Jacobin - November 4, 2020
As the country awaits the final results of the presidential election, there are already several key lessons to be gleaned from election, campaign finance, and public opinion data.
1. Democrats’ weak economic message hugely helped Trump. The Democratic ticket pretty much ran away from economic issues — sure, it had decent position papers, but economic transformation was not a huge part of its public messaging, and that failure buoyed Donald Trump, according to exit polls from Edison Research.Trump won 81 percent of the vote among the one-third of the electorate that listed the economy as its top priority. Even more amazing — Trump and Joe Biden equally split the vote among those whose priority is a president who “cares about people like me.”
2. The Lincoln Project and Rahm Emanuel embarrassed themselves. The Lincoln Project, the anti-Trump cash cow for veteran Republican consultants, has raised $40 million from MSNBC-watching Brunch Liberals in just the last few months, and it’s now set to launch a media brand off the idea that its GOP operatives are political geniuses. Their ads focused on trying to court disaffected Republican voters and attack Trump’s character, as Biden loaded up the Democratic convention with GOP speakers. When polls during the summer showed that the strategy wasn’t working, galaxy brain Rahm Emanuel defended it to a national televised audience, insisting that 2020 would be “the year of the Biden Republican.”Now survey data show the strategy epically failed, as Trump actually garnered even more support from GOP voters than in 2016. Indeed, Edison Research exit polls on Tuesday found that 93 percent of Republican voters supported Trump — 3 percentage points higher than in 2016, according to numbers from the same firm. The takeaway: there may be a lot of so-called “Never Trump” Republicans promoted in the media and in politics, but “Never Trump” Republicans are not a statistically significant group of voters anywhere in America. They basically do not exist anywhere outside of the Washington Beltway or cable news green rooms — and after tonight’s results, we shouldn’t have to see them on TV or even see their tweets ever again. As for the Lincoln Project’s focus on trying to scandalize Trump’s character, the exit polls found that voters are far more concerned about policy issues than personality. In fact, 73 percent of voters said their candidate’s positions on the issues were more important in their vote for president than their candidate’s personal qualities.
3. People don’t love the Affordable Care Act. While it may have made short-term sense for Democrats to focus on the GOP’s efforts to repeal protections for patients with preexisting conditions, Americans actually aren’t particularly pleased with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), at a moment when millions have lost health insurance and insurers’ profits are skyrocketing because people can’t or don’t want to go to the doctor. ...
Read full report at Jacobin