This may well determine who wins. Who actually cares about who wins the presidential race and who does not. You would think everyone cares, but after the debate on Tuesday night, does anyone?
You might be wrong. A lot of eligible voters don’t vote. There are many people who think both nominees lack any attraction whatsoever. I am among those who believe that, but I still care enough to vote. Others might not, thinking it makes no difference who wins or the country is in trouble either way. They could think that they would prefer Trump be gone, but they look at their pre-covid 401K’s and think maybe Trump was not so bad.
The issue of enthusiasm may determine who eventually garners sufficient numbers of Electoral College votes to be declared the winner. Why?
Mr. Trump’s base is solid. It cares a lot. The red-hatted masses love Mr. Trump and I am quite sure that 40 to 43% will turn out to vote for him. His base is rock solid and surely cares.
Mr. Biden does not generate such energy. He’s a lower key guy who seemed to back into the nomination when everyone else took a larger step back after South Carolina. Now Mr. Biden is hoping the latest vacancy in the Supreme Court and the threat of overturning Roe v. Wade will embolden his voters to turn out. Will they? That’s the $64 question.
The real question in this election is can the Democrats in swing states mobilize sufficient numbers of voters to come out (or stay in) and vote for Mr. Biden, the Senate nominees, and all of the Democratic members of the House. If they can do that, there is a chance that the government will go blue. In the interim, doubts about all of this may cause some Senate Republicans to urge Mitch McConnell to wait—at least until after the election—to hold a vote on what is sure to be President Trump’s nominee for the Ginsburg seat on the Court, the glamorous ACB. Here’s the complexity.
If Mr. McConnell forces the vote to take place prior to the election, several Republican Senators up for re-election will have to cast a vote that could injure their chances of re-election. In particular, Susan Collins of Maine and Cory Gardner of Colorado are in close fights for their seats in states with large numbers of blue voters. A vote for Trump’s nominee in late October could cost them and cost Mr. McConnell as well if those seats swing to the Democrats and the Senate does, too. So who cares? Those GOP Senators who would rather get elected first and vote on the nominee second care a lot.
Who else cares?
All those people who think that Biden’s lead will hold and he will win and thus he, not Mr. Trump, should fill the Court vacancy care, especially women who see Roe v. Wade endangered by the confirmation of a Trump nominee. Nonetheless, the Constitution is clear. Mr. Trump can make the nomination and the Senate can vote as soon as it is ready to do so.
What is the deciding factor? Mitt Romney, Cory Gardner and Chuck Grassley, GOP Senators who might prefer to wait until after the election to take that vote. If those three tell McConnell that they cannot support the early vote, the vote won’t happen. That’s not likely.
Then will come the post-election calculus.
If Trump wins, then he will probably get his vote in the lame duck session—unless, the Senate swings blue and/or Collins, Romney and Murkowski want to wait until after January 1 for a new Senate or if Mark Kelly supplants Martha Mcsalley in Arizona and is seated immediately after the election which could occur.
Mr. McConnell and Senator Thune are carefully counting votes and putting feet to the fire. Who cares? Lots of people do. They just care in different directions. Watch carefully. Democracy is working.