Biden Appears to Have Won, Why He Must be Primaried in 2024

Former Vice President Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States, according to a CounterPunch analysis of voting totals in more than forty Pennsylvania counties with 95% or more of their likely vote totals having been counted. He must face a primary challenge from the Democratic party’s left in 2024.

There can be no honeymoon period, no expectation that Biden and his running mate, now Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris, can be persuaded to propose, let alone to have the backbone to enact, serious policies to address issues such as racism, climate change, poverty, and America’s perpetual bombing of other nations around the globe.

Biden and Harris helmed Democrats right to the brink of losing for the second time to a disgraced game show host whose CoVID-19 failures have helped along the deaths of 240,000 Americans, a death rate per one million population 2.5 times that of neighbors to the north in Canada.

A particularly vexing campaign feature for the Biden-Harris ticket included the assumption that they need not take Hispanic voters seriously until it was too late, preferring instead to chase the chimera of a large swath of GOP voters disaffected by Trump that, once again, simply never materialized. Early analysis suggests strongly that missed opportunities in this regard cost Biden the chance to win in multiple states and made several others much closer than forecasters had anticipated.

Lofty expectations, even just a few weeks ago, by well-known elections forecasters and data hounds, that Biden might reach toward 400 electoral votes were dashed not long after polls began closing Tuesday night. As of just after midnight, into the wee hours of Thursday November 5, no network or major newspaper had called the race for Biden, a sign of just how bitterly short of such expectations that campaign had fallen.

States totalling 253 electoral votes (out of 270 required to win the Presidency) had been called by all networks and major papers by early evening on November 4th, with Fox News and the Associated Press also having called Arizona, and its 11 electoral votes for Biden and Harris. While that call might yet have to be reversed, CounterPunch can call Pennsylvania for Biden and Harris, even as Trump maintains a rapidly dwindling lead in the state.

Yesterday morning, the New York Times noted that, with 1.4 million mail and absentee ballots outstanding and Biden on pace to win 70% of them, Trump’s then nearly 10% lead was not safe. Tracking throughout the day kept the rate of Democratic ballot wins in this category at or above that 70% mark, (currently 78%).

A separate analysis by CounterPunch of more than 40 counties that had completed 95% or more of counting of ballots reveals that Trump is underperforming his win-loss gap percentages with Clinton from 2016 by an average of 1.5%. As Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump by just under three-quarters of a point, it appears impossible for Trump to maintain any kind of lead over time. Trump’s underperformance of his 2016 win in the Quaker State, combined with the Times’ absentee and mail voting analysis suggests a final win of 1-2% for Biden-Harris, means we can safely put Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes in their column, pushing the Democratic ticket to at least 273 electoral college votes. (See my Twitter thread here for updating info on this data.)

There can, however, be but little time to celebrate the fact that Trump will no longer be in office come January 20, 2021. Biden, and the Democratic establishment, have shown consistent disdain for young people, Latinas and Latinos, and any hint of a push for leftward policies in a wide variety of areas.

After a bit of sleep and dancing in the streets, it will be time to begin taking back those streets by seriously plotting the end of centrist rule in the Democratic Party by 2024, if not sooner.


Doug Johnson Hatlem writes on polling, elections data, and politics. For questions, comments, or to inquire about syndicating this weekly column for the 2020 cycle in your outlet, he can be contacted on Twitter @djjohnso (DMs open) or at (subject line #10at10 Election Column).