November 5, 2020


Win or lose, results suggest Trump was a liability for Republicans (Haviv Rettig Gur, 11/05/20, Times of Israel)

The US presidential race isn't over. It seems to be leaning heavily toward Democratic former vice president Joe Biden. But even if Donald Trump defies the odds and manages to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, mounting evidence from Tuesday's results suggests he may have hurt the GOP's prospects at the ballot box. [...]

[T]rump did worse than Republican House and Senate candidates in the key battleground states, caused measurable disquiet among voters who lined up to vote for him, and was named by almost half of Biden's voters as a key reason they had come out to vote.

It isn't just that a July Pew study found one-quarter of Trump voters were uncomfortable with his "temperament." On Tuesday, Republican House candidates generally did better than their party leader, while a Washington Post examination of Senate races in nine battleground states found that in seven of them Trump did worse than the Republican Senate candidate.

In Maine, for example, Biden won the state, while Republican incumbent Senator Susan Collins defied months of bad poll numbers to emerge the winner. It's a similar story in Georgia, Michigan and North Carolina.

While both sides saw a run on the polls this time around, Republicans have only won the popular vote once in the past 28 years (George W. Bush's second-term win in 2004). This time was no different; and, indeed, and under Trump's leadership, the popular vote gap has only grown. According to the Federal Elections Commission's final tally of the 2016 popular vote, Clinton led Trump by 2.87 million votes. As of Thursday afternoon, with hundreds of thousands of votes still unannounced, Biden leads by a larger 3.7 million margin, a lead expected to grow as more mail-in ballots are counted.

The popular vote doesn't decide an American election, of course, but it's a bellwether that over the long term Republicans can't afford to ignore.

Trump also slipped among many vital constituencies. According to an ABC News analysis of exit polls collected by national media outlets, Biden won suburban voters by three points; Trump had won them by four points in 2016. Trump's lead shrank among longstanding Republican-leaning constituencies, including white voters, Evangelicals, and military voters (where a 24-point lead dropped to seven). Biden won independents by 14 points, a 20-point swing from Trump's six-point lead in 2016. First-time voters favored Biden by a 34-point margin, up from Hillary Clinton's 20-point lead in 2016.

Again, none of these details in and of themselves define the race. But taken together, it's fair to suggest that even at a time of soaring turnout -- the highest since 1900 -- Republicans fell further behind this year even among their core voters.

He's not a Republican.

Posted by at November 5, 2020 1:04 PM