2020 COMMENTARY #2: Arizona is Pennsylvania Insurance


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This map, where brown  represents swing states, uses data from fivethirtyeight.com and interactive software from 270toWin — thanks to both sites!

Have you been wondering how the race for the Presidency really stands in a world where we still have the Electoral College; rampant vote suppression; and a Justice Department, judicial branch, and police, armed Executive Branch agents, and armed and crazy private militias potentially prepared to preserve the Trump Presidency by any means necessary?

Oops, sorry — go lie down for a while with a cool washcloth on your face until you’re ready to come back and see how it might work out — and how, if at all, Biden can win.

Joe Biden’s “base” of states (including DC and single EV vote districts for these purposes) is: Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, California, Illinois, southern Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connectivut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Manyland, and DC. That gives him 183 EVs to start with; he’d need 87 more to win outright.

Biden has polling leads of at least 10 points in four additional contests: New Mexico, Virginia, Maine’s statewide EVs, and Colorado.  Winning those, which is a safe bet, brings him to 212 EV — and needing 58 more to win.

(Let’s note right here that polls of likely voters only gives you the number of voters who think that they will be able to vote and will have their votes counted, which is not necessary the number for whom both will be true.  So: polls are fallible for more reasons than just sampling error and bad luck!)

Biden also has leads of at 9 points in New Hampshire, almost 9 in Michigan, and 8 in Minnesota; winning these states would bring him to 242 EV. And then, it gets a little tougher.  Biden leads by 7 in NV, 6 votes from which would bring him to 248.

Then things get even tougher. Biden would need 21 more EVs to tie, and 22 to win, from these swing states. which listed in order of his current margin: Wisconsin (10 EVs, 7  point lead), Pennsylvania (20 EVs, 7 point lead), Omaha (1 EV, 4½ point lead), Florida (29, 3½ point lead), Arizona (11 EVs, 3 point lead), North Carolina (15 EVs, 2½ point lead), and OH (18 EVs, ½ point lead). He currently leads in them all — but none of those leads seems safe.  He trails in northern Maine (1 EV) by ½ point.  Theoretically, Georgia (16 EVs, Trump by ½), Iowa (Trump by just over 1 point), and Texas (38 EVs, Trump by 3½)  are in play. Eventually Texas and Georgia will be — which is the moment that Republicans decide that they want to get rid of the Electoral College — but I doubt that Iowa pr Texas will vote blue this year.)  Georgia voters may plan to do it, and think that they’ve done it — and that would be huge  (though not itself decisive) — but I think that vote suppression and maybe worse chicanery will prevent them from being counted in the blue column.

Florida going for Biden would do it alone — but they are suppressing votes like mad there and I don’t think he’ll get it.

Pennsylvania is his best bet to get almost there –and  it would suffice if he wins the Omaha and northern Maine’s EVs.  Or, he could win with Penna and Wisconsin. But state officials are ready to cheat in those states as well — which brings us to Arizona.

Adding Arizona to Pennsylvania gives Biden the win even if he loses Wisconsin.  In fact, with its one more electoral vote, Biden could also afford to lose one of the single-EV districts.

But what if Biden loses Pennsylvania?

In that case, Arizona ensures that it’s not over.  It and Wisconsin give Biden the tie; either Omaha or northern Maine get Biden to 270.

So, you Southern Californians who want Trump defeated: unless you think that one of the other swing states is a cinch for Biden to move off of 248 EVs, Arizona is the nearby place to put your efforts.  They need help with calling voters and with personally preventing election intimidation.  (Click that link for more info.)

Unfortunately, thanks to Trump, I have to tell you to do what I’m doing before (if all goes as planned) I drive out there for Election Day: ensure that my wife and kids can find my completed will.  Sadly, things this year have come to that.


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 (in violation of Roberts Rules) when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Expelled from DPOC in October 2018 (in violation of Roberts Rules) for having endorsed Spitzer over Rackauckas -- which needed to be done. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. One of his daughters co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)