Literally the minute Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election, most of the same news outlets calling the race for Biden began immediately harping on the fact that 74 million people voted for Donald Trump – as if that was supposed to mean anything. They’ve continued pushing that number so hard, it’s caused a lot of people on both sides to accept the fictional notion that Trump somehow had a strong showing in this election.
In fact I keep getting asked what we’re going to do about these 74 million people who voted for Trump, and how we’re ever going to defeat them in a future election, as if they’re some massive and impenetrable voting bloc. So here’s some reality.
Who cares that Trump got 74 million votes? Joe Biden got 81 million votes. That’s how we defeat the 74 million. We outvote them, like we just did. In fact we just beat them by seven million votes. Keep in mind that if Trump hadn’t sabotaged the Post Office in order to keep more people from voting against him, we’d have won by perhaps ten or twelve million votes.
So why on earth are we so worried about winning elections against a group that we clearly and significantly outnumber? Because the media has beaten that 74 million number into us so obsessively, we’ve all but forgotten that 74 million was the losing score, in an election that very much ended up not even being close.
Here’s some basic math: 74 million voters is far less than one-third of the total number of eligible voters in America, which by all accounts is close to 240 million. The 74 million are not some unstoppable army. In fact they’re fairly small in comparison to our army of 81 million voters, and quite small in comparison to the total number of eligible voters. All we have to do is keep properly driving turnout, and we’ll keep winning. Step one in that battle is to get past the defeatist notion that Trump’s base is somehow big and powerful. It’s not. Biden’s base is far bigger, for instance.
We can also stop fretting over Republican voter suppression efforts. Those are nothing new. The 2020 election was all about voter suppression, and yet we still won it by millions of votes. Sufficient turnout always overcomes voter suppression. And because we overcame it, we’ll end up passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Act before the next election, which will make it harder for Republicans to suppress the vote in the future.
We don’t have to worry about how to outnumber those 74 million people who voted poorly. We already outnumber them, by a big margin. We just finished proving that in an election. There’s no need for anyone to discuss the “74 million” thing again. The 81 million people who voted with us are a far more relevant number, which is why we’re now in power and Trump is out on his backside. I told you all along that Trump’s base wouldn’t be able to save him, and they couldn’t.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report