote and vote early.”
The senators’ report comes amid growing anxiety among Biden campaign officials and allies that despite recent polling showing a strong lead for the former vice president nationally and in key battleground states, a confluence of factors—including GOP voter suppression, ongoing efforts to invalidate mail-in ballots, and potentially high Republican turnout—could swing the election in Trump’s favor. As of Monday morning, according to the United States Elections Project, a record 28.6 million Americans had already voted early.
“There are more known unknowns than we’ve ever had at any point,” Tom Bonier, CEO of the Democratic data firm TargetSmart, told Politico Monday. “The instruments we have to gauge this race, the polling, our predictive models… the problem is all those tools are built around quote-unquote normal elections. And this is anything but a normal election.”
In a memo to supporters on Saturday, Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon cautioned Democrats against complacently trusting polls showing the former vice president with a substantial lead over the unpopular incumbent.
“The very searing truth is that Donald Trump can still win this race, and every indication we have shows that this thing is going to come down to the wire,” Dillon said, echoing comments she made last week. “The reality is that this race is far closer than some of the punditry we’re seeing on Twitter and on TV would suggest. In the key battleground states where this election will be decided, we remain neck and neck with Donald Trump.”
Donald Trump vows he ‘will never concede’ in late night conspiracy-filled rant
Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential to President-elect Joe Biden, but is still refusing to concede.
White House aides reportedly convinced him to allow Biden to begin his transition by telling him he did not need to use the word "concede."
But that word appeared to be on his mind late Monday night.
"What does GSA being allowed to preliminarily work with the Dems have to do with continuing to pursue our various cases on what will go down as the most corrupt election in American political history?" Trump asked while continuing to lie about the election being corrupt.
Trump supporters are slowly coming to grips with his miserable defeat
This Monday was a reassuring day for democracy, but a devastating blow for supporters of President Donald Trump still holding out hope that he'll stay in office past January 2021.
Michigan certified the results of Joe Biden's victory, thwarting Trump's hope to overturn the outcome. And the General Services Administrator Emily Murphy finally provided Biden's team with the resources to fund his transition, a move even approved of by Trump himself, though he vowed to keep fighting:
Arizona Republican likens Trump’s loss to Japan getting nuked while losing WW II — but as a good thing
President Donald Trump on Monday allowed President-elect Joe Biden's transition to proceed -- while vowing he would never concede.
Despite Trump losing the election, some Trump supporters are refusing to accept the outcome.
One Arizona Republican in Congress, Paul Gosar, drew upon the historical knowledge him learned on his way to becoming a dentist in a bizarre analogy he posted on Twitter.
Gosar suggested the Trump movement would be like an Imperial Japanese soldier in World War II who refused to surrender until 1974.