The election is over. Votes are still being counted but President Trump has a significant deficit that it seems increasingly unlikely he will be able to overcome. Very soon we will be speaking about President-elect Biden. Who has Republicans to thank for giving him this victory it seems.
Donald Trump again spoiled predictions by bringing what was supposed to be a fairly easy Democratic-win into a photo finish where four days on and we still don’t have a declared winner. Trump won initially, in part, by bringing a not insignificant number of former Obama voters into his loose populist coalition. And now Biden has done the same to him.
Republicans were not absent from this election. The senate has stayed in Republican hands and they actually gained seats in the house although not a majority. It seems that a lot of Republicans just didn’t vote for Trump. They may not have voted for Joe Biden but they didn’t vote for Trump.
A few states, like Alaska and Georgia, still aren’t finished counting ballots but they are among a dozen states in which the Republican senator got more votes than the president. According to the Associated Press election tracking, more than a hundred thousand Texans who marked their ballot for John Cornyn didn’t for Donald Trump. Two thousand West Virginians voted for their Republican senator but not their Republican president. Four thousand people in Wyoming, fifteen thousand in South Dakota, and sixteen thousand in New Mexico chose a republican for senator but not for president. As did republican voters in Nebraska, Massachusetts, Maine, Colorado, and Arkansas. Vote tallies won’t be finished until next week at the earliest but right now nearly twice as many Alaskans voted for Republican Senator Sullivan than did for Trump.
Trump does seem to have increased not only his total vote count but also his support among minority groups of all kinds. His share of black, Hispanic, and even Muslim voters rose significantly over the last four years. The one group he seemed to have turned off the most was white voters. Who are more likely to be republican.
Even before he announced his candidacy in 2015, Trump was a divisive figure for Republicans. Very many prominent Republicans denounced him and vocally supported Hillary Clinton. During his presidency many in conservative media organized against Trump, most prominently perhaps by the Lincoln Project, a group of republicans and conservatives “with a singular mission: To defeat Donald Trump and Trumpism.”
For his part, the president has spent a good part of his presidency insulting a good many republicans, including the two previous republican candidates. He frequently excoriated fellow republicans on Twitter or from the stage at one of his rallies or when speaking on Fox & Friends. It seems the party he was out to remake in his image fought back this week.
Thomas Brown is a history teacher and freelance writer. He runs The Swamp and is featured in Grunge, Quillette, Spiked, The Bipartisan Press, Human Events, among others. Follow him at his Medium page and argue with him on Twitter.
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