The Sound and The Fury, Part One

Okay, I have to do it.  Just one more time I have to do it.

To those of you who read this blog from outside the US, you have my apologies for the internal navel gazing of the political posts.  I promise to do a writing post, or maybe one of the change of seasons here in Yellowstone, in the next few days.  Unfortunately, as the sound and fury (and turnout) should tell you, this particular election is pretty big to us.  Even were it not taking place in this year of never-ending misery, the election still would be an all-consuming blackhole sucking in all of our attention and focus.

Well, that and I’m an opinionated writer who can’t help but spout off from time to time…

Now, first off, my bets with that bookie down on the corner: I did okay.  I quite obviously got bitchslapped by reality with my bet (my hope, really) that this thing would be done and over by lunch on Wednesday.  Technically it ain’t over until Congress validates the votes of the electoral college in early December, so we have that to look forward to.  Oh, we will know for sure who won within the next few days, but there is zero indication that such knowledge will stick.  The folks who won will crow and cheer, and the folks who lost wail with cries of “fraud!” and “stolen election!”, and the sturm und drang will continue…

I was pretty close on the overall percentages, with only a few thousand votes still to be counted.  Now, those few thousand are pretty damned important as they will determine which way a few states go, and thereby decide the election, but no matter what happens the overall percentages will not change materially.  Biden bettered Hillary’s run from 2016 by a significant margin.  His 50.5% is significant because it is a legit majority of the population rather than a simple plurality.  Trump also bettered his 2016 results by a pretty significant margin, by the way.  His 47.8% is also — distressingly, to me — a pretty good showing for the loser in one of our presidential elections.*  And, yeah, before I get all the hate emails and angry texts, I fully realize it ain’t over yet as I write this.  The handwriting isn’t just on the wall, however, the pen is capped and stuffed back into a pocket already (whether or not Trump and his acolytes want to admit it).

*Err…I did warn you all that I’m a stats nerd, right?  I mean…look…I actually enjoy Excel, for pete’s sake!  Analyzing stats and numbers is, I admit, a weird thing for a writer to enjoy — especially one who barely eked out a C in a college accounting class — but, well, there’s that dissonance thing again!

I also got the Senate pretty much right.  My only miss there was Susan Collins in Maine.  I actually like Collins, so it’s not a terrible miss from my perspective.  I should probably explain that I used to live in Maine, and still have many friends there, so I have some personal investment in that race.  I have a pretty good idea where I went wrong, and why she won when all the polls showed her losing badly, but I’ll spare you that level of inane detail.  Suffice it to say, it’s not as big a surprise as you would think to anyone who knows the entire state, vice just the Portland area.

And the House…

Oh, dear Lord, the House…

Plus or minus five seats is no real change.  With the House results from 2018 as a starting point, it wouldn’t matter a bit if a party gained or lost five seats.  A move of that magnitude would change nothing.  Bigger than that, however…

The change in 2020 looks to be bigger than that.  Quite a bit bigger.

The House really surprised me, and I will have more on why that is a good thing a bit further down.  For the moment, let me just say that while the Dems are still very, very likely to keep control, it is a hollow leadership as they will be pretty much neutered.  The House of Representatives looks to be, to all intents and purposes, in a statistical deadlock.  More on that later, too.

Erm…well…

This post is already closing on 750 words pretty dang fast.  If I go on to write what I actually set out to write, it is going to end up at least double that.  Actually, it would probably end up closer to 2,000 words.  I’m gonna spare us all that, for the moment.  I am going to write a second post to focus on the consequences and impact of this election, as I see those.  I will most likely put that up later today, or perhaps tomorrow.

If you’re done with all the politics, however, and just don’t want to hear anymore — and who could blame you?! — then just wait until Sunday or Monday, and I’ll get this blog back to its normal focus on the semi-random ramblings of a cynical, half-drunk writer. Until then, unfortunately, I feel like I have to finish this 2,000 word monster post.

*sigh*

Musical Note — something just to change the tone and remind everyone, red and blue and in between, that the election ain’t everything…

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