November 13, 2020 at 1:13 am #3383
Was Biden’s Victory A Mandate? Here’s How His Win Was Both Historic And Narrow
TOPLINE Democrats and Republicans will make arguments about whether or not President-elect Joe Biden has a “mandate” but when you look under the hood, both sides of the debate have a point—the Democrat’s popular vote victory was decisive and historic, but his Electoral College victory narrow.
Biden is on track to win both the highest percentage of eligible voters in almost 50 years and the largest portion of the overall vote since former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1932, according to the Washington Post.
The Democrat currently leads Trump by more than four percentage points in the popular vote (50.8%-47.4%), nearly double Hillary Clinton’s final popular vote margin in 2016.
Biden won the largest number of popular votes in history (77,750,000 and counting) and is on track to beat Trump by a larger margin (more than 5 million votes) than any winning presidential ticket since 1996, with the exception of the Obama/Biden ticket in 2008 (Trump won the second largest number of popular votes in history: 72,426,000 and climbing.)
In the Electoral College, however, Biden’s victory is much less impressive: the Democrat is on track to win the same amount of electoral votes as Trump, 306, which would rank 46th out of 59 presidential contests in percentage of electoral votes won (56.88%.)
In multiple scenarios, fewer than 150,000 votes could have tipped this election in favor of Trump: for instance, a combined 78,000 votes separate Biden and Trump in Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania—if Trump outlasted Biden in all three, he would have won the election (Pennsylvania and Arizona have been called for Biden, but Georgia announced Wednesday it will undergo a hand recount.)
Across 15 battleground states of the 2020 election—Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine 2nd district, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska 2nd district, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin—Biden is currently trailing Trump by 1.5 points (50.1%-48.6%) when tallying up the combined popular vote, according to the Cook Political Report’s tracker.
Political scientists define a “mandate” as the authority voters give to an elected representative to carry out his or her platform. Presidents and politicians from either party will often pontificate about how clear or decisive that “mandate” is, but in reality there’s no clear definition for what a “clear” or “decisive” mandate constitutes. This year, Democrats won the presidency, but lost seats in the House and gained just one net seat (so far) in the Senate. It will be hard for Biden to claim he has a decisive mandate, and difficult for Democrats to push through their agenda should Republicans maintain control of the Senate.
On November 6, before major outlets had called the election in favor of Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) referred to the Democrat as “President-elect Biden” and claimed he has a “strong mandate to lead.”
“His election is historic, propelled by the biggest vote ever in the history of our country, 73.8 million, and counting, Americans – the most votes ever received by any presidential ticket in history,” Pelosi went on.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Biden is poised to become the first Democratic presidential candidate since Grover Cleveland in 1885 to take office without control of both chambers of Congress, unless Democrats can pull off a sweep of two runoff Senate races in Georgia. Pelosi is set to preside over the smallest House majority since World War II, after losing several seats during the 2020 election.
“I heard the speaker call it a mandate,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters Thursday, responding to Pelosi. “It was a mandate against socialism. It was a mandate against defunding the police.”
66.5%. That’s the projected percentage of the voting-eligible population that voted in 2016, according to the Washington Post, the highest share in more than 100 years.
In 2016, Trump won by flipping Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin by a combined 77,000 votes. In 2020, thanks to a large projected win in Michigan, Biden is poised to win the three states by more than 214,000 votes combined.
Four years ago, Trump called his Electoral College win “massive,” even though he lost by millions of votes in the popular vote to Clinton.
FURTHER READING : pgslot