Bernie Sanders on the Tonight show predicts election night

Video Shows Bernie Sanders Predicting Exactly What Happened Election Night With Uncanny Accuracy

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Of the many takes that blew up on Twitter during the tense and terrible early morning hours after election day, one stood out. Vermont Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders had already dictated how things would go down, as a viral tweet points out, “word for word.” Sanders made the prediction during an October 24th interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Sanders describes the fear that states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania will still be in play but that initial results will favor Trump, since mail-in ballots heavily skew Democratic while Republicans are more present in same-day voting. This would give Trump the latitude to try and declare an early victory, and then, as mail-in ballot results began to be counted and the advantage shifted to Biden, further give the president space to declare that the whole thing (meaning the election) is invalid. Trump has been setting the stage for just such an assertion for months now.

And this is what happened almost precisely, and is still in the process of happening. The only difference between Sanders’ scenario and what played out is that Trump didn’t address the public at 10 PM—no, he waited until 2:30 AM EST, when many Americans were asleep, to falsely claim that he had won the election and declare his intent to stop further votes from being counted. Trump’s attempt at a soft coup speech came a few hours later than Sanders’ time-table.

It’s not surprising that Sanders would make such an accurate call in advance. He’s been in Congress for decades and he ran as a candidate to unseat Trump—he knows the president’s “strategies” all too well. And many pundits and prognosticators have been predicting a drawn-out fight over mail-in ballots since the pandemic became entrenched.

Also this:

Even so, it was almost eerie how events came down with such exact precision as Sanders said they would here. What we don’t know yet is what will happen going forward with Trump’s clear intent to render the results illegitimate if they favor Biden.

Trump is on a tear this morning as the mail-in ballots shift momentum in Biden’s direction.

Yes, they are finding the votes, cast by actual voters, and they are bad for Trump. But remember that as Bernie Sanders reminded us, trying to delegitimize these voters was always going to be Trump’s play.

(image: screengrab/NBC)

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.