by Kyle K. Mann
Gonzo Today Editor-in-Chief
November 3, 4:30 PM, Pacific Standard Time, and I read on my phone by way of those Apple alerts that the polls are starting to close. Haven’t looked at a screen yet. I Google “election results.”
The map shows Trump leading in the Electoral Vote count 13-3, but then I refresh and Virginia has gone to Biden. No surprises yet.
I turn on the news radio. Trump is a point behind Biden in crucial Florida, but the conservative Panhandle has not been counted. Gonna be close, it looks like.
I bought a ticket to Costa Rica a few hours ago. I leave Nov. 22, a potent date in U.S. history. Oop, 5 PM. New data coming in. (I then fumble about looking for a decent image for the article. Right.)
5:45 PM PST and there are no surprises so far. What I am watching for is states that have flipped from 2016. No final results show any flipped states. There are some that Biden is leading in like PA and Ohio that are must-wins for Trump, but the late vote totals will seemingly favor Trump in those states. Still looks like this will be a close race.
6:00 PM PST – I cave in and go to ABC News on my iPad. 50% of the vote in Ohio is in, they say. Biden is leading in a number of key counties in the Northern Rust Belt. Trump can’t afford to lose those 18 Electoral College votes in Ohio. Texas surprisingly close. Arizona close. My Google map by Associated Press shows Biden up 119-92 in the Electoral College. Don’t see Trump flipping any states yet.
6:30 PM PST – This is going to be a quick night if Biden flips Ohio. Florida appears to be held by Trump. North Carolina looks iffy. Right now 89-51, Biden in the Electoral College votes according to ABC. Associated Press is quicker to call various states, and they have Biden leading at 119-92. The absentee and mail-in vote counting could still be a big factor on this night. ABC saying Virginia is still possibly in play, but the AP has it solidly called for Biden.
6:45 PM – Could the Democrats take the Senate? Former Democratic Governor Hickenlooper has just won the Senate race in Colorado. I’m still looking at Ohio and Pennsylvania. Trump isn’t doing exceptionally well in those two states so far, but there are a lot of votes yet to be counted. Phew.
7:00 PM PST – … the polls are closing in 4 more states. Nothing new is called. Iowa, Nevada, Utah and Montana. Trump won the latter two four years ago. Trump ahead in Michigan, but the vote totals there are skewed because the big Democratic vote areas are not counted yet. PA and OH still unclear. It appears Arizona may flip to Biden. This night will not be an early win for Biden, as the polls suggested.
7:30 PST – Gonzo Today contributor Phil Rockstroh’s take about a hour ago on FaceBook is harsh, but instructive.
“It is looking dismal for the Democrats and their “the man who was not there” candidate. Liberals, your party has to stand for something…other than swooning in your own self proclaimed virtue in regard to Trump’s crassness and rancid narcissism. And no, lesser-of-two evils fantasy is not a sign of virtue — its a neurotic condition.
Who is going to be your whipping boy this time? You cannot blame Ralph Nader nor Jill Stein nor phantom Russians lurking within pixel? I suspect, it will be those of us who warned of the impending political train wreck to come.
What do you believe the future will hold if you continue to reward the Democrats for their corruption and concomitant mendacity? Have you had enough of blame shifting and magical thinking?
In last two presidential election cycles, you have rigged your primary and nomination process for two horrible, corporacrat, war mongering candidates and have been humiliated. And you deserve it. Democrat, how’s that working out for you? But if you like what you’re getting, just keep doing what you’re doing.”
7:45 PM PST – Cartoonist, writer and wise political pundit Ted Rall on his FaceBook page: “Bernie would have trounced Trump.” I believe this as well. The DNC rigged the nomination for Biden, and it is starting to look like that will be a fatal mistake. So far this is playing out like 2016, with the possible exception of Arizona. So far, no states have been officially flipped.
8:15 PM PST – Fox called Florida for Trump about ten minutes ago. It was a must-win, of course, but we are now heading towards the Rust Belt deciding the vote. And it may take days or weeks. Just about the ugliest scenario is starting to come true. As for the polls, it’s looking like they were as massively wrong as they were four years ago. I’m watching two screens, Fox and ABC. Quite a different tone. Ohio now solidly Trump. North Carolina, well it now has a Trump lead. Still no big flips.
8:20 PM PST – Fox just called Arizona’s 11 Electoral College for Biden. There’s that first flip.
9:00 PM PST – Texas called for Trump. All about the Rust belt now. Trump leading in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
9:15 PM PST – Iowa goes for Trump. Senate looks like it stays Republican: so far a net gain of one with the Hickenlooper win in Colorado. That gives Trump a get-out-of-impeachment card, if it happens.
9:30 PM PST – Fox reporting that the Trump campaign is “livid” over the call by Fox of Arizona for Biden. They complain that there are too many votes uncounted in the state. Ugh, it’s Karl Rove. Why isn’t this guy in jail. What a jolt. Minnesota now called for Biden. Again, only one state has flipped, Arizona. Apparently.
9:45 PM PST – Biden speaks “We’re feeling good about where we are.” Horns honking. “Keep the faith guys, we’re gonna win this.” Now it’s 237-213 Biden, with Montana unsurprisingly going to Trump. We are being prepped on ABC for a long wait before a decision. Trump has reportedly Tweeted that the Democrats are trying to steal the election. Supposedly he is going to speak soon.
10:20 PM PST – Kevin Gosztola at Shadowproof.com, who did such an amazing job with his live-blogging of the Julian Assange hearings in the UK, just posted this on Facebook:
“The Democratic Party, along with liberal celebrities, media corporations, and polling firms, did it again. They sold us all the “safe” and most “electable” candidate, and they are likely going to lose to Trump again.
A deadly virus has ravaged the United States for the past six or seven months, killing around 235,000 Americans so far. President Donald Trump and Republicans failed and flat-out refused to pass another stimulus deal ahead of the election that could help working Americans suffering during this pandemic. Both Trump and Republicans prioritized installing a right-wing religious ideologue to the Supreme Court, who may further dismantle what we commonly refer to as Obamacare and significantly escalate attacks on abortion rights for women.
Yet, somehow, with record turnout across the country, that candidate, Joe Biden, and his running mate, Kamala Harris, and all the Democratic operatives in this country could not engineer a commanding victory over Trump.
This needs to be the death of the Democratic Party. It’s such an embarrassment. Millions entrusted them with saving them from great harm that will be done by a second term of the Trump administration. Let something new and more in touch with humanity rise in its place.
I do not have an easy answer to all of this. However, I look at Bolivia, where the Trump administration tried to impose a coup regime led by a right-wing religious fanatic. They mobilized against far greater threats and defeated this regime at the polls. We are going to need this kind of action tied to demands directed at politicians in both parties in order to salvage this country.
Tonight, I am ashamed to be a part of the U.S. media. We all got this so very wrong. Biden was reported to be ahead in polls in the “Blue Wall” (Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania) that were all he needed to end Trump’s reign. We were lulled into believing that the Democrats were in a good position to win, even though experiences from the primary yet again indicated the political establishment boosted a terribly flawed candidate.
I realize this is far more complicated than prior elections due to the virus. There are mail-in ballots, absentee ballots, ballots from people who voted in person, etc. It’s more up in the air than 2016. Yet, this did not have to be this way, and I have to laugh to keep from crying.
We should have no illusions. This is a new circle of hell. Even if Biden somehow achieves a narrow victory, we need to convince people to stop being so kind and polite with Democrats. They may not be mean and try to hurt people as much as Republicans do, but they sure as hell aren’t doing much to save us and they seem far too comfortable with being a losing political party because it means they can fundraise off our anxiety and fear every two to four years.”
…wow. Really well-said.
11:00 PM PST – Trump about to speak from the East Room of the White House. It seems the Mayor of D.C. wanted to limit the number in the audience at the Trump Hotel to 50. Trump, or his people, wanted more. Supposedly a couple hundred people in the White House audience. My eyes are glazing over. A few minutes ago I walked outside into the beautiful night and looked up at the Moon and Mars, and felt appropriately small. It’s clear we are in for a real mess, like in 2000. Legal challenges galore.
11:45 PM PST – Trump says he won and that there is a “fraud on the American public” – Trump the professional troll. Democratic heads are exploding all over the country. However… I don’t see him losing Georgia or North Carolina. His lead of 600,000 in Pennsylvania with (supposedly) 75% of the vote in seems hard to beat. Wisconsin and Michigan are Trump leaning pending the late vote.
So, what we know going into November 4, Pacific time, is that the Democrats fail to take the Senate, and lost ground in the House. No decisive closure in the presidential race, despite the pollsters saying Biden was way ahead in the battleground states.
No what the Democrats wanted.
November 4, 2020, 8:00 AM Pacific Standard Time – I’m at work, waiting for Set Dec to show up at a set for a film crew job in Venice Beach, California. Just talked to my people in Costa Rica, who are sounding very welcoming. Looking forward to getting out of the USA over Thanksgiving week. I’m on the clock in a sunlit second story apartment on a nice day. Could be worse…
So, I am going to continue live-blogging, since there has been no decision, or even any new states called for Biden or Trump, to my knowledge. KNX News Radio, the CBS affiliate in Los Angeles, is reporting that Biden is now leading in Wisconsin and Michigan. The announcers sounded gleeful. Right now I’m watching a news conference in Pennsylvania. The Governor and officials are assuring voters that all their votes will be counted. Right.
This election is likely, as I see it, going to be decided in the courts or even Congress. Messy, crazy, and ghastly. Trump tweeting away. Twitter censoring, or putting disclaimers on his comments. Partisans waving their arms. Oh man, this seemingly unending election is going to drive people mad and madder.
Biden not commenting this morning. That’s probably wise of him, or more likely, his handlers.
November 4, 2020, 10:00 AM Pacific Standard Time
So far the count in the Electoral College is hanging at the same numbers: Biden 238, Trump 213. That’s giving Arizona to Biden, still a controversial point for the Trump camp. Even the New York Times took note of Fox’s early call for Biden in AZ. A remarkable phenomenon, all of it.
Nevada is still not called for Biden, though it seems it will be soon. Trump needs to hold on to the states he won in 2016: North Carolina, Georgia and the three Rust belt states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. The latter two are now slightly being led by Biden. Biden takes them, it’s over. He won’t need Pennsylvania if that happens.
November 4, 2020, 12 Noon PST
So it looks like Biden flipped Wisconsin, according to the Associated Press and CNN. The New York Times is reporting it too. Trump is demanding a recount and suing to stop the count in Michigan, according to Reuters. The NYT has the Electoral College totals now at 237-214, but that does not include Nevada and Arizona. AP gave Biden Arizona some time ago, so the totals AP has now are 248-214, with 270 needed to win. Biden wins in Michigan, it’s over, at least until the courts get involved.
I’ll be glad if it’s a clear-cut decision. Just posted this on our Founding Co-Publisher’s Facebook election comments: “I fear a big Democratic War, either on Venezuela, Iran or both, pushing a Russian or Chinese reaction. Trump is unlikely to do that based on his record and his love of playing golf, which he won’t be able to do in a bunker if it’s WW3.”
Guess we will see either way. And it ain’t over yet.
November 4, 2020, 3:30 PST
They called Michigan for Biden. It’s over. Barring legal shenanigans by Trump and his people, the Trump era will come to a halt early next year. Going to be an interesting lame duck period.
As Tiny Tim would have said, “God Bless us, every one.”
Kyle K. Mann
Venice Beach, CA