results of 2020 election, day one
Wednesday, November 4 2020
I awoke at 4:00am with a pounding heart and a headache and remembered, right, yesterday was election day and I drank too damn much. I got up and went to check HuffingtonPost.com in the laboratory. I was horrified to see that there were still five swing states not yet declared and the presidential election remained undecided. The headline included the word "nail biter." What had gone wrong? Biden had been ahead at least eight points in the polls! I ate a xanax, climbed back in bed, and tried to reconcile myself to the distinct possibility of four more years of Donald J. Trump, the single worst human being America has ever produced.
I have at tendency to always expect the worst, particularly from elections. I've been scarred by every election beginning with the one Jimmy Carter lost to that good-natured idiot Ronald Reagan in 1980 (an event that hit the American middle class like an asteroid, leaving a crater still apparent to this day). But at some point I mustered the nerve to check a news source less apocalyptic than the Huffington Post. Somewhere some liberal blogger talked me down off the ledge, reminding me that this election was one that would experience a "blue shift" as the mail-in ballots (cast overwhelmingly by coronavirus-fearing Democrats) were tallied after the day-of-election votes. This was a good thing to be reminded of, but I still had to wonder how the polls could've been so wrong. It seemed they'd been right about the percentage of support for Biden but wrong about the support for Trump. Nearly all of the "undecided" voters went for Trump, much as they had in 2016. This suggests they really were "shy," that is, reluctant to admit to a pollster that they support someone as demonstrably horrible as Donald J. Trump. In any case, by the time I talked to Gretchen this morning, I was feeling a lot better. And she seemed not to be panicked at all, which was a little unexpected. Naturally, we were both dismayed that Trump had failed to receive the repudiation the polls had predicted. Evidently even in 2020, one can nearly win a nakedly racist campaign for President of the United States. And that's in addition to Trump's many other horrors, including the superspreading of coronavirus at multiple venues.
Within a few hours, it was clear that a blue shift really was underway, with enough states either called for or leaning towards Biden to give him the presidency. Trump, of course, was having none of this, and had declared himself the victor last night like some sort of Belarusian strongman. The media, though, was anticipating this undemocratic behavior, and was freely using terms like "inaccurate," "bogus," and "deceptive" in the headlines describing his antics.
Meanwhile, my hangover was so bad that at some point I took my work-issued laptop to bed and plinked away at it for awhile. Eventually I even nodded off briefly.
Later I took a brief bath, which certainly helped. When Gretchen got home, she made us a dinner of roast vegetables and Shouk burgers (that restaurant in Washington sells frozen patties for customers to make at home). Powerful had been to the store and bought high-end burger rolls, which really helped.
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