Recent US elections: It ain’t over till the Democrat wins. By John O’Sullivan. Or how to win elections without getting the most votes.
The national popular vote for House candidates — which is the single best guide to the state of national opinion — was a victory for the GOP with Republicans (51.4 per cent) leading the Democrats (46.7 per cent). Not quite a landslide, but a healthy result which, however, produced a net Republican gain in House seats only just creeping into double figures.
If we compare how similar vote increases corresponded with gains in House seats in earlier elections, we find that on past performance the GOP might reasonably have expected to win anything between forty and sixty more seats. How can we explain this discrepancy?
That’s quite hard to do. …
When one side wins more votes and the other side wins more elections, the reason might be that the votes are cast in the wrong areas — “wasted”, as the phrase has it, because they pile up uselessly in “safe” party constituencies while the other side usefully wins all the tight races.
But that possibility doesn’t seem to apply to the 2022 election because the Democrats won more than their share of close races while also winning large majorities in their own secure redoubts. So what explanation is left?
Unfortunately, the only one that appears to fit the facts is that something odd is going on, and even more unfortunately that’s an explanation we’re not allowed to consider because it comes from unrespectable sources rather than the reliable mainstream media like the New York Times and NBC.
That explanation has something to do with the fact that in recent years universal voting on election day (with the result announced that evening or the next day) has been replaced with complex electoral arrangements that combine votes mailed in over a long period with drop-box ballots distributed unevenly across the states and arrangements that allow voting after the polls close, to be verified later, and also (of course) election-day voting—all the different ballots being then moved from localities to vast centralised counting halls, “put into the system”, collated, and finally revealed by degrees over a week or two to the waiting world with only one certainty or, to be fair, one likelihood: It ain’t over till the Democrat wins.
Something like that seems to happening this time around, with voting machines misfiring in some areas, vote counting that takes forever to count 50,000 votes (or the electorate of a UK or Australian constituency), and a candidate for the governorship of one state also being in charge of the electoral process.
It may be all above board, but it doesn’t look that way. As Walter Kirn explained it to Matt Taibbi on the latter’s independent news site, America This Week, about the counting in Las Vegas in the hotly contested state of Nevada: “If they counted money the way they’re counting ballots, those people would be in Lake Mead tied to a cinder block. The outsider, the American citizen, has every right to feel that these processes are simple, objective and rapid.”
The fact that citizens can’t feel any such confidence has consequences — namely that neither they nor the election losers in particular will retain their confidence in the fairness of the system — and the principle of “loser’s consent” will gradually evaporate.
The Catch-22 in this debate is that you’re not allowed to question either the fairness of the results in this electoral maze. If you do so, you’re an “election denier” and therefore an enemy of democracy. As President Biden’s press spokesman has said of these long delays in counting: that’s how the system is supposed to work. Well, yes.
One smoking gun is the temporary changing of the addresses in election databases, which probably lost the Republicans many tens of thousands of votes. But it still doesn’t explain how, given the vote disparity, the Dems keep winning where it matters.