• Doug Most

    Assistant VP, Executive Editor, Editorial Department Twitter Profile

    Doug Most is a lifelong journalist and author whose career has spanned newspapers and magazines up and down the East Coast, with stops in Washington, D.C., South Carolina, New Jersey, and Boston. He was named Journalist of the Year while at The Record in Bergen County, N.J., for his coverage of a tragic story about two teens charged with killing their newborn. After a stint at Boston Magazine, he worked for more than a decade at the Boston Globe in various roles, including magazine editor and deputy managing editor/special projects. His 2014 nonfiction book, The Race Underground, tells the story of the birth of subways in America and was made into a PBS/American Experience documentary. He has a BA in political communication from George Washington University. Profile

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There are 9 comments on Joe Biden Defeats President Trump, Clearing the Way to Becoming 46th US President

  1. I hope this means going forward that BU Today will get away from “Republicans bad, Democrats good” articles and start really delving deep into what is going on in this country.

    As an example, will BU Today eventually acknowledge that the Democrat Party is fractured and might even be in crisis following this election?

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/05/politics/democratic-reaction-congress-election-results/index.html

    I look forward to finding out from BU Today’s experts why/how Trump won the highest percent of nonwhite voters of any Republican candidate in 60 years and doubled LGBTQ support from 2016 according to exit polls. Or is that false information?

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/11/07/election-2020-exit-polls-trump-minorities-race-women-column/6191966002/

    Since race, nationality and gender are very important, it might be worth acknowledging that the GOP had the first-ever Iranian American elected to Congress this year. Her name is Stephanie Bice. A record 13 non-incumbent Republican women won a seat. That’s not enough, but it’s still worth mentioning, right, just to give a bigger picture on the political landscape?

    1. And yet I wonder if you see the irony in your post- you want to get away from “Us vs. Them” (I think) and yet you post articles that foster this type of thinking.

      I’m middle-aged; most of my story has been written, but one thing I’m seeing in our American society today perhaps more than at any other time is a self-absorption in personal ideology. Even Democrats like AOC are mentioning that she hopes Biden doesn’t compromise too much so as to ignore the far left. We can have our political differences, but we have to let go of the self-absorption that essentially states I must have it the way I want it or it’s no good at all. We must realize that as Americans we have more that unites us than we have that divides us. Sadly, if we keep focusing on our political ideologies as you are doing, that is not going to happen. Personally, I don’t want everyone to think like me (cue the wiseacre “I would never want to think like you” remarks). I want diversity of thought. I’m a Democrat, but many are the times the wife of 30 years and I voted for the Republican if we thought he/she was the better candidate. The critical question moving forward is: can we focus on what unites us moving forward? I can tell you that here in New Orleans, on a day-to-day basis where people love engaging with each other, political ideologies are never even considered. We just embrace each other for who we are. What if we all tried that?

  2. Too soon for this headline… television networks do not “declare” winners of elections, and all legal votes have not been counted, and illegal votes discarded – and why the secrecy during ballot counting?

    Another Ph.D. scholar who specializes in data analytics has vetted Just Facts’ study which found that illegal ballots cast by non-citizens may have netted Biden enough extra votes in battleground states to tip the overall election winner from Trump to Biden. The scholar wrote:

    “I find this research of great value—clear in its assumptions, clear about the sources of data used, methodologically sound, and fair in its conclusions. Furthermore, it contains enough references to allow any interested person to ‘fact-check’ every aspect of it.”

    – Michael Cook, Ph.D. Mathematician, Scientific and Quantitative Researcher
    https://api.parler.com/l/uWZUL

    1. You are technically correct… the winner is technically not “declared” until the ballots of the Electoral College are counted in a joint session of Congress on January 6. That said, we can make a fairly educated guess what the result is going to be in advance by looking at… you know, the number of votes cast for each candidate in each state. (On this point, I am gratified to see Republicans come around, at least in principle, on the “counting every vote as a basic principle of democratic governance” issue.)

      I decided to take you up on your suggestion and look through the “data analytics” you linked to, and it is methodologically dubious at best.

      The provided calculations are based entirely on the results of a single secondary data analysis from 2014, based on primary data collection from 2008 that was not designed to address the question of voter fraud, and the the results of which have since been criticized for overestimating the frequency of non-citizen voting on the basis of cherry-picked data [https://cces.gov.harvard.edu/news/perils-cherry-picking-low-frequency-events-large-sample-surveys].

      The already dubious figures from this analysis (including ratios of votes to candidates) are then applied to a completely different sample, taken 12 years later, and without any sort of adjustment of the margin of error, thus relying on the rather ironic assumption that the proportion of individuals voting for Biden as opposed to Trump is precisely the same as the proportion who voted for Obama as opposed to McCain in 2008. Leaving aside the fact that all these calculations are very dodgy and clearly motivated by a partisan agenda, I find it amusing that the only world in which the results of this analysis make any degree of statistical sense is one where we necessarily assume that Biden has enough of a guaranteed lead in the state-by-state vote to make the results irrelevant.

      Add to that that I can’t find any information on the qualifications, training, current employment or publication record of the “scholar” who supposedly vetted this analysis, and this “study,” published without peer review by a libertarian think tank, is left without a great deal of credibility.

      I could go on (there are some very sketchy moves with the application of the margins of error from the first sample to the votes-by-candidate ratio in the second, as well as the calculation of confidence intervals for the margin of victory on a state-by-state level), but do I really need to?

      1. Your comments are grossly misleading. Let’s with the most simplistic: “I can’t find any information on the qualifications, training, current employment or publication record of the ‘scholar’ who supposedly vetted this analysis.” If you devoted 1 minute to this effort, you may have found this: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mcook10128 Or this: https://www.barefootstudent.com/other/students/resume/michael_cook_1920425228

        You are also wrong to use the phrase “a scholar.” As the article clearly states, two Ph.D. scholars who specialize in data analytics critically reviewed this study. If you can’t seem to find any information on the other scholar, here you go: https://www.jems.com/author/andrew-glen-phd/

        You say that the results of the 2015 study “have since been criticized for overestimating the frequency of non-citizen voting on the basis of cherry-picked data,” but you fail to mention that these criticisms have been refuted:
        https://www.justfactsdaily.com/substantial-numbers-of-non-citizens-vote-illegally-in-u-s-elections
        https://fs.wp.odu.edu/jrichman/wp-content/uploads/sites/760/2015/11/AnsolabehereResponse10-19-2016.pdf

        You state that “the provided calculations are based entirely on the results of a single secondary data analysis from 2014.” That is a classic half-truth, for as study documents, the results of that analysis are corroborated by a wealth of data, and the consistency of illegal voter registration rates “over time suggest that they are applicable to later elections where such data is currently unavailable.”

        Your allegation that the study was “published without peer review by a libertarian think tank” is disproven by the two scholars cited and the plain fact that Just Facts is a non-ideological, independent organization that has published hundreds of facts that are indifferent or challenging to conservative and libertarian views. In the spirit of transparency, Just Facts states that its staff and board members are generally conservative/libertarian but emphasizes that “we do not favor facts that support our viewpoints.” Furthermore, our research has been cited by a diverse array of academic publishers, peer-reviewed journals, and educational institutions from across the political spectrum: http://www.justfacts.com/aboutus#serving

        James D. Agresti | President | Just Facts

  3. Why is major news media in such a hurry to officially pronounce the winner? Are they the organization in charge of certifying election results? Are they the courts deciding on Trump’s lawful legal challenges? Why not do your job as supposedly impartial news organizations and be accurate and impartial. You can start by acknowledging that while Biden is the *apparent* or *likely* president elect, he is not yet actually the official winner. It is also likely that even if some voting irregularities occurred and fraud is found (as it almost surely will be in an election of 150 million votes) it would not be enough to make a difference in final result. If that is the case, so be it. But there is a democratic process in this country one step of which is to certify the election results and address the legal challenges out there. Until all that plays out Biden is NOT president elect.

    Trump is Trump and not helping his case by the unhinged shouting about winning the election. (But just as what Trump is spewing is largely nonsense, what Ibram X. Kendi and many others on the left are spewing about Trump’s voter suppression is likewise nonsense). But the news media’s job is to cut through the nonsense and report all the facts of the election without favoring the people they like. Their job is to assess the cases of potential voter fraud on their merits. It is definitely not their job to tell us how much they like or dislike Trump’s personality.

    Media should first point out that Trump is well within his right to challenge the voting results the same as Al Gore was well within his right to challenge election results in Florida in 2000. Btw it took I think more than a month to go through the legal process before Bush could officially be declared winner! (The mainstream media was supporting Gore in his challenges back then instead of calling it an attempted coup.) And how about Jill Stein the Green Party Candidate in 2016 challenging election results? (see https://www.huffpost.com/entry/jill-stein-election-recount_n_58507032e4b092f08685ff68.)

    And how about addressing the real concerns of the American people about what is behind Trump’s legal challenges – even if Trump’s lawyers may not necessarily be making the best case for him and frankly seem to be disorganized. For example the idea that some states did not seem to follow their own election laws? Maybe true, maybe not, maybe partially true and maybe not true enough to make a difference. But seriously, address the issues as impartial investigative journalists. There are few things more fundamental to democracy than a legal legitimate, by-the-book-election. Can we not all agree on that if nothing else? The only people who would not be in favor of this are those who want to acquire power for their side at any cost, as is done all over the world in failed states.

    So as an example in Pennsylvania the election deadline to submit ballots looks like it was changed last minute, overriding election law of that state. Is that true? not sure. But if true, would it not be concerning? I want to hear major media seriously talk about what we know on this and similar issues in other states and esp. swing states.

    More generally, I know that providing proof of citizenship is a very controversial topic for several reasons, but one being that it might interfere with some people’s ability to vote. But this is precisely the problem: fundamental common, sense guards against fraudulent voting are a political issue! For example, there are 10s of millions of documented and undocumented non-citizen residents living in the US. That is a LOT of people who are not legally allowed to vote. Is it not conceivable that with very weak requirements to provide proof of citizenship that at least some percentage of those residents will cast votes?

    While all 50 states require people to be U.S. citizens in order to register to vote in federal elections, and federal law forbids non-citizens from falsely claiming U.S. citizenship to register to vote the enforcement mechanisms for such laws are limited, and opportunities to get around them are ample. Question: how is this NOT a potential problem with election integrity? Mainstream media will NOT touch this. More specifically, the federal voter registration form requires people to declare under penalty of perjury that they are U.S. citizens, but it does not require them to provide documentary evidence that they are citizens. Several states, including Arizona and Georgia, tried to implement such a requirement, but they were blocked from doing so by court rulings backed by the Obama administration.

    To summarize when the simple idea that securing the process of voting to make sure no illegal votes are cast and all people who are legally allowed to vote are able to so is a political issue, how is this not a threat to election vote integrity? There must be a foolproof way to address the concerns of both the right to secure elections and the left’s concern about voter suppression. Until there is a widespread consensus that you can and must do BOTH we will have this kind of mess weakening our most basic institution.

    And again, Trump for all the horrible messaging is not doing anything illegal or undemocratic by the merely filing legal challenges. This must be emphasized. Trump is not killing democracy itself and not staging a coup. I would suggest that on the contrary so far the process is working as it should and that the administration is responding as any would when they think they see evidence of election tampering. If the evidence is not substantial or not valid as most of mainstream media is asserting the courts will most likely throw out those law suits and Trump will most likely follow the law and a peaceful, lawful transition of power will happen. If that doesn’t look like it’s happening, then the media hysteria over him being a threat to democracy would be justified. Right now though this is purely hypothetical and it is not the media’s job to react to something that might happen but is not actually happening.

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