When will the US election be decided?

(16 September 2020) There are only 47 days left until the US presidential election.  However, an increasing number of people do not expect the election to be decided on November 3.  Due to a number of contested issues, both Republicans and Democrats have expressed a reluctance to immediately concede the election regardless of the result.  President Donald Trump has sought to raise questions about the legitimacy of a sudden surge of mail-in ballots due to the Covid pandemic.  And prominent Democrats such as Hillary Clinton have urged nominee Joe Biden not to concede on election night under any circumstances given the varying and confusing array of state rules pertaining to mail-in ballots.

Aside from the mutual distrust of both camps, several million mail-in votes likely won't be counted until several days after election day in any event as some states will accept votes that are postmarked November 3.  So even if there is a landslide win for either side, it seems almost certain that the winner won't be declared for up to a week after the election.  And then if we factor in the possibility (or likelihood!) of a legal challenge of the results, then we could be looking at some kind of repeat of the Bush-Gore stalemate.  The Supreme Court finally declared Bush the winner on December 12, 2000, 36 days after the election. 

We already know that the planets for this election look very afflicted as Mercury stations direct in a harsh square aspect with Saturn.  In this situation, Mercury may be seen to symbolize communications (i.e voting) and Saturn represents the denial or postponement of the results.  But if the planets look sufficiently tense to reflect a delay in the final decision, just when should we expect the results to be known?

The Bush-Gore election stalemate

To answer this question, it can be useful to examine the potential precedent of the Bush-Gore election stalemate in 2000.   On the day of the election, there were a number of tense planetary aspects.  Most famously, Mercury stationed direct in an exact square with natal Pluto in the USA chart.  This is an extremely bad influence that suggests communication/voting that is undermined through power and coercive measures.  While Bush appeared to win the pivotal state of Florida in the early morning hours of Nov 8, Gore challenged the results due to voting irregularities in several counties. 

The delayed result was likely also seen through the conjunction of Rahu and the Sun at 22 Gemini.  Rahu symbolizes distortion and confusion so its conjunction with the Sun (= government and leaders) is very appropriate at a time when the election could not immediately determine who would be the next president. 

More fundamentally, natal Mercury (communication) at 3 Cancer was afflicted by Transiting Saturn (4 Taurus) through its 60 degree/3rd house aspect within just one degree.  These latter two afflictions by slow-moving malefics were a major reason why this election was so unprecedented.  Finally, we can see that Venus (social harmony, happiness) was exactly opposite Mars (conflict, disputes) on election day. Not surprisingly, the whole country was frustrated with the electoral indecision as Al Gore sought to formally contest the results.

On the basis of this overview, it seems logical that the resolution of this legal dispute would occur when: 1) the afflicting planets had sufficiently moved away from their positions on election day, and/or 2) positive influences would be more prominent in the USA chart reflecting some kind of closure on the matter. 

The Supreme Court finally handed down its decision on December 12 and awarded the election to Bush.  We can see that the two major afflicting planets had moved off somewhat as Rahu (21 Gemini) was now one degree past its exact conjunction and Saturn (1 Taurus) was two degrees past its exact 60 degree/3rd house aspect to natal Mercury.  Transiting Mercury was conjunct Pluto at 19 Scorpio just barely past its exact opposition with Uranus.   This alignment highlighted the sudden resolution of the fierce legal contest which had captivated the country.  The opposition aspect carries some unease, however, and this may have reflected how many people, especially Democrats, were not at all satisfied with the judgment. 

And while the negative influences had lessened by Dec 12, we can see that benefic Jupiter (10 Taurus)  had moved into a more favorable position sitting on the 6th house cusp (9 Taurus) representing conflict and legal issues.  Jupiter is the planet of justice and knowledge, so its conjunction suggested the legal resolution to the conflict.  In addition, Jupiter aligned with benefic Venus and Neptune (11 Capricorn) very near the 2nd house cusp (prosperity, wealth, stability) and thereby further highlighted the underlying positive influences on the Ascendant (9 Sagittarius).

Will history repeat in the 2020 election?
Looking ahead to November 3, we can see a similar pattern of afflictions involving Mercury (communication, voting) and the Sun (government, leaders).  Just as in 2000, Saturn will align with natal Mercury thus again setting up the possibility of a blocked or delayed vote results.  This time around, Saturn (2 Capricorn) will oppose Mercury suggesting the likelihood of a delayed result.  Also like 2000, we can see that transiting Mercury (1 Libra) will be involved with Saturn by a square aspect and thus will be further implicated with the affliction to natal Mercury through a T-square alignment.  And the parallels go even further since Mercury will station retrograde on election day.  Mercury stations, both direct and retrograde, are very troublesome when they are aligned with malefics, especially by hard aspect (0,45,90,180), as it is here. 

The Sun (government, leaders) will be under the square aspect of retrograde Mars (21 Pisces) within one degree.  This suggests intense conflict involving government is likely around election day.  Even more worrying is that transiting Rahu (26 Taurus) aspects natal Saturn (24 Virgo) within just two degrees.  Saturn symbolizes structures, tradition and order so its simultaneous affliction by Rahu may well represent a climate of chaos where social stability and social order are called into question.  The Rahu influence here on Saturn suggests a very tumultuous and unpredictable post-election period, probably even more so than we saw back in 2000.

The Bush-Gore case suggests that resolution of the election is more likely to occur when malefics are less prominent (i.e. separating from their initial alignments) and when benefics are stronger through closer alignments with natal planets in the USA chart.

With transiting Saturn due to exactly conjoin Mercury around November 20, some kind of resolution may become more likely only after that date.  Jupiter is due to align with both Saturn and natal Mercury on December 1 or so.  Jupiter's influence is likely to move the conflict closer to some kind of resolution.   Mars is due to move past its exact square aspect to the Sun in early December, thus suggesting that conflict involving government is more likely to wane.

However, we can see that Rahu will remain in close aspect with natal Saturn in December and January so the disruption and chaos could extend into the holidays.  And yet Jupiter will conjoin the 2nd house cusp (prosperity, wealth) in the first week of January.  This is a strong indication that whatever uncertainty may remain is likely to be resolved around the time the Congress meets (January 6, 2021) to count the electoral votes. 

The transit chart for the second week of January (especially Jan 11) looks quite positive and should coincide with some significant resolution of the dispute.  I still think Biden is more likely to be the winner but I must admit I am far from being certain in that prediction. 

The takeaway here may be that the November election is likely to be disputed with a final decision only becoming possible in early December and more likely taking place in January.

Weekly Market Forecast

Stock markets have generally tracked higher in recent days, perhaps on an oversold bounce following the tech decline of the previous week. As expected, we got some upside early this week around the Moon-Venus conjunction and the aftermath of the Jupiter direct station over the weekend.  However, stocks pulled back a bit today following the Fed's latest statement on the economy. 

The planets for the rest of this week do not look very positive.  The probable culprit is the alignment of the Sun, Saturn and Ketu, all in the first degrees of their respective signs. While the near-stationary Jupiter may have a positive influence on sentiment, it seems unlikely to offset the caution suggested in the powerful Sun-Saturn-Ketu pattern.  The ongoing Saturn-Ketu alignment will likely bring another spike in pessimism next week when retrograde Mars and Mercury move into that configuration.

For more details, check out my weekly subscriber newsletter which is published every Saturday afternoon (EST).   I outline the key technical and planetary influences for US and Indian stocks for the short and medium term, as well as currencies, gold and oil.

Photo of Joe Biden: C-Span.org