Why Trump Will Win

Post-Election Headlines (Written Pre-Election)

Rajiv Satyal
12 min readNov 3, 2020

Here’s a list of headlines we may see once we know who’s headed to the White House in January 2021. I’m placing these in the order I think most likely to happen.

This isn’t meant to be the be-all, end-all of reasons. I sat down and wrote out which points I think will matter. Other folks may point out different rationales. That’s fine; they’re wrong.

A major heads-up: this is a mix of logic and emotion. Some are strategic; some are tactical. I am not attempting to write objectively. That said, I stand by all points, facts, data, etc. If you see an error, please point it out.

Not all of these will resonate with you. But if this comes to pass, at least one of them will be the reason. Which one(s) do YOU think it’ll be?

1. Newsflash: Voter Intimidation Still Works

On Election Day itself, Trump supporters effectively blocked thousands of people from voting in swing state urban areas. Encouraged by the President’s rhetoric of “stand back and stand by,” the Proud Boys and other extremist groups went to battle for their leader. They yelled; they carried guns; they blocked entrances. Local police departments were overwhelmed. National Guard troops were beckoned in Altanta, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Milwaukee, Kenosha, Phoenix, Raleigh, Charlotte, and Miami, but it wasn’t enough to quell the violence. By the end of the night, time ran out. In the end, Trump won in real numbers as many simply weren’t allowed to vote.

The only state where this made a difference was Pennsylvania. The numbers were so close that a few thousand votes in Philadelphia would’ve made the difference. Two twists of irony to report:

a. Democratic Candidate Joe Biden, “Pennsylvania’s 3rd Senator,” lost his home state, just as Al Gore did with Tennessee in 2000.

b. The American Experiment ends in the city in which it began. It’s its own Waterloo.

2. Global March to Nationalism Continues

Nations around the world are embracing nationalism, some outright fascism. And the 2020 American election continued the international trendlines in this direction. Something larger than just what’s happening in the United States is going on. Citizens around the planet are pissed off at their governments — and they consistently show up to give them the finger.

3. Trump Held the Levers of Power — and Held On for Victory

Donald Trump controls the levers of power. This cannot be understated. Yes, there were technically 51 separate elections run simultaneously and not one big election. That said, Trump won as an outsider, but had four years to do Lord-knows-what behind the scenes, especially with the nation distracted by COVID. And one we saw clearly: Trump messed with the US Postal Service enough that thousands of ballots were delayed beyond state deadlines; others were merely never counted.

Since the Vice President also doubles as the President of the Senate, the Democrats needed to flip three Senate seats to control it, if they had won the Presidency. Since they netted three (winning four but losing one), we ended up with a 50–50 tie and happened to land on top of a precarious pinhead. Speaking of pinheads, Senate Majority Leader didn’t want to lose his status and did everything he could to ensure Trump stayed in power.

4. Elections Have Consequences — and Conservatives Have the Courts

Democrats, if they haven’t already, will kick themselves for not galvanizing their base decades earlier. While the Left was busy coming up with clever and not-so-clever hashtags #NotSoCleverHashtags, the Right was hard at work, actually electing conservatives to every level of the government: national, state, county, and local. Many appointed and approved conservative judges, who came in handy when it was time to decide whose votes to count. Many ruled in the GOP’s favor, so while the sheer number of votes was more than enough to go the Dems’ way, they weren’t included in the final tally.

5. Ground Game Trumps Air Game

I love sports analogies. I’ll never forget how the Atlanta Braves’ legendary pitching (especially the starters) shut down my Cleveland Indians’ insane hitting lineup in the 1995 World Series. (Yes, I’ll say “my” since I’m from Ohio and was living in Cleveland at the time.)

In football, the equivalent is often one team’s amazing ground (rushing) game vs. another’s incredible air (passing) game. Football is a game that’s won in the trenches; sure, the thrills are in the breakaway runs and the spectacular throws & catches. But ultimately, the game is blocking and tackling. And speaking of throwing, while Democrats followed protocol, Republicans threw caution to the wind. They relentlessly knocked on doors, registered more people as the clock wound down, and eked out a victory. It’s a lesson that’s been learned (or not learned, apparently) many times: it’s face-to-face campaigning that works best. The Democrats literally tried to mail it in.

From the great 2011 Brad Pitt baseball film, Moneyball:

“It’s won on the field with fundamental play. You have to steal, you have to bunt, you have to sacrifice, you have to get men in scoring position, and then you gotta bring ’em in. And you don’t do that with a bunch of statistical gimmicks. Nobody reinvents this game.”

6. The Baby Boomer Death Rattle

We just celebrated Halloween, so a dark analogy seems appropriate. While 13% of Trump voters voted for Barack Obama at least once, many White (and especially male) voters figured the “glory days” of when they were in-charge were over. Trump came along, expressed in a thinly-veiled manner that they could return to those glory days, and re-activated their racism.

#MakeAmericaGreatAgain was always code for this group’s retaining its power. If Obama represented forward movement on many social and cultural issues, Trump was the backlash. He’s not just a person; though many on the Left don’t want to admit it, he is every bit a movement as Obama. Trump is the White man’s last gasp to hold onto power… and many nations shift to fascism as a last-ditch effort to hold onto it. History repeated itself. History repeated itself. And I repeated myself.

7. Inexperience with Voting by Mail Dooms Democrats

Black mail-in ballots were rejected at rates up to 200% as often as their White counterparts. In an election this close, it was enough to make a difference.

8. American People Decide They Don’t Want to Return to “Normal” — Because “Normal” Wasn’t Working for Them

It is difficult to look at Joe Biden and not see the past. Not only is he old but also he’s a Vice President from four years ago. While nostalgia is a powerful thing, the reality is that many Americans threw a Hail Mary and voted for Trump because they wanted a stepchange. The Democrats tried to run the person who was next in line… and learned nothing from the failings of Al Gore, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton.

9. Under Pressure, McEnroe Hits Yet Another Ace

[In fairness, the style of this one doesn’t really fit. It’s a couple of personal vignettes. That said, I believe it’s real.]

Indians love tennis. I think it’s because it’s not a contact sport; we feel we have a chance. My family has watched a lot of tennis together since the 1980s. My Dad, more of a Jimmy Connors’ fan, always lamented the fact that John McEnroe could pull an ace out of his ass whenever he needed one. (My words, not his — though probably McEnroe’s words, too). I haven’t looked up the stats to see whether Johnny Mac hit more aces under pressure than anyone else, but boy, did it happen often.

In fact, I played high school tennis. I was decent. One of my friends, John Wynne, was the class bully in elementary school, so while we were cool and I knew he’d never do anything to harm me, I still found him somewhat intimidating. We were sitting in Mr. Carty’s Biology class as I was discussing an upcoming match. John, a jock who played football, told me that he’d beat me at tennis. “You play?” “Nah, but I just wouldn’t let you win.” I laughed, but deep down, I immediately knew it’d be a tough fight. Why? Not only because he was a good athlete and could clearly play good head games as well as John Doe in Se7en, but also because he could never let himself lose a physical competition to some scrawny non-jock.

We never did play, though I’m endlessly curious about what would’ve happened. I mean, his name was John Wynne, after all.

At the moment, I knew I felt like that motorcycle gang in the 1993 classic movie, A Bronx Tale:

They Really Come Apart.

As such, I sometimes try to imagine a person’s losing. And with Trump, I could never imagine his actually letting go.

Perhaps I’m now biased in this direction, but I always look for who needs a Win more. Who has their back against the wall? Who has more at stake?

Besides Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinny

… It’d be hard to conjure up who in history had more riding on the outcome of anything than Donald J. Trump did with the 2020 election. He was facing global humiliation, financial ruin, and possible jail time. He needed a victory.

Of course, this reasoning didn’t resonate with voters. They didn’t care about this: they weren’t gonna bail Trump out for Trump’s sake. But there’s something about a cornered animal that informs everything they do at that moment, and that visceral id came to Trump’s rescue.

10. Simply Put, Trump Did It Again

The mainstream media (MSM) kept telling us Trump had to pull an inside straight. You mean like how he did in 2016? Well, Trump won the exact same way he did the first time. After all of the resources (the time, the money, and the energy), the electoral map didn’t budge. Americans have known what they were getting with Trump since 2015. And just enough of them were in the right places to make it happen once again. Was it really that tough to imagine something that already happened?

11. One More for the Gipper

Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter in 1980, and perhaps no line sums it up better than the question he asked: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” The majority of Americans didn’t feel so, so they gave Jimmy the boot. In a recent Gallup poll, 56% of Americans said they were better off than four years ago — during a pandemic. This portended that, no matter his failings, Trump was better for Americans and they wanted to “stay the course,” to borrow from Reagan again.

12. Guess What. You Still Have to Inspire

Biden counted on people’s turning out to vote against the President. And it wasn’t enough. People are cynical but they’re not that cynical. They still want to hope, still want to be inspired, still want to believe in something.

As Poison sang, “Give me something to believe in.”

And I can’t believe I just quoted Poison.

Many showed up to vote against something, but they weren’t called to vote for something. Hillary Clinton underperformed Barack Obama, who stood for something. Donald Trump stood for something and outperformed Mitt Romney. Joey Biden stood for Restoration but it wasn’t as strong a message as Hope + Change or MAGA.

13. Biden, Propped Up by the Media, Was Never a Strong Candidate

The MSM learned its lesson from 2016, not overly trying to make this a horserace. But this time, they went in the other direction, doing everything they could to reveal how weak a candidate Biden truly was. Well, many Americans aren’t getting their news from the MSM anymore; the internet showed Biden’s shortcoming — and Americans were watching.

14. Ohio Continues Its Perfect Streak

Since the Year of the Beatles in America, my home state has a perfect streak in voting for the winner. Biden got close, but with its shift to the Right in recent years, Ohio #nailedit once more.

15. Trump Camp Pulls Off Collusion Again

Many on the Right thought the Mueller Report disproved collusion. No, it wasn’t disproven; it was unproven. The Mueller Report had two parts: Part I was Conspiracy and Coordination and Part II was Obstruction of Justice. Attorney General and Fat-Ass-in-Chief Bill Barr beat Democrats to the punch with his four-page summary of Mueller’s 400-page report. But what the Democrats never plainly stated was this: the reason Trump got away with Conspiracy because of Obstruction. Part II caused Part I.

And Trump did it again. Not so much any kind of hidden June 2016 Trump Tower meeting. Nope. In plain sight. At Helsinki in 2018, and upon other occasions. Russia was allowed to meddle and hacked our voting systems, leading to confusion at the polls to wholesale junking of myriad ballots.

At a press conference held weeks before the 11/3 election, Trump’s Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said that both Russia and Iran were hacking the United States. He came under fire for editorializing and improvising the bit about how this was done to hurt President Trump.

But that’s not the real story. Why drag Iran into the spotlight? Two reasons:

a. One, as cover for singling out Russia. Trump’s camp knew Russia was hacking us — and encouraged it. They knew it wouldn’t be possible for the intelligence community not to find that out. They don’t have their heads that far up their asses. (My words.)

b. Secondly, if Biden were to win, they could blame it on Iran and call the results illegitimate. They covered themselves either way… and covered it up.

16. Hindus Turn Out for the Elephant

Democrats’ support of Muslims irked many Hindus, who comprise 80% of South Asians. The 78% support they showed Clinton fell to 65%, which was just barely enough to keep Pennsylvania in Trump’s Win column. With 35% voting for the Republican, South Asian Voices were heard — just not the way many expected.

17. With the World Crashing Around Him, Trump Prevailed Due to His #1 Strength

Right or wrong (wrong, IMO), Americans often trust Republicans with the economy, and this was no different. The one bright spot in the polling for Trump was always the economy. And even though it collapsed on his watch and because he did nothing to stop it, Trump proved highly effective in shifting the blame away from himself and to China.

18. The Polls Were Wrong — Again

As it’s been said, the reality is that the 2016 polls weren’t really that wrong. But this will be the narrative, especially since, after all of the fog, it came down to the same three (not six) battleground states, what I like to call MIPAWI. Hey, if we drove the Native Americans out of their own lands, we can at least give this a mnemonic that sounds Native American.

What does that stand for? Michigan. Wisconsin. Pennsylvania.

While Democrats succeeded in flipping the first two back into their blue column, they failed in Pennsylvania. Polls consistently showed Biden with a 5+-point margin, just outside the margin of error. And there was an error.

Ask yourself this question: was it ever really plausible for Biden to think he could win Arizona or Georgia? The allure of a big win prevented a small one.

Also, I was watching Trump’s approval rating. It steadily ticked up and up, closer to his all-time high the day before the 3rd of November.

Moreover, the numbers never did quite add up. The MSM kept showing, over and over, how Trump had lost support amongst so many key demographic groups: seniors, suburban women, et al. But his numbers, while damaged, didn’t crater. If there’s a hole in the bucket, Dear Liza, and the water level is staying relatively constant, then there must be a source of water pouring into the bucket. Where were all of these voters coming from? Well, one explanation…

19. Black and Latinx Men Defy the Woke Left

… Many on the progressive Left looked at Trump and saw a bigot. They had the luxury of White privilege (in this case, manifesting itself as seeing oneself as better at making decisions for others). But African American and Latin American males saw in Trump both the practical and the philosophical: his policies provided jobs for them and his machismo appealed to the traditionally domineering male prevalent in so many communities (whether People of Color or White).

And that’s how we got four more years.

Click here for Why Biden Will Win.

Rajiv Satyal is a comedian. And he’s usually funnier than this, when the world’s future isn’t at stake.