The Associated Press called the 2020 Presidential election for Joe Biden in the late morning on November 7, after days of suspense-inducing vote counts in 7 states that were too close to call on election night.
The final electoral vote count is still in question, but it’s been confirmed, as of this writing, that Biden recaptured the upper-midwestern states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, and it seems probable that he will end up flipping 2016 red states such as Arizona and Georgia. Donald Trump fared better than many pollsters and pundits predicted, winning key swing states like Florida and Ohio, and likely, North Carolina, which kept the race close until the final projections were made.
Despite the increasing likelihood of a Biden victory as the week progressed, many liberals hoping for a deciding landslide found themselves disappointed with the results. Biden lost some important states, and won very narrow victories in others. Democrats, at this writing, lost 7 seats in the House, and failed to secure the Senate (2 Georgia Senate seats will be decided in a run-off election in January; Democrats need both to reach 50 seats).
The mixed results of the election make Biden’s promise to Wall St. that “nothing will fundamentally change” all the more likely to come true. The media is already manufacturing consent for this new status quo. CNN panelist Gloria Borger actually said out loud that a divided government makes things easier for Joe Biden, because it affords him the ability to distance himself from progressives in the party and broker deals with conservatives. John Kasich said on that same network that the “socialism” almost cost Biden the election.
It should be noted that 72% of Americans, according to election night exit polls, supported Medicare for All, and a $15 minimum wage initiative in Florida won overwhelmingly with 60% support, even though Biden lost the state to Trump. Of course these facts won’t stop corporate media from chiding the Left and maligning progressive policies as electorally risky, when in fact, the opposite is true.
Nonetheless, a split government and a media determined to brainwash the population into accepting the virtues of “compromise” makes the Left’s job under a Biden administration all the more difficult, because a divided government provides cover for the Democrats. An obstructionist Republican Senate gives Democrats a plausible excuse for inaction on wages, climate, healthcare, etc. Packing the Supreme Court, an absolute necessity now that Amy Coney Barrett has been confirmed, is completely off the table. If Democrats had control of the House, the Senate, and the presidency, there would be no place for them to hide; they’d have to either pass at least some progressive policies, or be exposed as unwilling to do so. Instead, the newly re-elected Mitch McConnell will remain the bogeyman for at least another two years, when Democrats will once again insist that the way to enact change is to elect more Democrats.
We talk all of this and more on the latest episode of our podcast. Listen to our full recap of the election results by clicking the player below:
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Photo: Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call