Tapper previews what to watch for on election night

Tonight we're on the eve of American voters' last chance to cast their ballots in this critical midterm election at stake.
Control of the U.S. House of representatives, control of the U.S. Senate, plus control of governors' mansions in state houses all across United States. The polls and political history point to a likely good night for Republicans. Since 1990, the president's party has lost seats in the house, sometimes in the dozens, when the president's approval rating falls below 50%. And Biden's sure is below 50%. Trying to ride that momentum, sources tell CNN that Donald Trump has been discussing with aides whether he should announce his 2024 presidential campaign tonight.

It's all unknown as of now, but what is clear, we probably will not know the results in a number of the elections tomorrow night. It will likely take days to count all the ballots. So, what to watch out for in the meantime? Beware of bad actors who will try to take advantage of these delays to spread false conspiracies about election fraud. Let's take a moment to go back to election night two years ago, when then-president Donald Trump was raving at 2:30 A.M.

About a stolen election before millions of your votes had even been counted. >> This is a fraud on the American public. Frankly, we did win this election. >> Nope. You didn't. But you did manage to convince a large part of the American public that mail-in ballots were a major source of fraud. No credible evidence was ever presented to suggest any major fraud that would have changed the outcome of any election.

That's the fact. Each state has its own set of rules about mail-in voting. Some states allow election officials to open the envelopes and count mail-in ballots even before election day. Florida, Texas, North Carolina. Others, such as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, you cannot count them until election day. In fact, election workers there are not even allowed to open the envelopes that contain these ballots and prepare them to be counted. This means in early returns, some viewers may be misled. In October 2020, we tried to explain how this all might play out. >> Whether you call it the red mirage or the blue shift, you can expect early election night results to look pretty different from the final outcome. This will not be a sign of fraud or irregularity, just the inevitability of mail-in ballots, early voting, and various state rules about when those ballots can be counted. So, election night it might look like trump is romping in, say, Pennsylvania, because they haven't counted all these democratic leaning ballots.

Or on election night, it might look like Biden was romping in Ohio and Texas because those states counted their early ballots before the election, which Democrats used disproportionately.
And that's how it all played out.
That all happened. The difference being that Biden didn't claim he really had won Ohio and Texas. Here's former Fox News Chris Stier Walt before the January 6th committee talking about preparing fox viewers for the red mirage. >> We have gone to pains — and I'm proud of the pains we went to — to make sure that we were informing viewers that this was going to happen. Happens every time. >> Trump's own attorney general, bill Barr, testified that he knew this would happen too. >> People had been talking for weeks and everyone understood for weeks that that was going to be what happened on election night.

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