US election 2020: These ‘surprise votes’ aren’t part of a conspiracy – we have just seen ‘red mirage’ then ‘blue wave’
From the early hours and through the day, Donald Trump’s post-election tactic has been to raise questions over the validity of the ballots being counted and threaten counteraction.
“They are finding Biden votes all over the place – in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. So bad for our Country!” he tweeted.
“How come every time they count Mail-In ballot dumps they are so devastating in their percentage and power of destruction?” read another post.
The inference is clear: why is the Biden vote increasing quicker than the Trump number? Is something underhand going on? This is a conspiracy.
The “blue wave” and “red mirage” are long-standing features of a US election.
The red mirage refers to the early successes seen for the Republican tally. That is because on-the-day voting is counted first, for security reasons: on the day voting tends to be more fluid.
And then comes the “blue wave” – early postal votes counted later. As Democrats tend to favour this method of voting, so it plays out that the latter stages of a count sees their tally surging.
This has been particularly profound this year. The coronavirus pandemic saw a rise in mail, drive-thru and early voting to help protect the electorate against the virus.
The reason the pre-polling day turnout was so high (over 100 million votes cast) was in no small part down to that.
So Biden might be the beneficiary of a delayed but significant blue wave.
These aren’t “surprise votes” as Trump suggests rather the plebiscite taking its natural course.
Just, perhaps, not to his liking.
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