“A week is a long time in politics” is as true today as when it was first said in the mid-1960s by Harold Wilson, then U.K. prime minister.
And nowhere can it be more true than in the U.S. today, with just days until both the presidential election and general election on Tuesday 3 November.
So much can happen and so many things can change in so little time that the final outcome is difficult, if not impossible, to predict with any sense of certainty. Even opinion polls, normally a fairly good indicator of voter intentions, cannot be relied upon in these volatile and turbulent times.
In December 2000, the re-election of then President George W. Bush was finalised only after a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on 12 December.
It is entirely possible - though some might may say highly likely or even probable - that this year’s presidential election will also head for the Justices.
Trump has already poured scorn and doubt on the validity and legality of mail-in voting and, while his views have been widely de-bunked, they indicate he may be unwilling to leave the White House without a post-election fight if the results don’t go his way.
It’s the nature of such a fight that has raised concern in some quarters that it may not stop at the Supreme Court. Instead, it could escalate into an armed intervention by pro-Trump militias.
While I can see how such fears came about, to me, they cannot be realistic. Such a step would be the equivalent of a coup, and a precursor of civil war. That is almost unthinkable.
So, instead of dwelling upon what I consider to be practically impossible, let’s take a look at the way things look in some key swing - or “battleground” - states: Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio. Together, these eight states count for 125 electoral college (EC) votes.