Live 2020 Braindump
Updated: Nov 5, 2020
A theory of the case: Attack of the Biden Republicans
Welcome everyone to Day 3 of the election! As it stands, it looks like Joe Biden is on course to become the next president, with WI and MI called for him yesterday afternoon. As of right now, NV, AZ, NC, GA, and PA are still up for grabs.
With that said, one of the most surprising results of the election has been the success of Republicans who are not named Donald Trump. The Republicans look like they will retain a narrow majority in the Senate, they have gained seats in the House, and they are decisively winning state houses across the country. On the other hand, Democrats not named Joe Biden have by and large underperformed in this election. What is happening here?
A theory to explain this unusual result could possibly be summarized by this anecdote: There is a lifelong Republican in my life who voted Trump in 2016. Over the last four years, however, this person has been so disgusted with Trump that they held their nose and voted for Biden this year. That said, however, this person still identifies with the Republican party and as a conservative, and voted straight Republican down ballot.
In the "Attack of the Biden Republicans" theory, there are many Republicans who split with Trump but who stayed loyal to the party otherwise.
This would explain why Republicans not named Trump seem to be doing well, and Democrats not named Joe Biden are not doing as well as expected. This would also explain unusual outcomes in states like Michigan, where Biden was declared the winner before Gary Peters, the Democratic incumbent senator, who seems to have won a more narrow victory. It would explain states like North Carolina, where the winner has not been determined but it has been determined that the state house will remain in Republican control.
Things you may have missed (cont.)
Florida became the first state in the South to pass a $15 minimum wage.
California voters passed Proposition 22, an initiative led by Uber and Lyft to prevent reclassification of workers from contractors to employees. It is a blow against labor rights activists and those who believe that Uber and Lyft owe certain benefits and legal protections to drivers.
The delay in the announcement of mail-in ballot results in PA is because the law said they couldn't start until today, and the machines at max capacity can only process 32k ballots per hour, assuming they move at 100% efficiency. PA officials have said they will be releasing votes in a "cascade" throughout the day.
The Way-Too-Early 2022 Senate Battleground Map
As of right now, it looks like the Republicans may hold on to the Senate. That got me thinking, what does 2022 look like? Here is a way-too-early assembly of battleground states for 2022:
Alaska - Lisa Murkowski (R) - 44.4% in last race
Colorado - Michael Bennet (D) - 50% in last race
Florida - Marco Rubio (R) - 52% in last race
Indiana - Todd Young (R) - 52.1% in last race
Missouri - Roy Blunt (R) - 49.2% in last race
Nevada - Catherine Cortez Masto (D) - 47.1% in last race
North Carolina - Open seat (vacated by Richard Burr [R])
Pennsylvania - Open seat (vacated by Pat Toomey [R])
Wisconsin - Ron Johnson (R) - 50.2% in last race
Swings from the last election
It looks like the Republicans will hold the Senate, but the Democrats have made pretty incredible gains in 2020 from the last elections. From The Economist:
Republicans are winning battleground state houses
As of right now: FL, GA, IA, NC, OH state houses have been called for the Republicans. Silver lining: AZ, MI, PA, TX, WI still in play for state Democrats. (Source)
Paths to victory for Trump are dwindling
Some re-contextualization: If you take the names out (no Trump, no Biden, just generic candidates), it’s kind of remarkable that the incumbent president is having such a hard time winning this election.
Good news for progressives from last night
Democrat Sarah McBride made history as the first transgender woman elected to state Senate, winning a seat in Delaware.
Oregon became the first state to decriminalize possession of small amounts of hard drugs and allow psilocybin (the active chemical in magic mushrooms) for medical use.
Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota voters also passed initiatives legalizing marijuana use, which means about 1 in 3 Americans now live in states where marijuana is legal for anyone over the age of 21.