Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat, questioned one of the witnesses at Monday’s hearing – former Fox News political editor Chris Stirewalt – about the so-called “red mirage,” which painted a more pink for Trump on election night that slowly faded as Democratic-leaning mail-in ballots were tallied.
This dynamic – also known as the “blue shift” – has been particularly pronounced in 2020, due to the sharp increase in postal voting during the Covid-19 pandemic. But that increase hasn’t happened uniformly across the board — Democrats flocked to mail-in voting in 2020, while many Republicans preferred to vote in person on Election Day, largely thanks to Trump’s claims. that voting by mail was a sham.
This division created an interesting phenomenon when the votes were counted.
Here’s what CNN said about it in September 2020: It takes longer to count mail-in ballots, and in many states ballots are still admissible if they are postmarked before Election Day but arrive later. Simply put, that means the partial results that will be reported on election night are likely to be worse for then-candidate Joe Biden than the final, full count.
“In every election, Republicans win on Election Day and Democrats win early voting. Then you wait and start counting,” said Stirewalt, who participated in Fox News election screenings. “…Usually it’s the Election Day votes that count first. You see the Republican shooting ahead…you expect to see the Republican with a lead, but it’s not really a lead.
Discover our complete explanation of the “red mirage” here.