Open line, plus some election trivia | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Open line, plus some election trivia

Posted By on Sat, Nov 12, 2016 at 4:42 PM

FLIPPED FOR TRUMP: Obama counties that moved into the Trump column. - WASHINGTON POST
  • Washington Post
  • FLIPPED FOR TRUMP: Obama counties that moved into the Trump column.
Here's the open line.

While we're at it, some bits and pieces from today's post-election news low:

* Donald Trump turned a third of the 700 counties nationwide carried by Barack Obama in both elections into his column. (One county in East Arkansas that went for Obama once went for Clinton, according to the map.)

* Hold off a bit on the notion that a dramatic downturn in Democratic votes was the singular cause of Hillary Clinton's loss. All the votes haven't been counted yet this year — millions of them. From The Atlantic:

“We probably have about 7 million votes left to count,” said David Wasserman, an editor at Cook Political Report who is tracking turnout. “A majority of them are on the coasts, in New York, California, and Washington. She should be able to win those votes, probably 2-1.” By mid-December, when the Electoral College officially casts its ballots, Wasserman estimates that Clinton could be ahead by 2 percentage points in the popular vote.

...This has happened before. David Leip is the one-man band behind The Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections, a website cataloging vote totals all the way back to the early days of the Republic. He remembers seeing much of the same vote-counting hysteria after Election Day in 2012, when it appeared Obama would fall far short of his 2008 total. “They did the same thing—‘Oh my goodness, look at all those missing votes,’” he said. From the numbers he’s seeing, California is due for a record turnout, and possibly other states are as well. It’s too soon to tell, he cautions, if Clinton’s total haul, which currently sits at 60.6 million, will match or surpass the 66 million votes Obama received in 2012.

But let’s be clear: While these uncounted votes may grow Clinton’s popular lead, they absolutely will not change the course of the election. That math is settled; Trump holds an insurmountable lead in swing states, which turned his popular defeat into a sizable electoral victory. All the votes in liberal-leaning New York and California will not change that.

However, these ballots will knock the legs out beneath the argument that Clinton failed to mobilize Democrats. Yes, she’s no Obama in 2008. (Neither was Obama in 2012.) But county-by-county results indicate Democratic voters flipped for Trump, not that they stayed home. 
Narrow margins in three critical states — Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan — carried the day for Trump. Only 107,000 votes in all. A victory is a victory. But this one was close.

* In a phone call today with supporters, Hillary Clinton said James Comey cost her the election — both the reopening of the e-mail investigation and then the closure, which further motivated Trump voters with the notion that the election was rigged. Given the closeness of the race — and the polling that supported an erosion in numbers thanks to the FBI director — it's a supportable view. What Comey did was a gross misjudgment. He bowed to malevolent forces in the FBI. They achieved their aim.

* The cherry on top: Now the transition talk moves Mike Huckabee to a short list for Health and Human Services secretary.

Also getting a lot of attention is the take of Seth Stephenson of Slate on how the Trump campaign penned reporters up like zoo animals for objects of derision by his rally followers.


The elite became the focus of Trump voter scorn as they stormed to elect an elite — Ivy League, west side of New York, ultra-wealthy — to the White House (which apparently won't be his full-time home. He's talking of spending nights in New York.)

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