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Only Joe Biden Could’ve Pulled This Off

Only Joe Biden Could’ve Pulled This OffJoe Biden often describes himself as a bridge between the Democratic Party’s past and future generation of leaders. But the 2020 election results signal that he may play an even more indispensable role, as a bridge between the party’s past and future electoral coalitions.Biden won the White House by holding just enough ground in the Rust Belt states that have been trending away from the Democrats, while gaining just enough new terrain in the Sun Belt battlegrounds. However, across both fronts, he carried almost all of the decisive states by narrow margins, even though he’s likely to win a greater share of the total national popular vote than any other challenger against an incumbent president since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932.That stark contrast—between Biden’s resounding popular-vote victory and his narrow win in crucial swing states—encapsulates the challenge Democrats will likely face in the coming…


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How a Republican Congresswoman Won by Betting on Trump

How a Republican Congresswoman Won by Betting on TrumpFor the past three presidential elections, New York’s Twenty-First Congressional District—a humongous swath of rural, mountainous territory known as the North Country that’s closer to Canada than to the Big Apple—has voted along with the nation: Its constituents backed Barack Obama twice before flipping to Donald Trump in 2016.“This district is really a bellwether district,” its Republican representative, Elise Stefanik, told me matter of factly a few weeks before the election. Cruising to a fourth term in the House, she had no reason to believe this time would be different.But as the country turned left this year, Stefanik’s constituents, like their counterparts in many other rural areas, lurched further right. While a slim majority of Americans nationwide cast their ballots for Joe Biden, the overwhelming majority of voters in New York’s Twenty-First—nearly 60 percent, at last count—went for Trump. And an even…


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How Georgia Flipped Blue for Biden

How Georgia Flipped Blue for BidenATLANTA—Georgia wasn’t supposed to turn blue. Not yet, and especially not in the suburbs of Atlanta, where Newt Gingrich arguably launched the modern conservative movement in the early 1990s and cemented the stereotype of these sprawling neighborhoods as rich, white, and die-hard Republican. This is where a generation of conservative political stars fostered their careers: former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, longtime U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, even Sean Hannity. Before Donald Trump ran for president in 2016, Cobb County hadn’t supported a Democrat for president in 40 years.But 2020 is a bad year for conventional political wisdom, and Georgia is the big prize of the election: Former Vice President Joe Biden is expected to win the state after the conclusion of a statewide recount, according to projections from CNN, NBC, and The New York Times. Two closely fought U.S. Senate seats will go…


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Democrats’ Shaky Future in the House

Democrats’ Shaky Future in the HouseJoe Biden marked an unexpected and unwanted milestone this month when he won a clear popular-vote majority in the presidential election but saw his party suffer substantial losses in the House of Representatives.That unusual combination of results—the first time it’s happened in more than 120 years—crystallizes the core challenge Democrats face in translating their consistent victories in the popular vote into congressional power. In geographic terms, their coalition is deep but narrow. The party has consolidated its hold on the nation’s largest metropolitan centers, which allows it to amass substantial popular-vote victories, but it has systematically declined in the smaller places beyond them—a dynamic that’s intensified during Donald Trump’s polarizing presidency.The distortions created by this geographic sorting have been most apparent in the Senate. There, the GOP’s dominance of less populated, heavily rural states has allowed it to control the upper chamber more than half…


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The RNC Chair Is Having Trouble Convincing Republicans to Vote in Georgia Senate Races

The RNC Chair Is Having Trouble Convincing Republicans to Vote in Georgia Senate RacesThe chair of the Republican National Committee was in Georgia today trying to rally support for Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, the GOP candidates in the state’s January 5 Senate runoff election. If today’s event is any indication, the effort isn’t going too well, thanks in large part to the Trump campaign’s efforts to delegitimize the election in a state he lost to President-elect Joe Biden by about 12,000 votes. Ronna McDaniel At a meet-and-greet at the Cobb County Republican Party headquarters in Marietta, attendees peppered party chair Ronna McDaniel with questions about election fraud and pointless recounts going on in Wisconsin. One person demanded to know why the RNC wasn’t investigating accusations about voting machines that supposedly changed votes or counted votes that weren’t there. When McDaniel said that “the evidence wasn’t there” for voting irregularities, the…


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The GOP’s Big Self-Own

The GOP’s Big Self-OwnCongressional Republicans may be engaged in the political equivalent of a murder-suicide by abetting Donald Trump’s claims that the election was stolen from him.By reinforcing Trump’s baseless narrative that he actually won the vote, Republicans could be suffocating President-elect Joe Biden’s already-slim chances of attracting any meaningful support from rank-and-file Republican voters, which will make it much tougher for him to build bipartisan coalitions in Congress. But by supporting Trump’s claims—either overtly or through their silence—Republicans are simultaneously cementing his position as the dominant figure in the GOP, snuffing out their chances of reconsidering the course he has set for their party.“Clearly, a lot of Republicans in Congress hoped that the election would be a bookend to Trump’s influence in the party,” the GOP consultant Alex Conant told me. “By allowing this episode to prolong, it’s created a near certainty that his influence will persist.”The longtime GOP…


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