The 2020 election remains about five months away, but there are already signs which point to a very good result for Democrats when the ballots are counted.
One expert on elections, political scientist Rachel Bitecofer, notes in an article she penned for the Niskanen Center that the current political landscape suggests a “blue tsunami” will be the result of the upcoming election, writing:
“Ultimately, what determines electoral victories in the partisan era is the partisan composition of the electorate: the percentage of the electorate that is composed of Democrats and left-leaning independents versus the percentage that is composed of Republicans and right-leaning independents. And in 2020, in places where partisan competition is equalized (places like Wisconsin), it will be the coalition that is angrier and/or more frightened that wins that battle, even when voting infrastructure is manipulated to discourage participation.”
As Professor Bitecofer explains, voters are angry and frightened. A large part of that has to do with the deaths of 58,000 Americans — (So far, with projections for as many as 75,000) — and the overall sense among an overwhelming majority of the voting public that Donald Trump screwed up the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic.
That pandemic, it should be noted, has also destroyed what was going to be Trump and the GOP’s signal message: The economy. Trump had been crowing for months that the economy was the strongest “in the history of our country,” even though there is no data to support such an absurd boast.
So what do Republicans have to run on? Economic issues? Nope. National security? There are too many dead Americans for that to have a chance of resonating with voters. Healthcare? We’re all still waiting on that “replacement” plan Trump and the GOP say they have for the Affordable Care Act.
The Republicans have little more than anger and wistful memories of the way things were before COVID-19 appeared. But Democrats have all of what can best be called the “juice.” Once again, Bitecofer sums it up perfectly by referencing the recent primary in Wisconsin:
“Whatever 2020 turnout is, barring something extraordinary that disrupts the election, if more Democrats and left-leaning independents vote than did so in 2016 and pure independents break against Trump and congressional Republicans, Democrats will not only hold their 2018 House gains — they are poised to expand on their House majority and are competitive to take control of the Senate.”
In other words, this time next year, there’s an excellent chance that Joe Biden will be president and Democrats will control both houses of Congress. But it requires Democrats showing up and voting. We outnumber them, and they cannot win unless we abdicate our role as the truly irreplaceable part of this republic.