Consequences of Election Results (Updated)

Written on .

We have previously published an Alert entitled "Report on Election Results, Analysis, and Consequences," but this newsletter is updated and includes more emphasis on the consequences of the election as to policy and legislation.  President-Elect Biden will very likely try to assume a role as a "deal-maker," and he has a history of working with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and may be more pragmatic than his more liberal Democratic supporters.  

While some wonder when the controversy over the elections will end, the ending date will likely be December 14, 2020.  That is the day the Electoral College meets and declares the next President.  Barring some highly unusual court injunction, that is the due date for resolving any dispute over the election results.  A particularly interesting exit poll result from the recent elections is that only 24% of voters identify as liberal, while 38% say they are conservative, according to CNN exit polls.  The remaining 38% identify as moderate.  According to CNN, the percentage of liberals in the exit polls has actually declined several points since the last Presidential election, in contrast to what many might think.  Some would assert that Mr. Biden won the election by expanding his support among moderates.

The make-up of the U.S. House and Senate also encourages efforts towards compromise and a moderate position on issues.  In the U.S. House, Republicans stand to gain at least 11 seats, and many of the new Republican House members are women.  In the Senate, it is likely that Republicans will maintain their majority, which depends on two Senate run-off races in Georgia on January 5, 2021.  Currently, the Republicans have 50 senators, and it is highly likely they will end up with at least 51 and probably 52. 

Obviously, roadblocks to compromise include the fact that activists in both parties may try to avoid compromises that give credit to the other party, as well as the fact that the left wing of the Democratic party opposes compromise. Nancy Pelosi will have a difficult time controlling her Democratic caucus in the House, since a majority of the Democratic House members losing re-election were moderates, and the Democratic majority in the House has shrunk to the lowest margin in many years of around 10 votes out of 435. There are incentives for the Republicans in the Senate to avoid obstruction of Mr. Biden's agenda, since the GOP must defend a minimum of 20 Senate seats in 2022.

This is part of our December 2020 Newsletter.

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