November 9, 2020

Biden Projected To Win Presidency

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“The Associated Press called the [Presidential] race for Biden on Saturday when it said that Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes put him over the 270-vote threshold needed to win the Electoral College… The Trump campaign is still contesting the process in several states.” NPR

Editor’s note:
We’re staying abreast of the Trump’s campaign's legal challenges. We think it best to allow the legal process to play out and all the evidence to be presented; we’ll cover these cases on the merits once the courts have had a chance to rule.

See past issues

From the Left

The left celebrates Biden’s victory.

“Due to the slow drip of results over the last five days, Republicans and some Democrats may be tempted to make the case that Joe Biden will enter the Oval Office without an overwhelming mandate. But let's not forget: Biden won the White House with a bigger margin in the popular vote than John F. Kennedy in 1960 or Richard Nixon in 1968… And his victory is far more sweeping than Donald Trump's in 2016, when he lost the popular vote by 3 million votes before proceeding to govern with a complete disregard for uniting the nation… While Democrats did not get the landslide victory they were hoping for, make no mistake: Biden's win is huge and historic.”
John Avlon, CNN

“President Trump and his partisans… will certainly argue that he was robbed of a second term by the ‘China virus’ and its impact on the ‘greatest economy ever’ that he claimed as a personal accomplishment. But the president’s job-approval rating was the lowest this year in January, before the pandemic began, and reached its highest point in March, when the first big wave of COVID-19 infections and deaths had already hit.”
Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine

Biden needs to depoliticize the pandemic and remind Americans of their mutual interest in keeping it at bay. The country can’t waste more time on culture-war imbroglios over mask-wearing. Biden should work with state governors and health officials to marshal the unified national response… Biden should be prepared to work with both parties to pass a bill that supports ailing state and city governments, prudently extends supplemental unemployment benefits, and offers additional targeted relief for low-wage workers…

“The new president also needs to push reforms that respond to Trump’s repeated abuses of power. House Democrats introduced a raft of such measures in September, including provisions meant to curtail abuses of the pardon power, prevent presidents from profiting from their office, and protect the integrity of the justice system. These are reforms that would serve the country well regardless of who is president, and Republicans have no proper basis for opposing them. A deal on such a bill should help all sides.”
Editorial Board, Bloomberg

It was working people’s organizations that had millions of conversations with voters this year. It was not the political operatives at the Lincoln Project or the Third Way who knocked the doors, who spoke to the voters, who heard their concerns. It was laid-off union members in South Phoenix; African American community organizers in Kenosha, Wis.; Latinx zoomers in Reading, Pa. None of us intend to let the far-right of the Democratic coalition claim a mandate for status-quo politics…

“In the midst of overlapping national crises, [Biden’s] administration has a critical window to deliver for the working people and young people who got him elected. If he fails to meet the moment — if he seeks instead to return us to a ‘normalcy’ marked by corporate handouts and extreme inequality — then the next Trump might be far more dangerous than the one we just defeated.”
Nina Turner, Washington Post

“While calling Trump out plays extremely well on MSNBC, it abjectly failed to deliver the electoral repudiation Democrats so desperately hoped for… As the researchers Ian Haney López and Tory Gavito pointed out in September in a prescient article warning of Trump’s competitiveness among Latinos, simply denouncing Trump’s racism often fails to move people who are not already opposing him. Instead, the message that resonated in their testing is one that combines opposition to racism with class politics… What Democrats need to do, they suggested, is not call out Trump’s ugly racism, but rather point out how his racist scapegoating is an attempt to divide Americans and allow the rich to continue their plunder of the country.”
Paul Heideman, Jacobin Magazine

“Trump wasn’t wrong to perceive China as a competitor and threat, even if his trade and tariff responses proved largely ineffective. Trump’s promise to deliver an alternative to Obamacare went unfulfilled, but he did break with conservative orthodoxy by refraining from cuts to the social security, Medicare and Medicaid programs on which the working class heavily depends. Trump’s anti-establishment shtick proved hollow, but he tapped into legitimate outrage against the ways in which both parties permitted elites and special interests to capture so much of the economy through tax dodges, anti-competitive arrangements and outright corruption…

The Trumpian indictment of the status quo, in other words, corresponds to reality and can’t be dismissed as mere demagogy… The prospects for populist-nationalist conservatism will depend, more than anything else, on Democratic performance over the next four years. If Democrats fail to address the economic plight of the working class or check the excesses of their cultural left wing, or if they allow unauthorized immigration or crime to return to past peaks, the banner of Trumpism may once again fly over the White House.”
Geoffrey Kabaservice, The Guardian

From the Right

The right is disappointed by Trump’s loss.

The right is disappointed by Trump’s loss.

“For the second presidential cycle in a row, notwithstanding plague, economic crisis and his own immense faults, Trump was a competitive candidate with a coalition that was more blue-collar and nonwhite than the Republican vote in 2012…

“Relative to four years ago, he turned out even more whites without college degrees in many states (even as his share of the white working class may have slipped a little bit overall) and increased his support from African-Americans and in heavily Hispanic areas— not just in the Cuban parts of Florida, but in regions as different as southern Texas and Lawrence, Mass…

“In those trends, you can see the foundation of a possible after-Trump conservative majority that is multiethnic and middle class and populist, an expansive coalition rather than a white and aging rump. And the competitiveness of the existing Trump coalition, the fact that he wasn’t simply routed as the polls had predicted and his party came through the election in better-than-expected shape, makes it less likely that his would-be successors will try to rewind the clock to 2012. Instead, they will promise to reassemble his populist coalition.”
Ross Douthat, New York Times

“Joe Biden thinks he won the election. The Associated Press thinks he won, too. But the landslide some of his friends (and provisional friends) were predicting did not come to pass. His showing against the man he insisted was obviously and self-evidently the worst president in the history of these United States is not what one would have expected running against a man who was obviously and self-evidently the worst president in the history of these United States. He very well may end up having eked out a very slim win only to spend his time in office having his ideas, to the modest extent that he has ideas, ruthlessly smothered to death by Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans…

“Trump allies think they won the election. The president may not have made it over the finish line (they are not quite ready to concede that), but he improved on his 2016 performance in important ways, showed himself to be persistently competitive in states and counties long written off as hopeless by the best minds of the GOP, and, after four years of being denounced as a white supremacist, turned in the best showing among nonwhite voters of any Republican nominee since Richard Nixon…

“Pointy-headed Republican political consultants spent decades obsessing over expanding the coalition beyond angry white guys, and Trump obliged by bringing in more black men, more black women, more Latinos from Florida to Texas to California.”
Kevin D. Williamson, National Review

“No Biden landslide almost surely means no Green New Deal, no big tax hikes on the rich, and no Supreme Court packing. Nor does the size of the Biden win represent the sort of overwhelming and national, soul-cleansing repudiation of Trumpism that Democrats and NeverTrumpers had desperately desired… It should now be obvious that, if not for a once-in-a-century pandemic, President Trump would likely have won a second term. Maybe quite easily.”
James Pethokoukis, The Week

“The media don’t decide elections. Votes are still being counted. According to The Associated Press, four states (Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) are within 1 percent. No recounts have started, and challenges (which will ultimately play out) are being ignored…

“Callista and I were at the White House on election night and into early Wednesday morning, and the president was ahead in most of the key battleground states. But then suddenly vote-counting stopped. We couldn’t figure out what was happening. And when we got up in the morning, we saw that hundreds of thousands of ballots suddenly appeared, almost all of them for Biden. Now, you can rationalize that development however you want, but at the least it’s suspicious and worthy of further investigation… we need to be pushing for further investigation and not give up simply because the elites tell us to be quiet… This is not over.”
Newt Gingrich, Fox News

“Of course every vote count should be finished, recount completed and legal challenge pursued. The president’s 70 million voters and the party he still leads need assurance that it is a fair result. But Trump may soon have a ‘We’re on to 2024’ moment, choosing a course similar to that taken by Richard M. Nixon in 1960, when he considered launching a prolonged and entirely justified recount battle against John F. Kennedy, but declared that he would do what was best for the country, accepting a temporary setback to his political fortunes. And Nixon did come back…

“If Nixon were alive, I think he would counsel his friend to do what he did in 1960: Retreat, reorganize, consider a return… Trump must look forward. So must his party. To retain control of the Senate, Republicans must win one of the Georgia runoffs (though both would be better) to protect America from a Democratic left-wing agenda… If Trump desires the drama of a 2024 comeback, it begins with Republican success in Georgia in January.”
Hugh Hewitt, Washington Post

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