At the time of writing, several key states are still tabulating or finding votes (depending on what side of the aisle you prefer). Joe Biden presently looks to be headed to the White House as the 46th President of the United States. Yet oddly there is no exuberance flooding out from Democrats or their voters. There are no mass celebrations from fellow Democrats and the professional polling industry is on life support. Vote totals in Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and Pennsylvania still need to be finalised, but Biden is clearly sitting in pole position.
In a bizarre late-night appearance, President Trump and his campaign seemed poised to challenge the results and vote-counting methods. While there may be questions to be asked of Michigan and Pennsylvania, Biden is closing the gap beyond a margin of error, making Donald Trump a one-term president, just as liberals had hoped.
So why are Democrats still acting deflated? For starters, Republicans look poised to hold the Senate, rendering any Biden agenda dead on arrival. Filibuster remains. No Green New Deal. No court packing. No statehood for Washington DC and Puerto Rico and with them four new Senate seats. No massive defunding and restructuring of police. Nothing. The activist left has been neutered for now. Thanks to a newly tilted Supreme Court, Biden’s attempts to executive-order his way around Congress have been severely crippled as well. Biden will occupy the Oval Office while the national media gives Kamala Harris the presidential treatment. This should suit the political right just fine. A Mitch McConnell-led Senate will also force a President Biden to moderate his Supreme Court choices.
There are other enormous warning signs for the Democratic party and its leadership, both electorally and demographically. Democrats failed to unseat a single House incumbent. Republicans flipped several seats, with five of them now belonging to young Republican women. There was also a massive demographic shift among the Latino community particularly in Florida and Texas. For example, in Zapata County in the Rio Grande Valley, Trump lost to Hillary Clinton by a margin of 65 percent to 32 percent. This election he won the same county 52-47. The Cuban Latino population is largely being credited with putting Florida in the win column for Trump. The President carried more of a minority and urban vote than any Republican since 1960, despite being called a racist almost every day by the media (another industry that has to do some soul searching). Trump increased his share with these communities by approximately five points.
The Democratic party may well secure the White House, but it will by no means have an electoral mandate, likely having done so with only a handful of electoral votes. It makes you wonder how President Trump would have fared in a year without a global pandemic, a year when he’d perhaps reined in his most Trumpian personality traits. But what the election revealed is the path forward for the GOP: a mix of economic populism and nationalism, but this time without the tweets (if Trump decides against running in 2024, that is). The 2020 election was by no means a sweeping rebuke of Trump’s policies, as the media and pollsters has been telling us it would be, nor was it the crashing blue wave the Democrats wanted.
The Democratic party will face far more questions about its leadership and its relationship with radical ideologies and policies being driven by way-too-online activists and media-endorsed protest-to-riot movements. They might be rid of Donald Trump, but Joe Biden will be a hamstrung and moderated president. This is the best possible election outcome imaginable for the country.