It feels like it’s been ages since I’ve written about good, old fashioned, US politics!
Sure, I’ve taken a few hacks at the 2024 elections and the upcoming Georgia runoffs for the last two Senate seats, but I miss – and I can’t believe I’m saying this — talking about Trump, Biden, and the presidency!
Since Election Night, a little over a month ago, the world of political betting has been a bit stagnant. By most accounts, Joe Biden won the election, though Donald Trump has refused to concede. The President alleges that he’s the victim of widespread voter fraud and has launched a plethora of legal challenges in several key states.
While there’s been no shortage of headlines, court rulings, evidence, and outrages, the proceedings haven’t provided much in the way of betting fodder.
Fortunately, that seems to be changing, as the top political oddsmakers have begun rolling out a fresh crop of Donald Trump prop markets.
Political handicappers aren’t the only ones getting more active lately. After drastically reducing his public presence in the weeks following Election Day, President Trump is putting himself back in the limelight.
However you may feel about the man, you can’t deny that he’s a scrapper. If he’s going to lose, he’s going down swinging and refuses ever to admit defeat.
Although the closer I look at the election results, I’m not entirely sure I blame him.
Get your picks in now at our top-rated political betting sites!
Before I get into the various arguments coming from both sides, I must acknowledge the toxic partisanship that makes discovering objective truth nearly impossible.
Depending on your political affiliation, you’re being fed an entirely different reality – and no matter what proof or evidence is presented by the other side, cognitive dissonance probably won’t let you so much as entertain the possibility of it being valid.
- If you’re a Democrat, is there anything you could be shown that would convince you the election was rigged in favor of Joe Biden?
- No matter how damning the evidence, would you ever admit Trump’s accusations have merit? Or would you always create an excuse for any video or statistical anomaly with which you were confronted?
- After all, if Donald Trump is the “most dangerous President in US history,” wouldn’t the ends always justify the means in your mind, even if the Democrats had to pull a few strings to flip the result?
- If you’re a Republican, could you ever accept Joe Biden’s victory?
- No matter how many court battles and recounts occur, will you ever believe that the Democratic challenger is the rightful winner? Or will you always be suspicious of the absentee ballots, removal of GOP poll watchers, and lack of transparent signature authentication? What would have to happen for you to trust results delivered by Dominion Voting Systems?
- How about the Republican Party’s history of utilizing voter suppression techniques and gerrymandering?
- Even if ballot harvesting occurred and some poll workers put their finger on the scale on behalf of the Democrats, could you ever consider the possibility that their cheating’s net impact didn’t outweigh the GOP’s dirty tactics?
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not ready to make a judgment either way.
Our electoral system is such a disaster; I’m not sure we could uncover an objective, unbiased final vote tally if we tried. At every level, our elections are vulnerable to interference.
- The voting machines are demonstrably easy to hack and manipulate.
- Partisan volunteers man the polls.
- There’s no way for Americans to verify that their ballot was counted and went to their intended candidate. And nobody’s particularly interested in fixing the problems, except for when it’s politically advantageous.
When I worked at SolarCity, they’d occasionally hold raffles where employees could win various prizes like company-branded t-shirts and towels, restaurant gift certificates, or low-value Amazon gift cards. Despite the ridiculously low stakes, people cheated to win.
In professional sports, athletes are always trying to gain an edge. With millions of dollars on the line, we’ve seen superstars like Lance Armstrong, Roger Clemens, and Barry Bonds have reputations tarnished by steroid and doping scandals. The Houston Astros were caught banging on trashcans to tip pitches.
$15 billion was spent on the 2020 presidential election. And that’s just money spent campaigning.
$15 billion is nothing compared to the financial consequences on the line for major industries and corporations.
- How much did Big Tech stand to lose if the Trump administration repealed their Section 230 protections?
- What about military contractors vehemently resisting any efforts to end our military presence in the Middle East?
- Conversely, how devastating might some of the proposed clean energy initiatives proposed by Democratic candidates be to oil manufacturers?
If office workers stuff raffle boxes to win $20 Claim Jumper’s gift cards and athletes will inject themselves with blood-thickening agents and synthetic hormones to secure multi-million-dollar contracts, in what world would our elections be on the up-and-up?
The financial implications of the 2020 election dwarf those other examples; do you really think there’s a chance in hell both parties weren’t doing everything they could to cheat and further their corporate donors’ interests?
Everything we know about human nature says otherwise.
So, I’m going to use this article to discuss Donald Trump’s latest actions and allegations.
Based on what I’ve seen thus far, there are some red flags worth discussing. Just because the mainstream media has repeated words like “baseless” and “unfounded” a bunch doesn’t make it so. Just because Trump’s comical legal team has repeatedly lost the legal challenges doesn’t mean no fraud occurred.
Similarly, statistical anomalies and less-than-transparent electoral processes aren’t definitive proof that Joe Biden stole the presidency. Weird things may have happened, computers may have flipped votes, and individual poll workers may have acted unethically. Yet, in the end, Biden still received enough legitimate votes that he would have won regardless.
It’s impossible to know for sure in a political and journalistic environment where everything is interpreted and covered with extreme partisan bias.
For the sake of successful political betting, one must do their best to deduce what happened by examining a wide range of opinions and information generated by both sides.
I recently read two must-read books for any handicapper who wants to understand the current landscape and how we got here. They’ll help you see through the partisanship and make more accurate political predictions going forward.
The books are:
- “Hate Inc.” by Matt Taibbi
- “The People, No” by Thomas Frank
Hate Inc details how the US news media has evolved over the past few decades, driven by the hyper-partisan cable news model created by Fox News and adopted by MSNBC, CNN, and others. There are two distinct media realities, each running defense for their “team” while simultaneously criticizing their rivals as salaciously as possible.
The People, No
Frank’s book examines the history of populist movements throughout American history. You will notice some very familiar patterns while learning about grassroots efforts from over one hundred years ago. The same tactics used back then are recycled against outsider candidates today, whether Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, Andrew Yang, or Donald Trump.
You’ll never read mainstream media content the same again after reading “The People, No.” Even if you’re not a populist, it does an invaluable job exposing how the political establishment operates and how narratives are written. After reading it, you’ll be much better equipped to consume the news with the appropriate levels of discernment.
If you can see through the illusions and comprehend what’s being done and said, you will make much more accurate betting predictions.
For example, even after Bernie Sanders won the first three Democratic primaries, I knew he’d never be the party’s nominee. How could I know be so sure after his unprecedented hot start?
Let’s just say history repeats itself.
The “Most Important Speech” Trump’s Ever Made
Understanding that objective reality is unobtainable in modern US politics, and no matter the information presented, at least 50% of the political spectrum will reflexively deny it, let’s discuss where the 2020 presidential election stands today.
Last Wednesday, the President gave a 46-minute speech detailing a laundry list of allegations related to his assertion that November’s election was rigged in favor of Joe Biden. Claiming that the nation’s election system is “under coordinated assault and siege,” Trump delivered a series of accusations directly into the camera, which he believes prove Joe Biden’s victory “statistically impossible.”
“This election was rigged. Everybody knows it,” Trump said from behind the presidential podium in the Diplomatic Reception Room. Adding: “Our country needs somebody to say, ‘You’re right.’ . . . If we don’t root out the fraud, the tremendous and horrible fraud that’s taken place in our 2020 election, we don’t have a country anymore.”
The video was posted to Donald J. Trump’s YouTube page, titled “This may be the most important speech I’ve ever made….”
Naturally, the video was met with all the usual responses. It was described as a “rant” and dismissed as “baseless,” “unhinged,” “unfounded,” and dismissed as the latest chapter in Trump’s supposed “coup” attempt to subvert the democratic will of the people.
But was there any truth to what he said?
Allegations of Election Fraud
During Trump’s speech, he mentions several different types of election fraud that he contends took place without providing many specific details.
His gripes are primarily centered around the following issues:
- The massive expansion of absentee voting without proper ballot verification, allowing for vast numbers of illegal votes being cast – including by dead people.
- Not authenticating mail-in ballot signatures during recounts.
- Massive Pro-Biden vote dumps early in the morning on November 4.
- Republican poll watchers being locked out or impeded from doing their jobs.
- Dominion voting machines flipping votes from Trump to Biden.
Well, let’s see where President Trump could be getting these ideas, which we’ve been repeatedly told are “baseless” and “unsubstantiated.”
Georgia – Fulton County Ballot Counting Controversy
Since Election Night, the ballot counting operation at Georgia’s State Farm Arena in Fulton County has been mired in controversy. You may remember initial reports on that night that counting had stopped around 10:30 PM and was meant to resume the next morning.
“Well, that precinct… they had *shut down* and sent some workers home for the night.”
BUT some election workers stayed behind & ostensibly re-ran stacks of stowed ballots through tabulators. That was caught on video, just like this report.🔻https://t.co/bUCRCjpF9G
— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) December 7, 2020
Later, it was said that a water main burst, forcing election officials to close up shop and halt the count. Except, the counting never stopped.
Honestly, I cannot believe there were people pretending as if this didn’t happen for weeks. Here is the change in the vote in Georgia over time, with timestamps and estimated remaining vote.
Foolish to expect all would just give a benefit of the doubt.https://t.co/ueB2P4G2Ry pic.twitter.com/iZ80puDIqo
— Rich “The People’s Pundit” Baris (@Peoples_Pundit) December 7, 2020
Last week, security footage from the arena was unearthed supporting claims made by Republican observers that they were forced to leave the building under the false pretense that counting was done for the night.
However, video evidence shows four workers stayed behind, pulled out multiple boxes of ballots from underneath a table, and began running thousands of votes through the tabulation machines unsupervised after the building was cleared out.
The group Lead Stories, who initially called the video a “hoax,” before the sentiment was parroted by the Washington Post and Newsweek, is merely taking government officials’ word for it.
Rather than addressing the core issue of why GOP poll watchers and media being cleared from the room so a skeleton crew could begin processing hidden caches of ballots, they focused on officials claiming the votes were in standard “containers,” not suitcases as it was initially reported. They also say the officials told them that “party observers were never told to leave because counting was over for the night.”
But the footage shows them all leaving at the same time.
This highlights the disingenuous way allegations are dismissed by the mainstream media. They find one trivial detail to correct, then use that as the basis for “debunking” the entire controversy.
The ballot irregularities witnessed in Pennslyvania are similar to what we’ve seen in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Georgia – but let’s use the Keystone State as an example for now.
- 2.6 million mail-in ballots have been counted in Pennsylvania.
- 4.2 million votes were cast on Election Day.
- According to Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State, Trump won Election Day voting by a tally of 2.7 million to 1.4 million.
- For the published results to be accurate, that means Biden had to win an enormous 76% of all mail-in ballots.
While it’s common knowledge that mail-in voting favored the Democrats, it’s implausible Biden dominated by such a lopsided margin.
- 64.7% of mail-in ballots were submitted by registered Democrats,
- 23.7% from Republicans, and
- 11.6% from Independents, third-party, and non-affiliated voters.
🚨PA Absentee Ballot(AB) Irregularities Deep-dive🚨
ABs in PA – even if Biden received:
-95% of returned Democrat votes
-21% of returned Republican votes
-80% of returned Independent votes
He wouldn’t have as many votes as he actually received
Read on pic.twitter.com/Hmx6zWHXJ2
— Gummi Bear (@gummibear737) November 28, 2020
There’s no way the final vote totals are accurate.
The Twitter user above did the math. Even if Biden had won 95% of the mail-in votes returned by Democrats, 21% from Republican voters, and 80% of independent mail-in ballots, he still would have fallen short of Biden’s reported margin of victory!
And, by the way, Joe Biden receiving 21% of the mail-in ballots returned by Pennsylvania’s registered Republicans isn’t realistic.
According to exit polls, only 8% of the state’s GOP voters cast a ballot for the Democratic challenger. Biden could have feasibly carried 95% of the Democratic mail-in votes, as exit polling showed him getting 92%.
However, it’s ridiculous to believe 80% of the mail-in ballots submitted by independents went to Biden. Exit polls had the Democratic candidate getting 52% of the overall independent vote. Pennsylvanians who utilized mail-in voting may have leaned more towards Biden overall, but an almost 30% gap?
Not a chance.
If the mail-ins totals adhered to the same voting breakdowns demonstrated by the exit polls, Joe Biden would have lost Pennsylvania by roughly 213,000 votes!!!
And that’s before we consider the validity of the 2.6 million mail-in ballots cast.
Absentee voters were supposed to sign the ballot envelope. Their handwriting would then be authenticated by comparing it to the signature the state has on file.
Weirdly enough, crucial battleground states saw record-low rates of mail-in ballot rejection this year. The 2016 Election Administration and Voting Survey reported that 1% of the 266k mail-in ballots submitted in Pennsylvania were rejected during the last election. Most of the 2016 mail-in voters had experience using this method of casting a vote.
In 2020, the number of mail-in voters increased tenfold. Yet, with 2.6 million mail-in ballots, the majority of which were voting this way for the first time, we’re expected to believe that only 0.038% contained mistakes that would invalidate the ballot?!?
That doesn’t fit any of the trends we’ve seen historically.
Before the 2020 anomaly, first-time absentee ballots were estimated to be three times more likely to be disqualified. Instead, despite an enormous influx of mail-in voting, this year’s ballots were accepted at 27 times the rate of 2016.
Weird Ballot Dumps
Beyond the unrealistic vote totals and sketchy counting procedures, something odd happened early on Wednesday morning in several crucial battleground states.
On November 25, an elections expert testified before the Pennsylvania Senate Majority Committee about irregular batches of ballots counted in the early hours of Wednesday morning. As was the case in other swing states, counting froze in Pennsylvania before unrealistically one-sided surges of votes for Joe Biden started coming in.
In one batch, 570,000 votes were recorded for Joe Biden, compared to only 3,200 votes for Trump. Under no circumstance would it ever be realistic for Biden to win 99.4% of a batch of ballots that large. This statistical anomaly alone was enough to win the state for the Democratic candidate. Even with this incredibly suspicious swing, he’s only leading the state by roughly 70,000 votes.
Similar phenomena happened in every state that mattered.
- At 3:50 AM on Wednesday in Michigan, a batch consisting of 54,497 votes for Joe Biden with only 4,718 going to Donald Trump was counted.
- At 6:31 AM, another Michigan batch contained 141,258 votes for Biden, versus only 5,968 for Trump.
- At 3:42 AM on November 4, 143,379 votes were reported for Biden in Wisconsin, while only 25,163 went to Trump.
- On the same day, at 1:34 AM, Georgia reported a batch of 136,155 votes for Biden, that included only 29,115 ballots for Trump.
Even allowing for Biden supporters’ overall trend preferring to vote by mail, these spikes make no sense. Batches consisting of thousands of votes shouldn’t be this skewed in either direction.
The controversies covered in this section are only the tip of the iceberg.
Check out the list of challenges and scandals being tracked by RealClearInvestigations!
Here are some of their findings:
Will Any of it Matter?
At the end of the day, we’re here to discuss political betting, not “right” and “wrong.” So, one’s personal feelings about the data anomalies, videos, and allegations shared in this article are immaterial.
The only question that matters is whether any of it will make a difference.
To that end, I’m saying no.
While I agree that whatever happened late on Election Night and early the next morning reeks of impropriety, I am also confident that nothing will be done about it.
The media will continue to frame all of Donald Trump’s complaints and legal challenges as desperate unfounded attempts to retain power, dismissing all relevant evidence as “debunked,” even when they haven’t been. And since there’s no interest in any mainstream journalists taking a closer look at any of these mysteries, nobody outside of the “MAGA bubble” will even see the details.
Trump is up against some powerful forces this time around. They’ve set the table to make it nearly impossible to overturn the election results, no matter what evidence is discovered. The public is primed to see any progress in that direction as an undiplomatic coup.
None of the judges or political officials with the power to help the President on his crusade will be willing to rock the boat on his behalf – no matter what really happened during the 2020 election.