One Week to Go—Here’s the Scoop on Early Voting Data, as of This Morning

To put the following information in perspective: the total number of votes cast in 2016 was about 129 million. To be precise, 128,838,342.

Moreover, generally speaking, the higher the turnout, the more accurate the pre-election polls turn out to be.

With these thoughts in mind, here is how matters stand as of an hour ago, according to NPR:

With one week still remaining until Election Day, Americans have already cast a record-breaking 66 million early ballots, putting the 2020 election on track for historic levels of voter turnout.

That’s some 19 million more pre-election votes than were cast in the 2016 election, according to the U.S. Elections Project, a turnout-tracking database run by University of Florida professor Michael McDonald.

McDonald calculates that nationally, voters have cast more than 48% of the total votes counted in the 2016 election. 

“We continue to pile on votes at a record pace. We’ve already passed any raw number of early votes in any prior election in U.S. history,” McDonald told NPR on Monday.

“It’s good news, because we were very much concerned about how it would be possible to conduct an election during a pandemic,” he said, citing concerns that mail-in ballots would be returned by voters en masse at the conclusion of the early voting period, overwhelming election officials. “Instead, what appears to be happening is people are voting earlier and spreading out the workload for election officials.”

In 2019, McDonald predicted that 150 million people would vote in 2020’s general election, which would be a turnout rate of about 65% — the highest since 1908.

But he’s going back to the drawing board. 

“I have increasingly been confident that 150 [million] is probably a lowball estimate,” he said Monday. “I think by the end of the week I’ll be upping that forecast.”

“Giddy”: Politico Would Like You to Know that the Plutocrats are Ecstatic Over a Biden Presidency

Well-known socialist rag and spokespuppet for the oppressed, Politico, lets us know that As Trump warns of economic disaster, Wall Street grows giddy about Biden: Many investors are betting on a Democratic sweep. But some other scenarios could create an unsettling environment for markets:

President Donald Trump loves to say that if Joe Biden wins the White House, stocks will crash, retirement accounts will vanish and an economic depression “the likes of which you’ve never seen” will engulf the nation.

But much of Wall Street is already betting on a Biden win — with a much different take on what the results will mean.

Traders in recent weeks have been piling into bets that a “blue wave” election, in which Democrats also seize the Senate, will produce an economy-juicing blast of fresh fiscal stimulus of $3 trillion or more that carries the U.S. past the coronavirus crisis and into a more normal environment for markets.

Far from panicking at the prospect of a Biden win, Wall Street CEOs, traders and investment managers now mostly say they would be fine with a change in the White House that reduces the Trump noise, lowers the threat of further trade wars and ensures a continuation of the government spending they’ve seen in recent years.

“The market is focusing on an end to the uncertainty around the Trump administration, and that in many respects is what underscores the pricing action around a possible Biden scenario and a blue wave,” said Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist at consulting firm RSM US. “Firms and investors crave stable expectations and that is how the Street is interpreting a likely Biden victory.”

It’s the Virus, Stupid, or, You Can Fool Some of the People All of the Time

But the Question is: How Many?

WaPo tells us that

Faced with record levels of U.S. coronavirus infections and a new White House outbreak, President Trump declared Monday that the pandemic was “ending anyway,” further tying his reelection bid to his ability to convince voters, including those at large rallies that defy health authorities, that the viral danger is fading.

Orange Man Wants You to be Sure to Know that Russia, China, and North Korea All Support His Reelection

Plus a Whole Bunch of Dictators in Other Countries

Jonathan Chait gives us the welcome news:

President Trump, as a way of deflecting attention from his ongoing collusion with Russia, has been claiming for months that the Chinese government wants Joe Biden to win (possibly true) and is actively working to advance his election (almost certainly false). He has also been claiming that Biden is barely able to function (obviously untrue.) At a rally today, the two claims collided in an unfortunate way.

Trump launched a riff about how various dictators all don’t want Biden to win because he is too sleepy.

“The only thing I can tell you for sure: President Xi from China, President Putin from Russia, Kim Jong-un, North Korea, and I could name 40 others, they’re sharp as a tack. They don’t want to deal with Sleepy Joe,” he said. “One of them said to me, one of the leaders said, ‘We don’t want to deal with somebody that sleeps all the time.’”

George Conway Would Like to Share a Few of His Beliefs

Mr. Kellyanne Conway writes,

I believe the laptop didn’t come from Russian intelligence. I believe Hunter Biden flew from his home in Los Angeles to Philadelphia, and then took a train to Delaware, because he needed a legally blind repairman there to fix his laptop. I believe Rudy Giuliani when he says the odds are “no better than 50/50” he worked with a Russian agent to dig up dirt on the Bidens.

I believe “the president knows all about this” dirt-digging, so all the dirt must be true. I believe Giuliani may have been duped by fake Kazakh rubes but could never be conned by real Russian spies.

I believe Giuliani was just tucking in his shirt.

Vote Early and Vote Often

The Associated Press reports that, while mail or in-person early voters totaled 58 million in 2016, give or take a few, mail or in-person early voters so far in 2020, with a week to go, total 58.6 million.

On Thursday, October 15, Democratic registered early voters outnumbered Republicans 51 percent to 25 percent. This past Sunday, Democrats were still at 51 percent, but Republican registrants had climbed all the way to 31 percent.

“Oh, noes!” shouted garment-render lolcat.

Lots and lots of young voters and new voters.

And, as the story points out, if most of the Trump supporters are waiting to vote in person on election day, they’re going to be standing in line for a long, long time.

Full AP story here.

Toxic Masculinity and the Trump Vote

I have had some satirical thoughts on masculinity. Mitzie has joined the fun, and the Lincoln Project has had some dead serious things to say.

Now, someone named Michael Sokolove, writing in the New York Times, sucks his thumb at considerable length in an article titled Why Does Trump Win With White Men? The gender gap probably deserves another name. Mr. Sokolove serves up some good social science and has other interesting thoughts to share. I won’t try to summarize; if the subject interests you, just read it for yourself.

All I would say is that anyone who mistakes this whining man-baby for an exemplar of masculinity needs a checkup from the neck up.

Fun Facts for a Sunday Morning

In Georgia, the total number of early voters, so far, equals 47 percent of total 2016 voters.

Of Georgia’s early voters, so far, it is reported that 55 percent are female and 43 percent are male.

Apparently, then, 2 percent of early Georgia voters do not identify as male or female.

But the important thing is that the women are showing up.