UW political science expert analyzes shockwaves of election process

'The survival of the union does not depend on [the election] outcome,' political science professor says

· Nov 4, 2020 Tweet

Shane Fruchterman/The Badger Herald

While the outcome of the 2020 Presidential Election remains unclear, a University of Wisconsin political science expert commented on the election results and impacts of the election.

UW Political Science Professor Howard Schweber, who is an expert in constitutional law, judicial law, democratic theory and American politics, said the current political climate and election are complicated, and political parties are less sure than they thought they were with the election numbers and results.

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Schweber also said the election process has become so challenged and widely questioned that this lack of institutional confidence has become a variable that changed the way people vote and respond to the outcome.

“Lots of people were predicting that Election Day would involve widespread violence and disruption,” Schweber said. “Almost none of that has happened. In the coming days, certainly, I expect the Trump campaign to unleash campaign litigation to try and challenge results.”

Schweber said he would only anticipate Trump to engage in legal fights if there are enough states with close results and if there are genuine questions about the consensus of ballots counted.

With election results trickling in, Schweber said it seems Biden is benefitting largely from the early-cast, late-counted votes. In 24 or 40 hours, Schweber said it is possible we will have a general consensus about the results of the election.

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President Donald Trump addressed the nation Tuesday night and claimed victory in undecided states and said the counting of legally casted ballots was an effort to steal the election. Norah O’Donnell, a CBS journalist, said votes are still being counted and it would be clearly premature for either candidate to declare victory.

Schweber said Trump has employed rhetorical strategies by making promises he does not intend to keep and threats he does not intend to carry out. He attributed these strategies of negotiation to Trump’s business background.

“[Trump’s] supporters take him seriously, but not literally,” Schweber said. “His critics take him literally, but not seriously”

According to CBS News, taking longer to count the large number of mail-in ballots is not an indication of fraud.

Schweber said historically, it has almost always been the case that voters between the ages of 18 and 30 do not vote, and he hopes that this election will show the importance of this demographic’s votes.

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Schweber said he believes this election has been educational for both political parties and people may come out of this election with the understanding that compromise is necessary.

“No matter how much you dislike the outcomes you see coming from ‘Trumpism’ as an element of American politics, it really isn’t the end of the world,” Schweber said. “This is not apocalyptic. The survival of the union does not depend on [the election] outcome.”


This article was published Nov 4, 2020 at 10:58 pm and last updated Nov 4, 2020 at 11:01 pm


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