November 8, 2020

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Joe Biden’s Non-Mandate: He may win the White House, but his party and progressive ideas lost.

Mr. Biden will win the popular vote, and he may eke out a narrow win in the Electoral College. In essence he’ll have reversed Mr. Trump’s victory in 2016 with hair’s-breadth advantages in Wisconsin and Michigan, and perhaps Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona. None of them will be by large margins. He will have vanquished an incumbent President, which is no easy task.

But look down the ballot, or across the country, and Mr. Biden’s potential victory looks remarkably limited and personal. Most new Presidents enter office having swept allies into Congress and statehouses as the public embraces his agenda and vision for America. Certainly this was true of Barack Obama in 2008 and to a lesser extent Mr. Trump in 2016. Mr. Biden had no such coattails.

Democrats lost seats in the House, giving up some of the suburban gains they made in 2018 while continuing to struggle in rural areas. The full results won’t be in for weeks, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi may find her majority cut in half or more to the smallest in 20 years.

Senate control may be determined by a Jan. 5 runoff for two seats in Georgia. But the GOP already looks to have won 50 seats to 48 for Democrats, who had expected to ride public dislike for Mr. Trump into the majority. A GOP Senate may compromise with Mr. Biden around centrist ideas, but the aggressive House agenda of the last two years would die again.

This result is all the more remarkable given that Democrats had nearly all of the media, Silicon Valley billionaires, and all of the leading cultural figures and institutions helping them. Even the Chamber of Commerce paid protection money. Democrats raised unheard of sums close to $100 million for some Senate races, outspending Republicans by two or three to one. They still could oust only two incumbents and lost one of their own.

The lack of coattails was also evident in the states, where Democrats spent heavily to flip legislatures.

The outfit that called itself the “Resistance” was composed of “nearly all of the media, Silicon Valley billionaires, and all of the leading cultural figures and institutions.”

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