Did anyone predict Trump would be charged?
Trump has far exceeded expectations - fear of unrest
Polls pulverized and a historical taboo broken: Trump shows it all again
Donald Trump did much better than expected. How was that possible? The fact that the president - well calculated - proclaims victory and speaks of electoral fraud triggers fears of unrest.
2016 cannot be repeated - everyone agreed: journalists, political scientists and survey specialists.
In 2016, the research institutes had more or less correctly predicted that Hillary Clinton would win more votes nationwide than Donald Trump, but they were wrong in the decisive swing states. And so the Republican won, against all odds.
As a result, 2016 is unlikely to repeat itself: Joe Biden should make the race, even if a lot is still formally unclear. And yet a lot feels like it did four years ago.
Trump has fared much better than predicted nationwide, but especially in the swing states. Nationwide, his gap averaged 10 percentage points in the most recent polls. On Wednesday evening, however, it was actually only 2 percentage points in favor of Biden (50 to 48 percent).
Far exceeded expectations
Although the Democrat's lead could increase with the counting of the last votes by letter: Trump has far exceeded expectations. He conquered the large states of Florida and Texas quite easily, here the polls indicated a victory for Biden.
Some Republicans reacted with malice. Senator Lindsey Graham said:
"To all pollsters: you have no idea what you are doing."
The surprise was all the greater since the corona pandemic, which would logically harm Trump as incumbent, is currently raging wildly in the Midwest. The new infections reached new highs in the past few days. They were as present in the media as the elections. Nevertheless, Trump did even better in many districts than in 2016.
The Democrats knew Trump would do anything to legally challenge a Biden victory; he had developed the “electoral fraud” narrative over weeks.
Actually the election fraud story should have petered out
The opposition's expectation, however, was that it would not matter if the correspondence in one country or the other led to legal disputes - since the “blue wave” would nip all discussions about the real winner in the bud. That didn't happen.
Trump himself may also have been surprised by his result. He, who according to the book author Michael Wolff (“Fire and Fury”) had not expected a victory in 2016, seized the opportunity on Wednesday night and declared the victory without further ado - well calculated at the moment when Swing States like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania just looked very good for him. This was the case after 70 to 90 percent of the votes were counted.
Trump (or his advisors) knew very well that this still had to change, because the postal votes are counted later, depending on the state, and it is known that Democrats vote by letter more often than Republicans. This made it almost imperative that Trump's lead in those states would melt, and he did so later in the day. But just then, the incumbent had already announced the victory and bent the expectation into certainty among the loyal Americans who only believe him.
The breaking of a taboo - expected and yet shocking
It was 2 a.m. (Washington time) when Trump declared in the East Room of the White House that he was ahead in all major states. The president claimed he would win "everything" and was already looking forward to the election ceremony. The political opponent - Joe Biden and the Democrats - decided to cancel the counting of votes and take them to court - because the Democrats had come to the conclusion that this was the only way to win against Trump. Trump said:
"This is a fraud against the American people."
The President went on to say that he would do everything possible to ensure that the Democrats would not steal his victory by filing a lawsuit before the Supreme Court. Trump's claims were unfounded. He distributed them on the basis of mere interim results, and there was and is no evidence of electoral fraud. USA expert Erich Gysling, ex-editor-in-chief of Swiss television, said in the special election broadcast on TeleZüri that such an appearance by a president in the middle of a phase where so much is still unclear is what he regards as historically unique. Gysling, 84, has been watching the US elections since the 1960s.
A match in a highly explosive situation
With his statements, Trump undermined the credibility of the integrity of the elections - a highly problematic process in a democracy. That even prepares the ground for possible violent protests, it said. Fox News host Chris Wallace criticized Trump for throwing a burning match into a highly explosive situation. But just: Trump remained Trump, even on election night.
To declare victory prematurely and to invent electoral fraud - that didn't really surprise anyone. Joe Biden had probably foreseen it, at least he wrote on the short message service Twitter before Trump's appearance that it was neither up to him nor to the president to declare himself the winner. This is the job of the voters.
Unlike 2016, no one assumes that Trump will change either; at that time it was still suspected here and there that the office could make him «presidential». But it was precisely that he stayed the way he always was that his voters appreciated. The 40 percent of the population, which he knew - practically unchanged - over the entire four years, went to the polls with above-average diligence.
The turnout reached record highs. Political scientists also explained the fallible prognoses by saying that Trump mobilized excellently in the final phase, with countless election campaign events up to the last hour in the swing states.
Joe Biden seemed to be running out of breath
Biden, on the other hand, seemed to run out of breath in the end. At 60 percent, his potential voter base was significantly larger than Trump's, but less “charged” and less motivated.
Only Trump has real fans who march through the cities with flags and car parades. Many of his followers - the "forgotten people", as he calls them - are grateful that he gives them a voice and that some of them are doing better economically than they were four years ago.
Nevertheless, it should have been enough for Joe Biden in the end. Still-President Trump will continue to fight in all ways, politically and legally. The big question, however, will be: If nothing more can be done, what will happen to Trump and his party? The next few days will give a first premonition.
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