Even though polls show Joe Biden has a relatively comfortable lead with less than two months to go before the election, it’s safe the bet that based on historical precedent, the 2020 race for the White House will likely tighten some.
But what if the race winds up being a incredibly close, much like what we saw 20 years ago in the election between George W. Bush and Al Gore?
In such a scenario, the election might come down to what states agree to count all of their absentee and provisional ballots, even if it takes several days, and that would be a distinct advantage for Biden, because most of the battleground states are controlled by Democrats, according to a fascinating article from Bloomberg News:
“In Michigan and Pennsylvania — two Democratic-leaning states Trump won in 2016 — the top elections officials belong to Biden’s party. That’s also true in Arizona, which Trump carried but Biden is now leading in the polls, and Minnesota, which the president has targeted.”
Keep in mind that state elections are by and large controlled by the secretary of state. And those key officials would eventually make the decision of what ballots are counted or left in the mail bags they arrived in:
“These relatively anonymous state officials could prove a bulwark for Biden as they cope with what is expected to be an unprecedented surge in mail-in ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“They will also be on the front lines in countering any claims by Trump or his allies that the election is somehow rigged.”
Consider once again the 2000 race, which came down to one state, Florida. The secretary of state in the Sunshine State at that time was Katherine Harris, a strong Bush partisan. Her refusal to count some ballots landed the state and what to do with some votes in the hands of the Supreme Court, which stopped the recount and declared Bush the winner.
This time, however, the roles are reversed, and a close election could eventually wind up benefiting Biden.