BY NOLAN BAKER
Nov. 6, 2020 — After a tumultuous election season and suspenseful few days afterwards, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. has reached the 270 electoral votes, and has been declared by multiple sources as president-elect. President Donald J. Trump will go down in history as a one-term president, and the first incumbent candidate to lose reelection since 1992.
But while many expected a massive “Blue Wave” to crash across the country, most Republicans not named Donald J. Trump are doing well, with the GOP flipping five House of Representatives seats and one Senate seat.
The Biden candidacy was counted on to be able to siphon off more moderate conservatives and “Never Trump” Republicans in order to secure the election. While electoral victory is locked up for Biden barring any legal shenanigans from the Trump campaign, Republican support for incumbent President Trump, and for the party as a whole, seems to have only gained momentum.
Many political and media pundits predicted a Biden victory, and most polls had Biden sitting at comfortable lead nationally. But many polls also predicted gains in the House and Senate similar to 2018. Despite the optimism for Democrats, the 2020 election cycle went fairly well for any Republicans without the last name Trump.
With 435 House seats up for election this year, the Democratic Party has reached the bare minimum 218 representatives to constitute a majority, but the GOP picked up five seats with another 15 races yet to be called.
Two runoff January elections in Georgia between GOP incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue against Democratic challengers Raphael Warnock and Joh Ossoff could determine control of the U.S. Senate. The New York Times currently has the race at a 50-48 GOP majority, meaning the Democrats have a chance at splitting the Senate.
While a record number of Americans — more than 73 million of them — voted for Joe Biden, the incumbent President Donald Trump also recorded nearly 8 million more votes than he received in 2016.
One of the largest and most well-funded super PACs in the corner of the Biden campaign was the Lincoln Project. The PAC touted itself as a group of longtime Republicans whose goal was to sway fellow Republicans to vote for Joe Biden as president in order to remove an unruly, corrupt, and wily executive who was never seen as a genuine conservative Republican.
Chris Vance, a senior advisor for the Lincoln Project and a former Republican lawmaker in the Washington House of Representatives and King County Council, said that the PAC had a specific goal of driving down GOP support for Donald Trump by four percentage points among white suburban women, a group that gave Trump a huge advantage in the previous presidential race.
But Republican support for the president has only increased as the nation experienced extremely high voter turnout. Vance, however, still believes that the Lincoln Project achieved their goal of ousting Trump from office, something he says they couldn’t have accomplished without moving the needle away from Trump with college-educated, suburban white women.
“I think we did succeed,” Vance said, citing his view that the Democratic party was able to draw in more “centrist” voters by electing Joe Biden as the presidential nominee.
When asked about whether or not the Lincoln Project would have been created to stop Donald Trump if Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders won the Democratic nomination, Vance said most of the main members of the PAC wouldn’t have supported Sanders’ candidacy.
If Democrats were to become the party of Bernie Sanders and Republicans to fall further into populism behind Donald Trump’s base, “there will be a third party, and I’ll help make it,” Vance said.
“It’s not sustainable,” for the Democratic party to shift too far to the left, Vance argued. “If Democrats become socialist, and if Republicans become fascist,” Vance said,” there needs to be a centrist party.”
But in Florida, which Trump won by a relatively large 3.5-point, 60.8% of the same people voted to approve a marquee Sanders campaign promise of a $15 minimum wage.
Montana and South Dakota, two states Trump won by whopping margins, both legalized marijuana on Nov. 3, following the footsteps of the Sanders campaign’s promise to federally legalize the plant.
The vote to increase the minimum wage in Florida received more votes than either presidential candidate with nearly 6.4 million votes. So while the Lincoln Project argues — and amasses nearly $68 million in funding according to Open Secrets, a nonpartisan research group that studies campaign funding — that Democrats pandering to centrist Republican voters will win them elections, the “Blue Wave” is dead in the water and Biden seems to face a real possibility of his first two year in office being stonewalled by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and a 6-3 conservative majority in the Supreme Court.