Trump is absolutely going to try to steal the election, but I think he can only succeed if the election is close. The way things are going, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be.
2000 had the advantage (for Bush) of coming down to a single state where his brother just happened to be the governor. The way things are going, if Florida is even close enough that Trump can’t win it outright, then he’s probably toast. Biden can win without Florida; Trump can’t.
While I certainly think the Supreme Court, with or without Barrett, could hand Trump the election under circumstances similar to the ones we saw in 2000, I think it’s a lot less likely that they’ll give it to him in a scenario where multiple swing states are called for Biden. The conservative justices are often seen as a rubber-stamp for Trump, but they’re not; they’re ideological conservatives – which looks exactly like a rubber-stamp for Trump some 90% of the time, but even his appointees have pushed back against some of his more outlandish legal theories. Kavanaugh wrote the majority opinion in the case that determined that no, Mr. President, you can’t just declare that the president is immune from criminal investigations.
I think Trump thinks the conservatives on the Supreme Court are loyal to him personally. But they’re not. Their agenda just overlaps with his the vast majority of the time.
Again, I agree that Trump is going to try to steal the election. But I think a number of things are going to have to break his way for him to succeed, and he hasn’t had that kind of luck lately.
I’m not saying everything is going to be okay. I’m not saying it’s okay to be complacent; you absolutely should not be complacent. We need to maintain vigilance, and it’s reasonable to be concerned about what kinds of tricks Trump and his party are going to pull. But I also think it’s okay to be cautiously optimistic about now.
My ballot’s already been counted. And while my state (Arizona) has a Republican governor and legislature, it’s also a state where broad access to mail-in voting has been the norm for decades. I can’t rule out the possibility of trying to throw out mail-in ballots here, but I don’t think such an effort is likely to succeed. And Arizona is another state where, if it’s even close enough that Trump can’t win it outright, then he’s in deep trouble in a lot more states than just this one.