Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant was on the radio Monday agreeing with Donald Trump’s claim that the presidential election is ‘rigged.’ From Adam Gancheau’s article on Mississippi Today:
“The election is rigged,” Bryant said. “Any Republican has to have an overwhelming majority of the vote. And, of course, as it has been designed, as we look at the states where the more liberal voting population may be in cities in New York and California and some of the other areas, all you have to do is win those particularly large states.
“You can forget about flyover country. That doesn’t seem fair to me at all,” Bryant said.
That claim is….interesting.
And I’m not even going to criticize the “large state” claim. He meant “populated states.” Other than California, the largest states are in flyover country (or Alaska). Don’t believe me?
Get in your car and drive for two days up the East Coast to Boston. Then come home and drive two days to Cheyenne, Wyoming. It’s close to the same distance. But when you get to Cheyenne, you will only be half way to Seattle. And you will have passed through states with a fraction of the population and electoral votes as the states between here and Boston.
“Flyover country” is huge. But it’s mostly empty compared to the two coasts.
The “overwhelming majority of the vote” claim is where Bryant loses me. In a list of popular vote totals from 1940 to 2012, no Republican who won the popular vote has ever lost the election. In contrast, Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the election to George W. Bush.
A southern governor should not be talking about ‘rigged’ elections. Elections were rigged in the South until about 50 years ago. What it sounds like Bryant means is that the election is ‘rigged’ because it’s not rigged for Republicans.
And many Republicans don’t agree that the election is rigged. For instance, consider this from John Kasich:
“To say that the elections are rigged and all these votes are stolen — that’s like saying we never landed on the moon,” Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, said on CBS “This Morning.” He added that such accusations are “silly,” and “I don’t think it’s good for our democracy.”
A Wall Street Journal article stated that Paul Ryan also disagreed with Trump’s rigged election claim and Mike Pence said Trump was just claiming media bias.
Forget about the rigged election claims. Forget about the so called “blue wall” and claims that Republicans can’t win a national election anymore. The economy usually decides the presidential election. If the economy is doing ok, then the incumbent party usually wins. If the economy is in the tank, then the incumbent party usually loses.
That’s kind of ironic, since the president has a lot more influence on foreign policy than the domestic economy.
People are already turning their attention to whether Hillary will be a one term president. At this point you could make a decent argument either way. But to know which argument is right you need to know what the unemployment rate and Dow will be at in four years.
Unless it’s rigged, of course.