Republicans are hedging their bets for Election Day

Donald Trump
Joe Biden

The election polls indicate that, at the current time, there is no clear winner in terms of the popular vote; Trump and Biden are projected to be tied. However…

by A. Altieri D’Angelo

The U.S. presidential election is approximately six and a half months away. The election polls indicate that, at the current time, there is no clear winner in terms of the popular vote; Trump and Biden are projected to be tied. However, the U.S. does not elect its president by popular vote. The Electoral College (the College) elects presidents.

The College is a body of people representing the states of the U.S. These appointed and non-elected people choose who will be president. As a rule, the votes are cast in favor of the candidate who wins the popular vote in the representative’s state. However, most states will award the winning candidate 100% of its electoral votes even if that candidate attains 51% of the ballot; it is a winner-take-all process. It takes 270 electoral votes to win.

The disproportional allocation of electoral votes creates the potential for someone to win the popular vote but lose the electoral vote. The 2016 Clinton-Trump election was the latest example; Hillary Clinton obtained 2.9 M more votes than Trump, but the former president had won enough electoral votes in key states to become president.

At this point, both political parties are projecting victory. But it will be a very close race. Seven states (known as the Battleground States) will decide the election. All other states are either pro-Democrat or Republican. The Battleground States are Arizona, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and Nevada. Both men will need to focus on these states to win in November. (Biden has traveled to Wisconsin four times in the last year).

The polling numbers could spell disaster for Biden. However, Biden can recoup lost ground by continuing to reach out to various voter groups (seniors, Black Americans, Latinos, young people, Independents) and explain how his administration has produced quantifiable changes that have and will make life better. His record on unemployment and real wages (wages adjusted for inflations) is good. The first phase of his drug price reduction plan is underway; the new law will make insulin much cheaper. Healthcare is now more affordable than at any time in history. His signature legislative achievements are being rolled out. The Chips Act and Infrastructure Bill are beginning to fund new investments in the U.S. Microsoft just announced a 3.3 billion dollar investment in an artificial intelligence data center in Wisconsin.

Such an investment would not have been possible without Biden funding many of the costs. Roads, bridges, and all manner of infrastructure are being upgraded. Biden must still deal with the impact of inflation and the war in Gaza. He has a great story, but many people are still not paying attention. Hopefully, voters will recognize what Biden has done as the election approaches. But at this point, Trump has the lead.

The Republicans, given their current advantage, should be out discussing various ideas for growth and persuading people to support Trump. But they offer a mass deportation of undocumented immigrants (Immigrants), a substantial deficit-expanding tax cut that will inevitably favor the top 5% of U.S. taxpayers, and reductions in Medicaid and other entitlement programs.

To make up for the lack of vision, Trump is focusing on the election process; he has started questioning the legitimacy of the 2024 election. His primary concern is noncitizens voting in the election. He claims that Immigrants will be voting in 2024. He stated that millions of noncitizens are being allowed into the U.S. by the Biden Administration so that they can vote; this is an absurd claim; every state and the federal government prohibits Immigrants from voting in elections.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, recently stated that everyone knows undocumented immigrants are voting, but proving it has been difficult. (Republicans have never provided evidence of systemic election fraud.) The purpose of this effort is to rally people against Immigrants and set the stage for claiming the 2024 election was stolen.

The Republican Party also plans to bring 100,000 volunteers and lawyers (referred to as poll watchers) to observe the election process, including viewing the pre-voting testing of election machines, mail ballot processing, and other pre- and post-election activities. They cannot touch the equipment or ballots or interfere in any way. But many expect the poll watchers to create disinformation, slow down the process, and, at worst, attempt to stop the vote count in places where the Democrats are winning.

It is a sign of fear and weakness on Trump’s part to use Immigrants to rally people to his side and set the stage to disrupt the election process. He is hedging his bets in the only way he can by claiming election fraud.

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