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On Trump’s perseverance and the irony in a potential electoral margin

If the remaining not-fully-counted states go the way they are leaning, Joe Biden will win the electoral vote by 306-232, which is the same as the count by which Trump won in 2016.

President Donald Trump playing golf at the Trump National Golf course in Sterling, Virginia, on Sunday.
President Donald Trump playing golf at the Trump National Golf course in Sterling, Virginia, on Sunday.
REUTERS/Jim Bourg

I look forward to the day, soon I hope, when I can stop obsessing on Donald Trump. It would help if he would concede the election, but I’m not counting on his better angels to win that battle over his id. 

The smart analysts are all saying that he has no realistic hope of reversing the outcome of the election, even after packing the Supreme Court after stating explicitly that he is counting on “his” justices in case of an election dispute. I’m not sure why the smart analysts assume that that “his” justices” won’t come through for him, but I’m living in that hope and in their confidence.

For the moment, he hasn’t conceded nor ever, once, promised to leave if he loses.

Ironically (if that’s the word I want), if the remaining not-fully-counted states go the way they are leaning, Joe Biden will win the electoral vote by 306-232, which is the same as the count by which Trump won in 2016 (if we disregard a small number of “faithless electors” in 2016 who were trying to throw the election into the House).

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This irony has been remarked upon. An electoral margin of 74 is a solid win. But for some reason I keep remembering that Trump in 2016 explicitly called that margin a “landslide” and even a “massive landslide,” for reasons that seem too obvious to explore here but which would be fine starting place for a 1,000 page work on the lies and deceptions and ignorance and egotism of the soon-to-be-former president. Or would 1,000 pages be enough?

In fact, it was not a “landslide” then, nor now, because the absurd magic of electoral votes more often than not leads to a much bigger margin than the national popular vote margin. Roughly no one, outside of Trump’s family and dependents, saw his 2016 win as a landslide. And, of course, everyone other than the Trump family understands that Trump was one of just five out of 58 presidential election winners who managed to win the electoral vote while losing the popular vote, thanks to the adorable Electoral College system.