Op-Ed: Election Analysis

 The National View: For all the gains nationally, the Democrats are likely to lose a seat in the U.S. Senate from Florida. They have no one but themselves to blame. This is the year a woman or Hispanic could have eclipsed Rick Scott and won the Senate seat for Democrats.

The Democratic establishment held on to the same guy for too long. Senator Nelson’s rocket ship landed decades ago. It was time for a change. The problem is the Democratic establishment doesn’t always see they too are part of the problem.

Still, let’s give credit where credit is due. Under Nancy Pelosi’s leadership, they forged a national army of candidates that challenged everywhere and won in many venues. They recognized the status quo was a no-no.

Bernie Sanders may not have won in 2016, and neither did Andrew Gillum or Beto O’ Rourke this year. Each candidacy, however, proved that tomorrow’s Democrats will have many new faces; a rainbow of different colors.

Americans also proved dramatically we will not back, but we will buck, yesterday’s establishment politicians, both Republican and Democrat. Bill Nelson is finding this out in Florida. The openly liberal, Irish white guy in Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts district found out the same thing in a special election earlier this year. Debbie Wasserman, take note. You were not elected to serve forever. Pass the torch.

More so than Republicans, Democrats are at least wisely finding new and bold alliances with remarkable coalitions. From gays to Hispanics, women, and persons of color, we appreciate and celebrate diversity and our differences. It is indeed what we all have in common. Find us that Crayola box of crayons, and color us all 64. We are the modern family.

Tomorrow is here. Generational change is upon us. If the Republicans want to remain right wing and Lilly white, on a lonely island will they one day find themselves. Screw Donald Trump’s Aryan fears. America has always been a nation of immigrants.

Trump’s 2016 victory was a temporary, foolish “blacklash” against Barack Obama’s presidency, but it was only the third lap in a four-baton race.

In 2020, when 22 Republican senatorial seats are up for grabs, and only a dozen Democratic ones, the new coalitions will cement the foothold they planted this year.

The GOP will be flattened.

As for Trump in particular, he has spent the past week humiliating himself internationally and nationally.

On the world front, French President Macron told him to take his white supremacist nationalism and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine.

Florida’s Failure

Trump’s mindless conspiracy tweets about election frauds in Arizona and Florida subvert our democracy and shame our country. It is a national disgrace.

All indications are that ineptitude will be exposed in the Broward elections process. No surprise, there.

The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior. The office of Dr. Snipes has a history of incompetence. Reliable they are not.

The good news is that the state mandated recount is proceeding in an orderly manner and in good faith, with independent, judicial oversight.

Numbers don’t lie, though. It is just going to be practically impossible for the Democrats to gain enough votes for Bill Nelson to beat Rick Scott in Florida. The final tallies are due in Tally by Thursday of this week.

Will the Democrats come closer? Yes, but the Republicans will likely prevail - maybe by as few as 10-12,000 votes out of 8 million cast. Unreal? No, not really. The Bush Gore separation in the year 2000 was 500 votes.

The only chance Democrats have of winning the seat is not in a machine recount, but a hand recount.

Here’s why.

First, they have to hope that the printed ballot was clamped to the ballot machines in such a way that the optical scanner failed to capture votes in the senatorial race.

Second, then they have to hope that the 3.7 percent differential in senatorial voting within Broward County totals about 30,000 ballots.

Third, they have to hope those boxes were inked in and not omitted by voters inadvertently or unintentionally. You see, ballot design flaws are not grounds for overturning an election. You live or die by your hanging chads.

Fourth, Dems then have to hope enough of those uncounted votes were cast for Nelson, giving him at least a 13,000 vote plurality, making up the statewide difference between the two candidates, thus swinging the election.

To pull it off, Nelson would have to win 21,000 to 9,000, with about 65 percent of the vote. Can it happen? Hey, this is Broward County. The rules are different here.

What you can be sure of is that a hand recount will lead not only immediately to a PR war on the air, it will lengthen the stay of national journalists who have already descended on South Florida.

You can be equally certain as well that the legal battles now being fought in Broward County courtrooms will continue.

There are already five different lawsuits against Brenda Snipes and her elections board. She will not even be around to defend herself. She is toast, and should be. Even FDR did not serve five terms.

When the new Republican governor is inaugurated, he is going to summarily remove her. Governor-elect DeSantis will appoint a henchman who cleans house in her office. The Republican-dominated legislature will back his actions.

Ironically, Snipes has not been as bad this year as she has been in the past. This week, despite all the lawsuits back and forth, her office is carrying through its duties by supervising a legally, statutorily mandated recount, which will be court-supervised and judicially reviewed. That is how the system was designed to work, whether Marco Rubio and Donald Trump like it or not.

Either way, the Republicans are playing a political game.

If they win the recount, they will take credit for having gone to court “to stop the Democrats from stealing the election.”

If they lose the recount, you will hear them crying on Fox News how they have been robbed.

Let’s wait and see what the numbers show when the votes are counted. 

As for Andrew Gillum, he has almost no chance. Sorry. He was a great candidate, upbeat and positive.

Meanwhile, my friend, Nikki Fried, is likely to become the state’s highest-ranking Democrat, as our Agriculture Commissioner, a woman winning the race statewide, my point earlier.

A talented lawyer supportive of legalizing marijuana, she will be a lone voice of sanity in the new governor’s cabinet.

There is a reason the law provides for a mandatory recount. It’s a simple one at that. You are entitled to know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Is there anything wrong with that?


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