The United States has not rebelled against moral drift of the last four years, the depreciation of their democracy and the bad education that has contaminated the White House. The country has emerged from the most momentous elections in recent times as fractured in two halves as it was before the elections and haunted by the latent threat of a long legal battle to certify its winner. The result in six states is still in the air, but as the hours go by, the options increase for Democrat Joe Biden to become the next president. Nothing foreshadows that it will be an easy road, after Donald Trump claimed the victory long before the result was known, denounced a phantom fraud and moved to promote new counts in several states.
This attack on the legitimacy of American democracy is unprecedented, even though the Republican has been telegraphing it for months. But neither should it be surprising coming from a leader who has used the position to enrich himself, who feels fascination with dictators and systematically despises the truth. More than 22,000 lies or false claims since his presidency began, according to ‘The Washington Post’ count. “This is a fraud against the American public. An embarrassment to our country. We were preparing to win these elections and, frankly, we have won them,” he said early Tuesday morning as the initially very favorable results for his candidacy began to cool.
The observers had predicted that: an initial red tide that little by little would be covered with the democratic blue. Essentially because early voting in several of the decisive states has been counted after the vote cast during election day. And that vote-by-mail overwhelmingly favors Biden because his followers have more respect for the pandemic, as the exit polls confirmed. “It is not up to me or Trump to declare the winner of this election,” the Democrat said Tuesday night in a short speech from Delaware. “The decision is up to the American people.”
Biden turned Arizona for the first time in three decades, has won in Wisconsin by less than 1% of the vote, caresses the victory in Michigan and Nevada, and does not rule out giving the surprise in Georgia. As some of those states changed color on Wednesday, Wall Street stock markets rebounded, a sign that they have not believed the president’s rant, who has predicted a market crash if his rival conquers the White House. “Biden is on his way to winning this election,” his campaign manager said Wednesday.
In many of those states the margins are negligible, a few tens of thousands of votes, despite the fact that the veteran establishment politician has won more votes than any other candidate in the country’s history. More than 70 million, beating Barack Obama’s previous record in 2008. But that figure represents only 50.2% of the total compared to 48.1% for Trump. Those numbers explain why the best Democratic expectations for sweeping these elections have not been met, although this time no one ever threatened to uncork the champagne ahead of time.
The margin of error
Nor have pollsters erred like four years ago because their predictions, more favorable to Biden than the bottom line reflects, were largely within the poll’s margin of error. The coup at the table by Americans to repudiate Trump has not happened. And that these elections were more a plebiscite on his figure, a bet between two views of the world. Even in Congress it doesn’t seem that things are going to change much. Democrats have failed to significantly increase their dominance of the House of Representatives, while everything points to the Republicans saving the Senate, which guarantees another four years of anger and blockade.
But before getting there, we will have to know who will be the next president. Trump has already called for a recount in Wisconsin “for irregularities in several counties “and his campaign considers doing the same in Nevada, where the difference with the 86% counted is only 8,000 votes. In Michigan it has sued the state to stop the recount until it allows “greater access” to its observers. And he has asked the Supreme Court to intervene in the recount of Pennsylvania. And it is just the beginning because before election day there were already countless demands in the courts related to early voting.
Since his game, he continues to trust in victory, a scenario that is still probable given the very narrow margins of the result. But few are so far following the hyperbolic game of default fraud. “What the president wants is to make sure every legal vote is counted,” said House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. In reality, what Trump wants is the opposite, to invalidate as many votes as possible.
The pandemic, the crisis and the weapons
The president is likely to choose to heat the streets while the judicial uncertainty remains. His campaign messages sent to his voters on Wednesday suggest so. “I need you. The left is going to try to steal these elections! I ask you to get up and fight back.”
This is not good news for a country that bites its nails at this hour and fears that the opposing side will lift up what it considers theirs. A country haunted by the pandemic, mired in the worst economic crisis in almost a century and gripped by racial convulsions. Also armed to the teeth and with little confidence in the institutions.