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If there hadn’t been a pandemic… January 12, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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…Trump would have won?

I’ve been thinking about that line a bit over Christmas. And initially I was of the opinion it was correct – that the pandemic did for Trump. And yet, and yet. This piece in the UK Independent strikes me as having some fairly robust reasons for why Trump’s loss was perhaps baked in even longer than the pandemic. One fact that is key in this is to keep in mind the scale of Biden’s win. It really was – despite the way in which the narrative about it was skewed on Election night, when he appeared to be in some trouble – quite significant. His margin, even on a massively increased popular vote, of 51.3% to Trump’s 46.9% was greater than Obama’s over Romney’s (51.1%/, 47.2%), less than Obama/McCain (52.9%/45.7%), greater than the 50.7%/48.3% of Bush/Kerry and one has to go back to 1988 to see Bush/Dukakis where the margin was 53.4%/45.6%. Interestingly Reagan/Mondale was 58.8%/40.6% and Reagan/Carter/Anderson 50.7%/41.0%/6.6%.

One has to wonder – as an aside, whether part of what motivates Trump currently is the fact he never won the popular vote, with Clinton coming in at 48.2%/46.1%. In other words Trump’s electoral record is actually pretty poor and significantly worse than other more recent – I use the term advisedly – one term Presidents (worse indeed than the hapless Gerald Ford in 1976 who lost to Carter (50.1%/48%).

The one consolation Trump can wrest from this is the mobilisation of the popular vote, with Biden on 81,268,867 and Trump on 74,216,747. The more recent elections saw lower figures – Trump/Clinton 62,984,828/65,853,514, Obama/Romney 65,915,795 /60,933,504, Obama/McCain 69,498,516/59,948,323 and those of the early to mid-2000s significantly lower again… Bush/Kerry 62,040,610/59,028,444. But increased turnout works in different ways – voting against Trump was likely a factor as well as voting for him. An enthusiasm to be shot of him likely as important for a large cohort as enthusiasm for voting for him was for another. And there’s a deeper point. Look at the figures and it is clear that since 2000 only on one occasion (Bush/Kerry) has the popular vote gone towards the Republicans. That suggests a deeper dynamic at play and one which Trump – for all that his peculiar charisma for some – had to work hard against and wasn’t able to overturn in 2016. And then there’s the simple fact of being incumbent is different from being an outsider. His palpable disinterest in governance aside, shaping a message of greatness is more difficult from the inside when he has had to own not merely the pandemic but issue after issue. Indeed it is telling that the one area where his administration has been a success – that is reshaping the federal judiciary, is so conspicuous.

So roll back to early 2020, before the term Covid-19 had taken hold. Could he have won then? Possibly – or perhaps the election this year was always going to be tight – polling certainly seemed to indicate so even if, as it came down to the wire it was adrift of the actual vote and in specific locations quite wrong.

But that raises a different issue. Ejecting him from the White House has proven difficult even in the context of a clear and definitive win by Biden. Imagine a contest held this year where Biden shaded it, just. In that scenario there’s no difficulty at all in envisaging a situation where he hung on much more tenaciously, where indeed we could be rapidly approaching a situation more reminiscent of 2000.

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1. CL - January 12, 2021

Trump lost to Hillary Clinton by almost 3 million votes. He lost to Biden by 7 million.
No way of knowing what would have happened in absence of pandemic.

Under Trump the Republicans have lost the House, the Senate and the Presidency.
Since the Trump-incited fascist mob sacking of the Capitol the rats are scuttling fast off his sinking ship.

Jan 3- “The top House Republican has quietly blessed an effort by conservative lawmakers to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory when a joint session of Congress meets later this week, even as other top congressional Republicans are raising alarms that the push could cause lasting damage to a pillar of democracy.
The conservatives said on Sunday that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has been supportive of their plans, a stark contrast from the position of many prominent Republicans ”
https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/03/politics/kevin-mccarthy-republican-push-house/index.html

Jan 12- ” McCarthy is now trying to navigate how to bridge the factions within the party following Wednesday’s siege at the Capitol, and is treading carefully by telling members Trump is partially to blame for what happened without condemning him outright….
“Having spoken to so many of you, I know we are all taking time to process the events of that day. Please know I share your anger and your pain,” McCarthy wrote in his letter to members.
https://www.axios.com/mccarthy-antifa-capitol-siege-trump-c5b347ad-f902-40f4-9f42-6120fa927137.html

” The Republican Party is splitting into two, starting with the relatively small Never Trumpers breaking off in 2016 and joined four years later by a new slice of establishment Republicans repulsed by President Trump’s post-election actions.
We have no clue how big this faction will grow. But it seems clear that the Trump vs. them saga will dominate the coming months, and maybe years.”
https://www.axios.com/capitol-siege-misinformation-trump-d9c9738b-0852-408d-a24f-81c95938b41b.html

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2. CL - January 12, 2021

” Trump … insisted that impeaching him for inciting his supporters to commit violence would merely incite them to commit more violence:

‘This impeachment is causing tremendous anger. And you’re doing it, and it’s really a terrible thing that they’re doing. For Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger. I want no violence.’

He wants no violence. He’s just giving the sort of friendly warning a gangster might give a shopkeeper. Nobody wants violence. Give the man what he demands, and there won’t be any.”
https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/01/trump-impeachment-cause-tremendous-danger-responsibility-mob-capitol.html#comments

” Capitol Police briefed Democrats on Monday night about three more potentially gruesome demonstrations planned in the coming days, with one plot to encircle the U.S. Capitol and assassinate Democrats and some Republicans….
Democrats were told that the Capitol Police and the National Guard were preparing for potentially tens of thousands of armed protesters coming to Washington and were establishing rules of engagement for warfare. In general, the military and police don’t plan to shoot anyone until one of the rioters fires, but there could be exceptions…
The plan to surround the Capitol includes assassinating Democrats as well as Republicans who didn’t support Trump’s effort to overturn the election ― and allowing other Republicans to enter the building and control government.”
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/democrats-briefed-plot-overthrow-government_n_5ffd29a4c5b691806c4bf199

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3. banjoagbeanjoe - January 13, 2021

Back before the pandemic, when Biden had won the Dem race and it was clear it was going to be Biden v Trump, I would have been of the clear view that Trump would win. As a very interested political observer friend in work put it to me “Surely they could have gotten a better candidate than Biden”. By that I think he meant a younger version of Biden, not someone to the left or anything.

The thing is, up until this election Trump was the teflon President. What was it he said himself – “I could shoot someone down on Fifth Avenue and they’d still vote me in”. From when he arrived on the scene as a candidate, he broke all the ‘rules’ of how to get elected, he did stuff and said stuff time and time again, stuff that would have spelled the end for any other candidate in the decades before Trump arrived. “Grab them by the pussy”. Each time he said or did something outrageous, the mainstream media said he’d gone too far this time, this is the end for him. But it wasn’t.
So I think that pattern would have continued. He would have won a second term. But then the pandemic – that changed everything.

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CL - January 13, 2021

Over the course of the pandemic Trump’s approval ratings didn’t change very much.

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