Can Trump Still Win? No. He’s Already Lost.

first_imgThe largest margin to be overturned in a recent recount came in Minnesota’s 2008 Senate contest, when a 215-vote margin for Senator Norm Coleman, the incumbent Republican, was reversed, becoming a 312-vote advantage for Al Franken, the Democratic candidate, after a court ruled that hundreds of absentee ballots were wrongly rejected.In the days since the election, Mr. Trump and his top aides and some supporters have claimed that the vote in key states was marked by rampant fraud, but they have yet to document any evidence of widespread voting malfeasance. Elections officials in all 50 states told The New York Times this week that they were unaware of any fraud or other election improprieties in their states. Mr. Biden’s winning margins in the key battleground states he has captured — 20,000 votes in Wisconsin, 54,000 votes in Pennsylvania and 148,000 votes in Michigan — are well above the thresholds of votes that have been changed in previous recounts.Even in Georgia, where officials are preparing for a hand recount of the ballots, Mr. Biden leads by 14,000 votes, a margin that is unlikely to be reversed.(Mr. Biden also leads by 11,000 votes in Arizona, but elections officials there are still counting absentee votes that arrived by mail.) With no chance to change the popular vote outcome in battleground states, lawyers said Mr. Trump’s legal strategy, such as there is one, appeared to be an attempt to delay state elections officials’ certification of Mr. Biden as the winner, which could throw the question of appointing delegates to the Electoral College to Republican-controlled state legislatures.Even this theory relies on a series of one-in-a-hundred legal bank shots all being successful in multiple states simultaneously — which would certainly result in broad public outrage over reversing the results of a decided election.“Those are the kind of things you wake up thinking about in the middle of the night. It would really blow the roof off if they tried to steal an election in that fashion,” Mr. McDonough said. “If people were to so blatantly disregard the fundamentals of democracy, God knows what would happen, how people would react to it.”Most states are set to certify their election results and declare winners by the end of November — a process that may lead to more official recounts this month but also formal conclusions about the results.“At some point it becomes obvious even to the most ardent supporters of the president that there’s no pathway,” said Lanhee Chen, who was the policy director for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. The New York Times and other news media outlets have not anointed Mr. Biden the winner of the presidential election, but have just done the math: The former vice president has won enough states by enough votes that Mr. Trump cannot overcome those deficits through legal challenges or recounts.“He has no chance of overturning the result — it’s just impossible,” said Gerry McDonough, a Democratic elections lawyer who worked for Vice President Al Gore’s legal team on the 2000 Florida recount. “I’m a recount lawyer here in Massachusetts and I get requests from people all the time and they say, ‘I’m just 50 votes behind and we’re sure there were these bad actors.’ I won’t take a case like that.”That 2000 Florida recount came after George W. Bush held an unofficial lead of just 1,784 votes over Mr. Gore the morning after Election Day; his final winning margin in the state was 537 votes.- Advertisement – Five days after television networks and other major news organizations called the presidential election for Joseph R. Biden Jr., President Trump continues to maintain that he “will win.”That is false.- Advertisement – Each day that passes without Mr. Trump providing a court evidence of voting fraud makes his legal odds longer, Democratic and Republican lawyers said.“The path for him winning is being able to back up his rhetoric and find sufficient fraud and irregularities in enough individual states to overturn their results,” said Ben Ginsberg, a Republican lawyer who worked for Mr. Bush in the 2000 election, and who retired this year and turned against Mr. Trump. “So far, they’ve utterly failed to do that and, based on their court filings, are not anywhere close.” – Advertisement – Updated Nov. 12, 2020, 1:52 p.m. ET – Advertisement –last_img read more

Gangweary Salvadorans elect Nayib Bukele as new president

first_imgSalvadorans on Sunday elected Nayib Bukele, the popular former mayor of San Salvador, as the Central American country’s new president — a result that ends the near 30-year grip on power of its two largest parties.The country’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) awarded him 53.78 percent of votes with 87.67 percent counted — a lead it considered “irreversible.”The 37-year-old president-elect, of the conservative Grand Alliance for National Unity (GANA) party, wore jeans and a leather jacket as he celebrated with supporters — thousands chanting his name and waving flags in the capital’s central Plaza Morazan.“It’s a victory for the Salvadoran people, today we won in the first round and we have made history,” said Bukele, who despite being a firm favorite was expected to face a second round of voting.He has promised to increase investment in education and fight corruption — but his main task will be to confront insecurity in a country ravaged by gang violence.He will also have to form an alliance with the rightwing opposition, which dominates congress, and govern with them until at least 2021 when the next legislative elections are held.Bukele’s opponents — Carlos Calleja of the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), and Hugo Martinez of the leftist Farabundo Marti Front for National Liberation (FMLN) — quickly recognized the win. For nearly three decades, their parties have had a firm hold on Salvadoran politics.“We recognize the results of these elections. We are going to call the president-elect to wish him luck in facing the challenges in this country,” said Calleja, the runner-up with 31.62 percent of votes. The FMLN’s Martinez took third place with 13.77 percent.Meanwhile, Organization of American States (OAS) secretary general Luis Almagro congratulated Bukele on Twitter.“We congratulate @nayibbukele for his historic victory in the first round. We celebrate his proposal for a new chapter for El Salvador. And we salute the political matuirty of the contending candidates in accepting his victory,” Almagro said.– Long lines –Some 5.2 million people participated in the election, according to the elections authority chief Julio Olivo.Voters formed long lines outside polling stations in parts of San Salvador, where gang violence and insecurity are endemic. El Salvador is among the world’s most violent countries with a murder rate of 51 per 100,000 citizens.“It’s honestly scary to go out alone in the street, you never know what can happen you,” first-time voter Gabriela Solorzano, 19, said at a polling station in the gang stronghold of Mejicanos in the capital’s north, her brother holding her hand.In nearby streets, where graffiti on the walls testify to the presence of criminal gangs, many voters arrived aboard buses laid on by the political parties.But outgoing President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, of the FMLN, said voting proceeded “very calmly and very normally.”Some 23,000 police officers and 15,000 soldiers were deployed to protect the sixth presidential election since democracy was restored in 1992 — after 12 years of bloody civil war between state security forces and leftist guerrillas.– ‘Daring security solutions’ –For analyst Roberto Canas, Salvadorans “buried” the bipartisanship that “could not read the needs of the people, such as the insecurity experienced daily on the streets.”Confronting insecurity will certainly be a key challenge for Bukele, who Canas said “personified the population’s tiredness.”According to authorities, gang violence was the source of most of last year’s 3,340 reported murders — and gangs are said to have 70,000 members, with 17,000 behind bars.“The new president must offer daring security solutions,” Carlos Carcach, an analyst and professor at the Higher School of Economy and Business in El Salvador, told AFP.In the past, rightwing governments opted for repression or secret negotiations with gangs. Meanwhile under the FMLN’s Mauricio Funes (2009- 2014), there was a truce between the country’s two main gangs which temporarily reduced homicides.Another task will be to reduce illegal immigration to the United States — as President Donald Trump has threatened to cut off aid if the flow of Central American migrants is not stemmed.During the last few months of 2018, more than 3,000 Salvadorans joined caravans marching towards the United States, fleeing gangs and a lack of jobs.The other main worry for Salvadorans is the economy. Although it grew by 2.6 percent in 2018, its biggest rise in five years, that is considered insufficient to cover the demand for new employment.Bukele will have to juggle the need to raise taxes to cover an external debt of more than $9.5 billion while trying to maintain social programs in a country where the minimum wage of $300 a month is barely enough to buy food.Just over 30 percent of El Salvador’s 6.6 million inhabitants live below the poverty line.This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.Support the Tico Times Facebook Comments Related posts:El Salvador court freezes ex-president’s bank accounts US puts heads of El Salvador MS-13 gang on sanctions list Strong earthquake off El Salvador felt in Costa Rica El Salvador acquits woman charged with murder over premature birthlast_img read more