The Supreme Court’s rejection of the Texas prosecutor’s suit against the elections in four states dashed Donald Trump‘s hopes of reversing the November 3 vote. On December 14, as expected, the Electoral College made Joe Biden’s victory official. Although congressional confirmation is pending on January 6, 2021, Trump would have to explode a real post-election bomb to prevent the Council’s decision from being ratified.
By the night of November 3, 46 of the 51 states of the Union, including the District of Columbia, had defined the results, with none of them counting the entire vote, but the percentage counted was sufficient to establish the winner. Biden had 254 electoral votes and Trump had 237. Five states were missing – Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania – which together represented 73 electoral votes. The election was not defined: anyone could win.
Then Joe Biden appeared on television proclaiming himself the winner and saying at the same time that we had to wait patiently until the last vote was counted. As if to say: don’t even think about projecting on the basis of what has already been counted.
The curious thing about the story is that in four of those states, with the exception of Nevada, Trump was winning, by a wide margin – 12.8 percent with 64 percent of the vote – in the case of Pennsylvania. In Georgia the margin was smaller, 2.2%, but quite comfortable, given that the count was at 94%. In Michigan anything could happen, as the margin in favor of Trump was only 0.3% with 90% of the votes counted. In North Carolina, where he finally won, the margin in favor of Trump, on the night of November 3, was 1.4% with 94% of the votes counted.
The table shows the results for the five hinge states on the night of November 3 and the final results. It is clear that in order to win in Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania, Biden had to take the lion’s share of the vote that was left uncounted, as indeed he did. In Georgia he got 70.7% and in Pennsylvania 73.9%, winning in the former by a margin of 0.2% and 1.2% in the latter. In Michigan, it took 62.3% to win by a margin of 2.8%.
For Trump to have won by the same margin as Biden won those states, it would have been enough for him to take “only” 66.8% of Georgia’s additional votes, 70.9% of Pennsylvania’s and 50.2% of Michigan’s. As it stands, the president-elect of the United States would be Trump, with 284 electoral votes.
Trump’s attorneys unsuccessfully denounced voting irregularities in those states. The simple electoral arithmetic presented suggests that the probability that fraud has occurred in those states is very high and that, therefore, those allegations are true.
If these things can happen in what is supposedly the best democracy in the world, it is frightening to think what could happen in Colombia. After the second round of the 2014 presidential elections, 133 documented complaints were filed with the electoral authority for electoral crimes – repression by armed groups, vote buying, participation of public officials and constraining the voter – committed to favor Santos. These elections were marked by the most blatant abuses of power in recent memory.
In the 2020 elections, Colombia is playing not a change of president and Congress, but rather a complete transformation in its economic and political regime if a leftist alliance such as the one being outlined is to triumph. A coalition is coming that will bring together sanctity, fajardism, claudism, oak trees, petrism and the Farc. Watch out for 2022!
Luis Guillermo Vélez Álvarez is an economist and consultant at the Center for Systemic Economics Studies (ECSIM). @LuisGuillermoVl // Luis Guillermo Vélez Álvarez es economista y consultor del Centro De Estudios En Economía Sistémica (ECSIM). @LuisGuillermoVl