by Frank Schnittger
Thu Nov 5th, 2020 at 01:40:11 PM EST
With the vote count slowing to a trickle, it is looking increasingly likely that Biden will win Arizona and Nevada, and probably even Pennsylvania and Georgia when all the early mail in votes are tabulated, although he doesn't have to win the latter two to win election.
This is in sharp contrast to Democrats most likely failing to win the Senate, and actually losing seats in the House. With Republicans controlling the SCOTUS and the Senate, it seems unlikely any Biden administration could achieve much of their centrist agenda, never mind progressive legislation.
With the two Georgia Senate elections likely proceeding to a run-off on January 5th., Democrats may get a second bite at that cherry. Trump's reaction to his defeat could still have ramifications for the shape of the next administration. Who would have thought that Georgia would represent the Democrats' best hopes of winning the election?
Many assumed that a high turnout election would favour Democrats, but Trump also seemed to be able to mobilise his base, and even expand it among minorities many assumed would be uniformly opposed to him. It seems like his authoritarian style and anti-establishment shtick appealed to many even in communities often the target of his abuse.
Once again people will be asking how the pollsters could have gotten things so wrong, although the final tallies, once all the mail in votes have been tabulated, could result in Biden winning the popular voted by 3 or 4%. But there appear to be parts of the electorate the pollsters simply cannot reach, or at least tend to exclude from their likely voter screens. Despite weaknesses in his candidacy, it may turn out that Biden outperformed his party in down ticket races.
Those who decry the Democrats lack of a progressive agenda should note that nearly all the opposition is coming from the far right. We can blame corporate domination of the media, the dominance of big money and corruption of the political process, and even the electoral process itself, but at some point you have to get to grips with the fact that many voters don't appear to have a problem with how Trump was doing things.
Marxist doctrines of "false consciousness" may be objectively correct, but accusing voters of stupidity or being brainwashed doesn't tend to be a successful strategy to secure their votes. Trump appears to have an ability to connect with a large proportion of the US electorate, at a deeply emotional level. Perhaps progressives need to cultivate similar capabilities rather trying to prove how much smarter they are than everyone else.
History may record that the 2020 election represented the last hurrah for a reactionary conservative movement which first came to power with Reagan in 1980. Many of Trumps older and whiter support base won't be around in future years, especially if the Covid pandemic continues to rage. But the battle for the hearts an minds of a younger and more diverse electorate has only just begun, and so far Democrats haven't shown a great ability to engage with them.
Hopefully 2020 is the wake-up call that the US needed. It's dominance of world economics, politics, and warfare may soon be coming to an end.