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Why Conservatives Should Be Happy About the 2020 Election Results

Erik Sofranko

Posted on November 18, 2020 02:17

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Even though President Donald Trump lost his re-election bid to Joe Biden, conservatives performed much better than expected in down-ballot races.

Heading into election night 2020, Democrats were optimistic about their chances of pulling off a trifecta in the House, Senate, and the presidency. Polling averages suggested that the Democrats would have a net gain of about 10 to 15 seats in the House and were more than likely gain control of the Senate.

In reality, the Republicans are expected to have a net gain of about 10 seats in the House, which is a shock to the polling industry and even the Republican establishment. This means that they are in a strong position to retake control of the House in 2022, which would presumably make current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy the new Speaker. Their 2022 advantage also comes from the fact that the party that does not control the White House almost always has significant gains during midterm elections. An exception to this rule was in 2002, one year after the 9/11 terrorist attacks when the Republicans gained House and Senate seats during President Bush's first term.

Republican House gains came from mostly suburban districts that they had lost in 2018 but gained back this year. Key victories came in cities such as Miami, the Los Angeles suburbs, and the New York City suburbs. They gained seats with diverse candidates that were elected by diverse electorates, which is a positive sign for the future of the party's competitiveness. The party has proven that they can win a diverse coalition of voters, which is exactly the track that they have to be on to stay relevant as a party.

Additionally, the Senate will likely remain in the GOP's column assuming that either David Perdue or Kelly Loeffler wins their special election Senate race in Georgia on January 5th. As of now, the Republicans have 50 Senate seats while the Democrats have 46, with two independents pledging to caucus with the Democrats.

Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight, a well respect polling analysis organization, gave the Republicans a 25% chance of holding the Senate. This was due to many months of polling showing that several Republican incumbents were in danger of losing their seats, even in states that were thought to be safe from the beginning of the campaign. Polling in South Carolina and Kentucky suggested that Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell were facing an uphill battle for re-election. They both comfortably won re-election by double digits.

In Maine, there was not a single poll that showed establishment Republican Susan Collins winning re-election to her Senate seat. The polling average had her trailing her Democratic challenger Sara Gideon by four points. Collins ended up winning re-election by nearly double digits.

Additionally, with Joni Ernst hanging on in Iowa and Thom Tillis hanging on in North Carolina, the Republicans defied the odds and are in a strong position to remain in control. This suggests that President-Elect Biden may not have the mandate that Democrats were hoping he would get heading into 2021.

Erik Sofranko

Posted on November 18, 2020 02:17

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