On the EDge: Election 2016: It ain’t over ‘til it’s over

Stock image, St. George News

OPINION – Over the years, I’ve been known to lay down a wager or two.

There’s something about being in the action that is exhilarating.

Whether it’s a toss of the dice or the flop of a card, knowing that there is money on the table makes it exciting.

About a year ago, however, I wrote that I wouldn’t lay a bet on the 2016 election using yours, mine or anybody else’s money.

It was a fool’s bet. And, it continues to be so.

I mean, if you were betting on the presidential result, you got a push. Donald Trump may have won the Electoral College, but Hillary Clinton claimed, by more than 2 million votes, the popular vote.

Hey, at one point, you could have gotten fairly good odds placing a bet on Trump to make it to the final ballot.

Now, just when we thought it was over, the genie is out of the bottle again as Green Party candidate Jill Stein is calling for a recount in three key states – Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan – and Clinton is supporting her in the effort.

Stein is claiming “irregularities.” Clinton is saying she feels an “obligation” to the 64 million voters who cast ballots in her favor to ensure that “every vote is counted properly.” Trump, who once said he wasn’t sure if he would accept the results of the election, has changed his tune and now says that whole recount thing is a “scam,” designed to fill her (Stein’s) coffers with money, most of which she will never even spend on this ridiculous recount. The Obama administration tried to talk Stein and Clinton out of the recall, claiming the declared results reflect “the will of the American people.”

Maybe, maybe not.

How this will play with the electors who are scheduled to gather soon to cast their Electoral College ballots remains to be seen, and how much the votes will change in the recount – and, I guarantee they will – also will be interesting.

In the face of all this, the only bet I am willing to make on this is that the real winners will be the attorneys from both sides who will be flush with cash when all is said, tallied and done. From the moment they smelled blood in the water, these sharks started circling and you can be sure they won’t leave the area until they fleece all parties involved.

When we last visited an election hiccup like this in 2000, I was hopeful that we’d never have to go through something like this again. It was a nightmare and a lesson in making sure you do your homework first because had Al Gore’s team prepared properly and asked for a full recount of the Florida vote instead of just a partial, he would have had enough votes to claim the state’s electoral votes and would have placed his hand on the Bible on Inauguration Day instead of George W. Bush.

Live and learn? We’ll see.

The partisan side of me, of course, says we would have been better off had Gore gotten the nod instead of Bush, but we’ll never really know and any argument from either side is pure conjecture, much as those being posed today from Republicans and Democrats who each have their own reasons – some sincere, some merely partisan posturing – for how things should turn out.

I’m certainly not going to try to look into my crystal ball and make a prediction, an educated guess or a stab in the dark try at figuring out how this one will end. I don’t think Nostradamus would even try this one on for size.

I mean, logic tells me that at best, the Wisconsin vote could very well be overturned in Clinton’s favor, but could she run the table and pick up Michigan and Pennsylvania, too? If she does, what happens then? It certainly wouldn’t be pretty.

If the current tally holds up under a recount, what will happen? And, of course, how much further would it weaken a Trump presidency, considering he lost the popular vote by more than 2 million?

What about the Electoral College? How much influence will these latest developments hold? Will they break tradition and go with the popular vote or hold with what they have done forever?

What would happen in the House of Representatives should the Electoral College go rogue and give Clinton the edge? Don’t automatically say they would, in turn, readily hand over the keys to the Oval Office to Trump, even though there is a clear Republican majority. A lot of enemies were made along the way and full payback has yet to be doled out.

Finally, what happen if this goes to the Supreme Court, which would, if it went along party line, result in a 4-4 standoff?

I couldn’t find any odds on how the Electoral College will go, but I do know that judging from the line established on the presidential race, international bookmakers – you cannot wager on the election in the United States – must have cleaned up. Trump had long odds and, from what I saw, there was little money laid down on the reality show host-cum-president-elect.

I can’t think of a sensible book anywhere who would handicap what will happen next, it’s been that kind of year. So, I’ll keep my money, thank you very much, and sit this one out.

Besides, there’s a much better proposition out there.

The Oakland Raiders.

You see, they opened the season as a 50-to-1 shot to win the Super Bowl, saw their odds drop to 20-to-1 and are now hovering at 18-to-1. Only Pittsburgh, Seattle, Dallas and, of course, New England are favored above them.

Yeah, these are the Raiders, a team that can implode at the drop of a penalty flag.

But, I think, even at 18-to-1, they are a much safer bet than laying money on the fortunes of either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

Besides, they have better coaching than Trump and Clinton put together.

Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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  • .... November 29, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Well just sit tight Ed. LOL ! It’s coming. Bob will be here with his conspiracy theories about what’s going on here ! ha ha this is going to be good !

    • ffwife November 29, 2016 at 8:34 pm

      Maybe Ed could head over to Colorado for a little comfort. He seems a bit stressed.

  • BIG GUY November 29, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Republicans held solid majorities at the Federal level in both the Senate and the House. They increased their hold on state governments with a total of 29 states where they hold the governorships and both houses of the legislature. Democrats hold only five with the others split.

    Democrat political machines in big cities, relying on the usual identity and grievance politics, produced Clinton’s popular vote margin. The rest of the country was tired of that message and being governed by the big city Democrat elite, out of touch with reality.

    Trump’s presidency is hardly “weakened” by any of the factors cited in Ed’s musings above…except in the minds of unrepentant hard left liberals and their friends in the main stream media elites. How he’ll perform is yet to be seen, but he’s certainly not “weakened.”

  • Henry November 29, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Okay Ed, I’ll take your 18-to-1 odds. I’ll bet you $100 that Donald Trump will become President in early 2017, and if I win, I’ll donate the winnings to the St George animal shelter. Ready to bet?

  • 42214 November 29, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Great picture of Hillary with tape on her mouth.

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