“Smile, though your heart is breaking…”


“Oh, what a night!”

With apologies to Charles Chaplin and the Four Seasons, last night was a doozy!

As I pen this column at 8:00am EST, here are some potential outcomes of this convoluted, consequential Election Day. (Sorry, West Coast readers, by the time you read this, some of the scenarios will history.)

We probably won’t know the final outcome until tonight at best, or Thursday or Friday more likely. But here are some takeaways:

  • Pollsters failed “biggly” again. Why? I guess the pundits will be pontificating about this for the foreseeable future, but here’s one – Trump voters are consistently under-counted because, I believe, many are loath to, or ashamed to, admit out loud, that they’re voting for Trump
  • Latinos, particularly in Miami-Dade, did not come out for Biden. I hate to say this, but particularly with Cubans, Venezuelans and Nicaraguans, all from countries that have suffered from either communism or socialism, the Trump lie that Biden is a “socialist” stuck. Combine that with the Biden campaign’s late advertising to Latinos in Miami-Dade…and Florida stays red.
  • After weeks of talking about the “Blue Wave,” liberal columnists and pundits raised expectations for Democrats. Of course, now they’re saying “Stay Calm, Be Patient.” I guess we’ll have to see for ourselves.

On top of all this, it appears that while the Democrats might net-gain, at best, two seats, Republicans will still control the Senate and McConnell will still be in charge, rendering a potential Biden presidency, impotent. With all the hope we had, and with all the money we donated, Jon Ossoff in Georgia, Sara Gideon in Maine, Cal Cunningham in North Carolina, Steve Bullock in Montana, MJ Hegar in Texas and Amy McGrath in Kentucky (thus ensuring McConnell’s position as “obstructer in chief”) all appear to have lost. Yes Scott Kelley in Arizona and John Hickenlooper in Colorado both won. But in Georgia’s second senate election, there will be a run-off in January. And while the Democrat, Raphael Warnock garnered the most votes, the combined total of the two Republican candidates was almost double Warnock’s. I wouldn’t depend on a Democratic win there in January.

And, while the Democrats will still control the House (which as we know from the last two years is virtually useless) their majority will probably be smaller in January than it has been since the last “Blue Wave” in 2018.

So, after four years of Trump’s incompetence and lying, after nine months of a badly handled federal response to a pandemic that has killed over 225,000 Americans, after a presidential term that has lowered America’s standing among nations, what we’ve learned is that nothing has changed. Even if the final results show Biden winning, we will face the inevitable court battles, ultimately, I fear, leaving the outcome to SCOTUS.

One thing is certain however – we live in a deeply divided country; a country that is out of sorts; a country that I don’t see healing anytime soon.

I wonder. Is there something I’m missing? Is there something I don’t get? Am I the crazy one?

Don’t answer that!

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy. Besides writing Around the Block, Ted is also a guest columnist for the Palm Beach Post.

3 thoughts on ““Smile, though your heart is breaking…”

  1. Just as in Israel, our country now seems to be split down the middle.  At least there, in Israel, they can call for new election often.  Here we’re stuck for four years. Hy


    1. You know, we often say that our political system in general, and our electoral systems in particular, are broken. But it seems it’s not just those systems that need fixing; the entire country is ruptured, perhaps irreparably.


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