GOTV! No more accordion hands! At every moment, ask how many votes remain to be counted.
Show Up and Vote.
There’s only one more day of poorly fashioned shtick to free-ticket crowds, of whom at least 700 have died at super-spreader rallies. Uncounted ballots should be the media framing for the next weeks.
That’s why media figures should emphasize percentages of uncounted ballots. Ordinarily, as votes are counted, you are mainly told the percentages of precincts that have reported, and you extrapolate how many are remaining.
This time, media figures should convey clearly how many votes, and what percentages of votes, remain to be counted. This small adjustment could go a long way: When Trump declares himself ahead (or even the victor), pointing out how many votes are outstanding will expose this as the farce it is.President Trump has revealed his endgame in all its corrupt glory. If Trump is on track to losing once all the votes are counted, he will seek to invalidate as many ballots as possible, while asserting that counting outstanding ballots constitutes an effort to steal the election from him.In reality, of course, it’s that very act — trying to thwart the full counting of ballots — which would actually constitute an effort to steal the election.
To be clear: Trump will declare that the election is being stolen from him to justify trying to steal it himself.But this plot constitutes a bet on massive institutional failure by the news media to render that basic situation with total clarity. So I’d like to suggest how the media might avoid such a disastrous outcome.One way entails flipping the script so great emphasis in election-night coverage is placed on the percentages of uncounted votes, as opposed to the percentages of counted ones.First, an aside: Saying Trump has a plot to steal the election doesn’t mean he can’t win. Trump still can win, if there’s a very large polling error, or if he hangs on in Pennsylvania, where Joe Biden’s lead is not overwhelmingly solid, which opens up an inside path.
However, Trump himself has a contingency plan to steal the election if he is set to lose once all the votes are counted. It’s to prevent all the votes from getting counted.
No More Accordion Hands (a tell)
— The Hill (@thehill) November 2, 2020
— Tina Nguyen (@tina_nguyen) November 2, 2020
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) November 2, 2020
— Political Polls (@Politics_Polls) November 2, 2020
— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch) November 2, 2020
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) November 2, 2020
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) November 2, 2020