10 Twitter users who’ll help you survive election night
Even with a pandemic, where the calendar pages melt like something out of a Dalí painting, you surely know today is the first Tuesday in November — and all that goes along with that.
Some people are abjuring the slow churn of results to return to Jewish ritual. Many will be glued to their news station of choice. But if you want a real diversity of opinion, complete with snark, prognostications (dumb and learned) and wonkish data, you might want to turn to Twitter.
Yes, we know, Twitter can be a hellscape of noxious political takes and stale bigotry, but it is also host to a broad and thriving discourse, quick news updates and Dorothy Parker-level bon mots sprinkled with hashtags. Here are some handles to guide you through what is sure to be a long night.
1. Dave Weigel – For political analysis and memes with a chance of prog rock
Washington Post political reporter Weigel reliably retweets news related to his beat. He provides crucial context and does the hard work of making photo collages like this:
Joe Biden on screen: A history pic.twitter.com/cTFOj7mL6k
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) November 3, 2020
2. Nate Silver – For numbers and a probable punching back
Instead of refreshing Fivethirtyeight and staring down that maniacal, ever-simpering fox cartoon, why not go to the source? Silver gets a lot of grief for his polling in 2016, and whether it’s deserved or not (he says it’s not mostly) don’t you want to either know what’s going on early or get a head start at dunking on his predictions? But be forewarned, don’t check in with Nate until 7 p.m.
You’re not going to learn anything useful about the election outcome on here until 7pm, i.e. when they start counting votes.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) November 3, 2020
3. Rachel Vindman – For inspiration and epic clapbacks
Lt. Col Alexander Vindman’s wife, Rachel, is quickly becoming our favorite member of the Vindman clan with a Twitter presence that suffers no haters. Her growing social media profile is Chrissy Teigen-esque in the best way possible.
4. Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg – For guidance and a reminder to breathe
Quite possibly the internet’s favorite rabbi, Ruttenberg can be relied upon to supply a centering experience that we’ll all need to see us through a very uncertain evening.
5. MaNishtana – For a nerdy, Jewy or deep take (probably all three)
MaNishtana serves up irreverent commentary, ample “Dungeons and Dragons” content as well as piercing insights into Jewish voting blocs and their myriad contradictions. We’re sure he’ll have something to say tonight, and his early take is encouraging.
Who else is watching the series finale tonight?
— (((Ma Nishtana))) (@MaNishtana) November 3, 2020
6. Rachel Syme – Your smart friend on Twitter
Syme might provide engaging, feuilleton-style threads. Also, she has hinted that she may be releasing audio of a voicemail Mandy Patinkin left her. Stay tuned.
considering releasing the voicemail mandy patinkin left me just to give you all something soothing today
— rachel syme (@rachsyme) November 3, 2020
7. Tema Smith – Follow for the dogs, stay for the thoughtful commentary
Our columnist Tema Smith is one of the smartest writers out there. She also has two absolutely adorable Shih Tzus named Padma and Tashi. I mean look at these guys.
Tashi’s just an old dog who wants to settle in and go to sleep ? pic.twitter.com/fHybPFg6Oi
— Tema Smith (@temasmith) November 2, 2020
You must follow.
8. Jacob Kornbluh – For developments in the Haredi community
Kornbluh risks literal life and limb to cover Haredi Jews, some of whom have been seen praying for a Trump victory or going to the polls wrapped in Trump flags. If there are any developments in their neighborhoods, Kornbluh is likely to have them first.
9. and 10. Borat/Sacha Baron Cohen – For the laughs and sober political perspective
Borat is pulling for Premier “McDonald” Trump to win the election, and released an ad urging women to stay home lest they hand Biden a victory.
EMERGENCY VOTING INFORMATIONS FOR WOMEN OF US&A! pic.twitter.com/QIrLzBtyad
— Borat (@BoratSagdiyev) November 2, 2020
Baron Cohen, meanwhile, has been encouraging Americans to exercise their franchise. This Jekyll and Hyde arrangement is really something to behold.
Given the Borat account’s slew of content in recent weeks, we wouldn’t be shocked if there was more to come. If anyone could produce a November surprise, it would be him. Don’t rule out some compromising audio of Trump on a call with the bogus President of Kazakhstan — it wouldn’t be the first time something like that happened.
Finally, watch Trump’s Twitter. If we know the incumbent at all, we’ll have a pretty good idea of how he’s feeling about his chances as the votes continue to be tallied.
PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture reporter. He can be reached at [email protected]