On Saturday, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro took the unprecedented step of proclaiming Joe Biden the victor of his state before the first vote had been officially counted. With the election still another night away, asserting that Trump could not win the state “if all votes are added up” three days prior was certainly well out of bounds. Democrats are gonna Democrat though.
RedState covered the original story here.
The most logical assumption here is that Shapiro felt he could suppress the Trump vote by essentially telling them that Biden is going to win no matter what. Why show up if the state’s AG is already telling you there’s no scenario where your guy can come out victorious?
Of course, Shapiro had no inside information to make the statement he made. In fact, Pennsylvania is one of the states that has actually not seen a massive percentage of their past vote total come in as early voting. As of today, only 38% of the 2016 votes cast had been cast in the state. That means election day could still be gangbusters for Trump if he turns out his voters as he’s promised to do. Shapiro knows this and obviously wanted to throw a wrench in those plans.
Now, he’s backtracking.
A bit of a different tone than when you suggested the race was already over. Which somehow @Twitter let stand even though it violates their rules for misinformation that could potentially suppress votes. https://t.co/6XgWdkijDp
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) November 2, 2020
The note about Twitter there is correct. According to their own pre-election guidelines, no one is supposed to be able to call a state’s race before it has been officially called by one of seven sources, which include the AP and Fox News. Yet, here we had a state’s AG doing just that with zero pushback from the social media powers that be. That’s not surprising given how selectively the rules are always enforced I suppose.
If Shapiro truly wants people to “ignore the noise,” perhaps he should stop producing so much of it?
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has decreed that votes can be counted that arrive up to three days after the election in Pennsylvania (nine in the key swing state of North Carolina). That’s insane given current election law and completely arbitrary, but Chief Justice John Roberts has set forth to leave his mark on this election cycle before Amy Coney Barrett fully neuters him in the near future. In the end, it’s only going to cause more chaos though.
Trump voters simply have to turn out in overwhelming numbers tomorrow. That’s the only way to pull these midwestern states out of the fire and into the Trump column. Shapiro did his best to tamp down that enthusiasm, but I suspect all his ploy did was backfire.