No Blue Wave, but Trump’s Dead in the Water
As Danielle and Toure record this episode of democracy-ish, Joe Biden holds a lead in the Electoral College count so far. Coupled with solid leads in Nevada and Arizona, he’s “on the one-yard line,” says Toure. But that’s no place to do an end-zone victory dance.
Election Night is Election Week, because 2020. And although the much-hoped-for “blue wave” was barely a splash (since polls are apparently trash), all signs point to a Biden-Harris victory.
As usual, Black folks turned out to do the right thing, even if half the electorate did not. But it looks like the Senate will remain under malevolent turtle Mitch McConnell’s control.
Trump claimed victory even though hundreds of thousands of ballots are still uncounted, alleging fraud. No surprise there. But with such deep divides across the country, how will President Biden govern effectively?
“As far as I'm concerned, the headline is, once again: Black people, and specifically Black women, saved America,” Toure says, noting the overwhelming support for Biden among voters in cities like Detroit and Milwaukee.
And although the blue wave we hoped for turned out to be barely a splash, it looks like Biden has a path to 270 and at least one branch of government will function normally again.
“When all of this is said and done, I want the fucking headlines to say Black America, once again, saves America from itself,” says Danielle.
The other big headline for Toure is that “the amount of racism, and acceptance of Trump's racism, is insane and massive and frightening. I didn't think after years of incompetence, lying, failing … we’d see 68 million people line up and think, yeah –– we can do four more years of that.”
Though both our hosts are exhausted from the chaos, it’s not over yet. And they’ve got plenty of choice words for voters, pollsters –– and, of course, the doddering gasbag who we the people will (fingers crossed) soon evict from our property at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Episode Highlights –– Election Madness
The ‘celebratorily’ racist half of America
For Danielle, the most difficult truth to face right now is that roughly half of the electorate aligns its values with Trump in spite of his abject inhumanity.
“As Black people, we see children in cages –– our ancestors were there. Broken-up families –– that happens to us. It's really hard for us to process, as good people, that nearly 70 million Americans are just inherently, celebratorily racist.”
That leads to another big takeaway for Toure: “We’re just barely beating the worst president of all time … I wonder if and how the Democratic party needs to change.”
We can point and laugh at Trump voters and say they're racist idiots and they don’t know what’s really going on because they watch Fox all day. But we also have to take a hard look at ourselves, Toure explains.
“You can't force other people to change, but you can change if you're not getting the results you want,” he adds.
“I’m not saying we need to appease the racists. Fuck the racists. And the GOP also needs to do some soul searching … but we [Democrats] could be a better party if we do some work and figure out why we’re not more effective.”
For whom the bell tolls polls
It’s a bit too early to analyze the 2020 race writ large, but one thing does seem clear: The polls were (mostly) wrong –– again.
Is it because of unprecedented turnout on both sides? Because the COVID-19 pandemic skewed predictable voting patterns? Or is it because of the purported “shy Trump voter” phenomenon?
“People do lie to pollsters because it is still not outwardly socially acceptable to be a rabid racist,” says Danielle, pointing out that most Trump supporters are like the ones we see at MAGA rallies –– red-hatted, threatening Black Lives Matter protesters and trying to run people off the road.
“But then there's the 12% who are shaking my hand and waving to me as they go into their voting booths and vote against my life.”
Toure doesn’t think there’s a significant number of sub-rosa Trump voters either.
“I find they’re very loud and proud about their bullshit,” he says. “But at some level, American polling is dead.”
Here’s the tea: poll numbers are flawed AF
Toure is the first to admit he was lulled into a false sense of confidence through “consistent numbers from A-plus pollsters for six-plus months” that suggested Biden was winning by a significant margin –– along the lines of eight to 10 points.
If Uncle Joe does pull off a win, it will be by two or three points –– more like Hillary Clinton’s popular-vote margin.
“It correlates with our very divided country,” says Toure. “But the way American pollsters are gauging what's going on is fundamentally broken.”