Forget the polls. If there’s anything we learned in 2016 it’s that polls don’t mean much.
For weeks, if not months, the mainstream media has speculated and discussed the possibility of President Trump refusing to concede the election and gone through the what-ifs. But what isn’t discussed ever by the mainstream media is this scenario: that President Trump will be the victor on election night, and Joe Biden will refuse to concede. This is far more likely to be the case.
Hear me out.
There has been an undeniable partisan divide in how people feel about COVID-19 and mail-in voting. Democrats are far more likely to fear the virus and choose to vote by mail. As much as I distrust polls, I think there’s ample reason to believe this to be true. In the past few weeks there have been reports of mail-in ballot extensions, and so-called “naked ballots” improperly cast in the key swing state of Pennsylvania are bound to cause a “delay” in states certifying their votes until “every vote is counted.”
Call me crazy, but I think this is exactly what the Democrats want.
2016 was a stunning upset for Donald Trump that defied polling and, frankly, conventional wisdom. The New York Times estimated Hillary Clinton’s chance of victory at over 90 percent. In 2016, the election was largely seen as a formality getting in the way of Hillary’s inevitable coronation.
Polls may suggest Joe Biden is ahead, even substantially, nationwide, but they did for Hillary at this point as well. Do we really believe that Democrats will leave anything to chance? I certainly don’t. I remember all too well how Al Franken lost his bid for the U.S. Senate in 2008, only to emerge the victor months later after ballots kept getting discovered that eventually erased his deficit and propelled him to “victory.”
I suspect that the way things have aligned this year, Donald Trump will be the victor on election night. But Democrats will argue that there are too many votes uncounted to be sure of the result. And then a scenario similar to what we experienced in Florida in 2000 will occur in several battleground states. Democrats will fight tooth and nail to make sure every dubious ballot is counted. Ballots will start showing up in liberal strongholds. Improperly cast ballots will be the subject of intense litigation. “Naked ballots” will be the “hanging chads” of 2020. And Joe Biden, whom Hillary Clinton urged not to concede the election under any circumstances, will do exactly that: refuse to concede.
My distrust in the polls and the undeniable enthusiasm gap between Trump and Biden has me confident that Trump will eke out a legitimate Electoral College victory a second time, but I suspect that a certified Trump victory will not end the debate over “who really won.”
Al Gore eventually conceded to George W. Bush after weeks of post-election battles, but the media still did their best to claim that Gore was the rightful winner of Florida, and thus the election. Several post-election analyses were done, and some showed Bush would have widened his lead; others showed Gore would have emerged victorious. In the end, George W. Bush was the rightful winner, but the political left maintained that Bush was illegitimately elected—”selected, not elected” was a common slogan heard at the time—and it cast a dark cloud over his presidency. A Trump victory in an election where mail-in ballots will have become a huge factor gives the left their opening to dispute Trump’s legitimacy as president. Heck, they’ve done so already, repeatedly citing his popular vote deficit in 2016, as if it actually matters.
Should Trump emerge victorious on election night, he needs to declare victory and fight all efforts to steal the election via bogus mail-in ballots. It’s gonna happen.
Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis