Webb’s Wrap: Romney sees a Trump win . . . A chaotic end to election? . . . Reader response on federalism

There’s never been much love lost between Pres. Donald Trump and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney. Romney has been Trump’s No. 1 critic among Republican senators, and he even voted to convict Trump after House impeachment and remove him from office.

Nevertheless, in an interview with DJ Wilson at the Utah State of Reform Virtual Health Policy Conference last Tuesday, Romney said he expects Trump will be re-elected and Republicans will retain control of the U.S. Senate.
He said Trump enjoys the “enormous advantage” of incumbency. And he said a lot of Joe Biden’s supporters are young and members of minority groups, and thus are “less inclined to vote.” Romney said he looks at the polls and sees a Trump win, but it will be a very close race. Watch the interview video HERE.

Will election end in chaos? I’m not predicting who will win the presidential race because I really don’t know. A case can be made for either candidate. But I am predicting that we’re in for a very messy end to the campaign and possibly a vote-counting catastrophe. And likely lawsuits and some real disarray.
 Here are some questions that ought to greatly concern us over the next six weeks:

–Will there be an October surprise? (With Trump, anything is possible).
–Will a virus vaccine be available or announced before the election?
–Will mail-in voting be a confusing mess in some states?
–Will vote-counting take several days in some states, spawning all sorts of conspiracy theories?
–Will either side concede defeat?

Those are serious questions. I think it’s going to be a wild ride. Trump is already saying the only way he can lose is if the election is “rigged.” He’s laying the groundwork for challenges. And Hillary Clinton has told Biden not to concede, no matter what. Both sides have lined up legions of lawyers to challenge results in many states. Both sides have militant supporters capable of creating chaos.

Cooler heads need to prevail or it’s going to be a very wrenching time for the country.

Political people watch. Congrats to Aaron Taylor, recently appointed executive vice president at the Sutherland Institute. He brings a lot of Washington experience to his new role. See more in Policy News in this newsletter.
Good read. Former state senator Brian Zehnder, a family physician, writes in a Tribune essay<https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2020/09/10/brian-k-zehnder-this/> that every issue in this election is a health issue. He provides advice on who to vote from a  health perspective.

Reader Response. Joseph F. Woolley, of Murray, sent a nice note: “Thank you for the piece in Utah Policy on Federalism.  It’s a topic I’ve been interested in since American History in High School.  The founding fathers could never imagine the instant communication age we live in today, but they did understand the American people, the sovereignty of state governments, and the need for checks and balances.  I’ve been amazed that almost 250 years later they still have it right, even as the rest of the world has been telling us for all of those years our system of government is too messy to work.

“If you look past the noise of the instant news cycle, things are working.  It’s a system that looks like events are careening out of control most of the time, but we are a people that are hard, stubborn, opinionated and fiercely independent.  It takes a very strong but elastic system of government to stretch and bend, but not break, to manage America.  After 60-plus years of watching our American system work, I’m still amazed that a few dozen people could get together and write such a document.”

Parting shot. The most important numbers for a politician are 50% + 1. That’s the formula for real success. Most politicians love to be loved. They want approval ratings in the 80s. But sometimes the most effective politicians have approval ratings in the low 50s. That’s because they have taken on tough issues and have faced tough opposition. They have used their political capital, instead of wasting it. All you need is 50% + 1 to stay in office. Use your political capital. Don’t always play safe.

If you have a comment, an item you think should be publicized, or just want to tell me I’m an idiot, shoot me a message at [email protected].