Who Beat Trump? Joe … or Jo?

Donald Trump is hoping against hope that the courts will find enough voter fraud to turn the tide and back up what he’s been saying since the early morning hours after Election Night: that he — not Joe Biden — won the race and that when all the legal votes are finally counted everyone will know that he was right all along.

Except he wasn’t. Courts don’t overturn election results unless there’s overwhelming evidence of voter fraud, the kind that’s so pervasive and so systemic that it amounts to widespread criminal conduct. And there’s no indication of that.

In any case, when things settle down it may hit him that it wasn’t massive vote fraud that did him in, or in a way, even Joe Biden. I know that sounds crazy but there’s a story out there that isn’t on the president’s radar — or that of a whole bunch of supposedly savvy political journalists.

A woman who many of you never heard of – her name is Jo Jorgensen – may be the reason we’re calling Joe Biden the president-elect.

Ms. Jorgensen also ran for president in 2020, on the Libertarian Party ticket. And get this: If she weren’t on the ballot in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia, Donald Trump might have won those states — and along with them, he might have won a second term – and Joe Biden might have lost for the third time.

In Pennsylvania, as I write this, Joe Biden is ahead of the president by almost 66,000 votes. But Jorgensen garnered more than 78,000 votes.  Biden won the state’s 20 electoral votes; Trump didn’t.

In Georgia, Biden is up by about 14,000 votes. Jorgensen won about 62,000 votes. If she weren’t in the race Donald Trump likely would have picked up Georgia’s 16 electoral votes.

And in Arizona, Biden is leading by about 10,000 votes. Jorgensen won more than 50,000 votes. That’s 11 more electoral votes for Biden that would likely have gone to Trump if the Libertarian candidate weren’t in the race.

So if we add up the electoral votes Donald Trump lost in Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania we get 47. Add that to the 232 he’s got locked up and you get 279 electoral votes — 9 more than the 270 he would need to win the election.

Is it a sure thing that all those Libertarian votes would have gone to Donald Trump? Nothing is a sure thing, in politics or in life. But he’d likely get the lion’s share since Libertarians are more aligned with GOP values, by and large, than with liberal and progressive Democratic values.

In 2000, Ralph Nader ran as the Green Party’s presidential candidate and might be the reason George W. Bush became president by the skin of his teeth. Who knows if Jo Jorgensen is the reason Joe Biden is the president-elect. At best, her presence didn’t help Donald Trump. At worst, she cost him the election.