Tag Archives: Election Night

Will we know who won on Election Night?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I have been rubbing balm on my trick knee to keep it from throbbing during this election season.

Now, though, I think it might be time to let my joints “talk” to me about what might happen when they count the ballots for president of the United States.

Here is what they’re saying:

They are telling me that we are going to have a winner declared sometime during the night. It could be in the wee hours. Or it might come much earlier than any of us expects.

How might we learn early? Joe Biden could pick off a few key swing states early — such as, oh, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and perhaps Georgia. Without Florida in the bank, Donald Trump has virtually no path to re-election.

Then there could be the shocker of all: Biden squeaking out a win in, gulp, Texas. The early vote here has been stupendous, with Democrats in Harris, Dallas and Travis counties rushing to vote early.

I say all this while resisting the urge to predict it will happen. The West Coast states of Oregon, Washington and California are in the bag for Joe. There’s also Nevada, New Mexico and Hawaii. Toss in Arizona and you’re looking at a possible Biden landslide.

Trump is talking up a big Election Day surge among Republicans. They might turn out en masse as well. Will it be enough to overcome the potential early vote surge we’ve seen in Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa where the COVID crisis also is surging? Time will offer an explainer.

My trick knee also could be sending me another sort of message, which is that Trump will enjoy enough of a surge at the end to squeak out an electoral college fluke that mirrors what transpired in 2016. That is the scenario that could keep the result in limbo for several days past Election Night.

OK, one more thought: If we know the evening of Nov. 3 or the early morning of Nov. 4, I believe Donald Trump will concede. He won’t do it in the normal way, offering his congratulations to the winner and promising his full support. He will surrender the White House with gritted teeth.

That’s my call and I’m sticking with it. Such as it is.

No watch party this time, but interest remains keen

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

My wife and I got an invitation four years ago to attend a presidential Election Night watch party at our friends’ home in Amarillo.

We arrived full of optimism that we would witness history, with the election of the first woman ever as president of the United States.

What occurred, as you know, wiped the smiles off our faces.

We won’t attend any watch parties this year. The COVID crisis has taken care of that bit of Election Night activity. We’ll stay home in Princeton and watch the returns as they unfold during the night.

Our interest in this election, though, far exceeds what we thought we felt in 2016. Why? Because the individual who won last time — and who had no business occupying the most exalted public office on Earth — has been a disaster … to borrow a term that Donald Trump likes using.

I remain baffled in the extreme at how Trump has managed to hang onto that base of voters who continue to cheer his lies, his feints, his bob-and-weave answers. They either are too ignorant to think for themselves or they know he’s lying but give him a pass because he, um, “is telling it like it is.”

I need to restate what I have said already throughout this election season: Joe Biden is not the guy I wanted initially to win the Democratic Party nomination for president of the United States. I had hoped for someone new, someone fresh and someone with an entirely different approach to governance.

Biden survived the sausage grinder of the Democratic primary. He withstood a grilling from his fellow Democrats. He survived the crucible and now is challenging the individual who I have deemed the most unfit, unqualified, undeserving individual ever elected to the nation’s highest office. Donald Trump fooled just enough of ’em to win the Electoral College vote in 2016.

We won’t gather with friends this year. We will be watching with even more intensity this year than we did the previous time.

Oh, how I yearn for a different outcome.

Who’ll make the call?

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Tradition is a big part of Election Night.

The TV networks and news agencies, with their analysts on hand to parse the results, make their calls on states as the vote totals roll in. Eventually, we get a winner. Someone crosses the 270-electoral vote threshold to become elected president of the United States.

In November, we’ll go through it again.

One of two men, Joe Biden or Donald Trump, will emerge the winner. I hope it’s Biden. You know that already.

Suppose the polls we see today showing Biden winning big on Nov. 3 hold up. Biden wins. Tradition dictates that the person who falls short calls the winner to concede, to offer his congratulations and, presumably, his support and cooperation during the transition.

Then, according to tradition, the winner strides to a microphone to declare victory. While making that declaration, though, the winner usually mentions the “gracious and warm phone call” he gets from the opponent.

Ahh, that’s where it might break down … if the guy I want to win actually wins.

You see, Donald Trump has said a number of things that seem to put that Election Night tradition in some jeopardy. He might not accept the election result. He might challengeĀ  it. He’ll accuse someone of “rigging” the result. What’s more, we’re likely to slog our way through the campaign with heaps of mud being slung … from Trump to Biden and perhaps some in response from Biden to Trump. These men will not end this campaign as friends.

I have this fear that the tradition we long have boasted about — the peaceful transition of power from one party to the other one — might not play out once we get the ballots counted.

Does anyone expect Trump to say anything gracious about his foe no matter the result? For that matter, should we expect Biden to speak well of his foe given what we can expect to come from Trump throughout the remainder of this political bloodbath?

Tradition is in trouble, I fear, as we await the result of what is sure to be a most consequential election.

Then again … we can hope that sanity prevails on Election Night.