MOMENT OF UNTRUTH: TRUMP GOES BARKING UP THE WRONG BUSH
However, unlike George W Bush’s successful attempt to block the Florida recount in 2000, Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks tells the ABC she does not believe Trump has any valid reason to launch a legal challenge against fresh counts.
Joe Biden has slammed Trump’s accusations of electoral fraud, which has since gone on to include a false claim of “ballot dumps” despite the widely acknowledged trend of Democrats leaning towards mail-in voting mid-pandemic.
As millions of postal votes continue to be counted, Biden has taken a narrow lead in Michigan and Wisconsin and remains up 237-214.
Biden’s campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon has claimed Democrats “are in a clear path to victory by this afternoon [and] we expect that the vice president will have leads in states that put him over 270 electoral votes today”.
CONSPIRACY CORNER: For a depressing read, check out The Hill’s list of votes that were mailed in to states ahead of election day cut-offs — i.e. Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin — that, under Trump’s postmaster-general Louis DeJoy, failed to meet a court order for rushed deliveries.
THE STATE OF THINGS
While counting for Senate spots could take days, weeks or even months, The Sydney Morning Herald explains that both parties have flipped a seat each — including Delaware, where Sarah McBride has become the first openly transgender senator — and Republicans are likely, but not guaranteed to maintain control.
On individual state propositions, Uber and Lyft have won their multi-million dollar campaign to keep California drivers classified as “contractors”; Colorado has voted down an attempt to ban late-term abortions; and Oregon has become the first state to legalise psychedelic mushrooms in therapeutic settings. Florida, which voted for Trump, also passed a $15 minimum wage.
Finally, NBC News exit polls shows Trump’s support has shot up since 2016 among Florida’s Cuban-Americans (55%), Puerto Ricans (30%) and “other Latinos” (48%). The comes after Yahoo News reported in May that Biden — who critics argued won the Democratic primaries “in spite of, not because of” his Latino outreach — did not go onto court Latino groups, lawmakers or strategists.
PS: In a timely reminder of what was at stake in the election, the ABC reports that the Trump administration has officially pulled out of the Paris Agreement.
WELL THAT’S A SURPRISE DEVELOPMENT
Under the cover of Melbourne’s lockdown ending, the Queensland election, and just everything happening in the US, The Conversation reports that the Coalition and Labor have teamed up to override state bans on property developer donations.
After Queensland, NSW, and ACT introduced bans upheld — in separate cases — at the High Court, the parties passed legislation allowing property developers to ignore state laws when political donations are made “for federal purposes”. Additionally, donations will no longer need to be disclosed if less than $14,300.
HAVING A BALL
Finally, in yesterday’s bit of purely un-controversially good news, the ABC reports Queensland has come from behind to win the first State of Origin 18-14.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
How come every time they count mail-in ballot dumps they are so devastating in their percentage and power of destruction?
The president who did the thing he very, very, sincerely promised not to do and claimed premature victory begins the conspiracy-cum-pity party.
“Well, um, eh, errrrr, uh… as US election night wends to its close, the election is on a knife edge, but in my opinion is trending towards the re-election of President Donald Trump for a second term.
“Though the map is looking good for the Democrats, it always does, with their 200 or so automatic electoral college votes. What looks terrible is, well, everything else. The hope of a Democrat landslide in the popular vote is gone; whoever actually wins this is going to do it by a couple of states.“
“While all eyes are on the presidency, there are some other races that could also change the trajectory of the United States over the next few years.
“Several Senate races remain close, with the potential for ‘runoff’ elections dragging out results for weeks or months to come. And in the House of Representatives, a few interesting candidates have emerged.”
“It’s morning in Australia. A continent away, the wonks and pre-election polls have Joe Biden coasting to victory. But in a garish corner of Pyrmont, Sydney, a block away from the Star Casino, there were never any doubts about Donald Trump’s chances of victory.
“‘I wouldn’t say a landslide, but I think he’ll definitely win the popular vote,’ a man named Brett tells me.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Should Biden win, Trump’s supporters will believe his victory to be illegitimate — Nick O’Malley (The Sydney Morning Herald): “President Donald Trump has sought to undermine the democracy he leads and disenfranchise millions of his fellow citizens when he spoke from the White House just after 2am. ‘This is a fraud on the American public,’ he said as election officials continued an otherwise unremarkable count of legitimate votes across the nation.”
Democrats underperformed among voters of colour — except in Arizona. Here’s why. — Aída Chávez and Ryan Grim (The Intercept): “In 2016, in Starr County, Texas, one of the poorest areas of the country and 96% Latino, Hillary Clinton cleaned up, winning it 79 to 19%. Four years later, Joe Biden won that same county by just 5 points. Yet the votes for Clinton and Biden were roughly similar: 9246 in 2016 for Clinton and 9099 for Biden in 2020. It was Donald Trump’s numbers that surged, from just over 2000 in 2016 to more than 8000 this election.”
An open letter from 1,200 Australian academics on the Djab Wurrung trees — Peta Malins, Crystal McKinnon et al (The Conversation): “We are Australian academics* writing to condemn the destruction of the 350 year-old sacred Djab Wurrung Directions Tree at the hands of the Victorian government. We call on the government to urgently halt works and protect the remaining Djab Wurrung trees and land from destruction.”
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
Former federal court judge Geoff Giudice will present “Industrial relations on the brink” for the annual ANU Phillipa Weeks Lecture 2020.
A parliamentary inquiry will examine the cashless welfare card.
Chief Councillor of the Climate Council Tim Flannery will discuss his new book The Climate Cure in a Wheeler Centre webinar.
Treasury secretary Steven Kennedy will speak on the thinking behind the federal budget in the “Policy and the evolution of uncertainty” webinar and discussion hosted by Australian Business Economists.