Tuesday, November 3, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today? 

He declared victory, as expected, and under the circumstances expected.

Trump's first public reaction to today's first election returns was to tweet this, which was immediately flagged as election disinformation:

Trump is not up "big." In fact, he's not up at all: He could conceivably still win the election, but before that happens, the votes will have to be counted.

Later, at a late-night rally inside the White House, Trump rattled off a list of states he insisted he had "won" by various amounts, including Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Michigan. At the moment he spoke, he led in those states with literally millions of ballots from heavily Democratic-leaning early vote not yet counted.

In other words, Trump is saying that he's won the election if you stop the count while he's ahead—which is exactly what he's been saying he'll try to do.

Trump is correct about one thing, though: votes cannot be cast after the polls are closed—any more than votes that have been cast can be ignored just because he doesn't want them counted.

Why does this matter?

  • Voters pick who the president is, not the other way around.
  • A president deliberately lying about election results as they're happening disgraces the office.