2024: Christie Sending Signals
On a radio program yesterday, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) indicated that he could well become a presidential candidate in 2024, further saying he would consider running even if President Trump again enters the field. Mr. Christie also left the door open to supporting Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan if he were to decide to become a presidential contender as he has intimated.
In addition to Messrs. Trump and Hogan being named as potential candidates, Vice President Mike Pence, former UN Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are often mentioned as early potential contenders.
McLaughlin & Associates has already posted a survey to test the potential 2024 Republican and Democratic presidential nomination fields. The poll was conducted during the December 9-13 period of 1,000 likely voters through live interviews.
The McLaughlin results find President Trump dominating the Republican field at 56%, followed by Vice President Mike Pence recording 11%. In single-digits are Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) with 5% support, Mitt Romney (R-UT) 4%, and former UN Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley at 3% preference. For the Democrats, assuming President-Elect Joe Biden does not seek a second term, former First Lady Michelle Obama leads Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris, 29-25%, with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) attracting 7% support.
Electoral College: Elects Biden
The Electoral College members met yesterday in the 50 state capitals and officially made Democrat Joe Biden President-Elect of the United States. Unlike in many years – in 2016, for example, seven electors did not support the candidate of their state – the total was exactly 306-232 electoral votes, properly reflecting the split from the eligible voting electorates.
In 29 states and the District of Columbia, the electors are bound by state law to cast the electoral vote at the direction of the voters. In 21 states, however, the electors are free to stray from the state mandate. After today’s vote, the totals will be reported to the Congress on January 6th, at which point, Mr. Biden will be officially elected.
Electoral College: Meets Today
With all the presidential lawsuit challenges virtually wound down, the appointed Electoral College members will convene in the 50 state capitals today to officially cast their electoral votes for President of the United States. Based upon the voting and official certifications from the various states, former Vice President Joe Biden will secure majority support. His total should reach 306 electoral votes, unless electors in the 21 states where their votes are not bound by state law decide upon a different course. From the 29 states and the District of Columbia, which do bind their electoral tabulations, Mr. Biden will receive 178 votes and President Trump 124.
After today’s vote, the totals will be reported to the Congress on January 6th, at which point, Mr. Biden will be officially elected.
Quinnipiac Poll: Early Biden Numbers
Quinnipiac University released its new national poll (12/1-7; 978 US registered voters; live interview via landlines and cell phones) to test attitudes and perceptions about President-Elect Joe Biden as he prepares to assume office. The results suggest Mr. Biden has work to do to improve his image even on the first day of taking his new position.
His favorability index is a weak 45:44% positive to negative, though the sample size does appear to skew slightly Republican as its composition is reported to split 31% Democratic, 29% Republican, and 31% Independent. The Republican number is several points higher than what is typically believed to be a national GOP loyalty factor.
On the question as to whether the respondents believed there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, by a margin of 58-38%, the individuals comprising the sample said no. Still, well over a third of the polling universe, including 35% of Independents, answered affirmatively. Additionally, when asked whether the group expected the country to remain divided or if the citizenry could re-unite, the respondents believe, in just a 49-45% break, that the nation will again come together.
On the positive front for Mr. Biden, by a 56-37% margin, the respondents feel optimistic about his impending presidency. Conversely, regarding whether his economic policies are perceived to help or hinder the economy, the answers respectively broke in only a 39-38% split.
Voter Turnout: Record High Keeps Growing
Those who predicted that 2020 presidential election turnout would exceed 155 million people have now been proven correct. According to The Green Papers statistical website, the entire voting universe in the 2020 presidential election, while still growing as states finish their canvassing process, has reached 155,043,792 voters.
This figure represents an increase of more than 18.25 million people since the previous presidential election in 2016. The totals represent at least a 13.3% uptick in voter participation between the two presidential years at a time the national population grew only 1.2% during the same time span.
There are now only two presidential candidates in United States electoral history who have received more than 70 million votes, and they are Joe Biden and Donald Trump, both in 2020. Mr. Biden is the only person ever to receive more than 80 million votes and, despite losing the popular vote, President Trump increased his vote total by just under 11 million when compared to his aggregate 2016 number.
Pennsylvania: Trump Wins Court Ruling
A Pennsylvania state judge yesterday ruled that Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar (D) lacked the authority to change the post-election ballot reception deadline for ballots lacking proper identification. Approximately 10,000 ballots fall into this category, and they will apparently now be disqualified. This ruling, in and of itself, will not affect former Vice President Joe Biden carrying the state. His unofficial lead sits at 54,325 votes according to the official state count, but other lawsuits remain pending.
Last night’s national election, as predicted, looks to be headed to political overtime.
The presidential race won’t be decided for more than a day, and possibly not until all ballots are received and counted in Pennsylvania. The state’s post-election ballot reception deadline is Friday, November 6th, at 5:00 pm.
It appears that former Vice President Joe Biden (D) has the inside track to unseat the President, but Mr. Trump still has a narrow path to victory.
It is likely that the Republicans have held the Senate majority despite what appears to be a close loss at the top of the ticket. Defending 13 of the most vulnerable 16 Senate seats, the GOP may break even. Converting Alabama and leading in Michigan offsets the loss of seats in Arizona and Colorado. Four races remain undecided.
Republicans had a much better night in the House than expected. With 43 races still uncalled, a reasonable projection suggests the Democrats will return to the House with a majority margin approximately seven seats less than in the current Congress. This would make the new majority 226D-209R, and certainly put House control front and center for the 2022 election cycle.
In the 11 Governor’s races, we saw one state flip from Democrat to Republican, the open Montana race that completed a Republican sweep of the top four statewide offices. At-Large Rep. Greg Gianforte (R) was elected the state’s new Governor replacing term-limited Gov. Steve Bullock (D) who lost the Senate race to incumbent Steve Daines (R).
Polling and predictions generally proved unreliable. Once more, the big leads projected for the Democratic presidential nominee in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin did not materialize, while cumulative polling projections did correctly forecast Arizona and potentially Georgia. For the fourth consecutive major statewide race in Florida, the overwhelming number of pollsters failed to correctly project the winner.
It appears the cumulative polling community is potentially wrong in several Senate races including North Carolina, Maine, and the Michigan margin even if Sen. Gary Peters (D) rebounds to win. They also consistently under-estimated Georgia Sen. David Perdue’s electoral strength.
The media projection early in the evening of Democrats gaining seats in the House also proved incorrect.
The projected record turnout may not be as high as many projected. While it is clear we will exceed the 136,792,535 voters we saw in 2016, which was a record participation level at the time, the grand total in this election may not reach the 150 million mark that many analysts were suggesting, and very likely not the 155 million others predicted. We are likely to venture beyond 140 million, but how much further remains to be seen when all of the states have reported, and ballots completely tabulated.
We will have further coverage of the finer details in the coming days.
Election Day: Poll Closing Time Range
Election Day has finally arrived, and polls will begin closing in parts of Indiana and Kentucky at 6 pm Eastern time. The two states are split in the Eastern and Central time zones, meaning neither state will fully close at the early time. We will end with Alaska closing at 1 am Eastern Standard Time. All but the far west will close by 9 pm EST. With the big states of California, New York, and Illinois not allowing counting until their polls close, we are unlikely to have an official call in the presidential race tonight, in addition to seeing many Senate and House races go to political overtime.
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