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A new breakdown of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s win credits “electoral jujitsu” for what appears to be, historically, an otherwise improbable path to victory.
“In all the excitement among objective journalists for Joe Biden’s declared victory, reporters are missing how extraordinary the Democrat’s performance was in the 2020 election,” writes J.B. Shurk at The Federalist.
“It’s not just that the former vice president is on track to become the oldest president in American history, it’s what he managed to accomplish at the polls this year,” he notes further.
Shurk noted that the former vice president and long-serving U.S. senator from Delaware so “animated” the electorate this year that he won “a record number of votes” amounting to “15 million more” than President Barack Obama received in 2012 when he was reelected.
What’s also odd is that Biden “managed to secure victory while also losing in almost every bellwether county across the country.”
“No presidential candidate has been capable of such electoral jujitsu until now,” he added.
Shurk also mockingly noted that though Biden “underperformed Hillary Clinton’s 2016 totals in every urban county” in the country, he seems to have “outperformed her in the metropolitan areas of Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.”
He went on to list five ways in which Biden appears to have defied the odds — and logic — on his apparent path to victory:
— 80 million votes: “A lot of Americans turned out for a Washington politician who’s been in office for nearly 50 years,” Shurk writes, adding of President Donald Trump’s increased vote tally in 2020 over 2016: “Consider this: no incumbent president in nearly a century and a half has gained votes in a re-election campaign and still lost.”
Trump got about 10 million more votes this year than he did four years ago, “but Biden’s appeal was so substantial that it overcame” the president’s “record support among minority voters.” He also suggested that because Biden’s vote tally is far higher than Obama’s were, maybe it was his appeal, and not the 44th president’s, that attracted voters.
Shurk also pointed out that Biden won despite the massive enthusiasm gap between his and Trump’s voters.
— Bellwether counties: “Biden is set to become the first president in 60 years to lose the states of Ohio and Florida on his way to election,” Shurk wrote, even though both states have “consistently predicted” presidential outcomes for 100 years. And though national polling that gave Biden leads in both states throughout the campaign cycle, he lost Ohio by eight points and Florida by three-plus percentage points.
“For Biden to lose these key bellwethers by notable margins and still win the national election is newsworthy,” Shurk points out. “Even more unbelievably, Biden is on his way to winning the White House after having lost almost every historic bellwether county across the country.”
According to separate analyses by The Wall Street Journal and The Epoch Times which looked at 19 historic bellwether counties with near-perfect presidential prediction records, Biden won one of them by about three points, while Trump won all the others by an average spread of more than 16 points.
— Biden mostly trailed Clinton: Except for a few select cities, “Biden underperformed Hillary Clinton in every major metro area around the country, save for Milwaukee, Detroit, Atlanta and Philadelphia,” noted Patrick Basham, the director of the Democracy Institute in Washington, D.C., who has a reliable record as a pollster, in citing Richard Baris of Big Data Poll and election analyst Robert Barnes.
Barnes further noted in those “big cities in swing states run by Democrats…the vote even exceeded the number of registered voters.” And in the battleground states Biden appears to have won, he pulled in so many mail-in ballots he overtook Trump’s seemingly comfortable election day leads.
— Biden won, but Dems lost: In an election cycle where Democrats have lost nearly everywhere — in Congress, in statehouses around the country, and losing ground in state legislatures — Biden defied those results.
“Donald Trump was pretty much the only incumbent president in U.S. history to lose his re-election while his own party gained seats in the House of Representatives,” Randy DeSoto wrote at the Western Journal.
— Biden overcame Trump’s primary vote: In past election cycles, primary vote tallies have been highly accurate in predicting presidential winners, but again, this year, that wasn’t the case.
Citing political analyst David Chapman, Shurk writes:
First, no incumbent who has received 75 percent of the total primary vote has lost re-election. Second, President Trump received 94 percent of the primary vote, which is the fourth highest of all time (higher than Dwight Eisenhower, Nixon, Clinton, or Obama). In fact, Trump is only one of five incumbents since 1912 to receive more than 90 percent of the primary vote.
Third, Trump set a record for most primary votes received by an incumbent when more than 18 million people turned out for him in 2020 (the previous record, held by Bill Clinton, was half that number).
“For Biden to prevail in the general election, despite Trump’s historic support in the primaries, turns a century’s worth of prior election data on its head,” Shurk concluded, observing that it seems odd more journalists are not pointing out that Biden “achieved the impossible.”
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