The Morning Brief – 11.04.20

By Bruce Carson


The 2020 Presidential Election

No Biden Sweep

No Repudiation of Trump    

At 12:30 am ET Vice President Biden addressed supporters in Wilmington Delaware. At 2:20 ET President Trump addressed supporters in the East Room of the White House followed by brief comments by Vice President Pence.

At the point of writing, neither Trump nor Biden has achieved the magical number of 270 Electoral College votes. Both Biden and Trump still have a path to that number as at 3am, Biden has 220 Electoral College votes and Trump has 213.

In his three minute speech Biden said he feels good about where they stand and on track to win the election. He added that we knew it would take a while to count the ballots but it “ain’t over till every ballot is counted.”  It is not up to Trump to determine the results, it’s up to the American people.

He added that he felt good about Wisconsin and Michigan and “we will win Pennsylvania.”

He concluded with “keep the faith, we are going to win this.” He indicated that he would address Americans later today.

Shortly after Biden spoke Trump tweeted that he won’t let the Democrats steal the election. He added that this was a Big Win.

Biden responded by tweeting “keep the faith guys, we are going to win this.” He added that it is not his place or Trump’s to say who wins.

Trump’s speech in the White House recounted states he won or in some cases hopes he will win. He added we “had such a good night.”

Then he called the fact that counting continues as a “fraud on the American people.” He said “we did win this election.”

He then stated that the Republicans would be going to the United States Supreme Court to ensure that all voting stops and we will win there and we have already won.

Pence was more measured saying that they will “remain vigilant” and “protect the integrity of the vote.” He added that “we are on the road to victory and will make American great, great again.”

Biden responded to this statement through his campaign manager at 3:50 am saying that Trump’s assertions and attempts to stop ballot counting were “outrageous, unprecedented and incorrect” in that it would deprive Americans of their right to have their ballots counted.

A comment on Trump’s statement would be that voting has ceased so what he is after is an order from the Court to stop counting ballots and disqualify ballots in Pennsylvania that arrive in the next three days as is allowed under state law.

What is in front of both candidates is a path to victory without using the courts, by letting the vote count continue.

On the other races, it seems that the Democrats have increased their number in the House of Representatives but have failed to flip the Senate in their favour.

It also looks like the Democrats have won the popular vote, but then not all ballots have been counted.

If President Trump is going to try to shut down vote counting by going to court this morning he will have to start in the courts of the states he is targeting but it is difficult to see that path to a court victory as the states are operating within their own electoral laws and stopping the count prematurely would deprive Biden of his right to have ballots legally cast, counted and possibly put him in the White House, or not. It also deprives voters of the right to have their legally cast votes counteed.

Unless Trump is able to secure an injunction when he goes to court, ballots will be counted by the end of the week.

After the dust has settled the Democrats should do a  post mortem on their approach to this election as to whether drive in rallies were the answer to Trump’s rallies and whether Biden should have been more active in the campaign. Also the messaging in the campaign seemed confused, particularly with regard to energy and environment, particularly fracking.

Also, given the closeness of the vote, it is arguable that COVID-19 was less of an issue than the economy or racial strife.

This is also another election where the polling has not been accurate and while polling methodology has been adjusted since 2016, there was no Biden sweep and Trump closed whatever gap existed between them in the last few weeks.

At some point later today, most of the counting of ballots should be completed or near completed in most states except Pennsylvania where it should take most of this week.

Tomorrow, The Morning Brief will deal with the effect of these results on Canada-U.S. relations.

To Come

  • International trade numbers to be released
November 5
  • Ontario budget presented
November 6
  • Job numbers for October to be released
November 12
  • Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor delivers a speech –exploring life post COVID-19