Election Day, USA, only 3 weeks away. Hard to believe, we finally have arrived at this crazy moment in US history. No one really knows what is going to happen, but that doesn’t stop all the talking heads from making their predictions.
In New York State, this year we have a few options. You can vote on Election Day, you can apply for a mail in ballot, or you can vote during the extended voting period, at the end of October, which lasts around a week. Since there is a voting place about a mile down the road from me, I think I am going to vote in the extended voting period. It probably is getting a bit late to apply for a mail-in ballot, and I can always be sure the voting building is not too crowded by checking the parking lot.
I know the top of the ticket, the Presidency, is the main draw, but the entire House and one third of the Senate is also up for grabs. As I mentioned in a previous post, Americans very, very rarely turn a first term President of the same party out of office, if he has defeated the candidate from the opposite party. So if a Republican defeats a Democrat, on that very first run at re-election, the odds are extremely high, that he will win his second term. Likewise if a Democrat defeats a Republican, the odds also are extremely high, he will win his second term. This generally does not hold if a Republican or Democrat is running for the third or fourth term.
The exceptions here are right after the Civil War, caused by Democrats, so folks voted Republican for many, many years. And likewise, right after the Depression, caused by Republicans, folks voted for Democrats for many, many years.
In the twentieth century only Jimmy Carter lost in 1980 after he defeated a Republican, in 1976. And in the nineteenth century, a Democrat, Grover Cleveland, lost to Benjamin Harrison after defeating a Republican, but then he came back to win, and defeat Benjamin Harrison, a first term Republican!
With that said, due to the pandemic, who knows if this is going to hold up. No one! I do think that precedent is very strong and the odds favor President Trump staying as President, and Speaker Pelosi, staying as Speaker. I think the greatest chance for a turnover is in the Senate, though even here, the Senate usually turns over (in my lifetime at least), in the sixth year of a Presidency, rarely in the second year, (the exception being Bill Clinton), and not in the fourth year.