On November 3rd, people cast their presidential ballots for Donald Trump and Joe Biden, and while Joe Biden appears to be the winner, Republicans look like they will hold the Senate, and gain seats in the House of Representatives.
Barring a legal miracle, Joe Biden will be the President come January 20th. He tallied more total votes than any president elect ever, at nearly 80 million votes. But that is not the whole story. The 2020 campaign was one like no other. Donald Trump has been an extremely polarizing figure for the last half decade, ever since he jumped into to politics. He had enthusiasm behind him like almost no other political figure in American history. That enthusiasm was met with extreme disdain from his political opponents; however, and because of his polarity, he has presumably lost the election. Joe Biden did not run his campaign on a very strong platform, he ran it on being not Donald Trump.
Biden was perhaps the least active presidential candidate in the modern era, calling a “lid”, the stopping of his campaign for a day, on his campaign multiple times a week, staying out of the public eye. Donald Trump did the opposite, by blitzing through several battleground states a day through the home stretch of his campaign. Biden’s strategy worked, trying to let Donald Trump lose the election for himself.
When it comes to ideas, Biden probably lost the most points in the election here. He claimed he wanted to stop all new fracking, then repeatedly denied the fact that he would do such a thing if he won the election; but then in the final debate, said he wanted to get rid of oil use in the American economy. He refused to answer if he would pack the Supreme Court, claiming it would “be used to create negative headlines” about him. His poor political record may not have cost him the election, but it most certainly cost the Democratic party.
The problem with Joe Biden is that he never offered solutions to problems that Donald Trump made. He said he would pass a national mask mandate, which is likely unconstitutional, and has shown little signs of effectiveness of stopping the spread of Covid-19 in other places such as Germany. He wants to raise taxes and refused to condemn Antifa. A large reason that Biden was able to win was the softball treatment he was given by the Media. Donald Trump was shellacked for giving an unconvincing answer about condemning Proud Boys, a far-right militia group, while Joe Biden is given a pass by the likes of CNN, CBS, ABC, and NBC for not condemning Antifa, a far left group that has incited riots and killed police officers and Trump supporters across the nation.
Biden may have got a pass for his controversial views because he was facing Donald Trump, but that is not the same story for other elections around the nation. The Republicans are very likely to win the Senate, relying on winning just 1 out of 2 Senate run-offs in Georgia that will take place in January, in which both Republicans are favorites to win. Before the election, 538 had Democrats at a 75% chance of flipping the Senate, but that now looks very unlikely. Races that were expected to be close were blowouts, a rebuke on the Democratic platform of Defund the Police and Green New Deal. Republicans across the Nation used those 6 words in attack ads that were very effective.
The House of Representatives was not in play this year for flipping, but Democrats were expected to gain 10-12 more seats in the House, and it now appears they will have a very slim lead, potentially having their lead shrink to as few as 222-213. This reality prompted Abigail Spanberger, a Virginia Democrat who narrowly won a race against her challenger that she was expected to win by nearly 10 points, to blame it on the left wing of her party that was celebrating victory of the house, claiming “If we are classifying Tuesday as a success from a congressional standpoint, we will get [expletive] torn apart in 2022,…That’s the reality.” Another Democrat, Joe Manchin, a senator from West Virginia, condemned the ideology of some of his peers. He is a more moderate Democrat, and stated “Defund the police? Defund, my butt. I’m a proud West Virginia Democrat. We are the party of working men and women. We want to protect Americans’ jobs & healthcare. We do not have some crazy socialist agenda, and we do not believe in defunding the police.” This comment was met with backlash from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York, who cruised to reelection in her solid blue district in New York City. She posted a picture of her glaring at Manchin during a State of the Union speech, a sign of a rift that is growing between moderate and radical democrats.
The unfortunate reality for Ocasio-Cortez is that her radical ideas may work in her district, but that type of rhetoric would make it difficult for Democrats to win an any competitive district or state. Moderate embers of the Democratic party need to stand up to Congresspeople like Ocasio-Cortez, if they want to take back the heart of the party. So far, the Democrats have bent the knee to more liberal members, so it will be interesting to see if they develop an immune system to stand up to those members. If they do, the moderate wing of the party could start receiving sweeping victories in future elections, and if they do not, it could be sweeping defeat for the Democrats.