Regarding the pertinent issue of Trump (should he lose) refusing to concede, three points:

1. Remember that it is not necessary, legally or politically, for the losing candidate in any American election to concede. Cleveland didn't need to concede the World Series to make the Cubs the winners.

2. In the event that the outcome is not especially close, any attempt he makes to contest the results will have little effect.
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The Gore-Bush thing got drawn out to the wire because there was a single state at issue with a margin so thin that the odds of such a finish recurring are almost vanishingly small. Contesting the results in like fifteen states at once, especially if the popular vote is not particularly close in most or any of them, amounts to nuisance litigation and one last pathetic publicity stunt. That strategy has zero chance of succeeding.

3. In the event that the election is not a blowout but the difference is anything greater than "Florida 2000" close, I'd bet that the Republican National Committee (possibly relying on Pence, who is effectively estranged from Trump for weeks at this point) will concede the election and wash their hands of anything Trump does moving forward. One assumes they are in full damage mitigation mode right now and, at the very least, committed to ensuring that he does not tarnish the brand any more than he already has.


  • As I mentioned at MTMB, Trump and his diminishing GOP acolytes are ornery toddlers who love to drag their scandal-loving feet in the face of modernity. We cannot haz democracy, unless orange ape can haz his way.

  • FWIW, I've found a simple joy in not seeing "Election 2016" in the home page's Categories archive widget following "Election 2008", "Election 2010" and "Election 2012". I, too, want to forget about this one already.

  • Assuming Scenario 2, I want every story about Donald suing to contest the count to be followed by footage of Hillary measuring the drapes in the Oval Office. For balance.

  • The wife and I voted today. Smooth sailing. I'm not that worried about the results. The only cases of voter fraud I've heard about are by Trumpkins.

  • From 2000-2012, there were 306 convictions for voter fraud in the United States.

    During the same period, there were 506,832,881 votes in federal elections.

    Voter fraud is not a serious problem in the US.

    If the attempt they made to legally protest the votes in Nevada today were any indication, they'll be laughed out of court.

  • Gerald McGrew says:

    The fascinating thing about all this… one knows for sure just what Trump will do after the election, and the speculations run the gamut from "slink away into the shadows" to "starts a third party".

  • Emerson Dameron says:


    I do miss the hilarious in-depth senate-race coverage G&T used to do, in simpler times. But I can see how this election broke it.

  • Fergawdsake, people, enough with the Bill-snort-sex-haha-interns jokes. That is twenty goddamn years old. Give it a rest.

    And I bet he's hopeless at figuring out drapes.

  • I have nothing intelligent nor witty to add to to the election discussion. But Christ on fishhooks…as of 10:45pm on11/8… What the fuck is happening?

  • "The fascinating thing about all this… one knows for sure just what Trump will do after the election"

    This comment is now scary in a completely different sense than it was a few hours ago.

  • Anonymous Prof says:


    Trump and the GOP are mysteriously outperforming the polls by a historically unprecedented degree of about 5%. Bear in mind that Ed (and a lot of other smart people) have already explained- IMO plausibly- why that would be unlikely to ever happen.

    When the person who is abysmally behind in the polls says he's going to win, unless the election is rigged, that's one thing.

    When his opponent mysteriously loses despite the polls, that's a different matter entirely.

  • Anonymous Prof says:

    Let me add that the GOP was planning for a Clinton win, because all their in-house polls said she had a cinch on the election. So Trump is outperforming even the GOP's polls by an inexplicably large degree.

  • I guess I was wrong about the diminishing part. Those acolytes will now be re-employed as Trump's caddie.

    As W.H. Auden reminds us: The enlightenment driven away.

  • Fuck it. This country doesn't deserve democracy and now we won't have one. Facism here we come.

    I love hearing these Trump enablers talk like this vote means Trump isn't a racist, misogynist, xenophobic, greedy, lying sack of shit. This vote just underscores all of that because he got the racist, misogynist, xenophobic, greedy, lying sack of shit underbelly of America to come out and vote.

  • Leading Edge Boomer says:

    It is very difficult for a more than self-sufficient retiree to become a citizen of Canada. If I invested a ton into Canadian business(es), maybe they would let me in. I'd pay to catch up in their social insurance programs. Not good enough. They want people who will take jobs.

  • Jack the Cold Warrior says:

    This is from Septenber, but is somehow appropriate:

    Martin Longman, editor of Washington Monthly, posted this to his personal blog as well as the Monthly's "Political Animal" blog :

    …..We have been here before. When Hunter S. Thompson, who had closely covered the 1972 primaries, realized that George McGovern wasn't just going to lose but be annihilated, he lamented:

    "America… just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable."

    All you need to do to confirm the continuing accuracy of this statement, at least for a disturbingly large percentage of our electorate, is to look at the comments you see in reaction to every police shooting or, say, the riots in Charlotte last night. Did Trayvon Martin make George Zimmerman uncomfortable? Well, then let's donate to the George Zimmerman defense fund! Are people getting unruly in the streets of Charlotte? Well, why not run over some of them with your cars?…..

  • How? What? Why?

    How did Trump only lose College educated women by 6 points? WTF? How are they voting for "grab her by the pussy" over the first woman President?

    How did Trump do better with Latinos in the Southwest than Romney? Who are these people?

    I just can't even deal with this country right now. Burn it all down. Fuck this.

  • Sorry to drunkblog on yr blog, Ed, but here we are. GEB wins FL and OH means he fucking won. About 1:45 EST looks like a Repub Senate and House too. Buckle yr fucking seatbelts, y'all.

  • There are quite a few of us who are not going to survive the next 4 years, either by death squads or by the destruction of the economy and health care. It is gong to be really ugly and I am terrified. Our only hope is that things unravel so fast under GOP policies that Americans wake up from their fantasy worlds. Susan Sarandon has gotten her wish for the destruction of the Democratic Party. Will she get her revolution? Will she put her life on the line for her revolution?

    Heard a "funny" story about a state environmental regulatory agency where lots of the employees were voting for Trump cause they wanted change. When it was pointed out to them Trump promised to abolish the EPA and environmental regulations the response was "He won't do that. It can't happen". Most Americans live in a fantasy world.

    There is something truly bizarre about this election. I think Trump was right about one thing. The system is rigged. We can only pray that he will govern with some semblance of sanity and he has just conned all the racists and misogynists with the biggest con job of all time.

  • Well, now it's Hillary's turn to not concede. She never apparently grasped that this election was hers to lose. Entitlement and all that. So let's look forward to AG Rudy Giuliani, SoS Newt Gingrich and chief of staff Rinsing Pubis–of, and Supreme Court H
    Justice Ted Cruz. Donnie boy can do a lot of damage in for years with a Republican congress. I just hope that all the fucks who voted for Trump will be happy with the fucked up world he gives them (and us). Jack. Wagons.

  • Trump is basically Nixon's temperament mixed with W's totally incurious ignorance and 2nd-term Reagan's mental incapacity. In other words, it'll be fucking horrible, but let's not discount how much horrible stuff lies in our not-too-distant past. The future seems more horrible than the past because it's unknown, but will it be Vietnam horrible? Unlikely.

  • Well, at least my European friends hear me know when i tell them that half of Americans are absolutely disconnected from reality and that at least one major party of the US shot past insane some time ago.

  • The question most puzzling me – and I'm sure it will get a fair amount of examination in the coming weeks – how did so many people (on both sides of the aisle, analysts and pollsters) get so much wrong for so long?

    People in modelling reality business are going to want to figure out how their models fell short and what was missed. I don't expect anything as simplistic as Romney's unskewed polling to be the answer, but I am very curious what those answers might be.

  • @US in the EU. I heard from a number of friends and contacts around the world saying, "Please, PLEASE vote". Guess it wasn't enough. The deplorables outnumber the sane.

  • Also, in a horrible twist of fate, Trump has gone from ruining the GOP to shoving it full of racist, hateful life. Everyone entering Congress now is riding his coattails and will be following his lead.

    To reiterate, will it be "segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" bad? No. But it will be really bad. Really, really, really, really bad.

  • America, not done suffering yet. The Democratic party left large parts of the New Deal coalition laying around for just anyone to pick up over forty years ago in a panicked over reaction to the horror of Nixon, and hasn't successfully reassembled all of it.
    And anyone out of the mainstream, good luck, and may the dark angels pass you by.

  • I posted this comment during the _primaries_ and Ed deleted it. Perhaps it's time for you guys to venture outside of your MSM-curated bubble.

    Trump continues to tell _hard_ truths in the farcical C21 us-vs.-them media
    environment that you seem to have fallen prey. Trump's popularity (according to my research in the field) is due to his refreshingly existential brand of honesty—honesty that has been missing from American politics since long before WMDs.

    Trump wants to stop Chinese and Mexican slave labor. The West still has slaves—we just put them to work out of sight and across the ocean.

    Trump wants to end religious wars, and he's not afraid to be honest about
    Israel's role as an agitator.

    Trump wants to audit the Federal Reserve—a hornets nest that has led how many U.S. presidents to an early grave? He wants to understand w/t/f 20 trillion dollars of debt even _means_. He's a graduate from the best business school in the world, making it slightly more likely we won't see a complete dog & pony show.

    P.S. Who cares if a small minority of his supporters are "racist" (whatever the f/ that means) and if an even smaller minority aren't very smart; every candidate has unaligned supporters. The world would be a better place if people didn't reduce others to a single most undesirable attribute—be aware of the gestalt and beware the synecdoche.

    P.P.S. Only idiots actually vote; the smart people are busy making money—the real ballot.

    I think the final P.P.S. is the only thing I got wrong.

  • America, you've just handed the car keys of civilization to a drunk driver who is masturbating with his eyes closed while driving 120mph on an ice-covered bridge. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

  • @ Tom Says: "Trump's popularity (according to my research in the field) is due to his refreshingly existential brand of honesty—honesty that has been missing from American politics since long before WMDs."

    Really? Seems to me that he doesn't even know how to lie correctly, but it certainly is existential.

  • If I can, I'd like to post Paul Krugman's musings from late last night:

    Our Unknown Country
    We still don’t know who will win the electoral college, although as I write this it looks — incredibly, horribly — as if the odds now favor Donald J. Trump. What we do know is that people like me, and probably like most readers of The New York Times, truly didn’t understand the country we live in. We thought that our fellow citizens would not, in the end, vote for a candidate so manifestly unqualified for high office, so temperamentally unsound, so scary yet ludicrous.

    We thought that the nation, while far from having transcended racial prejudice and misogyny, had become vastly more open and tolerant over time.

    We thought that the great majority of Americans valued democratic norms and the rule of law.

    It turns out that we were wrong. There turn out to be a huge number of people — white people, living mainly in rural areas — who don’t share at all our idea of what America is about. For them, it is about blood and soil, about traditional patriarchy and racial hierarchy. And there were many other people who might not share those anti-democratic values, but who nonetheless were willing to vote for anyone bearing the Republican label.

    I don’t know how we go forward from here. Is America a failed state and society? It looks truly possible. I guess we have to pick ourselves up and try to find a way forward, but this has been a night of terrible revelations, and I don’t think it’s self-indulgent to feel quite a lot of despair.

  • @ anotherbozo Says: Yes, and you should have seen the anti-Semitism on Krugman's Twitter feed. Advocate for social well-being and your well-being will be the first thing to go.

    Hope is the most hopeless thing of all.

  • Still thinking along the lines of latest thump in a long chain reaction collision, I think this can be taken back to 1912 and TR's Bullmoose party, when a lot of progressive Republicans left and never returned, their absence cost the Rs dearly twenty years later when FDR judged events as desperate enough to try socialism lite. His success led the Rs to embrace the southern strategy which broke the D's New Deal coalition, unchecked campaign spending has insured that the attention of government is centered on the needs of those with the deepest pockets, who tend to forget about those taking passage in steerage in the ship of state.

  • The Palace Cat says:

    @Katydid: it is another election where the electoral college and popular totals split, so technically deplorables do not outnumber the rest of us; they are just better dispersed throughout the midsection of the country. Please, coasties, bring your bitcoins and recolonize middle America.

  • John Danley says:
    > Really? Seems to me that he doesn't even know how to lie correctly, but it certainly is existential.

    Why would he need to lie when he only drops truth bombs? Get your head out of the sand and read some primary sources; how many polls have to be wrong for you to realise you're living in a bubble?

    Less disingenuously, I suspect you're referring to these "fact" check websites that have shown up? If that's the case, the same advice stands; if you are seriously interested in >>truth<< and not orthodoxy, look at the primary sources because the indictments (the ones dished out by "fact" checkers) are often a case of "young girl/old girl" or "duck/rabbit".

  • I'm equally pissed off and scared to death; the pissed off part of me is Not angry with the morons who voted for this clown, but rather, I'm seriously torqued at the DNC for running such a weak candidate when we had someone who would surely have handed the Giant Cheeto his ass on a platter. So, if there is any good to come out of this mess it will have to start with a COMPLETE overhaul of the party leadership. I know that Debbie Whatshername Shithead stepped down but if you think she's no longer a major player then you aren't paying attention. And Donna Brasille? Are you fucking kidding me? OK, I feel better now… Oh, who the fuck am I kidding… This is the worst thing I've witnessed in my live time and I'm 67 yrs old!

  • These comments are pretty much the best thing I have ever read in my entire life!

    "Death Squads" "I'm scared" "End of democracy" "Fascism here we come" etc.


  • Andrew Laurence says:

    Abortion and gay rights will be rolled back completely and for those of f us born in thw mid-20th century, for the rest of our lives. All hail President for Lif Trump and his thousand year whatever the Russian word for "reich" is.

  • Somehow made it to work and trying to not throw up all day. Remember what Joe Hill (mis-attributed to the great Mother Jones) said: "Don't mourn, organize!" We got kicked in the teeth. Time to contact the local party and get involved.

  • @Jeff

    All we can do is pray for the health of RBG. She needs to hang on for 4 more years.

    If I had any kind of faith in the Democrats to have any kind of unity or effectiveness I'd say we should try to force feed Republicans their own medicine by filibustering any supreme court nominees until they have to use the nuclear option to force one through… but who am I kidding? The Democrats will roll over and take it just like always and there will be no repercussions for the absolutely unprecedented blocking of Obama's nominee for a year.

  • @Dookie, Hitler and Mussolini were elected too… our only hope is that the institutional inertia keeps him from destroying our democracy before we get to vote again.

  • @Paul B; if you're referring to Saint Bernie, he couldn't even win over the Democratic Party (probably because he's not actually a Democrat)–there was no chance he'd have been elected POTUS.

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