In “How Georgia Turned Blue: And why it might not stay that way,” Perry Bacon, Jr. writes at FiveThirtyEight that “overall, the story is clear: Biden won Georgia because he did really well in the Atlanta area, far better than Obama eight years ago and significantly better than Clinton, too. Biden won about 65 percent of the two-party share of the votes in these 10 Atlanta-area counties, up from Clinton’s 59 percent in 2018. He also gained in the other 149 Georgia counties in Georgia, but it was smaller: Clinton received about 34 percent of the vote outside the Atlanta area, while Biden received about 37 percent….What does this very blue Atlanta mean for future Georgia elections — not only for the Jan. 5 runoffs for the U.S. Senate seats, but also Abrams’s likely 2022 gubernatorial campaign and subsequent presidential elections?….Remember, the Democrats are losing badly in most areas of Georgia outside of Atlanta — and the state is only competitive if the Atlanta area stays as blue as it has been during the Trump era. If some Atlanta-area voters no longer view Trump as the defining figure of the GOP, do they go back to the GOP in the Senate runoffs and in subsequent elections?”
When an incomming President-elect comes from a different party from the incumbent, much of the media coverage focuses on upcoming changes regarding the cabinet and Supreme Court, along with policies regarding health care, abortion rights or environmental protection, among others. But one of the most consequential agencies, which affects the quality of life for millions of Americans is the National Labor Relations Board, which enforces labor law regarding collective baraining and unfair labor practices. As President, Biden will have the opportunity to transform this pivotal agency from an anti-labor agency into a pro-worker force with his appointments. At present the NLRB has four Republicans and one Democrat, with one seat vacant. Two of the Trump appointees, including Chairman John Ring and William Emmanuel will be replaced by Biden, who will also fill the vacant seat, giving pro-worker Democrats a majority on the Board. As Sahid Fawaz writes at Labor 411, “So how do things look for labor? Pretty good, depending on the what the Senate will look like….Biden can nominate a Democrat to the current vacant seat right after he takes office. And he can nominate another in August of next year. The two nominations, if confirmed by the Senate, would flip the Board from Republican to Democrat….Given the rash of anti-union decisions by the Board during Trump’s term, it would be a welcome change, to say the least, to see a Board that is no longer dominated by Trump-appointed Republicans…And a (big) bonus is that the term of Trump-appointed NLRB General Counsel, Peter Robb, who is definitely no friend of labor, expires November of next year.” But note Fawaz’s key phrase, “depending on the what the Senate will look like” — which underscores once more the pivotal importance of Georgia’s two senate run-off election on January 5th.
New York Times columnist Thomas B. Edsall quotes a “Democratic operative with experience working on elections from the presidency on down to local contests,” who “emailed me his views on the complexities involved in developing Democratic strategies. He insisted on anonymity to protect his job: “I do think that defund the police and socialism hurt in Trump-leaning swing districts with more culturally conservative swing voters,” he wrote, but, he continued, “it’s not clear what one can do about it as you can’t reject your own base. You do need progressive politicians to be a bit more “OK” with centrists denouncing their own base. And you need centrist politicians being OK that the grass roots will have ideas that they don’t like….This all needs to be more of a “wink wink do what you need to do” arrangement, but it’s not there right now — it’s all too raw and divisive. So as someone involved in campaign strategy, that is frustrating. But to me, this is less of a campaign and message issue, and more of a political one — it’s about organizing and aligning the various constituencies of our party to work together. If we can do that, then we can figure out how to solve the message puzzle. But if you don’t do that, then this conflict will continue….We need to extend the tent and extend the map further in some way — out of necessity. That’s where I sympathize with the centrists. You also need a strong, passionate, determined base. That’s where I sympathize with the progressives…From race, to culture, to socioeconomic status. All of these items — knowledge professions vs. working class, young vs. old, rural vs. suburban vs. urban — makes us far more complex to manage than the G.O.P.”
Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne, Jr. notes that “in 2020, Trump voters came out in droves and thus boosted down-ballot Republicans. Trump won over 10 million more votes in 2020 than in 2016 — exit polls suggest that 6.5 million of his ballots came from first-time voters — which means he brought new supporters into the electorate who were important to this year’s House GOP victories….Going forward, figuring out how Trump won an additional 10 million votes is one of the most important questions in politics. Here’s a plausible and discouraging theory: Given Trump’s intemperate and often wild ranting in the campaign’s final weeks and the growing public role in GOP politics of QAnon conspiracists, the Proud Boys and other previously marginal extremist groups, these voters may well be more radical than the party as a whole. This means that Republicans looking to the future may be more focused on keeping such Trump loyalists in the electorate than on backing away from his abuses.” Another theory, which is compatible with reports that Republicans registered more new voters in 2020 than did Democrats in key states, is that GOP strategists deployed a strategy used by the successful ‘Brexit’ movement in the U.K.: invest money and time in identifying non-voters, then match them with 500 data points (developed by Cambridge Analytica) to target them as potential Republicans for GOTV. C.A. was involved in 44 Republican races in the U.S. in 2014, as well as Ted Cruz’s campaign in 2015 and Trump’s 2016 campaign.