The bulk of Smith's column is devoted to the question of how the media will handle Election Night coverage, given that the result may not be known for weeks. Vote-by-mail, which many states have only recently adopted — ostensibly, to prevent the spread of coronavirus in polling places — could lead to an uncertain result.
However, buried near the end of Smith's column is a report that Democrats have participated in a "war game" in which they considered several possible outcomes of the election.
In one scenario, John Podesta — the former chair of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, and a leading figure in party circles — played former Vice President Joe Biden, and refused to concede the election.
The result: the threat of secession by the entire West Coast, followed by the possible intervention of the U.S. armed forces:
But conveniently, a group of former top government officials called the Transition Integrity Project actually gamed four possible scenarios, including one that doesn't look that different from 2016: a big popular win for Mr. Biden, and a narrow electoral defeat, presumably reached after weeks of counting the votes in Pennsylvania. For their war game, they cast John Podesta, who was Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, in the role of Mr. Biden. They expected him, when the votes came in, to concede, just as Mrs. Clinton had.