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Hey, everybody, welcome to Campaign HQ. I'm recording this on Thursday morning, early Pacific Time, November the 5th. And it's all of, you know, as at that point anyway, you don't have a formally declared winner of the presidential race.
But we are getting close and we know who's going to win. That's Joe Biden. We just need to. Some vote counting to continue, so I'll just start with, you know, where we are. Joe Biden is now ahead in enough states and that one congressional district in Omaha. Thank you, Nebraska to be a two hundred and seventy continuing to count votes in Arizona. My sense of the numbers and talking to people who know the state well is we may see some further tightening from Biden's lead right now.
But, you know, he's likely to keep his margin north of 20000 votes, which is about where it ended up in Wisconsin. But let's see, the one thing we know about this election is because, you know, although in Arizona, you know, we have a lot of history of mail in voting and provisional voting and in-person voting and all that mix comes together and gets counted in different tranches.
So less, I think, unknowns there.
There are some states where we had, you know, mail in ballots of this measure, you know, large measure for the first time. And, you know, different states counted in different ways based on their laws.
But looks like he should hold on in Arizona. I fully expect when Nevada releases their results, a lot of what's left to be counted is mail and votes that Biden will both be ahead and be declared the winner in Georgia. You know, my sense of the numbers in talking to people down there is that could end up being within 5000 votes, literally. We'll see one way or the other. So we're probably headed to a recount there. And then in Pennsylvania, you know, my sense is it's not going to end up being very close.
I mean, it could be a point to point a half, two points, but it's going to be more like Michigan than Wisconsin. So Joe Biden will be declared the winner in Pennsylvania. We have the president, United States tweeting out today in all caps. Stop the count. Not very subtle. Of course, that would mean Joe Biden would be elected president if he was a 270, which makes no mathematical sense.
But getting inside that tortured, addled brain is never pleasant.
But my sense is Trump knows, at least at some subconscious level, he's lost and would much rather lose at 270, with Pennsylvania colored in red and Georgia colored in red than blue. That's obviously not going to happen. But I think that's what's driving his twisted behavior. And we'll see. I mean, you know, we saw armed protesters in Arizona yesterday. I'm sure they'll be there today, of course, yelling out count the vote while Trump supporters in Michigan were saying stop the count.
So deeply inconsistent. You know, Trump seems to just want to count Trump votes in states where Biden is ahead. But that's not the way our system works. It's just worth reminding in case your Uncle Routier or Kayla are in your Facebook feed suggesting fraudulent or is being stolen, won, you know, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, all by law had to count. There are absentee ballots late. The secretaries of state in those states asked the legislature to change the rules.
Just remind your Aunt Kayla and Uncle Rudy that, you know, as we watch the votes come in, in Texas, in Florida, in Ohio and Iowa, even Joe Biden was ahead in all of those states because the mail in vote that, you know, was more predominantly Democratic this year was reported early. That was counted first. That was been counted for weeks and was finally released on Election Day.
And then as Election Day vote was counted, we saw Trump perform strongly and take the lead. So if we had done the same thing in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, you know, Biden would have gone out to a huge lead and we would have seen Trump slowly, slowly pick away at it, and he would have fallen short in all three. But that's simply what's going on. And these are all votes that have cast were cast weeks ago and again, by law couldn't be counted.
So, you know, we're starting to learn a little bit more about what happened on election night. I will. In the next section, I'm going to talk about the polling mess and some initial thoughts about why that happened, although very incomplete. But as votes come in, you know, you begin to particularly in four counties are reported and you can look at the precinct level and, you know, you get some sense of what happened. And we talk about Florida in the next section, talk about the Rio Grande Valley in the next section.
But I was just looking at the Detroit numbers, Wayne County and turnout was up there while it was flat compared to 16 in Milwaukee. So that's probably why the margin was more narrow in Wisconsin in some part than in Michigan. We saw turnout up. I would expect we may say turn it up in Philly as well, which is exciting. We also now know just literally minutes ago, the Georgia Senate race numbers changed and John Osthoff now looks like he's heading to a runoff to join Reverend Warnock.
So, you know, we're going to an early January battle for the Senate with two Senate races, you know, historically, particularly after a party wins the presidency.
You know, that's a tough race. You know, can you generate the same kind of enthusiasm and momentum that you had? And I'm sure, you know, Republicans will be told that this is the way to take. Revenge on a stolen election and all the bullshit we're going to hear, but listen, we saw from Stacey Abrams performance in 18, we see from Joe Biden's performance today whether he wins narrowly or loses narrowly, painfully, we can win Georgia.
And if we we just you know, our strength in suburban areas is growing. We see the kind of turnout that could be generated. So if we can create the kind of turnout that you might see in a presidential year and, you know, we make the case in a powerful way to these persuadable voters, you know, because this is the way we're going to expand health care. This is the way we're going to expand voting rights. This is the way we'll tackle climate change.
This is the way we will get a handle firmly on the pandemic is for Joe Biden to have as many allies as possible. I think that's possible. So everybody out there, everybody's tired, everybody's exhausted. Everybody did so much. I'm going to talk about that later in the podcast, how great you should feel about what you did. But you got to saddle up again. Even if we end up losing those two races, we've got to fight with everything we've got.
And I don't think we have to lose those two races. I think runoffs because Republicans just more reliably vote in every election. So a runoff, like a special election, you know, creates special challenges for us.
But the numbers are there to win. So these candidates will need resources. They'll need volunteer time. Now, we're talking about not a national election, but one state. George is a big state, but it's within reason that we can reach every single voter that we need to to encourage them to vote. That persuasion calls. I'm sure they'll be canvassing in Georgia. Obviously, that's an opportunity for people who want to travel down to slightly warmer weather, you know, in December, January.
And then for all of you in Georgia, you have really done such amazing, heroic work both in 18 and 20. But you're going to get asked now to do even more. So much of our future rests on your hands and we have complete confidence and faith in what you're going to be able to do down there, because, you know, you have really put Georgia in play despite the fact that a lot of people thinking it couldn't be. So we know what you can do and now you're going have more resources to do it.
So Georgia becomes the center of the political universe for a couple of months. You know, my sense is by the time this podcast drops, maybe we'll know. But if not, you know, my guess is we'll know by the end of Thursday, Friday morning at the latest that Joe Biden has formally been elected president. He will have been declared president. I do think that we just need to be patient and understand these are American citizens who cast votes and they're being counted as they always are.
But the sooner the better. Obviously, just because we have an American president who is trying to foment violence and suggest that a legitimate election was not legitimate and we knew this was coming, but it's still painful to see. I thought the East Room event that he had, first of all, having worked in the White House to see somebody basically deface it and hold probably the single most destructive event that buildings ever seen was awful, even though we knew what he was going to say, you know, suggesting that votes shouldn't be counted or only his vote should be counted again, breaking every norm.
And so far, you know, most of the Republican Party, most importantly, Fox News, the decision desk, anyway, in their daytime programming have held the line. You're starting to see more the Ingrams in the angles and certainly some of the more extreme voices online now following Trump. And so that will only grow. And I think Joe Biden is going to be our next president who will know that relatively soon. You know, Mitch McConnell is already talking about how he's going to deal with Biden cabinet appointments.
So, you know, the world's moving on here even if Trump doesn't want to.
But, you know, I don't know what percentage of Trump's voters will think that Biden was not legitimately elected, but it will not be insignificant, maybe half, maybe 60 percent. So you can have a quarter of the country, maybe slightly more than that, believing that our election was not valid. And, you know, that's going to make governing even more challenging just because Republicans who are going to run in primaries in 2022 or those who are going to seek the presidency in 2004 are going to feel like they've got to sing that song to satisfy the Trump base.
And, of course, you know, Trump may end up running in 2004. We'll see. You know, he's clearly shown himself to be, you know, a powerful political performer because he can turn out his vote. He'll talk about that in the next election. But that's something, as you know, I've talked about almost every episode of this podcast that no matter what else happened, he was going to turn out his vote and look by the end, according to polls, that that wouldn't be enough.
But the polls were off and he did turn out his vote. I mean, his his turnout was strong, but Democrats was strong as well. And, you know, and we got turnout where we needed it to be. And so, you know, we'll see about Trump. But, you know, my guess is right now, whether it's he or Ivankov or Trump Jr., we'll see somebody in that primary in 20. There are others far more expert than me about the Republican Party and its primary process and its voters, but so I'll violate that preamble by saying, you know, losers take on a different patina.
And I think, you know, how much of the Republican Party will be looking for return of Trump?
We'll see. I think they're going to still be looking for a lot of elements of Trump ism. But are they looking for Trump to represent that? I think that's a very much an open question.
So the good news is you're going to head into this weekend after the election knowing who our president is. The better news is you're going to know that president is Joe Biden and that really one of the greatest threats to the country and world has ever known, sadly, that being in the form of an American president is going to be removed. And a lot of other things happen in the election, good and bad. We didn't have the landslide. We hoped certainly didn't win back the Senate on Election Day, although we have a chance to do it in January.
Lost House seats. The state House picture was not what we hoped, particularly going into redistricting year. So I'm going to talk about that in the next section with a big caveat that there's so much we don't know yet. And it's not just looking at the county results that helps, but it's going to take months and months and months of research and additional data to see what happened and why, you know, but at the end of the day, we are reminded that this is a closely divided country.
Republicans get their turnout more elections than not when it surges like it did this time, it makes it even more challenging. But Joe Biden and his campaign and all of you were able to overcome that in the states. We needed to to overcome that. But it's just going to be incredibly important to understand where our strengths are as a party, where the challenges are, where the opportunities are to fully maximize that. And I think what we see is, you know, we just have to win elections.
Nothing matters more in terms of the issues you want to pursue, the direction you want your state or county or city or country to take than an election. Everything in this country, the wars we fought, we fight or don't, the roads we build or don't people have health care or not?
The people whose taxes are cut or the people whose taxes are raised, the environmental protection legislation we put in place, or the protection of polluters, that gets done every issue local, state, national and of course, affects the world starts as a political decision, as a policy decision or a legal decision.
Who we elect gets the chance to enact their agenda. So, you know, if we don't want more Amy CONI Barratt's, we can't lose the presidency.
If we want progressive legislation, we've got to win the Senate. And so, you know, if we want to cooperate with the rest of the world on climate change in pandemic, we have to win the White House all the time. And so that has to be the goal, I think is how do we get to the point where more reliably than not, which is more challenging today because the Electoral College, one point I'll make is, you know, Joe Biden's going to end up winning the popular vote by more than Barack Obama did in 2012.
And we had a tough race against Mitt Romney, but we won it. We won national popular vote by three points. But, you know, we won three hundred thirty two votes in the Electoral College.
And with the exception of Florida, you know, none of them particularly close the battlegrounds. Joe Biden's going to end up maybe at three or six, which is a big number if he gets Georgia in addition to Pennsylvania. But but many of those states narrow. So the the divide is growing. And while we'd all like to or maybe most of us, I don't know, maybe not all of us would like to move to a popular vote system. That's certainly not going to happen any time soon.
And so we have to win on the playing field as it exists. And so that means we have to figure out a way to keep Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin not just competitive, but states we can win. And that's going to get increasingly difficult just because of demographics. And then we obviously need to add every year Arizona and Georgia and North Carolina to Virginia and Colorado, which, you know, 12 years ago. We're not battleground states now. They're, you know, almost solid blue states.
So we've got to put those in play. Texas, I know the polling suggested it was going to be closer, but not within five points of the March from 08, 12 to 16 to 20 continues to move in a progressive direction. So we've got to stay at it because, again, having that competitive, even if you lose it, is huge. But, you know, the numbers are there to win it.
And Florida is going to require special work just because of what happened in Miami-Dade, which I'll talk about in the next election. But Florida is is a winnable state. It's not winnable if we're only winning Miami-Dade by 15 points. But if we can get that back more in the normal range of twenty, twenty five and continue our growth in the suburban areas of the state, you know, we can be competitive. So that's going to require a year round work from everybody.
Yes. Our candidates, but also all of you, we've got to make sure registering people, not just right before. An election, we've got to make sure we're going out there and listening to people about their concerns and trying to enlist them in organizing activities, getting people to vote in special elections, in off year elections, it's just got to be basically a commitment everybody makes as part of their life, because otherwise we're not going to get the success we want.
So, you know, winning the presidency has to happen. We just have to win it.
And that's hard because, of course, if we do have success, then people's natural inclination will be, well, we've had eight years of Democrats. We need to go give the Republicans a chance. But we saw that's one of the reasons Trump won in 16. But a Black Swan event happened. And, you know, if it hadn't, we would have won. And so I think the numbers are there for us to win more often than not.
And then obviously, we've got to hold onto the house. We've got to fight like hell to get the Senate. And then, you know, the down ballot races. We see how important, by the way, secretaries of state are just following the law, which they should all do.
But to have strong Democratic secretaries of state and all these states that are counting ballots, you know, Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina, Michigan has been so important, obviously electing Democratic governors in Michigan, in Wisconsin, so important again, simply because they'll follow the law, you know, not because they're, you know, preferring one side or the other.
So we've got to stay at it. So, you know, take a minute to soak in the fact that Donald Trump will be off the stage, at least for a while. Joe Biden will be our president, I think will be a really, really good one. And let's figure out how to have an even better twenty two and twenty four when the dust settles here. So let's get into kind of what we know so far about the numbers. Again, with a huge, huge caveat that the polls were off in most states means the exit polls.
We should be careful about drawing massive conclusions based on that. Yes, we have some vote in in most places now so you can begin to see the actual vote. You learn a lot from that, but there's so much more that's going to have to be studied. But let's kind of look at what happened, why the ultimate outcome did depart from what many of us expected heading into an election day and more importantly, what we can do about it.
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So, you know, as I've talked about often on this podcast, probably to the point that I know some of you, you know, I was convinced that Trump was going to get very strong turnout. And there was a question at the end because he didn't seem to be closing particularly well. Would that hurt his turnout? But, you know, I often talked about Wisconsin is a good example. He won Wisconsin in 16 with a million four hundred thousand votes.
You know, if he put up another two hundred thousand votes, you know, that was going to be a steep hill for Joe Biden to be able to overcome. He was able to do it by about 20000 votes. But that speaks to the challenge when that raw vote total for Trump increases. So Trump got his turnout.
Now, the projections are this is going to be the best turnout in a century and or at least 60 years. That comes on the heels of, you know, the best turnout in a midyear election in a century as well. So two successive races with strong turnout. I think what you saw on 18 was Democrats got the advantage on turnout. Now, Republicans did have strong turnout in some red states, which is how they were able to win some of those Senate races, as you recall.
But, you know, Democrats, I think, were advantaged more by that high turnout.
I think in this case, and it's very early, the polls were off, which means, you know, the exit polls are off. We still don't have all the vote in. But, you know, I think probably both parties were advantaged by the turnout. And we'll have to see if if in Milwaukee the numbers hold up. Joe Biden's turnout in Milwaukee is about what Hillary Clinton had in 16.
So he didn't win with increased turnout there. He won because he did better in some of the suburban areas in particular. And so we there's a lot more we have to see about that. But I think Trump got high turnout. And then, of course, the other race reason the race would be closer than it looked heading into Election Day is if the polls were off significantly and they were now it looks like in Arizona they were pretty accurate.
In Minnesota, they might have even understated Joe Biden's support, you know, but for the most part, across the board, by the end, they were off a few points in the states. You know, Joe Biden's national vote lead is going to continue to grow over the next month. He could end up winning this by four points, five points, which is a big lead, but that's still off the national poll average, which was around eight or nine.
So there was a polling this, you know, second election cycle in a row. And, you know, it looks like Joe Biden's lead was significant enough, you know, that he could or position in the race that he could withstand a polling error.
But I think the combination of the polling error, Trump doing very well with turnout, as far as I can see so far. And then, of course, the thing that really surprises me and again, these exit polls might be just wrong.
They might be screwy, but they suggest that late deciding voters broke for Trump once again, as they did in 16. I think what's even more surprising this time is Biden's favorable rating, you know, was much more positive than Hillary Clinton's was. You know, Donald Trump's continue to be poor. I thought he closed the campaign quite poorly, you know, doing these rallies, you know, that I think a lot of people thought were ill advised, you know, waving the white flag on the coronavirus, not having consistent economic messages, all things I thought would not allow him to do well with those late deciders.
But it did. And one thing I'll be interested in, in the analysis that will be coming in, not just in the next few days, but really over the next few months as we dig into this and more research is done, is, you know, you saw in the exit polls probably, you know, what a dominant issue the economy was. It always is not surprising, but definitely the dominant issue is whether Trump's attacks on Biden for, you know, wanting to lock down the country, which is not true, of course.
But Trump's attack that Biden's going to lock down the economy, no one will able to go to work or to school. You won't have holidays. Whether that might work for some of those late deciders, we'll see at the end of the day. But that that is one theory. You know, we obviously, as we have votes counted, we don't have to rely on exit polls to see some important trends. And, you know, one in Miami-Dade, all of you probably know more about Miami-Dade than you ever cared to know about.
But you know what happened there was not the only reason Biden lost Florida, but his margins there were so much lower than they were for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama in both of his races. You know, so that cost him at least a couple hundred thousand votes.
And, you know, we'll have to see in future years if Republican strength there was unique to Trump, some of the attacks on Biden for being a socialist, which had, I think, particular resonance with people from the Venezuelan community and the Cuban American community. We'll have to see. But if if Republicans are able to keep. Democrats to a 15, 16 point lead in Miami-Dade, it's going to be really hard for Democrats to win statewide. Biden did, you know, show some strength in some suburban areas of Florida, as was anticipated.
But, you know, as we saw so I'll talk about Florida. But, you know, we saw that this in western Pennsylvania. We saw this in many places in Wisconsin. We certainly saw it in Iowa and Ohio. Trump's margins in smaller counties have held up. In many cases. He was able to to you know, maybe he lost two or three. He was up two or three. But I think there was a belief that Joe Biden be able to cut into those who in a county maybe Donald Trump won 70 30 against Clinton.
You know, maybe, you know, Biden could cut it to 65, 35. And I think for the most part, Trump was able to both keep his margins and drive huge turnout. So, you know, that's an important factor going forward as well. Democrats have to become more competitive in those places. We don't know how to win most of them or many of them, really. But we got to cut the margin down south Texas, another place where you see with the Latino vote, you know, Trump over performed along the border.
And I think it's really important. I understand that, you know, immigration is not a public policy issue that's removed from people's lives along the border. No matter your race or ethnicity, you live there every day. And I think for a lot of these voters, they're Mexican-American voters. Maybe they've been their family's been in the country for decades. You know, this issue is more complex. And, you know, they may see this is, you know, a lot of people from, you know, El Salvador, Nicaragua, trying to come in and and causing issues.
And even though they have sympathy for them, I think particularly with male Hispanics, you know, Trump's approach here on immigration might have paid some dividends. So I think there's there's there's uniqueness to what happened with Miami-Dade and the Cuban and Venezuelan community. I'm really eager to see more data on the Puerto Rican community, both in Pennsylvania and in Florida. And then I think there's some uniqueness to the Hispanic vote along the border in Texas. So we have to understand that the Hispanic vote is not monolithic.
We talked about that on this program with several of our guests, but in particular, Fernand Amandi, pollster out of Florida, who I thought gave us a great overview of how all these voters across the country are different.
Now, it looks like Biden did what he needed to do with the Hispanic vote in Arizona, in Nevada, growing Hispanic vote in places like Pennsylvania, North Carolina. So it was a different tale, you know, depending on the state and the background of this voter. But that's going to require a lot of study.
And obviously, you know, Donald Trump now looks like, again, if the exit polls are right and they may not be, you know, he got the highest share of the non-white vote Republicans had in decades, up to 29 percent, showing some strength also with African-American men. And so, you know, politics isn't static. You know, this isn't going to be like we get all the gains with demographic changes. They get all the loss. And so that's why Democrats showing strength in the suburbs.
So another thing I'll comment on, and this is based on the exit polls, but also we have enough places around the country where 100 percent of the vote in that are suburban counties to see, you know, there was a significant swing from 16 to 20, not quite as pronounced by my cursory look at the data as there was between 16 and 18 when we won all those House races all over the country in many state House seats.
But Joe Biden did, you know, six, seven points better in many places than Hillary Clinton did in 16. And that's why he was able to win a state like Wisconsin, even though Milwaukee turnout doesn't look like it was higher than it was in 16. So that needs to continue for the Democratic Party, I think, to be able to win year in and year out. So there's so much more we need to learn and we're going to learn most of all by, you know, really great analysis of the actual vote.
There'll be more polling done. So the polling was way off again. We're going to have chapter and verse for many people about why that was two cycles in a row. You know, it was more accurate and 18. So maybe this does have something to do with Donald Trump and some of the uniqueness he brings to elections. But I know I am really, really eager to learn more about why the polling was out this time. The modeling that gets done off that polling was off.
Modeling is not just based on polling, it's based on a lot of different data points. But clearly that was off. And, you know, I think that we're going to learn a lot about what twenty, twenty two may look like here. I know we just got done with one election. Let's take a while before we talk about the next. But we have a really important election in two. Democrats will have their House majority at stake. There will be redistricting done.
Sadly, we're not going to be as well positioned for that. As we would have liked if we'd won more state houses, we have some U.S. Senate opportunities. But, you know, one thing that's looming for me is, you know, 18 was, again, historic turnout, best in 100 years, strong Democratic turnout, 20, 20, huge turnout.
Again, I think probably equally driven by Republicans and Democrats, but also a lot of people who don't affiliate with either party.
You know, Democrats are going to need to have that kind of turnout again. Now, maybe without Trump in the picture, you know, Republican turnout will fade, but they always get their turnout much more easily than we do. So, you know, one question is this activism that we've seen on the progressive side that was really intensified by Donald Trump, you know, will that continue? Is that and is this now going to be a lifelong mission for people?
And if it is, I have more confidence. And you see, you know, despite some of the setbacks in right now not winning back the Senate, although we have a chance in Georgia, obviously all the matters is getting Donald Trump out of the White House. I'm sure we all would have like Joe Biden to win, you know, 350 electoral votes and have Donald Trump be thoroughly repudiated.
It makes me sad and disgusted and puzzled that we didn't do that. But he won. But, you know, I think obviously not the election of our dreams, but the election, you know, we needed to have at its core. But a lot of ballot initiatives passed.
I mean, Florida passed the minimum wage at a time when Trump was winning by five points. I'm in California, you know, really, really important criminal justice measure was defeated. You know, the proponents wanted to, you know, once again have a lot more misdemeanors, charges, felonies and much more serious sentences. So I want to do a lot more analysis of all these ballot initiatives, but some really great progressive wins, which shows the power of organizing.
Even when not every race in your state goes well, you're moving the ball down the field and making progress. So I am very eager, quite frankly, haven't had as much time as I would like to go county by county and and deeper into those counties to look at the data. I'm kind of an amateur in that regard, but I personally am eager to do it and and to be educated more by people who tell us more about what really happened, both in terms of the polling areas.
But but I'm much less much less interested in that, quite frankly, you know, than what really happened on Election Day. And let's really look at in kind of a state by state, local, county by local county, where were there shifts?
Where was there's turnout variance and try and learn from that, because I think that it will not just better inform us in terms of what just happened, but better prepares for the future, you know, so some thoughts going forward.
You know, I'm recording this on on Wednesday. So my hope is by the time some of you listen to this on Thursday and Friday, you know, Joe Biden will be declared the president elect of the United States. We may know if we're having two runoffs in Georgia or just one. There's more House races yet to be called more state House races yet to be called, you know, but what does this mean going forward?
And again, I think we have a lot more questions than answers, but I think twenty twenty two is going to have to be a year where we have huge turnout.
Again, just has to be again, you can't count on the other side shitting the bed. So maybe they will that would be great without Trump on the scene. But to to win the kind of races we're going to need to win in the Senate, in the House and at the state House level and gubernatorial, we're going to have to have great turnout. And that can't wait for those races to emerge or candidates to to win primaries. I think we saw in this election the remarkable amount of financial resources that were driven into the presidential race.
Senate races, advocacy groups doing great registration and turnout work on the ground. We had all the money we needed. So I think if they're smart plans out there about we're going to really stay organizing Texas and we're going to do a lot of organizing in key Senate race states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, we're going to do great organizing and message delivery and listening, good organizing, start to good listening in Miami-Dade.
We have to figure out a way and you know, yeah, maybe in an ideal world, that's a DNC job. It never really has been. So state parties can do some of that. Third party groups are going to have to do some of that. What I'd like to see is sort of tables come together in these states and and figure out what kind of registration needs to happen, what kind of listening needs to happen, be asking people about their views on issues and what's happening in Congress or in their state legislature, not just when we're asking for a vote, but but all the time, you know, recruit, you know, great candidates in these states, particularly people who may be, you know, breath of fresh air, who don't necessarily come from a lifetime of politics and really understand what it's going to take to win these states.
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So maybe it looked like the bottom was falling out. But the bottom didn't fall out for Donald Trump. And so I think really being clear eyed about how many votes will it take to win, you know, a district or a county or a state and really being less moved by polling in the moment. But kind of a clear eyed view based on what we just saw in 16, 18 and 20. Politics is not static. Of course, you have to account for changes.
But what is it really going to take if it's not the idealized scenario, if it's basically a battle royale where every side is fighting for an extra inch, what's that going to take and really do a lot of work back from that and make, you know, not just a two year commitment, but hopefully a decade long commitment?
Because what's clear is Joe Biden has won Wisconsin and Michigan. Maybe by the time you listen to this, he will have been declared the winner of Pennsylvania, but very narrowly, which is all he had to do. At the end of the day, he's going to win those three three states combined by more than Donald Trump won in 16.
But, you know, and I think will be competitive in those states as far as my eye can see. But they're going to get tougher. There's less migration into those states. You know, if we don't get stronger in those rural and urban, rural and urban areas and show consistent ability to win some of the blue collar counties. And that is a good piece of news. Biden in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania in some of those blue collar counties, was able to gain a few points over Hillary.
So another important well, Trump really did maintain his role in exurban strength. Biden was able to eat into some of those blue collar margins.
But we've got to look at the good news is Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, I think are just core battleground states right now. Virginia is clearly, you know, a very, very solid blue state right now. Nevada is closer than I would have liked to see. But I think more often than not, we should be able to put together a winning coalition there. I wouldn't give up on Florida because at the end of the day, we know we can win Florida.
It's going to take a lot of work, but it's too big of a state, certainly from an Electoral College standpoint, to give up. You don't want to put all your hopes on that. And then Texas, obviously, there was a lot of hope that Texas was going to come down to a point or two, Donald Trump winning it by five.
But we see the trajectory from, oh, four to eight to 12 to 16 to 20. It gets closer and closer. And with a lot of hard work, I think we can put Texas in play firmly in twenty, twenty four in the presidential race and hopefully be very competitive there in twenty, twenty two. We have to we see again how important having a wide battleground map is.
Joe Biden ended up winning this election, we're certain.
Looks like he's going to win this election.
You know, even though he lost, you know, quite a few of the battleground targets, that's where you want to be heading into Election Day, is you want to be able to not have a high batting average.
Of course you'd like to about a thousand. And that's your goal. And that means if you do that, you know, you really put an ass kicking in either side. But but but you want to be in a position where you can lose a bunch of battleground states and win enough to win.
And that's what he was able to do. And I do want to commend the Biden campaign. I think O'Malley Dillon, the campaign manager, just did a tremendous job and the campaign was very disciplined. They were getting criticism for not sending Biden to Texas or seeming to spend much too much time and money in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and Michigan when polls look like at least two of those were done deals.
And, you know, they saw that those races could be close. And so they also, though, when they saw opportunity in Georgia and in Arizona, poured everything they could into it. A lot of third party groups on our side also did remarkable work, an acronym, a group I am on the board of and work with really focused the last few months here on low information. Hard to turn out young voters. And, you know, I do think that all the groups that did work there from Joe Biden's campaign on down should be proud.
The Sunrise movement, because it looks like, again, the exits may be off, but if the exit polls are right, you know, young people delivered this victory for Joe Biden.
I mean, his margins with people under twenty nine are going to be higher than Barack Obama's were in 2012 and not too far of 2008. So, you know, young people delivered a victory for the oldest candidate ever to win the presidency. And that really is encouraging, again, because I think that activism doesn't necessarily have to be just about Donald Trump. It can continue on in electoral campaigns and issue campaigns and was wonderful to see. But we've got to make sure that, you know, we have the ability to win the Senate seats that we need to win in 2012.
We've got to we've lost some ground in the house of.
Unfortunately, so how do we make sure at the very least, we maintain our majority in twenty twenty two, but perhaps gain a few seats, and then how do we build, you know, in twenty, twenty one in twenty, twenty two in twenty, twenty three in the first half of twenty, twenty four for that next presidential race.
So we're still competing in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. You know Ohio and Iowa have gotten tougher for us. We'll see where that is.
You know, we've got to make sure we continue to hold on to New Hampshire and Maine. So you got to do a lot of work there. You got to do a lot of work in Minnesota defensively. But then, you know, we've got to keep these states in play. And I think that people a lot smarter than I am, will have a lot of thoughts about that and how to do it. But I know that's what we have to do.
I mean, that may sound like a permanent campaign, but that's what's going to be required to make sure these states are in a strong position as possible to allow us to have a decent twenty two to allow us to win those Electoral College votes in the JORGES, in the Arizona and maybe even the Texas in twenty twenty four in twenty twenty eight. So the work continues and it's pretty clear, you know, if Trump were to lose by 10 points nationally and you know, by Biden won every battleground state, I don't think Trump is and would be dead, but it would be more mortally wounded than it is today.
Trump ism is alive and well. And I think that you're going to see the same forces that Trump maybe you didn't unleash, but he accelerated them continuing the Republican Party.
I think people thinking about winning primaries in twenty twenty to the potential Republican presidential field in twenty twenty four is not going to do anything to antagonize the Trump base.
So the conspiracy theories, the lack of any kind of compromise, the hypocrisy, the race baiting, the anti-immigrant rhetoric is going to continue, sadly. So I mourn for our country in that regard. But the only thing we can do is stay in the fight and make sure ultimately, you know, the side for justice and equality and fairness wins out. And, you know, we removed the most dangerous threat to the world, Donald Trump from the White House.
But really, that's the beginning of the work. I mean, 18 was a really nice moment, too. So maybe that was the first chapter winning back the house and having a great election. Twenty, twenty, closer than we would have liked. But we remove the menace from the White House despite his lame protestations otherwise. But the work's got to continue because the other side's not going to rest. You know, they before they think about policy, they think about power.
And particularly with the Supreme Court, the way it's now situated, we really cannot afford to lose elections that we need to win. You know, ultimately, there will be more retirements or deaths on the court. And if they happen under a Biden administration, maybe we're able to get another justice or two. Not to be morbid, but it's just the reality of the actuarial table. Or maybe it happens in a Biden second term, or if a Democratic president wins in twenty four if he doesn't win.
But, you know, the court is looming out there and not just Supreme Court, but, you know, benches all over the country.
So we've ultimately got to rebalance that by winning back the White House and holding the White House so that over a period of eight or 12 years, you know, we can not just rebalance, but hopefully have a more progressive judiciary all over the country building on what President Obama was able to do. And, you know, certainly if Hillary had one, I think a lot of us thought, you know, that could be two terms and it'd be 16 years of progressive judges.
But we didn't get that. And unfortunately, the way life unfolded, Trump got three Supreme Court justices in just four years. So we have to win elections. We have to win them at the state level. We have to win them at the federal level. We've got to make sure we hold the White House.
And again, we see that, you know, if this was a popular vote system, we'd still have to fight. But, you know, it would be an easier route for us. But that's not going to change anytime soon. I desperately hope it changes in my lifetime, certainly my kids lifetime. But while we work at that, we have to figure out a way to get a little bit better. Hold on. The Electoral College, the battleground states, for reason, their battleground states.
But we've got to make sure that the map stays expansive because we cannot afford to lose the presidency in twenty twenty four. Given what's happening with the judiciary, we can have basically only four years out of a 12 or 16 year period or 20 year period with Democratic presidents from 16 on. So we have to do that. So, you know, everyone should rest up. Everybody that I know so many people listen to podcast gave money to Joe Biden or Ken.
It's that you believed in order causes you made phone calls, you did GOTV canvassing where that was available, you wrote postcards, you posted on social media, you created content, I hope, given how close this election was, that you feel really proud about what you were able to do because Joe Biden would not have won. Donald Trump would be getting ready to serve a second term as an American president if you hadn't done all that. And it's really heroic what you're all able to do.
So rather than be bummed out about the fact that we didn't win Florida, Texas, and again, I think we all both wished and hoped. And I think in many respects, Donald Trump deserved a landslide defeat. That's not what we got. But the big thing is the big thing. He's not going to be our president. And that simply wouldn't have happened without the work of all of you who don't. Many of you did more than you ever thought you could do in politics.
Many of you got involved for the first time, and I hope you stick with it. You can't do it every day of every year, but find a way to stay involved, not just right before an election, because that's what it's going to take. I know we can put the numbers together to win a lot more elections than we lose. And I think we have the ability to get competitive in places where we desperately need to get more competitive. But it's going to take a lot of work.
And, you know, one thing I reflect on is going to sound self-serving to my former boss. But, you know, Barack Obama was a really unique candidate. You know, you look at the margins, he was able to win in states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania. You know, they didn't end up being they were not close. You know, the ability to put new states like Virginia and Colorado firmly in play, the ability to put together a coalition in Florida.
You know, he was a unique candidate. So we need to be able to win in more places, more consistently when we don't have a superstar candidate.
Now, we had so many amazing candidates run and win in 18 more in twenty twenty four more in twenty twenty two. And, you know, some of these folks are going to end up, you know, being statewide candidates and presidential candidates. So, you know, candidate quality matters, trust me, matters a lot more than the quality of a campaign team. But, you know, you're not going to have a once in a generation by definition candidate in every election.
And so that's the work that's going to get done over the next two to four years to continue to register and do the foundational work to understand the voters in these districts and states to be listening to them. Not when we're just asking for the vote, but but really listening to them and understanding how we can build common ground and work on issues sort of independent of federal elections locally that improve people's lives. People who know a lot more than I do.
We're going to have some great ideas in the coming months to build on the great activism we've seen in the first the first term of Donald Trump's presidency. But now in Joe Biden's first term, you know, we're going to have to get at it because I think I like our electoral destiny over the next couple of decades more than the Republican Party. But to fully maximize that potential, we have to work harder for their voters to vote in a more regular basis.
And particularly given the Senate right now where, you know, we're less competitive in as many states as the Republicans are. California has two senators and so does Wyoming. But we're at a natural disadvantage in the Senate. So we're going to have to really become more competitive in more places. And then we just can't afford to miss opportunities. And, of course, if we really want to to make the progress we want as a country, to make sure we have a judiciary that's more progressive from the Supreme Court on down.
So, you know, there's going to be a lot of lessons that we learned from this election, things we did well, things we didn't do well, opportunities we seized, opportunities we missed. We have so much to reflect on. And, you know, everyone needs to take a little bit of time to go back to spending more time with your family and taking care of yourself. And, um, and we still have races to be called out there, holidays to get ready for a Biden administration to support.
And we all need to be there for him as he tries to move the country forward. But let's stay out of it, because I think the last four years has shown particularly young people, I mean, Joe Biden is going to be the president elect of the United States because of young people. His turnout's going to be almost as high as Barack Obama's in 2008 in terms of vote share. But he's going to get a higher percentage of the vote under twenty nine than we did in 2012, which is such a key, integral part of us winning a really tough re-election.
So young people were such a big part of twenty eighteen. They've been such a big part of ballot initiatives that have won all over the country for the minimum wage and on environmental issues and civil rights issues and housing issues. And they really are the. Such an important reason that Joe Biden won this narrow but but decisive Electoral College victory. So it's a little bit of news on campaign HQ.
My goal when I set out to do this podcast way back in the fall of twenty nineteen was to just bring to as many people who really wanted to learn more about campaigns and delegates back in the primary. The calendar, you really go deep in battleground states, go deep in some of the disciplines of the campaign really to do that through the election. So here we are. We either have an outcome when you're listening to this that's been formally ratified or we're heading to that.
And so I want to bring this podcast back in 2022 in some form as we get ready to to learn more about some of these key Senate and House and gubernatorial races and down ballot races, secretaries of state races. So I'll do that. I'm not sure how many more episodes will do of this. We'll see. That will be determined by kind of where we are. But I just want to thank all of you for coming on the journey. It's been such a pleasure for me to have amazing guests on that I have learned from in every episode, and I hope you have as well, and kind of travel this momentous election with all of you.
So it's been such a real pleasure. I hope you've got some enjoyment out of it. Learned a few things along the way, and I can't wait. Maybe I'll talk to you next week. I'll keep you posted on that. But if not, we'll be back in twenty, twenty two and we'll go deep into the states and voters and what we're seeing in that election. So hang in there, everybody. Get some rest this weekend. And congratulations again on a job well done.