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In a terrific scene from the movie The Patriot, Mel Gibson’s American militia forms the center of the patriot line against hardened British redcoats. Gibson asks them to fire just two shots, then fall back. “A lot can happen in the time it takes to fire two shots,” responds one militiaman. “That’s why I’m not asking you to fire three,” replies Mel. When the Americans fire their two shots, they run like banshees over a ridge. General Cornwallis, thinking he has the enemy broken, sends in his reserves—only to find it’s a trick: Mel and the Americans have stationed a larger part of their army over the ridge and Cornwallis is defeated.

In early voting across the country, the Democrats are sending all their troops “over that hill.” They have convinced their voters that the China Virus will kill them in the polling places. But there was an ulterior motive, namely that they expected they could keep counting long past election day and virtually manufacture needed votes. At this moment, the patriots appear to be broken and running. The keyword is “appear.”

It was always the plan that the Democrats would vote early. So far, the state and federal courts have ensured that this won’t be “early and often,” shooting down Democrat attempts to extend the voting in six out of seven states (only North Carolina is the holdout so far). These cases will go to the Supreme Court, just in time for Amy Coney Barrett to be confirmed and give the Republicans a 6-3 victory. (I have said for some time that once the balance is clearly shifted, John Roberts’ role as the “swing” vote will change. He will stop swinging, for whatever reason. You will see a LOT of 6-3 decisions). So it appears the Democrats are now stuck with whatever they can turn out before election day, as their “get out the vote” effort this time is anemic.

Virus Outbreak Ohio

For example, in Ohio, where “souls to the polls” is a recurring concern, that initiative has been canceled this year. In “souls to the polls,” predominantly black pastors would bus their congregations to the polls on Sunday to vote after church. Except now, in their wisdom, Democrat governors (with the help of some Republicans like Mike DeWine and Steve Doucy) have shut down churches. Had they thought a little longer about this, they may have left the churches open. No matter: this will seriously depress the black vote (as if it wasn’t already going to be depressed).

As the patriots run over the hill, it will at first seem that the enemy has them on the run. But the keyword here is “seem.” Already in Florida, as the Redcoat Democrats crest the hill and see the Patriot army awaiting them, the early vote margin is shrinking. On September 25, the Democrat lead was 55% to the Republicans 24.8%. But several important red counties had not come in yet, including Collier and Broward. Now the scene looks different. With one-third of all vote-by-mail (VBM) ballots in, the Democrat lead is up to 402,000 total votes, but the percentage now has shrunk to 50.4% to 29.4%. One analyst at www.freerepublic.com “SpeedyInTexas (who posts at “ElectionCZAR”) has estimated that the “magic number” the Democrats must hit in VBM is a lead of 653,000. In-person early voting starts in five days when Republicans should begin to surge. In short, if the Democrats don’t have an edge of 653,000 in the next five days, Florida should be in the bank for Trump.

One pollster says: “The voter registration data I’m seeing does not support the idea of a surge in Democratic voter enthusiasm.”

Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, Republicans continue to shock with voter registration gains. Since October 6, Republicans have added a net of 3,200 more Republicans in the Keystone State. Every single week the Republicans continue to out-register Democrats, yet even reputable polling firms like Trafalgar have Joe Biden with a slim 2-point lead there. Of course, that’s well within the “margin of error.” Still, it seems that in this cycle, in particular, even the “conservative” (i.e., accurate) polling firms like Big Data (Richard Baris) and Trafalgar are unable to ‘find” all the Trump voters.

Earlier this week Trump campaign adviser Cory Lewandowski said that the Trump campaign’s metrics now show it has a lock on the electoral college. One of my contacts within Team Trump has indicated that the numbers in Nevada—where Trump himself has said they lead—continue to look good among blacks, Hispanics, even Mormons. And there are two major factors at work in Nevada this year. The first is that some 16,000 culinary/service workers have already left the state, and the second is that the GOP made inroads into the net Democrat registration lead to the tune of plus 13,000. In Pennsylvania, since June, Republicans have added 91,000 more voters than Democrats. Last week alone they sliced another 3,000 active voters off the Democrat lead.

All of this leads to the most important, and mostly unanswerable question: have the Democrats cannibalized their election day vote? In one southern Ohio county for example it appears that the Democrats, with an impressive 70,000 lead have done just that. It appears that they have already voted over half of their total registered voters in the county. If that’s the case, their lead will evaporate on election day. Indeed, everywhere, the early vote/vote by mail turnout has Democrat analysts gleeful, just as in “The Patriot” Lord Cornwallis was when he sent his men over the hill . . . only to find the Patriot Army.

Larry Schweikart is the co-author with Michael Allen of the New York Times #1 bestseller, A Patriot’s History of the United States, author of Reagan: The American President, and founder of the Wild World of History, a history curriculum website featuring full US and World history curricula, including teacher’s guides, student workbooks, tests/answer keys, maps/images/graphs, and video lessons for every unit (www.wildworldofhistory.com).