A striking feature of the 2016 presidential election cycle was Hillary Clinton's disappearance from the campaign trail for long stretches of time and her infrequent interviews. Her campaign was largely conducted by surrogates and relied heavily on major media to attack and harass Donald Trump on her behalf. Overconfidence in her inevitable victory is generally blamed for this strategy.
The Biden campaign's repeat of Hillary's hide-the-candidate approach showed that Democrats had a strategy to win back the White House that did not involve their candidate exposing himself to gaffes, missteps or challenging voter questions. The Biden campaign's strategy is now on display.
The 2020 presidential campaign was always going to come down to fraud.
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Besides the Biden campaign's telegraphing its plans by hiding the candidate from the public and the media for extended periods in the middle of a presidential campaign, much of their strategy was out in the open. Democrats pushed a full-court press in every state possible to open as many avenues for fraud as possible to give the greatest possible chance of overcoming Trump's incredible voter enthusiasm and actual voter turnout. Democrats have been on the offensive across America all year to: 1) Create as many new ways to vote as possible; 2) Extend early voting as long as possible before Election Day; 3) Continue counting votes after Election Day; 4) Create as much chaos as possible; and 5) Prepare an army of attorneys to file lawsuits casting GOP efforts to ensure election integrity as "voter suppression" or otherwise run interference to allow as many of their myriad voting and vote-counting schemes as possible to produce the maximum impact for Biden and Democrats.
To make a football analogy, it would be like extending the sidelines as wide as possible and giving the offense several more footballs. Eventually, it becomes impossible for any defense to keep the other team out of the end zone.
While the short-term goal was to change every conceivable rule to set the conditions for fraud, the intermediate goal was to create as much confusion as possible in as many key states as possible on Election Day. This supported the ultimate goal of giving ammunition to Democratic election officials, lawyers and major media to pound the table and angrily portray Democrats as victims and the process as illegitimate long enough to count enough ballots in enough targeted states to put Biden over the top.
In a way, Democrats have been working toward their 2020 election strategy for years. In the 2000 presidential election Democrats in Broward County, Florida, used an early version of this we're-confused-and-can't-declare-a-winner strategy by claiming voter confusion over the county's own "butterfly ballots," even though similar ballots were used in many places without issue. This resulted in the flurry of lawsuits, recounts, examination of ballots, arguments over whether to count "hanging chads" and the delay of the presidential election result for weeks, as Florida's electoral votes would determine the winner of the general election. In 2009, Democratic comedian Al Franken was declared the winner of a U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota by 312 votes eight months after initially losing to Republican incumbent Norm Coleman in the November 2008 election. In 2018, Republican victories in Senate and House races in Arizona and California were reversed days or weeks after Election Day as Democrats continued "finding" boxes of Democratic ballots to keep counting until the outcomes were reversed. In 2016 and 2018, Broward County election officials made news for several instances of ballot tampering in support of establishment Democrats, including illegally destroying ballots.
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All of these efforts are augmented by major media, of course. First, with a constant stream of polls leading up to the election showing ridiculous leads for the Democratic candidate. Next, mainstream media promote Democratic narratives to harass President Trump, including constant demands he promise to accept an election loss in advance. Democrats are never pressed to commit to accepting an electoral defeat, in spite of blatant statements by Hillary Clinton that Biden should never concede the election under any circumstances and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's recent insistence that "Whatever the end count is on the election … he [Joe Biden] will be elected. On January 20th he will be inaugurated president of the United States." The basic role of major media in helping Democrats win is this: Attack Republicans, defend Democrats.
The 2000 presidential election was not decided for several weeks based on contested ballots in one county in one state. Incredibly, in 2020, vote counting was simply stopped in Pennsylvania, a key state for both campaigns, on election night! Not because there were no ballots to count or any other rational reason. It was simply stopped in Democratic strongholds Philadelphia and Pittsburgh as President Trump held a 700,000 vote lead in the state. Other battleground states stopped counting ballots on election night, as well.
Create as many new ways to vote as possible; extend voting as long as possible; extend ballot counting as long as possible; create chaos.
This strategy will pay dividends for Democrats whether Biden wins or not. Even if President Trump is declared the winner, Democrats will have successfully created a narrative for themselves that Trump did not actually win. Twenty years later, many Democrats still claim George W. Bush did not win the 2000 presidential election because he cheated through the courts to disenfranchise Broward County voters. This despite numerous subsequent recounts and analyses that showed Bush defeating Al Gore in Florida with or without the contested ballots.
Whatever the outcome, the 2020 election has been set up to either deny President Trump reelection, or continue their narrative from 2016 that his election was illegitimate.