General Question

crazyguy's avatar

What are the chances of having a clear unambiguous decision in November?

Asked by crazyguy (3194points) September 23rd, 2020

Recently, there has been a lot of speculation about whether Trump will concede to his opponent in the unlikely event that he loses in the electoral college. For instance, see

Obviously if the results are overwhelmingly against him, he will have no choice but to concede. However, if the margin is one state, which had 50+% mail-in voting and did not announce the results until the end of November, all bets are off. I suspect if the election is that close, Biden may not concede either. In fact, Hillary has called on Biden to not concede if the election is close: see

Hence my question: Do you see a scenario in which we may have a clear winner on Election Day?

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45 Answers

kritiper's avatar

Pretty good but I’m willing to wait until the end of November to find out.

crazyguy's avatar

@kritiper You think we’ll probably have a clear decision on election night, but you are willing to wait until the end of November? What am I missing?

kritiper's avatar

@crazyguy It means I’m not getting my hopes up for a decisive answer on election night.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Trump has done a rather remarkable job in the last few weeks of keeping a lid on his usual shenanigans. Aside from his scandalous attempts to muzzle all Federal health agencies, he’s spared the country his usual fkups. But he’ll NEVER make it through another month avoiding his usual routine. The screw ups are as dependable as the tides.

JLeslie's avatar

I think we will know in November, but maybe not on election night. Too many states have an idiotic rule to not start counting mail-in ballots until election night. Even in those states they will likely know the winner for their state within a day or two of election night if not on election night.

Close votes can be cause for automatic recounts, so that can cause a delay too. Very unlikely, but possible, the vote could be so close in a state they need to wait for overseas ballots, which can be two weeks after election night, but that’s unlikely.

Most states will stand behind that they conducted a fair and secure election. If the state is confident, the president has nothing he can do. The actual election that really counts is mid December when the electors vote. That’s who really votes for the president. In a bazaar twist the electoral college maybe takes away this ambiguity Trump and some Republicans are trying to put out there. Lol. Ironic.

crazyguy's avatar

@kritiper If you read The Atlantic article, you will realize that what the article calls a nightmare scenario is probably the ONLY LIKELY one. That scenario entails challenging in court every aspect of a state’s election if it goes against you. Given the Atlantic’s political leanings it focuses on what Trump may do. But two can and will play the game. So I do not expect a clear decision until Inauguration Day (if then).

crazyguy's avatar

@stanleybmanly I do not think ANY minds will be changed by a lack of “usual shenanigans”. For instance, I, as a Trump supporter, largely overlook his words. I am certain most people on Fluther take the opposite view.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie If you have the time, I strongly recommend that you read The Atlantic article I linked. I hope you are right in saying that we’ll have a result in November. However, the delays you describe do not allow for legal maneuvering; I expect every state decision in every contested state to be challenged in court.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy Let me ask you, you are a Trump supporter, if Biden wins by millions of votes across America, and a few states are very close, but for Biden, will you concede the American people wanted and voted for Biden? What if you remove the mail-in votes and it’s still a majority for Biden? Then do you accept the vote? Or, you still think the Democrats committed voting fraud?

Do you think judges will rule in favor of Trump no matter what? That they are conservatives and don’t care about the vote?

The supreme Court’s decision regarding Bush v. Gore was specifically noted that it does not set precedent. The court can decide whether a case is so unique it should not be held as precedent and that’s exactly what the justices decided in that case.

The Republicans are getting their Supreme Court majority by a long shot, they can relax a little and not cause such strife in our country if the vote is clear. Enough already. If they want a theocracy and dictatorship a bunch of us will have to leave I guess, it will destroy America. I’m going to try to hope that most Republicans aren’t that crazy.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie As you know, winning by “millions of votes across America” is meaningless in US elections. The only thing that matters is the electoral college. So, let me restate the scenario. Suppose one of the candidates reaches 271 electoral college votes even without contested states, should the other party concede? I have no problems with that.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Trump may never concede !

jca2's avatar

I believe that Trump will do everything in his power not to give up power.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy I think if Biden gets 271 and 10 million more voters in America voted for Trump you will feel sick to your stomach and not just easily accept that’s how the system works. You might accept the result, but if it happened in enough elections you might rethink your loyalty to the electoral college system. Just like Republican Senators are changing their mind about appointing a Supreme Court justice. Always try to put yourself in the shoes of the other.

I’m not surprised the Republicans will appoint a Justice by the way. I just think they were totally full of shit about some sort of pious integrity about giving the people a voice when Scalia died. Have you seen the quotes from Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz then and now. Idiots. It’s embarrassing.

Thank goodness multiple Republican Senators are speaking out about the transfer of power. Although, can we trust what they say? Lindsey Graham? Maybe you haven’t heard then and now because I doubt Fox is reminding people. I don’t know what you read and watch.

I think my point was let’s America votes for Trump by millions ahead, and a state like say Florida has a very close vote, it will decide the election, the first count was in favor of Biden, should Florida be allowed to recount? Even bring in out of state observers?

I’m going to cling to if Biden gets 271 or more by a wide margin Trump will concede after posturing for his adoring crowd a little bit.

jca2's avatar

I think if Biden gets the electoral college vote and Trump gets the popular vote, the Repubs will know how it felt for many Dem voters when the opposite occurred in 2016, when Hillary got the popular vote but the electoral vote went to the Republicans.

kritiper's avatar

@crazyguy Whatever. If I can wait until the end of November, I can wait longer. Whatever it takes, I’m ready.

stanleybmanly's avatar

To begin with, what are the chances of 2 clear unambiguous candidates? What decision on anything Trump has ever been involved with turned out to be “clear” or “unambiguous”?

seawulf575's avatar

I suspect this election will be a clusterfuck that will make the 2000 election look like a hiccup. It will get even uglier if some state clocks in 10% more votes than there are registered voters or some other such nonsense. November? Probably not.

crazyguy's avatar

@jca2 No different than Biden is being advised to do by… Hillary.

@JLeslie Just like the Republican senators going back on their 2016 statements, I can find any number of Democrat Senators who have also flipped. To me the best rationale for the Republicans to proceed is that if the shoe were on the other foot, the same thing would happen. Have you heard any Democrat saying that that will not be the case if the Republicans were to hold off?

As far as your thoughts on an electoral college win versus the popular vote margin, you may be right that if the shoe were on the other foot, I may have some misgivings about it. But I don’t see that ever happening in my lifetime, or even in my children’s lifetimes. As to a recount in Florida, I do not think you or anybody else can prevent it.

crazyguy's avatar

@kritiper I think you are unaware of the constitutional requirement for the electors to meet by mid-December.

@stanleybmanly Please read the question again.

@seawulf575 I agree with your colorful description. This election will be as muddled as anything the US has ever witnessed. I said that legal challenges are likely in closely contested states; however, I would not be surprised to see legal challenges in all states.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy The Supreme Court prevented more time for a recount in Bush v Gore.

I have serious doubts Democrats would have completely rejected doing hearings for a Supreme Court nominee if a Republican had been president when Scalia died. A year before the election? That was so wrong. Obama picked someone fairly moderate.

The real difference is the Republican Party has a lot of Christians who talk about family values and Christian values, and then they play really dirty.

A portion of Republicans just care about how they interpret God and country. Doesn’t matter the means all that matters is the end. They believe God blesses our country and they will do anything if they believe it pleases God to make sure God still favors our country. Support Israel for the prophecy, prevent abortions, capitalism, used to be Democracy too, but I’m not sure now. I know people who believe Trump is part of the prophecy, which means they will do ANYTHING to keep him in office. They are dangerous in my opinion.

If you think worrying about voter fraud by Democrats is a problem, remember what happened in Salem. People accused neighbors of being witches to keep the accusation away from themselves.

Imagine if Obama had said he wasn’t going to leave office, that the election was rigged and invalid and he would tie it up in the courts just because. Just really think about that. The Republicans were insane that he was the next Chavez. As soon as he was elected they were saying he would never leave office, he would fix the government to become dictator. Crazy talk.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@JLeslie we have now entered the “Sick Zone” kinda like Twilight Zone but for real.

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie Soooo….when was the last time religion ruled the day in this country? When was the last time a religious mob swarmed a city to make everyone believe what the mob wanted them to believe? Your fears are not based in any realistic foundation.

JLeslie's avatar

@seawulf575 I didn’t say any of those things. Are you going to say religion doesn’t play a part in how some people vote?

Are you going to say a portion of evangelicals aren’t caught up into Q saying “have #faith and you don’t need a mask.” And, to “#riseup.” You don’t know people who are waiting to rebuild the temple on the mount? I’m not saying a 10 million man religious army is going to rise up and shoot, but there is a risk of some crazy people doing it like pizzagate. Those people certainly are going to go out and vote though.

Your going to say that the Chassidic don’t vote for Republicans because of Israel and religion?

One of my most religious of friends who attends the First Evangelical church in Memphis has disliked Trump from the start, she did vote for him in the end. I don’t know what she will do this time. Her recent post on Facebook was about how Ginsberg and Scalia were the best if friends. I’m not saying all Christians are brainwashed, like I said just a portion.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie and @seawulf575 Interesting discussion, but please try to stay on topic. What impact will the state of religion in this country have on determining an unambiguous choice for President?

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy If there are enough people out there who believe the election was rife with fraud Trump will feel empowered to challenge the results. He knows it will create more loyalty to him to preach the vote was unfair. His fanatic loyalists WANT to believe it’s unfair and WANT to hate Democrats. It has become their world construct. The vote does not need to be very close Trump will still say it was unfair and fraudulent if he loses.

Of course Biden will request a recount if it’s close in a state and the first count is against him, there are automatic recount rules when the vote is close in most states even without a candidate requesting one.

Religion plays in because it is used as a TOOL by bad people to control others. Some religious people fall for it, thankfully most don’t. Some of these people have lost sight of what America really is supposed to be. The KKK uses religion, politicians use religion, they know it works.

Religion also can be a very good thing, I’m just saying it’s used as a tool by some leaders. Those who tie their religion to politics will go along with whatever their leaders tell them. They seem to worship them like God. Blind faith. That creates ambiguity because these people don’t care about evidence or proof they will believe whatever they believe. If they believe the election was dishonest then it was to them.

I’m not talking about believing in God, I have no problem with people believing in God, no problem with any religion, I never have, I’m talking about people who distort religion.

Americans concerned about the election should move to make it more fair and secure if they are concerned. Not complain about mail-in voting but rather come to the table to make suggestions on how to make mail-in as secure and fair as possible. Republicans just want to block it, except in Florida where the minority vote is heavily Republican and Utah where the mail-in vote is Republican.

Do you think a significant number of Republicans want to stop Democrats from voting? Or, they want everyone to vote?

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie I agree mail-in balloting could be made more fair and perhaps even acceptable to the Republicans. However, as pointed out by many on this thread, rules governing the elections fall under the state government. And the last thing a Democratic state government wants is fairness.

Just like nothing can change my mind, I sense that yours is just as made up. And I suspect that most voters have also made up their minds. So, what exactly would be the point of allowing until Nov 20 for ballots to be received? It does nothing except promoting stories about Democrat intentions.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Frankly, it could be a bigger blowout than ‘84 and I don’t think Trump would concede. Hell, the man didn’t accept the results when he won.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy Pretty sure we Democrats think the last thing Republicans want is a fair election. Honestly, I don’t think ALL Republicans don’t want a fair election, but plenty of them want to block voting by minorities or hope minorities don’t vote.

I guess from your comments you think Democrats are cheaters and criminals. You assume they will commit voter fraud.


JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy You do realize that there is higher risk someone’s vote won’t get counted with mail-in voting right?

People suck at reading directions.

The last election (last month) there was a facebook post going around saying, “don’t forget you need two stamps for your mail-in ballot.” A bunch of my friends wrote below the post, “oh no, I only put one stamp, what will happen?” It says on the envelope no postage necessary! Everyone who wrote I only put one did not read the envelope.

In Florida, you need to make sure you sign everything and fill it out correctly, put it in the sleeve with the directions and send it back. If they are not reading then they easily can screw it up.

I have heard some states don’t count your ballot if it is not in the sleeve, which is ridiculous in my opinion.

Of course it must be signed for the signature check, some states do nothing to remedy if you have not signed or if your signature does not match, they just don’t count the ballot.

I would not be surprised at all if my inlaws fill it out wrong. I don’t remember if there were Spanish directions? I am assuming in Florida there was, but I really don’t remember.

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie Yep, that is true. That is why the Dems have now pivoted to urging their followers to vote in person instead of mail. They realize how many votes are tossed out with mail in or absentee voting and realized they are pushing their people into something that will hurt them.

JLeslie's avatar

@seawulf575 I haven’t seen that, but I have not watched TV or read much the last few days.

LostInParadise's avatar

@seawulf575 , Do you have a link for that?

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie It isn’t something you will necessarily see on CNN or MSNBC. But it is out there

LostInParadise's avatar

What I see in that article are suggestions to vote early, by mail or in person. They quote Michele Obama saying that people should not vote by mail. Here is a link to a video showing the former first lady simply telling people to vote any way that they can, including mail in.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie You are one of the most reasonable Democrats I have debated in a while. Or so I thought until your last two posts.

1. I did not say that Democrats will likely commit voter fraud. I did say that the mail-in balloting rules are so lax that one might suspect an ulterior motive.

2. “People suck at reading directions”. How can they then fill out an in-person ballot?

3. If a voter does not realize that postage is prepaid, should that vote be counted?

4, “I would not be surprised at all if my inlaws fill it out wrong. I don’t remember if there were Spanish directions? I am assuming in Florida there was, but I really don’t remember.” Ion LA County, voting materials will not be just bilingual but will be available in 13 languages!

Enough said.

JLeslie's avatar


#1 Most states have all sorts of checks to ensure the vote is accurate. Some states more than others. Republicans seem to have a lot of misinformation about what checks are in place. I am not assuming that about you.

#2 – people miscomprehend things on ballots all of the time. issues are purposes worded in the negative so a no means yes and yes means no. You must know that. I think that should be illegal.

#3 Thankfully I have not heard that they will throw a ballot out for the wrong amount of postage.

#4 Directions for voting probably are in many languages here, I just don’t remember what comes on the one sheet we received with our mail-in ballot. There was not room for more than a few languages, but that doesn’t mean there is not more languages online.

It would be ironic if minorities are more likely to mess up how they write up and package their mail-in ballot. That would mean encouraging minorities to mail-in would work in favor of Republicans (except maybe in my state). The people I told you about with the stamp thing are not minorities and they were born and raised here, so that probably is not the case, but anyone ESL might be at a disadvantage.

LostInParadise's avatar

@crazyguy , Take a close look at that link. Apart from the title, I do not see anyone saying not to vote by mail.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie 1. The only positive proof that the vote is cast by the intended voter in any state is signature match. Have you tried to match your own signature to one you produced just 10 years ago?

2. Agreed. However, you did not directly address my #2.

3. That is a shame! But you are right.

4. It is not 13 languages on the same ballot. You get a choice of what language you want.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy Floridians are encouraged to update their signature. In Florida you have to request a ballot, so if you don’t receive it you know something is wrong. If you go into vote and they say a ballot was requested and you didn’t request it, you know something is wrong.

crazyguy's avatar

@LostInParadise Yes, I agree with you. However, a change in emphasis is obvious.

LogicHead's avatar

Both Biden and Harris repulse me

She is a liar of unbelievable proportion.
And him sucking his wife’s finger and sniffing the young girl’s hair—repulsive

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie I think no ballot should be mailed out unless it has been expressly requested. Florida’s way is far superior to California’s.

@LogicHead I agree 100%. Biden is a smooth-talking pervert. Harris is like a tied down dog waiting to break free. Then, watch out!

Darth_Algar's avatar

I like perverts who don’t boast about sexual assault. Or about walking into dressing rooms where teenage girls are in various states of undress. Or who don’t refer to their own daughter as “a piece of ass”.

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