The 2000 Presidential Election Was Nothing Compared to What May Lie Ahead in 2020
In the 2000 presidential election, most media outlets called the election for Democratic Vice President Al Gore, and then, out of nowhere, Fox News called it for George W. Bush, the Republican governor of Texas. Why? The issue of “hanging chads” on ballots in a few Democrat-heavy counties in Florida, whose governor at the time was Jeb Bush, that were not fully punched through, rendering them unable to be read by voting machines.
There were also widespread complaints of confusing “butterfly ballots,” which many older voters had trouble seeing. This caused many to vote for Pat Buchanan instead of Gore. This triggered statewide recounts – by hand – that were ultimately suspended in a 5-4 ruling by the Supreme Court in the now infamous Bush v. Gore case.
Thus, by a margin of only 537 ballots, Florida’s 25 Electoral College votes, and ultimately the presidency, went to Bush, who lost the national popular vote by more than half a million. The final Electoral College score, however, was 271 for Bush and 266 for Gore, who gracefully conceded on December 13, 2000, five weeks after one of the closest and most controversial elections in American political history.
“While I strongly disagree with the court’s decision, I accept it,” Gore said.
In 2016, Donald Trump won the presidency by 306-232 in the Electoral College despite losing the national popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton by nearly 3,000,000 votes. Last week, Clinton urged Democratic nominee Joe Biden not to concede to Trump if the election is close or the results are in dispute.
But 2020 is a year like none other.
With the nation shattered by racial unrest, an out-of-control pandemic, a crippled economy, internal sabotage of the United States Postal Service, foreign disinformation campaigns, and an incomprehensibly corrupt, psychotic president who refuses to say whether he will accept the results because everything is “rigged,” the 2020 presidential election has the potential to be an even more convoluted mess than 2000, according to a data analytics agency founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
In an exclusive interview with Axios, Hawkfish CEO Josh Mendelsohn has warned that because as many as 40 percent Americans will be voting by mail due to COVID-19, preliminary results on election night could look like a landslide reelection victory for President Donald Trump – a scenario Mendelsohn refers to as the “red mirage.”
“We are sounding an alarm and saying that this is a very real possibility, that the data is going to show on election night an incredible victory for Donald Trump,” Mendelsohn said.
“When every legitimate vote is tallied and we get to that final day, which will be some day after Election Day, it will in fact show that what happened on election night was exactly that, a mirage,” Mendelsohn added. “It looked like Donald Trump was in the lead and he fundamentally was not when every ballot gets counted.”
The election could play out as follows:
“Under one of the group’s modeling scenarios, Trump could hold a projected lead of 408-130 electoral votes on election night, if only 15% of the vote by mail (VBM) ballots had been counted.
- Once 75% of mail ballots were counted, perhaps four days later, the lead could flip to Biden’s favor.
- This particular modeling scenario portrays Biden as ultimately winning a massive victory, 334-204.
- The methodology, described in detail below, was based in part on polling from FiveThirtyEight in August.
- The ultimate results may well sit somewhere between these low-end and high-end scenarios and will also be impacted by who actually votes, and how voters’ views about their options change over the coming weeks.”
Watch the full Axios interview below:
Furthermore, there is the potential – which is quite high, if not guaranteed – that Trump will declare victory on election night, even though only a fraction of votes will have been counted. Then, with the assistance of Attorney General William Barr, his top henchman at the Justice Department, Trump will try to finagle a way to remain in power, like petitioning the conservative-leaning Supreme Court to, like in 2000, disenfranchise millions of voters and hand him a second term.
Trump has already given us a taste of the shenanigans he may pull to remain in power.
Last month, Trump said that we may “never” know who the winner really is because he maintains that mail-in voting, which he and his family have used for years, is ripe with fraud. There is, however, absolutely no evidence whatsover of widespread voter fraud in the United States, either through voting by mail or in-person, according to the FBI.
“Think of it,” a deflated Trump said at the annual Council for National Policy meeting on August 21. “They’re gonna send out 51 million, it could be higher than that, 51 million votes, no signature verification on many of them.”
Trump falsely claimed that “it’s mostly Democrat states” and “Democrat governors” who want to send mail-in ballots to voters, and that people voting by mail will “harvest” ballots.
Trump insisted that mail-in voting would lead to a complete mess on election night, leaving the country without a president-elect.
“If you do this, you’ll never have an election count on November 3,” Trump proclaimed. “The greatest evening ever was four years ago… but we knew that night.” The results may not be known “for weeks, months, maybe never,” Trump said. “Maybe years, but maybe never.”
He repeated this over and over.
“I really don’t think that you’re gonna know anything on the evening – anything meaningful, or anything real – on the evenung of November 3, I don’t think you’re gonna know anything. You’re not gonna know what happened,” Trump groaned. “I don’t think you’ll know 2 weeks later. I don’t think you’ll know 4 weeks later. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Additionally, Trump has teased with serving more than two terms on several occasions.