Victory LIVEBLOG Community Live Bloggers: Biden-Harris Speeches at Wilmington Delaware

8pm ET join us as we celebrate with the victory speeches of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

“Our democracy is only as strong as our willingness to fight for it, to guard it, and never take it for granted,” Harris opens with, quoting Rep. John Lewis.

As Biden worked his way toward eventual victory, the mask would become a symbol of his entire campaign — a durable cloth representation of Biden’s caution and deliberation, his steady leadership style, his adherence to science and facts, his reassuring vanilla decency.

The story of Biden’s victory is as much the story of Trump’s defeat — a devastating coda for a leader who has long feared weakness and losing above almost all else, but who became the first one-term president in nearly 30 years.

[America’s failed response: A Post documentary analyzes how Trump politicized the pandemic and ignored decades of preparation]

Trump was the most unpopular president of modern times: Divisive and alienating, he rarely sought to reach out to the middle and his erratic behavior and harder-edged policies were strongly opposed by most Americans. Even before this year, his reelection would have been difficult.

But the president finally lost, aides and allies said, because of how he mismanaged the virus. He lost, they said, over the summer, when the virus didn’t go away as he promised; when racial unrest roiled the nation in the wake of George Floyd’s death and protesters ran rampant through the streets; and when federal and local authorities gassed largely peaceful demonstrators in Lafayette Square across from the White House so Trump could stage a photo op. And he lost, they said, during a roughly three-week stretch from late September to mid-October, when an angry and brooding Trump heckled and interrupted his way through the first debate and then, several days later, announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

He also lost, aides added, after years of confrontational and incendiary conduct turned off independent voters, who finally said they had seen enough.

The same impulses that helped lift him to victory in 2016 — the outsider ethos; the angry, burn-it-all-down cri de coeur; the fiery and controversial rants; the false reality forged through untruths and deception — contributed to his undoing just four years later. Exhausted voters in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, who once gave Trump a shot, turned on him Tuesday.

“If he loses, it’s going to be because of covid,” Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, said shortly before Election Day.

www.washingtonpost.com/…

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— Heidi Przybyla (@HeidiNBC) November 7, 2020

While there was much attention paid to late-counted mail ballots in urban areas that put Biden over the top in states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the bigger shift was in the suburbs. In fact, there’s evidence that Trump actually improved his lot slightly in urban areas, which made the suburbs crucial for Biden.
In 2016 exit polls, Trump won the suburbs by four points, 49 to 45. This time, Biden won them 51 to 48 — a seven-point shift in the margin. Biden also joins Obama as the only Democratic presidential candidate to carry the suburbs since 1992, if the exit polls don’t shift from now. The New York Times has a great visualization of the shift from 2016.
Democrats’ suburban edge was also slightly bigger than in the 2018 election in which they won the House, when those areas split about evenly. And given that the suburbs account for about half the votes these days — and growing — Democrats will want to keep that going.

The only problem for them — and it’s a big split between the presidential race and down-ballot races — was that this performance didn’t stretch to the conservative-leaning suburban seats Democrats were hoping to take from Republicans. So Democrats need to ask themselves whether this is really about the new reality or whether it was just about Trump, who underperformed his party in many ways, but particularly in these areas.

[…]

But it’s also clear that Trump lost a pretty winnable election — one in which a more standard-issue Republican might well have won. I wrote Wednesday about how Trump underperformed GOP Senate candidates in the states with both competitive Senate races and a competitive presidential race. And that’s telling: The fundamentals were better for the GOP than Trump’s vote total suggests. And given that he’s losing most of they key states by around one percentage point or less, it suggests it was truly costly.
The GOP will have a tough time moving beyond the Trump era for one key reason: The Trump base is so vocal and motivated that no Republican who wants to win primaries in the future will want to alienate it. But the 2020 election clearly suggested that his approach leaves the GOP limited. His 2016 win was something of a fluke, and now he has lost. It doesn’t mean a Trumpified GOP can’t win elections, but it does suggest that it would be better off with another approach. That approach just isn’t in the offing.

www.washingtonpost.com/…

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— BYALOTHat (@Popehat) November 7, 2020

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— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) November 7, 2020

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— Reuters Graphics (@ReutersGraphics) November 7, 2020

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— BILL OAKLEY (@thatbilloakley) November 7, 2020

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— Shayan Sardarizadeh (@Shayan86) November 7, 2020

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— Jack Straw Register GA voters! (@qwosl) November 7, 2020

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— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) November 7, 2020

— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) November 7, 2020

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