Colorado Politics columnist Eric Sondermann offered some thoughts on what we might have learned from Tuesday's vote:
• Colorado is now a deeply blue state. Any other reading completely misses the mark.
• To the national scene: Anyone thinking it was going to be an early night was badly mistaken. (Hello, James Carville.)
• The notion that this was not only going to be a Democratic victory but a full repudiation of Donald Trump is long gone.
• With Arizona in Biden's column, the three Blue Wall states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania still mean everything. Arizona provides a small margin for error and the ability for Biden to lose one of those three states and still come out ahead.
• If that one state is Pennsylvania, then you could have a 269-269 tie. With Biden having a chance to get to 270 with the single electoral vote out of Nebraska (the Omaha district).
• Trump was up by significant margins in all of those three Rust Belt states, but the margin tightened overnight. The Biden theory, best articulated by Steve Kornacki with MSNBC, is that is a function of Election Day votes being disproportionately counted, and the huge glut of early votes was waiting tabulation. For the Democrats' sake, they had better hope that theory is correct or this thing is lost.
• Speaking of the Rust Belt, Democrats need to seriously think about how they have so badly lost the white working class vote. Which was once a core part of the party's backbone.
• Of course, the closeness of this magnifies the opportunity for the President and his allies to mount various challenges to the counting process for these mail-in ballots. The chances of this being significantly decided by litigation have gone up exponentially.
• Also, if the Kornacki et al, theory is proven right and Biden pulls out all three (or two out of three) of the Blue Wall states after appearing to trail badly tonight, the paranoia on the Trump right will be palpable.
• Predictions of a 75% or 80% chance of Democrats gaining control of the Senate were way over-stated. So far, Democrats have John Hickenlooper here and Mark Kelly in Arizona, and a loss in Alabama. North Carolina looks unlikely. Susan Collins is expected to hang on in Maine. Montana was a stretch given the extent of Trump's win there. Further, the number of four net seats for Democrats only applies if Biden wins and VP Harris is there to break ties. If Trump wins, then the net number is five, which is likely one or two bridges too far.
All of this simply underscores the magnitude of the divide in this country. No matter how this turns out, the call here is that we are in for some kind of extension of these noisy, intensely polarized, rather unproductive times.
All of which seems somehow fitting for 2020.
On that note, I counsel patience.
Eric Sondermann is a Colorado-based independent political commentator. He writes regularly for Colorado Politics and the Denver Gazette. Reach him at [email protected]; follow him at @EricSondermann. Find a selection of his columns here.
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