They’re not subtle.
Trump and his goons telegraph a punch like the town drunk — you’re never not going to see it coming. So of course they leaked to Axios’s Jonathan Swan their not-so-super-secret plan to declare victory the second the vote tally shows Trump ahead, no matter how many tens of millions of votes remain to be counted. They’re planning to freeze the count in the “red mirage” stage, before the absentee ballots, which will heavily favor Joe Biden, can be counted. (This is assuming the “red mirage” some have foretold actually materializes. We’ll see.)
The New York Times confirms that “Trump advisers said their best hope was if the president wins Ohio and Florida is too close to call early in the night, depriving Mr. Biden a swift victory and giving Mr. Trump the room to undermine the validity of uncounted mail-in ballots in the days after.” Like we said, subtle.
But in case anyone missed it, Death Star Campaign General Jason Miller headed over to ABC to blab to George Stephanopoulos that they intend to declare victory five minutes after the polls close and immediately argue in court that the 100 million votes cast before election day must never be tabulated.
MILLER: We feel good about it. And the one final thing, George, if you speak with many smart Democrats, they believe President Trump will be ahead on election night, probably getting 280 electorals (sic), somewhere in that range. And then they’re going to try to steal it back after the election.
We believe that we’ll be over 290 electoral votes on election night. So no matter what they try to do, what kind of hijinks or lawsuits or whatever kind of nonsense they try to pull off, we’re still going to have enough electoral votes to get President Trump re-elected.
Which isn’t the dumbest strategy in the world. Obviously, it’s bullshit. No one gets any “electorals” on Tuesday night, not even in in a normal year (whatever that creature is, although we suspect it’s extinct now) when the AP is able to project the winner of most states within five hours of the polls closing.
But getting out in front and presumptively declaring himself the winner based on an incomplete count isn’t a crazy way to spin it if we wind up in a protracted, close contest. Particularly when Trump will likely lead by a wide margin in election day votes in swing states like Pennsylvania, where Democrats make up 66 percent of the early vote according to professor Michael McDonald’s U.S. Elections Project.
What’s crazy is Jason Miller opening his fat gob and telling the world about it. The only thing crazier would be for the president himself to get up in front of a microphone and shout I INTEND TO STEAL THIS ELECTION BY THROWING OUT ALL THE MAIL-IN BALLOTS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
Wait for it …