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The Blue Wave Could Be a Reality

As the 2020 election approaches, polls indicate Democrats have a good chance to take the House, Senate and presidency. 

Blue States: What They Mean for the Republican Party 

Democrats struggled around the country in 2016. They lost states that were known for leaning Democratic such as Pennsylvania and Michigan. But, 2020 seems to be in their favor: these states are both leaning Democratic, with Biden ahead by around 10 percent in both states. 

But Democrats aren’t just getting these states back. This year, they may be joined by a group of former Republican-leaning states, including Georgia, North Carolina, and Arizona. Though Biden and Trump are close in polling for Georgia and North Carolina, Biden leads Arizona by 8%. 

Republicans are also in danger of losing one of their most valuable states: Texas. The state has 36 delegates, a number Republicans have relied on for years. Now, polls vary between Trump and Biden. In 2016, Trump won Texas by a 9% margin. Now, in some polls, Biden leads by 1-2%. 

The general election is just one big concern for Republicans. This year, Republicans will defend 23 Senate seats in comparison to Democrats defending 12. Republican incumbents are trailing in Colorado, Arizona, Maine and North Carolina. Without these senate seats, Democrats will overturn the Senate. So, even if Trump is re-elected, the Democratic majority in the House and Senate will make legislation much more difficult to pass. By controlling the Senate, Democrats would also have a say in Supreme Court nominees, an issue Trump hasn’t faced in the last four years. 

These losses in previously “safe” Republican states make things more complicated. Instead of focusing on battleground states, the GOP needs to use a lot of their funding to help incumbents get re-elected. With less funding and resources to pour into swing states, the GOP is on shaky ground. The GOP’s inability to divide resources well means there’s a good chance they could lose. 

With the minor Blue Wave in 2018, Democrats secured a good majority of the House. They are projected to win it again and their majority may expand.

What Changed From 2016?

In 2016, the Democratic party ran Hillary Clinton as their nominee. Clinton was unpopular among conservatives. Her email scandals, actions leading to Benghazi, and ties to larger corporations made many people distrust her. Clinton didn’t unite across the divide. Instead, many Democrats and Republicans went out to the polls and voted against her. Many cast their votes against Clinton, not for Trump. 

Joe Biden doesn’t face the same challenges as Clinton. There are fewer stains on Biden’s record and he is seen as one of the more amicable American politicians. 

This year, Biden’s base isn’t just Democratic. Reagan/Romney Republicans (who lean more moderate Republican) are helping Biden attract more middle ground conservatives. Large projects like The Lincoln Project and Republican Voters Against Trump post pro-Biden material daily. While many former conservatives don’t agree with Biden’s positions, they want a more organized and experienced leader. Now, many are casting their votes against Trump, not for Biden. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe Biden also has a major advantage. Biden is known for being sympathetic. He develops relationships with voters through personal connections. During the pandemic, as families struggle to make ends meet, Biden can use these connections to strengthen his campaign. Trump lacks this sympathy and is more egocentric. In more trying times, these qualities won’t help him as much as sympathy helps Biden.

Workers who supported Trump in 2016 said they thought he would fix their economic situations. But, when the government shutdown and the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many felt betrayed. The current trade war with China is also damaging agricultural profits, a group Trump was keen to help back in 2016. Many of these voters won’t be voting for Trump again. 

Concerns over diversity will also hurt Trump. The protests over George Floyd’s death brought new light to Trump’s racist history. Now, for many voters, diversity is a top priority in their decision making. Voters of color are rallying behind Biden. Trump’s response to the protests make many people of color uncomfortable. So, he’s lost support in this category as well. 

What Does the Blue Wave Mean?  

A blue wave in formerly Republican-controlled states could say a lot about the direction America is heading towards. When Republicans overtook the House and Senate in 2012, they set the scene for a GOP power in government. Now, their power might be over. For the GOP, the 2020 elections aren’t just about Trump. If they lose both the presidential seat and the Senate, it could indicate the start of a downfall for the party. 

These newly blue states also speak for the changing demographics in America. The polling indicates that most Americans want to see a different president with more progressive beliefs. If the polls are right, the Blue Wave is coming. 

Featured image via Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

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