Political Strategy: How do you guarantee an election victory?
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., February 6, 2021—All candidates want to win. What’s the point otherwise? The real question is how to win. To win an election you need a majority of the votes. To get the majority of the votes you need a strategy. Last week we looked at some of the ordinary methods used to inflate the vote count; this week we’ll look at the strategy behind the methods.
The strategy begins with understanding the electoral landscape.
The election of the president in the United States is unique; different from any other election in this country. The framers of the Constitution met in Philadelphia to correct the shortcomings of the Articles of Confederation. During the Revolutionary period, the actions of the then-colonies had been coordinated by the Second Continental Congress alone. There was no executive.
Because the British crown had appointed the colonial governors and because those governors had abused the rights of the people, the country was rightly wary of executive power. Under the Articles of Confederation there continued to be no executive.
The framers recognized the need for an executive to “faithfully execute” the laws.
Having come that far, they needed to reconcile the need for an executive with the need to insulate that executive from popular passions—in a word, to prevent him from becoming a king. Indeed, for some in the country, the very fact of having an executive was a betrayal of the revolutionary ideals.
After debating a number of options for term length, term limits, and methods of election, the framers settled on a hybrid method of giving the states the right to elect the president in proportion to their population—the Electoral College system. The Electors were to be selected “…in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct…” (Art II Sec 1).
How to win a presidential election
Consequently, the name of the game is to win enough states to gain more than 270 electoral votes, which is half of the total available. To do that, you would theoretically have to campaign in a large number of states. This helps ensure that the winner is not simply representative of a region but of the whole United States.
That’s the theory. In practice, it is pretty well known how states lean and so candidates concentrate on a few “swing “ states that are close enough that they could go either way.
How Americans think elections work
Most Americans aren’t all that politically in tune. Every four years when a presidential election comes around they listen to a few speeches, decide which candidate they like the best, and think they’re casting an informed ballot.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Most politicians have as their highest goal not to serve the people but to get elected and enjoy the perks of office. Some, it must be said, just like lording it over others. It should be no surprise that they say whatever they think people want to hear but then do whatever they want once elected
Do the math
How do you get elected president? In practice, you know which states are your “safe” states and which states you’re never going to win. There are a number of swing states you might win and those are the ones you go for. Forget the pundits and the public polls. They exist to influence voting, nothing more. The so-called “internal polling” is what you pay attention to. Both sides have it and most likely both sides see the same reality.
A few days before the election insider Dick Morris opined that Trump would win 310-320 electoral votes. The Democrats must have known that too. Pretend you’re a Democrat strategist. How do you drag the Man in the Basement across the finish line? You have to win those swing states.
The Electoral Map
Let’s look at the official results state-by-state. Each candidate supposedly won 25 states but the states Biden won had more electoral votes so he won the electoral vote 306-232. Let’s see how the swing states turned out:
State EV Biden Trump Diff
PA 20 50.0% 48.8% 1.2%
MI 16 50.6% 47.8% 2.8%
WI 10 49.6% 48.9% 0.7%
AZ 11 49.4% 49.1% 0.3%
NV 6 50.1% 47.7% 2.4%
GA 16 49.5% 49.3% 0.2%
Amazingly, Biden won all of the swing states. Every one. Incredible!
If you look carefully at the percentages, Biden never hit even 51% of the vote—and in half not even 50%. But his margins, no matter how slim, were greater than Trumps’ vote and that’s all that matters. The man who can barely put a coherent sentence together had a brilliant plan.
How did he eke out those victories?
Let’s drill down county-by-county. A county map of the 2020 election looks like this:
The U.S., like most developed countries, is highly urbanized. Trump won the rural vote hands down throughout the country, with some exceptions in the southwest.
But Democrats control the cities and the large populations thereof. In fact, like many countries in the world, the capitol of the state or the largest city in the state, controls the entire state. Thus Denver-Boulder rules Colorado, Milwaukee and Madison control Wisconsin, Philadelphia controls Pennsylvania and so on.
If you could control the vote in six large cities—Philadelphia, Detroit, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Phoenix—you control those six states and thus the election.
All of those cities have been managed for decades by Democrats.
If those six states had gone for Trump, he would have won the electoral vote by 311 – 227. Just what Dick Morris predicted.
If you’re the Democrat strategist you know those numbers as well as Morris. How do you overcome a massive deficit to come out ahead? You concentrate on those large cities that you control. You do the ordinary vote fraud where precincts in Milwaukee and Philadelphia, for example, vote over 100% for Biden. You register as many people as possible so you can ensure there are ballots to harvest—whether people vote for them or not. You implement mail-in ballots with, as in Georgia, no signature verification to prove who filled out the ballot.
In the words of TIME magazine, you “fortify” the vote.
That “fortification” works well enough when you can predict the vote and the vote is close.
What happens when even that’s not enough? What happens when the turnout for your opponent is even great than you could have predicted? Then you have to use an even more powerful approach that will allow you to generate any number of ballots at will.
The story of how that happened is the real story of the 2020 election.