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Weekend Reads 9/26/20

The Election That Could Break America

If we are lucky, this fraught and dysfunctional election cycle will reach a conventional stopping point in time to meet crucial deadlines in December and January. The contest will be decided with sufficient authority that the losing candidate will be forced to yield. Collectively we will have made our choice—a messy one, no doubt, but clear enough to arm the president-elect with a mandate to govern.

What State Polls Can Tell Us About The National Race

If used properly, state polls can actually give you a better projection of the national popular vote than national polls themselves! In 2012, for instance, our model — which then, like now, mostly uses state polls to forecast the national popular vote — showed then-President Barack Obama winning the popular vote by approximately 3 points, even though his lead in national polls was only about 1 point.

Maine Becomes First State To Try Ranked-Choice Voting for President

In ranked-choice voting, citizens aren't asked to just choose a single candidate. They are permitted to rank the candidates from most to least favorite. In order to win a ranked-choice vote, a candidate is required to earn a majority of the votes (more than 50 percent), not just a plurality. In the event no candidate gets a majority of the votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is tossed out of the running. Then the votes are tallied again, but for voters whose favorite was just tossed out, their second choice now counts as their vote. This continues until one candidate has earned at least 50 percent of the votes.

The most dangerous conspiracy theory in 2020 isn’t about blood-sucking pedophiles

The voter fraud conspiracy theory, including related theories about voter suppression, is also what stands to undermine American democracy in a very immediate way, both by suppressing voter turnout and by sowing doubt among voters about the election’s results. That gets even more worrisome when you consider that President Trump continues to suggest that he won’t leave office, regardless of the election’s outcome. When asked on Wednesday if he’d commit to a peaceful transfer of power, Trump said, “We’ll have to see what happens.” He added, “The ballots are a disaster.”

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