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Darryl Morris Weekly – 30.10.20 – It’s All in the Margins

On the 29th October 2016 – four years ago yesterday – I text a friend.

“To be honest, I’ll sort of miss the madness of it. It has been entertaining at least”

“I wonder what he’ll do next?” she replied

“Probably a TV deal or he might end up on Breitbart or something like that. If it’s mainly been about bolstering his brand, I suppose he has succeeded in that sense”

The rest, as they say, is history.

Where attention would ordinarily be on the last few days of the campaign – the drive to get out the vote and convince that last handful of undecideds – the smarter minds are more focused on what comes next. And they aren’t wondering what TV deal Trump might sign.

Tuesday’s vote is likely to give way to days – maybe weeks – of lengthy delays and bitter disputes.

We will have it covered, blow by blow, this weekend and on Tuesday night. Join us for a talkRADIO special as we chew our way through the early results on a night that is unlikely to tell us who will be the next President. It will, however, give us a few key clues.

The first thing to know is that there are state-by-state differences in the way the votes are going to be counted. Some are going to count the mail in ballots – what we call postal votes – first, and some will count the in-person, on-the-day votes first. We know that Democrats are more likely to vote by mail and Republicans more likely to vote in person. It has become a curious sub-plot in the story of the Coronavirus outbreak in America. Democrats have taken the cautious approach of voting by mail to avoid the risks of big gatherings and queues at voting booths. Republicans that fall behind Trump – in a strange defiance against the virus and the risks – are more determined to vote in person. The Trump campaign have seized this as an opportunity, encouraging their supporters to get to the ballot box on the date and sowing unfounded seeds of uncertainty around mail in votes.

This is, clearly, Trump preparing the ground to cry foul if and when a swell of mail in votes tip the election in Biden’s favour. This is where watching what happens on Tuesday night begins to matter. As the results trickle through, it’s all in the margins. If Trump’s early leads aren’t as strong as they need to be in those states that count in-person voting first, he is in trouble. If Biden’s support isn’t as strong as it needs to be in those states that count mail-in ballots first, he is in trouble. There are a whole load of individual variations and catches to that, as you drill into the detail, state by state – but it’s what the candidates will have their eye firmly fixed on come the night, and so will we.

I will be joining the talkRADIO team to cover what will no doubt be a fascinating evening. I hope you can join us. Bring a glass of wine, you might need it.

Our Road to the White House series will take stock of all that this weekend – and cast our eye across what the candidates should and shouldn’t do in the final few days. Edward Hardy and Greg Swenson will join us to battle that one out.

Our Equal Britain series continues this weekend, too. We’ve been drilling into the life experiences of some famous faces to ask – ten years on from the Equalities Act – what has and hasn’t changed?

On Saturday, Cherie Blair talks me through her childhood, growing up in a working class family of girls on Merseyside. As we well know, she landed a place at Oxford, joined the bar and found herself thrust into Downing Street. That isn’t a journey many working class girls from Merseyside can contemplate. Not just in the 60s, but still to this day. Class divides still risk defining a generation and social mobility is stalling. We’ll ask Cherie why – and what we can do about it. And on Sunday, national treasure Tanni Grey-Thompson lets us dig into her life experiences. From her early life, growing up in Cardiff and batting away the difficulties that come with her spina bifida, to leading her country into the Paralympics and taking her seat in the House of Lords. Her story is one of hope and success – but also of caution, as she tells us how the discrimination and difficulties she faced haven’t fallen away, even as she became famous and successful.

Two incredible women, two incredible stories.

See you in the morning.

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By Darryl Morris

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