Some election thoughts

I think at this stage it is reasonable to assume Trump has lost, in spite of his best efforts to forestall defeat. There is not going to be a recount, not because there was no fraud, but no one in charge wants a repeat of 2000 all over again. Making matters more complicated than in 2000 and less favorable for Trump, is that a recount would involve multiple states, and that Trump needs PA, AZ, and NV to turn in his favor. On Saturday, just before termination of trading upon ‘official’ declaration of Biden as the winner, the Trump 2020 contract on FTX gave Trump just a 1% chance of winning, so it’s not looking good.

There are three levels of burden or proof that must be surmounted:

1. that there are discrepancies and irregularities that may or may not be due to fraud

2. that such irregularities are due to fraud

3. that such fraudulent irregularities only involve the Biden campaign in states in which the results were close and that Biden needed to win

I don’t dispute the first. The second is harder to prove, but it would not surprise me if there was at least some fraud on the part of Bien campaign, but how much is hard to ascertain. The third one is much harder to prove. Even if there was fraud, this does not preclude fraud from both sides.

In assessing such irregularities, one much avoid confirmation bias, in looking for anything that could possibly be an irregularity on the part of the Bide campaign. For this to be rigorous, we have to compare such findings to locations that are not nearly as closely contested, to show if such purported irregularities are unique to contested areas or just a part of the election process.

I don’t think much will be different under Biden, as I predicted before. To anyone who is despondent about Trump’s loss, I ask how will things be different, and I don’t think anyone can come up with anything. Maybe mask mandates or increased business closures or increased taxes, but in regard to the first two, things were already bad in 2020 under Trump. Trump was not forceful enough in resisting the shutdowns, and possibly even acceded to such demands, and this may have contributed to his loss, as many business owners, who tend to lean Republican, were hurt badly by the shutdowns. The common media narrative is that Trump lost because he did not take Covid seriously enough, but Trump’s refusal or inability to completely disavow Fauci and the CDC, may have hurt his support among business owners in swing states.

Trump winning Florida by a sizable margin was a significant victory. This shows there is a pathway for the GOP for future elections, by focusing on minority outreach and picking away at the left’s black and Hispanic lead, without hurting the GOPS’s core white base. Trump lost some support among whites (probably due to the shutdowns and failure to build a wall, which was a major campaign promise in 2016), but he gained support among Hispanics and blacks, but most importantly, minorities in swing states. This means we can expect more Hispanic pandering/outreach for future GOP candidates, as it seemed to have worked for Trump.

During the election, Nate Silver got some criticism on Twitter for getting Florida (and other states) so wrong, in that he predicted easy Biden wins for Florida and Michigan. In spite of Trump only having 10% odds of winning according to 538 on the night of the election, it felt much closer than that, and Trump put up a hell of a fight. The betting markets however puts Trump’s odds at 25%, which was more accurate. I think bodes poorly for Nate Silver and pollsters, and people will pay more attention to betting markets.

I don’t believe income taxes will go up under Biden. For first two years of his term, I predict Biden’s main priority will be on Covid stimulus and the distribution of a vaccine, so by 2022 Republicans may win the House and increase their Senate lead, which will make it much harder for Biden to raise taxes in the remaining two years of his first term.

Every four years, the pundits tell us how it’s the ‘most important election ever,’ and then when those four years have passed, what has changed? Not much. Healthcare and tuition will keep being expensive. Tech stocks will continue to generous enormous profits and stock prices will keep surging. Rent will keep being expensive. The college wage premium will keep widening. People keep complaining about the same problems–immigration, healthcare, national debt, student loan debt, etc.–yet nothing seems to change.