Trump's last-stand battle plan: Don't count all the votes | Newsday


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  3 weeks ago  •  27 comments

By:   William Goldschlag and Dan Janison (Newsday)

Trump's last-stand battle plan: Don't count all the votes | Newsday
Trump is trying to block the count of some Texas and Pennsylvania votes that could help Biden. Those court challenges failed so far but likely will continue.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

Biden supporters at a drive-in campaign rally amid steady rain Sunday in Philadelphia. Credit: Getty Images / Drew Angerer

By William Goldschlag and Dan, Updated November 2, 2020 4:51 AM PrintShare fbShare Tweet Email

Trump's ballot-cancel culture

By law, Pennsylvania cannot start counting its unprecedented flood of absentee ballots until the polls close Tuesday night. Democrats last month sought to change the law to allow the counting to begin sooner, but Republicans who control the Keystone State's legislature said no.

President Donald Trump doesn't want them to be counted at all. The mail-in vote, which will take days or even weeks to tally, is predicted to be favorable to Joe Biden; the in-person count, which will come sooner, is expected to go Trump's way. For now, the U.S. Supreme Court is allowing Pennsylvania to count ballots postmarked by Election Day but received up to three days later. The state's 20 electoral votes could prove decisive in the election outcome.

"I don't think it's fair that we have to wait for a long period of time after the election" and it would be "terrible thing," Trump told reporters Sunday while on a five-state marathon of rallies. As soon as polls close in battlegrounds such as Pennsylvania, Trump said, "we're going in with our lawyers." The president even scolded voters worried about their ballots being recorded, saying, "If people wanted to get their ballots in, they should have gotten their ballots in long before that, a long time." (See video of his remarks.)

Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller said on ABC's "This Week" that "many smart Democrats … believe President Trump will be ahead on election night" and then "they'll try to steal it back after the election." Counting absentee ballots — even if it takes days — is legal, common around the country and normal, despite Trump's drumbeat about fraud.

Trump denied a report by Axios that he was considering announcing a premature claim of victory on Tuesday night if it looks like he's "ahead," regardless of an incomplete count in Pennsylvania. Going ahead would depend on wins or commanding leads in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Iowa, Arizona and Georgia. Axios said its report was based on three sources familiar with his private comments.

In Texas, a Republican group sued seeking to throw out 127,000 votes already cast in Democratic-leaning Harris County, which includes Houston, because those voters used drive-thru balloting locations set up for safety during the pandemic. The Texas Supreme Court turned the lawyers down, but they are trying again in federal court.

Biden, when asked about the potential early victory claim by Trump, said, "My response is the president is not going to steal this election." Trump's campaign is raising money for a prolonged political and legal fight and recently began automatically checking a box to withdraw additional weekly contributions from online donors through mid-December — nearly six weeks after Election Day, The New York Times reported.

Biden: Trump is a virus

Biden began a major push in Pennsylvania on Sunday with two events in Philadelphia. "Every single vote matters," he said, noting that Trump had only won the state in 2016 by roughly 44,000 votes.

Biden drew honks and applause from a drive-in rally when he said the way to combat the pandemic is to defeat Trump. "The truth is, to beat the virus, we've first got to beat Donald Trump. He's the virus," he said.

This day in polls

Swing-state polls out on the last Sunday before Election Day show Biden leading in enough places to win, but not by enough to erase all doubt.

The Democrat is ahead in all three Rust Belt states that gave Trump his margin of victory in 2016. In Pennsylvania, Biden is in front by 6 to 7 points in ABC News/Washington Post, New York Times/Siena College and Reuters/Ipsos polling. Biden is running stronger in Michigan — ahead by 10 points, according to Reuters/Ipsos — and Wisconsin, where Times/Siena sees an 11-point lead and Reuters/Ipsos finds a 10-point edge.

Florida, which Trump can't afford to lose, looks to be a toss-up. The president has a 2-point edge in the Sunshine State in the ABC/Post survey; Times/Siena has Biden up by 3 points. Times/Siena finds Biden ahead by 6 points in Arizona.

The brightest spot for Trump is the new Iowa Poll, which sees the president leading by 7 points, breaking a tie from September. If the former vice president were to take Iowa, it would be a harbinger of a potential landslide. All the swing states' polls are of likely voters.

The national picture hasn't budged. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of registered voters find Biden leading by 10 points, 52% to 42%.

Janison: Why every vote matters

Supporters of either Trump or Biden are clearly motivated to vote this year even in states that won't be close in the battle for the Electoral College, writes Newsday's Dan Janison.

For any president, winning more votes in a democracy offers the intangible value of a popular mandate. Otherwise, Trump might not have bothered to create unfounded "fraud" scenarios to excuse his having lost the popular vote four years ago by nearly 3 million ballots.

This election has a different shape because an incumbent is on the ballot. The last three presidents not only won their second terms via the Electoral College but also carried the popular vote along the way.

Whatever the rationale for keeping the Electoral College — and it's unlikely to be abolished — an instinctive feeling endures in America that the candidate with the most votes should win. This is one dynamic to consider when the results start rolling in.

Trump cheers Texas highway MAGA mayhem

A Trump supporters' caravan ambushed and surrounded a Biden campaign bus Friday on a Texas interstate highway, forcing it to slow to 20 mph, and bumped a staffer's car with one of their vehicles. Trump's response? "I LOVE TEXAS!" in a Saturday tweet, with a video clip from the incident.

It looked like the president was endorsing a dangerous harassment tactic, but Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel said Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation": "Certainly you don't want harm, and we shouldn't be hurting other people. So the president would not endorse that." Except he did later at a rally: Trump said his supporters were merely "protecting" the Biden bus "because they're nice."

The FBI is investigating the Friday incident. Upon getting that news, Trump criticized the FBI. "In my opinion, these patriots did nothing wrong. Instead, the FBI & Justice should be investigating the terrorists, anarchists, and agitators of ANTIFA," the president tweeted.

The bus was headed from San Antonio to an event in Austin, which the shaken campaign staff canceled.

The lies have it

As the campaign nears a close, it seems like Trump is trying out new lies to roll up with the old ones in hopes of achieving a critical mass that can tilt the race his way.

At a rally in Michigan on Friday, the president repeated an extraordinary and unfounded claim that the nation's pandemic death toll of more than 230,000 was exaggerated because American doctors were profiteering from coronavirus deaths. "You know our doctors get more money if somebody dies from COVID. You know that, right?" Trump said. "I mean, our doctors are very smart people … so what they do is they say, 'I'm sorry, but, you know, everybody dies of COVID.' "

The American Medical Association called the claim "malicious, outrageous, and completely misguided." breaks down why the latest Trump effort to minimize the pandemic is false.

CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale writes that Trump's dishonesty falls into seven categories: downplaying the pandemic, misrepresenting Biden's positions, baseless election-fraud allegations, rewriting history, false and misleading economic boasts, exaggerating accomplishments and false things about seemingly trivial subjects.

Fauci: We're in bad shape

In a blunt rebuttal to Trump's claims that the U.S. is "rounding the turn" on the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday in a Washington Post interview: "We're in for a whole lot of hurt" in the months ahead. Fauci added, "It's not a good situation."

"All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly," said the government's top infectious diseases expert. In response, the White House ripped Fauci on Saturday, saying he chose "three days before an election to play politics."

At a rally in south Florida just minutes into Monday, the crowd chanted, "Fire Fauci!" Trump responded: "Don't tell anybody, but let me wait until a little a bit after the election."

Trump's current favorite coronavirus adviser, Dr. Scott Atlas, said in an interview with the Kremlin propaganda network RT late Saturday that the U.S. public health leadership is "killing people with their fear-inducing shutdown policies" and restated his skepticism about mask-wearing. Striking back at his critics, Atlas said "it's a sad statement on America that the U.S. is hysterical over this."

On Sunday, Atlas tweeted an apology for appearing on RT. He said he was "unaware they are a registered foreign agent. I regret doing the interview and apologize for allowing myself to be taken advantage of. I especially apologize to the national security community who is working hard to defend us."

Atlas also deleted a tweet that included a video clip from his interview and said, "If you can't handle truth, use a mask to cover your eyes and ears."

More coronavirus news

See a roundup of the latest regional pandemic developments from Long Island and beyond by Newsday's Lisa L. Colangelo. For a full list of Newsday's coronavirus stories, click here.

What else is happening:

  • From Newsday's Washington bureau, here are in-depth reports on two policy areas with stark contrasts between Trump and Biden. Laura Figueroa Hernandez looks at criminal justice issues; Tom Brune examines the differing approaches to the pandemic.
  • It's November, which means October passed without an "October surprise" to dramatically shift the race in Trump's favor, writes The New York Times. There's no coronavirus vaccine yet, the pandemic is spreading faster and the push about Biden scandals hasn't broken through in a big way. Perhaps Trump ending up in the hospital with COVID-19 was a surprise, but not a helpful one for him.
  • A study from Stanford Universityestimates that there have been at least 30,000 coronavirus infections and 700 deaths as a result of 18 Trump campaign rallies from June to September. A caution: The study's authors were economists, not epidemiologists, and compared data between similar counties that did and did not host rallies for coronavirus caseloads before and after. Epidemiological experts were divided over the soundness of the study's methods.
  • Trump paid tribute to Sean Connery, who died Saturday, by tweeting that the Scottish actor's comments helped him win approval for a development in Scotland. "Sean was a great actor and an even greater man," Trump wrote. Scottish planning officials said Connery was no factor in their decision-making.
  • A motorcade of New Jersey Trump fans stopped their vehicles and got out, blocking all the northbound express lanes of the Garden State Parkway near the Cheesequake service area on Sunday and causing a 5-mile backup, according to police. In New York, another Trump caravan staged similar traffic blockages on the Bronx-Whitestone and Mario Cuomo bridges.
  • At least a dozen Trump supporterspicketed Attorney General William Barr's home in McLean, Virginia, on Saturday to protest his failure to carry out the president's call for him to "lock up" Biden.
  • Trump has struggled to articulatea second-term agenda, but a report in Politico suggests a "you're fired!" theme will be part of it. Trump and his top aides want to rid his Cabinet of anyone who has crossed the president, refused to mount investigations he has demanded or urged him to take a more strict tack on the coronavirus response, the report said.
  • As Trump was speaking in windy Hickory, North Carolina, Sunday night, the structure holding up the American flag collapsed behind the crowd and the press area. No one was hurt.

By William Goldschlag and Dan, Share on Facebook Share on Twitter


jrDiscussion - desc
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1  seeder  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago
By law, Pennsylvania cannot start counting its unprecedented flood of absentee ballots until the polls close Tuesday night. Democrats last month sought to change the law to allow the counting to begin sooner, but Republicans who control the Keystone State's legislature said no. President Donald Trump doesn't want them to be counted at all. The mail-in vote, which will take days or even weeks to tally, is predicted to be favorable to Joe Biden

Trump wants to invalidate the votes of hundreds of thousands of American citizens.  He must truly believe that is the only way he can win. 

1.1  Tessylo  replied to  JohnRussell @1    3 weeks ago
"He must truly believe that is the only way he can win"


Sparty On
2  Sparty On    3 weeks ago

Pure conjecture but then again if the left tries to pull off any shenanigans he will be correct in doing so.

But man, there is going to be some hyper butt-hurt liberals if Trump wins.

Keep your powder dry people.   The spaz-out will be epic and will likely require intervention.

2.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Sparty On @2    3 weeks ago

Why would the president of the United States object to counting all legitimate votes? It's very easy to determine if a vote is legitimate or not. 

Sparty On
2.1.1  Sparty On  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1    3 weeks ago
Why would the president of the United States object to counting all legitimate votes?

He doesn't, not for legal votes.  

At least not in the real reality he doesn't

2.1.2  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.1    3 weeks ago
At least not in the real reality he doesn't

Trumpp no's nothing but an artificial reality, and that's his official position, on Trumpp's reality

Sparty On
2.1.3  Sparty On  replied to  igknorantzrulz @2.1.2    3 weeks ago

Reality by

Liberal is not the real

Reality man

2.1.4  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.1    3 weeks ago

If people were told they could drive by vote then the fucking votes were legal.  Stop protecting this piece of shit "president". 

Mark in Wyoming
2.1.5  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.4    3 weeks ago

John mark that down as one of the rare times we agree on something.

 IMHO because states control how elections are held within their borders thats the way it should be . the individual states make their rules for what is a valid vote.

common sense to me , and likely only me would dictate , if early voting is allowed , be it mail in , or absentee, its up to the state to determine when they shall be counted , to me , they should be able to be tabulated at the start of the election , meaning they can be counted as soon as the polls open. to me any counting before election day has the potential to affect how others will vote. so i wouldnt be for it just as i am not really a fan of eastern states releasing their results before the west coast even has a chance to vote, i feel the vote results should be announced in the media , the following day at the soonest ( i could agree noon central time for the announcement)

 lately , as of last week , many have been told it would be better to drop off ballots directly than to trust the mail(usps) and i can see that reasoning to an extent and from experience .

if a ballot arrives by mail , as long as it is post and time marked before the end of both the USPS usual end of service day and before the .polls close , they should be verified and then counted as valid and legal votes

2.1.6  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @2.1.5    3 weeks ago

ill agree with you both, but, what exactly does that say about the gop's efforts ?

2.1.7  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.3    3 weeks ago
Reality by

Liberal is not the real

Reality man

what are your thoughts on artificial plastics ?

2.1.8  Tessylo  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.3    3 weeks ago

Truth/reality have a liberal bias.

Man . . .

The Magic Eight Ball
2.1.9  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  Tessylo @2.1.8    3 weeks ago
Truth/reality have a liberal bias.

complete bs.

2.1.10  igknorantzrulz  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @2.1.9    3 weeks ago

u spelled bs wrong

2.1.11  MUVA  replied to  Tessylo @2.1.8    3 weeks ago

No and why would anyone even believe that trope?Truth is truth reality is reality your comment puts the leftist prospect in a new light reality is subjective to some on the left.

Sparty On
2.1.12  Sparty On  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.4    3 weeks ago


Stop trying to make shit up and calling it legal John.

Sparty On
2.1.13  Sparty On  replied to  Tessylo @2.1.8    3 weeks ago

A more obtuse statement has never been uttered here on NT and THAT ...... is really saying something considering all the ignorant stuff we see on display here on a daily basis.

Sparty On
2.1.14  Sparty On  replied to  igknorantzrulz @2.1.7    3 weeks ago

I think there's a great future in plastics.   Think about it.   Will you think about it?

2.1.15  JBB  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.13    3 weeks ago

Things don't get to be cliches without truth...

You can credit Steven Colbert at the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner for first putting words to a now recognized truth.

It is obvious this one triggers you. I ask, why?

Sparty On
2.1.16  Sparty On  replied to  JBB @2.1.15    3 weeks ago

Ah yes, the great academic Stephen Colbert ..... with his BA in communications ...... such impressive bona fides!


2.1.17  JBB  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.16    3 weeks ago

Good, then you concede reality's liberal bias...

Sparty On
2.1.18  Sparty On  replied to  JBB @2.1.17    3 weeks ago

Nope, not in the least.

Up is still the direction of "Up" in my reality.

Not the direction of "zig-zag" like in many liberal realities

2.1.19  Dulay  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.12    3 weeks ago
Stop trying to make shit up and calling it legal John.

Is it your ridiculous posit that people chose to use drive thru voting because they thought is was ILLEGAL? 

Paula Bartholomew
3  Paula Bartholomew    3 weeks ago

Say they stopped counting ballots like Trump wants and it still shows Biden the winner.  Trump would stomp his feet, whine, and demand the rest be counted.

3.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @3    3 weeks ago

I would say you are correct Paula. 

Paula Bartholomew
3.1.1  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1    3 weeks ago

If all the ballots got counted and it still showed Biden as the winner, Trump would demand a recount.

3.1.2  MUVA  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @3.1.1    3 weeks ago

That’s so Al Gore I doubt he would do that. 


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