Each year after election season, both parties look back on their performance and conduct an autopsy of sorts. “What could we have done differently?” “How could we improve?”
Self-reflection is a vital part of formulating successful strategies for the future and ensuring longterm success. While analyzing the 2020 election, it’s become increasingly clear that the GOP has reason to be optimistic, while the Democratic Party needs to take a long look in the mirror.
This might be a strange concept to some. How could the GOP, the party which presumably lost the presidency, be on a better trajectory than the party which beat them? When looking at key demographics and data shifts, the concept becomes less strange.
First, take into account the inroads GOP candidates made with minority voters compared to the 2016 election. In Texas, a state with an increasingly minority population, President Trump increased voter turnout by nearly 25%. Trump and other down-ballot GOP candidates made significant gains in counties that had majority Hispanic populations, picking up seven counties along the Rio Grande Valley. In Texas’ Starr County — a county with 96% latino voters — President Trump lost by just 5%. In 2016, he lost the same county by 58%.
Elsewhere, in Florida’s Miami-Dade County, the GOP saw another surge in latino support. The county, which Hillary Clinton won by 29 points just four years ago, was far closer this election, with Joe Biden only winning by 6 points.
Those aren’t incremental gains.
As well, a record number of minority and female GOP candidates were elected throughout the country. In addition to winning all 27 “toss-up” races in the House, the GOP added 17 new female Congress members, bringing their total to 33, a record for the Party.
The party of “old white men”, as the left tries to portray it to be, is performing increasingly well with women and minorities, two voting blocs traditionally dominated by the Democrat Party. That could spell trouble in the midterms.
One proclamation that those on the Right heard incessantly from the mainstream media and pollsters alike, was how much President Trump was going to hurt the GOP brand amongst the electorate. Well, that argument seems to have fallen completely apart.
As mentioned earlier, House Democrats have now lost every single toss up this cycle. Far from the promised “blue wave,” Republicans performed shockingly well, narrowing the Democrat majority to 218-204, with 13 races remaining too close to call (Republicans lead in 8 of those 13). If that trend continues, we might be looking at a Republican majority in the House by 2022.
Republicans also exceeded expectations in the United States Senate. Despite projections from “experts” that Democrats were poised to gain as many as 6 seats, they’ve so far stalled at 3, with the two remaining seats in Georgia still up for grabs.
The absolute best case scenario for Senate Democrats would be to win both seats and make the Senate partisan vote tied 50-50, with Kamala Harris, Biden’s Vice Presidential choice, breaking the tie. However, even if only one of these seats is won by the GOP, the chamber will still belong to the GOP caucus, with Leader Mitch McConnell continuing to hold the reigns of Senatorial power.
In an election where we saw the largest voter turnout in nearly a century, Republicans were expected to lose the presidency, decrease their seats in the house, and possibly even lose their majority in the United States Senate. It is likely now that only one of those scenarios will come to fruition.
Despite Democrats presumed success at the Presidential level, they would be wise to take a long look in the mirror before celebrating too loudly. Republicans have plenty to be optimistic about.
Kenny is an educator, political activist, and writer from Northeastern Tennessee. He is the Chairman of the Cocke County (TN) Republican Party and has served as a columnist for The Libertarian Republic since January 2020.
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