Here are ten things we know this morning, regardless of what happens when the rest of the votes are counted:

  1. It’s impossible to do accurate polling in this country. None of the major polling companies came close to the reality of such a tight race or such a divided electorate. When Trump was predicted a few days ago to have only a 9% chance of winning, I used a poker analogy and said those are the same odds as your opponent hitting an inside straight on the river — but as any poker player knows, bad beats like that happen all the time.
  2. Contrary to popular belief, huge turnout isn’t necessarily good for Democrats.
  3. Almost half of our fellow Americans are okay with how this administration has handled COVID-19, despite a quarter-million deaths and millions of others being hospitalized. Furthermore, there will be no chance of getting more mask mandates in place. If we can’t agree on how to handle a pandemic, we’ll never accomplish what we need to on climate change.
  4. Those same people voted for a man who promotes racism and ignorance. And it wasn’t just whites — he got a shocking number of Latino and Black votes. By shocking, I don’t mean an overwhelming majority. I mean shocking in that he got any.
  5. The same is true when it comes to levels of corruption, narcissism, and self-dealing that should have been disqualifiers for any candidate, but Trump voters don’t seem to care. No matter how many lies he tells or con games he plays, they stick with him — and even if he loses, that won’t change their minds.
  6. The¬†Electoral College saved the GOP again. If that institution didn’t exist, no Republican would have won the White House since George HW Bush.
  7. Even if Biden wins after all the votes are counted, the Senate will remain majority-Republican, which means Mitch McConnell can and will block any major moves. No matter how much Joe claims he can convince people across the aisle to work with him, McConnell will never play nice.
  8. At the Supreme Court, the oldest justice is 82-year-old Stephen Breyer, one of the liberal minority who should immediately retire early next year if Biden wins, so a younger replacement can be put in that seat. If Trump wins, Breyer will have to stay healthy for yet another four years.
  9. After Trump’s victory speech, anyone who says, “What the president did last night was shocking,” has not been paying attention to the last four years, in which the word “shocking” has been redefined so often it’s now moot.
  10. The only thing everyone can be happy about is that our presidential election was not marred by violence, and there’s no evidence of rampant fraud. But it’s incorrect to say that the Russians didn’t influence the outcome, since so much of their strategy has been to undermine the truth and change voters’ behavior by spreading lies and misinformation on social media.

Now, on with the vote-counting.