Biden wins White House; absentee ballots will decide races
The American electorate, as usual, proved itself maddeningly contradictory, inconsistent, unpredictable and averse to polls.
Election 2020 exposed a nation that remains bitterly divided and polarized.
The good news is that much of the apathy that characterized many presidential contests was swept away as enthusiasm reigned on both sides; Newsweek reported that 67 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots—the highest figure since women won the suffrage in time for the 1920 election.
Former Vice President Joe Biden clinched the Electoral College when he won Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes on Saturday, Nov. 7, passing the 270 mark. That swing state, like others Biden won, had been in President Donald Trump’s corner at the close of polls on Election Day.
As of press time, Trump had not conceded, and his campaign had launched numerous lawsuits seeking to challenge results and claiming widespread fraud.
Republicans picked up seats in the House of Representatives and kept their decisive control of the majority of state legislatures. This will help the GOP shape legislative districts after the Census reapportionment.
The Senate is also in contention. At press time, the parties were evenly split, 48-48. Runoff elections in Georgia in January will determine the final two seats.
The GOP, according to exit polls, made gains among Latinos, African-Americans and Muslims, while the president reportedly bettered his 2016 totals with Black and Latino men and white women.
Aggregate polls had given the former vice president a double-digit national lead, but state-by-state results, which determine the Electoral College totals, proved and agonizing slog.
A number of Democratic party dreams, fueled by polls and perceived weaknesses in GOP ranks, did not come to pass: a landslide sweeping Trump from office and repudiating the president’s style and policies; recapturing the Senate; and turning Florida and Texas blue.
As expected, Biden took New York State, 55.41 to 42.57 percent, before absentee ballots were counted. Trump had leads in both Nassau and Suffolk, but those outcomes can also change.
Two-term 3rd District Democratic Congressman Thomas Suozzi of Glen Cove was, at press time, trailing Republican challenger George Santos, 68,991 to 67,522. Suozzi stated that there were 90,000 absentee ballots remaining to be counted, and 51 percent are from Democratic voters, as opposed to 17 percent Republican. He predicted victory via these absentee ballots.
Republican Lee Zeldin won reelection for his Suffolk-based 1st District, while Andrew Garbarino won the 2nd District seat to replace longtime fellow Republican Peter King. Democrat Kathleen Rice defended her 4th District seat against Doug Tuman.
First-term state Senate incumbents James Gaughran (D–5) and Kevin Thomas (D–6) trailed their respective Republican opponents, Edmund Smyth and Dennis Dunne Sr. after Election Day tallies. Smyth leads by 13,848 votes with about 35,800 uncounted. Dunne’s lead is 7,694 with about 28,130 uncounted.
Anna Kaplan (D–7) has declared victory over Republican challenger David Franklin.
In an interview with Anton Media Group, Nassau County and New York State Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs acknowledged that GOP campaign themes painting the state senators as weak on crime due to their backing of state bail and criminal justice reforms had been effective. He also cited the $1.7 million that billionaire Ron Lauder had poured into Republican coffers to help defeat the senators.
Jacobs hopes the absentee ballots will put his senators over the edge.
“I thought it was going to be close,” he said. “I didn’t think we were going to win in a walk—there is no question about that. They are competitive districts to start with. I was disappointed that we didn’t do a bit better.”
“How did the president keep the national election so close, despite pre-election polls?” he was asked.
“I think what the president did very well was manage to cast the Democrats as against law and order, and being weak on crime and violence and rioting,” Jacobs replied. “Also, he cast us as far left radical socialists. And a lot of people believed that nonsense. And unfortunately, that cut into what otherwise would have been a Democratic vote. It goes with the standard Republican playbook. In an election, they either try to scare the voters or make them angry. And so, that’s what [kept the election close]. Often times, [the strategy] is successful.”
He added, “Donald Trump is a unique candidate. He is as much a cultural phenomenon as he is a political one. The next Republican [presidential] candidate, I think, will not have the same strengths, and may not have the same liabilities either.”
Jacobs summed up, “It’s a tough election. They all are. And I think now is time that we have to bring the country together.”
GOP Chair Weighs In
Nassau County Republican Chair Joseph Cairo submitted the following statement to Anton Media Group:
“The Nassau County Republican Committee is encouraged and pleased with the Election Day results in the 2020 state and congressional races. While absentee ballots are still being counted, we are optimistic about the prospect of regaining Republican representatives in the 5th and 6th Senate Districts. What’s more, retaining a Republican congressperson in the 2nd Congressional District will ensure responsible representation for residents of that district. We are also competitive during the counting of absentee ballots in challenges for a couple of Assembly seats and a Congressional contest in the 3rd District.”
“I believe that neighbors have been receptive to the Republican message of fighting for safe communities and battling against runaway taxes. Extreme bail reform has turned loose thousands of dangerous inmates into our neighborhoods, and the calls of Democrats to defund the police is not something that suburban voters support. Finally, the massive deficit that New York State government has amassed under one-party Democrat rule is an assault on taxpayers and a major roadblock to economic growth in New York.”