Official 2020 Election Night Drinking Game Rules
You might not want to be sober for this. Or, you might want to start celebrating early. Either way, play by the rules
Finally, we’re here. After four agonizing years of the Trump Show — complete with boundless wing-nuttery from the White House and nonstop, migraine-inducing mass media tantrums — it all ends, we hope, tonight. In life, as in cult sci-fi/adventure thrillers starring Geneva’s own Christopher Lambert, winner takes all:
Unfortunately, there are good reasons to doubt we’ll see anyone’s head fully lopped off this evening. The enormous number of mail-in votes, coupled with a slate of conflicting state rules about when such votes are counted — added to a high likelihood of unpredictable logistical difficulties associated with the pandemic — make a delayed conclusion to the Trump-Biden electoral contest very possible.
Usually, high in-person turnout favors Democrats. This year, because so many Democrats voted early (and Republicans have been warned away from mail ballots), the situation will likely be reversed. This means we could very well have early results that look confusing, maybe even like a wipeout for Trump, when what we’re actually seeing is just in-person votes being counted faster than mail votes. We also could see opposite scenarios.
Overall, the likelihood is that Joe Biden will win, and comfortably, but the issue is when that result comes in. Imagine the chaos of the Iowa Democratic caucus, with all the attendant scarcely-believable explanations coming from officials and vote-counters, expanded to presidential scale. That’s the horror-movie scenario for this evening.
Because of the fear both sides have about the results, the quantity of media spin tonight is likely to be, as rule 7 below notes, “unprecedented.” Partisans from both red and blue camps will be prepping audiences for bad news in ways that deflect blame from their own consultant pals, and also planting seeds for arguments likely to be made in contested-result scenarios. Expect Republicans to tell tales of trucks of fake ballots shipped over the Rio Grande in burlap sacks, while Democrats might counter with photos of wheelchair-bound minority voters invited to exercise their democratic covenant at ad-hoc ballot stations re-located to the top of hundred-foot climbing walls.
Along with my partner in crime from Rolling Stone’s Useful Idiots podcast, Katie Halper (@kthalps), we’ll be following the results in a livestream, along with a few potential surprise guests. As usual, we’ll be playing a drinking game to help us medicate away the pain of having to watch cable news election coverage. You can follow here, beginning at about 8:00 p.m. tonight:
DRINKING GAME RULES
The main rule is implied: just start drinking and don’t stop for the next few years.
As for tonight specifically, here goes:
Drink for EVERY MENTION of:
1) “Red mirage”;
2) “Blue mirage”;
3) “Path to victory” or “route to victory”;
4) “Most important election of our lifetime”;
5) “Still too close to call”;
6) “Shy Trump supporter”;
8) “Firewall.” Double if this is accompanied by an awkward effort by an anchor to inoffensively characterize the minority voting bloc to which they’re ascribing monolithic voting tendencies;
9) “Neck and neck”;
10) “Broward County” or “Miami-Dade”;
11) “It could be a big night for (whatever)”;
12) “It all comes down to Pennyslvania.”
Drink EVERY TIME:
13) A commentator says “(something) is on the ballot tonight,” and that something is not the name of a candidate;
14) John King looks visibly aroused on the way to the Magic Wall;
15) A member of the media uses the word “we” to describe Democratic Party results;
16) A Republican accuses Democrats of stuffing ballots. Double if the alleged plot involves use of undocumented immigrants as sham voters;
17) A Democrat mentions voter suppression. Double if this is accompanied by a warning that this is the “only way” Trump could win;
18) Any commentator suggests Trump will not give up power if he loses;
19) Someone reports the possibility of results-delaying litigation over a new set of voting irregularities detected today;
20) A commentator reacts to a result by seriously wondering aloud if Russians are meddling;
21) There is video of Melania Trump looking a little too happy that her husband is losing;
22) Trump ups the ante on an outrageous lie about his opponents at the 11th hour, like that Biden has already written an executive order canceling free enterprise, or has decided to grant American citizenship to everyone in Bangladesh;
23) Biden says something incomprehensible, dozes off, or forgets whom he’s talking with in a TV appearance;
24) Someone cuts to: shot of boarded-up windows. Double when windows are actually broken.
25) Someone cries on set as results come in. Or, alternatively, does the political version of the Bill Simmons fist pump:
DO NOT POLITICS AND DRIVE. Hope no one starts shooting. See you tomorrow, when — hopefully — this is all over…