Welcome to our weekly review of the state of the 2020 campaign.
As polling day turned into election week, an anxious nation lost days of productivity, with Americans only interested in what map gurus like CNN’s John King and MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki had to do. say about the effect of each new round of votes on the outcome of the race. . And, a daring race call attributing Arizona to Joseph R. Biden Jr. by Fox News on election night, followed by The Associated Press, shocked the Trump campaign.
On Friday night, Mr. Biden was on hand to become the next President of the United States, fueled by narrow statewide victories in the Midwestern states that won President Trump in 2016: Michigan and Wisconsin. Mr. Biden was in charge of Pennsylvania, another state that replaced Mr. Trump in the last cycle. The former vice president led in Arizona to the west and Georgia to the south – giving Democrats hope for future victories in those states despite poor poll results elsewhere.
It was a mixed bag of results that is not yet final, as some states may require a recount while others continue to count the ballots. Here are four takeaways from the results we know so far:
Despite several upheavals, Democrats are making progress
Democrats spent election night in a state of panic as it became clear that the Republican turnout exceeded poll forecasts and that Mr. Trump had a lasting coalition. As Mr Biden drew closer to 270 electoral votes on Thursday, Democratic fears had subsided but had not subsided. The party lost key races in Congress, failed to overthrow multiple state legislatures, and continued to show weakness among voting populations in Florida, Texas and Iowa.
There was a subset of the political world that felt justified by the biting presidential race: the Democrats who worked for Hillary Clinton. The proximity to the Biden-Trump race suggests that the 2016 election result may have been less about Ms. Clinton’s political weaknesses than Mr. Trump’s political strengths.
In some of the states Mr. Biden has succeeded in overthrowing, such as Wisconsin, his victory was by a slim margin of around 20,000 votes. Four years ago, Mrs. Clinton lost the state of approximately 22,000 people. A potential victory with more than 300 electoral votes would look like a rash for Mr Biden, but it would also mask the fact that in some of the most critical states, the race was still won by only a hair.
Mr. Biden did not receive the wide nationwide margins that many liberals had hoped for. The silver lining for some former Clintonworld members, as it has been said: The 2016 Democratic nominee might not make history as the political version of Bill Buckner, who blew up the World Series for them. Red Sox in 1986 by letting the ball pass through his legs.
“Her electoral strength in 2016 had less to do with Hillary Clinton’s shortcomings as a candidate or her campaign than with Trump’s own appeal to a large segment of the population,” Stuart Appelbaum, President of Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union and a member of the DNC executive committee, said of Mr. Trump. “As Democrats we need to understand this and deal with it more effectively in the future.”
Philippe Reines, Clinton’s former senior adviser in both the Senate and State Department, was even more blunt. “Hillary’s owed more than a few apologies for the way their campaign was evaluated,” Mr. Reines said. Jennifer Palmieri, who served as communications director for the 2016 Clinton campaign, said the current election brought a new perspective to the race four years ago.
“There’s not much you can do to improve larger forces,” Ms. Palmieri said. “When I see young Latin American and African American men siding with Trump like they didn’t in 2016, I don’t blame the Biden Campaign African American radio program. It’s a symptom of a bigger change happening. “
Trump’s unnecessary personal bickering
The tight card means that the Trump campaign will be forced to reckon with the achievement only if they had done a number of small things differently, or if the candidate had not pursued unnecessary fights with political enemies (even beyond from the grave), it might have gone the other way.
Campaign officials and outside advisers admitted Republicans were damaged in Arizona by Mr. Trump’s years-long feud with Senator John McCain, a beloved figure in his home state, a personal contempt which continued even after his death in 2018. Fox News and the AP called Arizona for Mr. Biden on Tuesday night.
In Georgia, Mr Biden took a narrow lead on Friday thanks to votes from Clayton County, the district which was represented by former Rep. John Lewis, the civil rights icon who died in July. Mr Trump had berated Mr Lewis for calling his presidency “illegitimate”, noting that he should spend more time fixing his “horrible” and “crime-infested” neighborhood. Apparently, those words were not easily forgotten by the voters who lived there.
Some of his supporters were already playing the “what if” game more broadly. “Where would Trump be if he never said what he said about Charlottesville, if he never said what he said about Khizr Khan, about Mika Brzezinski,” said Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary to President George W. Bush. In other words, where would he be if he wasn’t Donald Trump?