Election 2020: Day 63, 6am

The Senate runoff elections in Georgia are today, although over 3.0 million early votes have already been cast, down about 25% from the number of early votes cast in the Georgia general two months ago. Polling strikes me as being of even more limited value than usual when it comes to a special election, but for what it’s worth 538’s polling averages have Ossoff ahead of Perdue by 1.8% and Warnock ahead of Loeffler by 2.1%; in both cases this is a shift of about 1.5% to the Democrats since Christmas.

Yesterday’s news cycle continued to be dominated by the fallout from Saturday’s call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger. There were pockets of criticism towards Raffensperger for recording the call in the first place (although that appears to have perfectly legal under Georgia law) and then for arranging/condoning the recording’s leak to the press (which happened only after Trump’s Sunday morning tweet mischaracterizing the call, in response to which Raffensperger tweeted “the truth will come out”). However that has been dwarfed by criticism of Trump, including multiple suggestions that the call is grounds for impeachment, and calls for federal and/or state criminal investigations. What would be the point of impeaching a President whose term ends in 15 days? Because Article I of the Constitution allows the Senate to determine whether an impeached individual should be disqualified from holding any further federal “office of public trust”.

And then in addition to the Georgia election, we have the build-up towards tomorrow’s political theatre in Congress regarding the formal counting of the electoral votes. I believe that, since the original twelve members of what some have called the “sedition caucus” were announced over the weekend, the only other Senator to go on record as joining their ranks is Loeffler (and also Perdue, who doesn’t get to vote since his seat is now technically vacant). Signs of sanity in the Republican party were exhibited yesterday by ambitious Senator Tom Cotton, former speaker Paul Ryan, and pundit George Will, whose latest column‘s title is “Hawley, Cruz and their Senate cohort are the Constitution’s most dangerous domestic enemies”.