Blue Arizona, Georgia and Florida toss-ups, Texas only “leaning red”… what planet are we on?

Coniferious tree against the blue Arizona sky

The University of Virginia’s Center for Politics publishes regularly updated predictions on nearly every national and state election race of significance. Their web-based newsletter, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, is named for the center’s director, Larry J. Sabato, and they have an impressive track record of predicting the outcomes of elections going back to 2004 (though they’d prefer not to talk about 2016).

Still, one year ago, could you have imagined an Electoral College map that looks like this one?

Electoral College map showing predictions for the 2020 Presidential Election, done by Sabato's Crystal Ball.

Donald Trump and his dysfunctional administration have gone out of their way, especially in the past few weeks, to make sure that they lose the votes of most – if not all – independent and undecided voters. But to get to the predictions shown in the map, you also have to be losing Republican voters, especially those who haven’t been drinking Trump’s kool-aid.

Seriously, how badly would you have to piss off long-time Republicans to turn Arizona blue? The midwestern states that are “leans D” such as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, aren’t shocking, but Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida being “toss ups” sure are.

And that big orange-looking state in the middle is Texas, with 38 electoral votes, currently shown as “leans R.” If there’s anywhere outside of Austin that’s only leaning R in Texas, that’s news to me.

Even stranger is the fact that the Trump campaign, as far back as June, has been spending advertising money in places where he never had any chance of winning, including the District of Columbia. His visit to Minnesota before he took ill (and miraculously recovered!) with COVID-19 was also a head-scratcher. Does anyone think he has a chance of winning Minnesota?

It’s looking good for Joe Biden right now, but there are many days between now and the election for more crazy hi-jinks to happen, not to mention the lame duck period through Inauguration Day. Hopefully it will be obvious by the time we wake up on November 4 that Trump has lost and has no chance of catching up in what should be an avalanche of Biden votes in the mail-in balloting. Perhaps he’ll go quietly after all… but I’m not counting on it.