These returns are a shocking rebuke of the Democratic strategy.

It’s still too soon to tell, but the race for the White House is now 50/50, with a slight edge for Trump.

I’m not flabbergasted but I am surprised. The pollsters and the pundits have gotten the result so far off that it almost makes you question the use of their jobs. My informed prediction was a Democratic House and Senate, and a comfortable Biden win of 5–7 points, and a very comfy win of around 350 in the EC. As of right now, the evidence points to Biden winning the popular vote, and whoever becomes President being lucky to surpass 300.

The assumption was this race would be fought primarily on the ground of coronavirus and the administration’s response to it. Going off exit polls it looks like the economy was forefront in people’s minds, leading to a vote on the ground far far more favourable to Trump.

The Democrats have made some drastic blunders. After 200 000 deaths the win I predicted Monday should have been the less optimistic forecast of a certain landslide. We’ve seen Trump and Republicans defy political gravity again; winning by even more in hard hit COVID areas and getting a wider margin in Florida.

Biden’s camp took Latino voters for granted, and that’s hurt them. Equally, we’ve definitively been shown the Never Trumper is a myth, more Republicans voted Trump than last time. The base is consolidated and Trumpism is the doctrine of the RNC. We have to take this election as a lesson of how not to fight it, and work from there. As various observers have commented, without coronavirus this election looks like it could have been a Trumpian landslide.

Trump has done exactly as everyone feared, and is trying to halt the counting, in a comical turn of events considering he’s outperforming everyone (including his allies in the Senate)’s expectations of him. Even if Biden is elected, he could well be a lame duck with a GOP Senate. Republicans are even gaining in the House but it remains a safe bet for the DNC.

We watch, and we wait. This is going to be fraught and close.

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Toby Lipatti-Mesme

Insightful and innovative UK journalism and commentary, from Toby Lipatti-Mesme.