There’s a widespread misperception about what a close or not close presidential election looks like. Of the 58 presidential elections we’ve had, Joe Biden’s popular vote victory is on track to be the 9th or 10th largest. It’s not a landslide, but it’s certainly a blowout.
Don’t talk to me about the electoral college, it’s always fluky. The bottom line is that in order to 100% ensure you win the joke known as the electoral college, you have to win by the kind of blowout popular vote margin that Biden won by.
In any presidential election, there is always someone who says “but the deciding swing state was only decided by X number of votes, so it was a squeaker.” But that also has to be put in perspective. If you win the decisive state by 1,000 votes, it’s a close election. If you win the decisive state by 50,000 votes, it’s a blowout.
We go into every presidential election with each side almost automatically getting 45% of the vote. That leaves a ten point range for the margin of victory. Biden won by about 5 points, which is a blowout. 10 points would have been a landslide.
We should never miss an opportunity to refer to Biden’s victory as a blowout, both because it’s accurate, and because it helps make clear to the general public that the other guy’s whining is irrelevant.
If you’d rather lament about how this or that state could have gone the other way, because you’re addicted to doomsday scenarios, then so be it. But when you talk openly like that, you sabotage Biden’s leverage. The narrative we need to promote is that Biden won in a blowout.
The other side never suffers from this kind of lament or self doubt. When their guy “won” by negative-three million votes last time, they didn’t lament over the math. They just started using their win to aggressively advance their agenda. We need to learn how to do the same.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report