Controversial radio host Alex Jones has predicted “79 days of Hell” in the battle to determine who wins the 2020 election. The 79 days refers to the period from election day to inauguration day and suggests that no matter what results come in on November 3, the final victor will have to fight tooth and nail to claim his prize. But is this a realistic outcome? With both sides already setting out their arguments and a raft of unusual new measures regarding ballots, it seems likely that Election 2020 will be contested in a way never before seen.
Jason Miller, a senior Trump campaign adviser, predicted that if or when President Trump passes the 270 Electoral College vote threshold on election night, Democrat shenanigans will begin. He said in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos:
“President Trump will be ahead on election night, probably getting 280 electoral, somewhere in that range. And then they’re going to try to steal it back after the election …
We believe that it will be over 290 electoral votes on election night. So no matter what they tried to do, what kind of hijinks or lawsuits or whatever kind of nonsense they try to pull off, we’re still going to have enough electoral votes to get President Trump re-elected.”
Unsurprisingly, opponents of the president within the media and political circles seized on this statement as a declaration of war, suggesting that any claiming of victory would be tantamount to a coup. Bill Kristol responded, saying, “They know what they’re doing. They’ve given up trying to win the election. They’re trying to lay the groundwork for stealing it.”
Seeds of Division
In early October, a rumor began that although Donald Trump may be ahead in the Electoral College count on the night of the Big Show, later filings from mail-in ballots would hand the final victory to Joe Biden. This rumor was pounced upon by the legacy media as steak in a time of famine and has now become “received wisdom” by those who cannot countenance a continuation of the Trump presidency.
Does this messaging signify that the Biden campaign expects a poor turnout on election night? Former presidential contender Hillary Clinton in August warned that Joe Biden should be wary of pulling the plug. She said:
“Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances because I think this is going to drag out … Eventually, I do believe he will win if we don’t give an inch, and if we are as focused and relentless as the other side is.”
Surely once the campaigns have ended, it should just be a question of the tally?
The Never-Ending Count
At the heart of this push to draw out the final result is the counting of mail-in ballots. Several high-profile court decisions mean that ballot-counting deadlines can be extended. What this means in practice is that certain states can continue to receive and tally votes after Nov. 3.
Speaking to reporters in North Carolina, President Trump lamented this extension. He said:
“I think it’s a terrible thing when ballots can be collected after an election. I think it’s a terrible thing when people or states are allowed to tabulate ballots for a long period of time after the election is over because it can only lead to one thing … I think there is great danger to it, and I think a lot of fraud and misuse can take place.”
What is known so far is that the president will certainly be meeting with his lawyers as the results begin to come in and that Democrat lawyers will be making a case. Whether that case ends up in court depends on just how large the initial margin is.
With polls beginning to point to a very close race, it appears that Alex Jones may have stumbled upon the truth of the matter. Seventy-nine days of Hell are on the horizon, not just for the candidates but for the Republic.
Read more from Mark Angelides.