A look at the still compiling returns demonstrates that Democrats made the right bet. Biden is projected to win an election that another Democrat, especially a more liberal one, may very well have lost.
Biden is currently ahead by less than a point in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Without winning at least some combination of these states, Biden would not be able to reach the necessary 270 electoral votes to win the election.
The fact that the election was closer than pre-election polls indicated might be used as an indictment of Biden. It shouldn’t be.
The opposite happened: Biden is outrunning the House Democrats in all these pivotal states.
More to the point, Republican candidates for the House are actually getting more votes than their Democratic counterparts in all these states. As of this writing, the margin is less than 10,000 in Arizona, while it’s over 90,000 in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
(Note: Democrats and Republicans had a candidate on the ballot for each House race in these states.)
In other words, it seems quite conceivable that the baseline Democrat may not have actually won the states that he or she would have needed to win the Electoral College.
As I noted before, it is unusual for an challenger in a presidential race to run ahead of his party in the race for House control when his party controls the House. The reason being that you’d expect Trump and the House Democrats to have some sort of an incumbency advantage.
Obviously, it is difficult to disentangle why Biden was running ahead of the congressional Democrats. It could be because Biden was unusually strong or Trump was unusually weak. It’s probably a bit of both.
Biden, simply put, closed the door on Trump’s making this a contest between the lesser of two evils.
One (of a number of reasons) that Biden was better liked than Clinton may have had to do with ideology.
Biden, of course, ran as a mainstream Democrat.
You could see this play out in races like that for Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District. Biden easily took the district by nearly 7 points and earned himself an extra electoral vote in a state that awards an electoral vote to the winner of each of its congressional districts.
That distinction between Biden and the left may have made all the difference in what ended up being a presidential race that took four days to call. Without Biden at the top of the ticket, Trump may very well have stunned the world again and earned a second term in the White House.