US Elections: Won a Battle, Now the War

13 NOVEMBER 2020

President Elect Biden (named by the mainstream media because there is a legislative process to endorse him as President Elect) has already brought a sigh of relief in the US and the western world. Though leaders like Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - the first world leader to congratulate President Elect Biden once news channels tallied the numbers - were diplomatic when asked by reporters on their views of the Trump loss, their smile and body language was equivalent to a child given a box of chocolates.

Table 1: Covid was not an issue; mail-in votes and wealth were issues.

What changed Advantage for
Suburban votes increased by 18% around urban areas Voted Biden
Rural votes increased by 11% Voted Trump
Households with salaries over USD 60,000 6% more votes for Biden
65 million mail in ballots Voted Biden
Counties where COVID death was high, (70 deaths per 100,000 people) Voted Trump
Source: CNN, election data

Table 2: USA Deaths from Covid, not higher than Europe

COVID deaths by State % of all deaths in USA State ruled by
NEW YORK 33,786 14% Democrat
TEXAS 19,153 8% Republican
CALIFORNIA 17,914 7% Democrat
FLORIDA 17,016 7% Republican
NEW JERSEY 16,547 7% Democrat
ILLINOIS 10,397 4% Democrat
MASSACHUSETTS 10,106 4% Democrat
TOTAL, ABOVE 124,919 52% Of which 37% Democrat
TOTAL USA 241,873 100%
EUROPE, 9 largest 208,314
Source: Worldometer, November 8 2020

The media does not talk about it much but many more Black Americans and immigrants voted for Trump than the pollsters had forecasted. CNN noted that Burke County in Georgia, where over 50% of the population is black, voted for Trump and had voted Democrat in 6 of the 7 previous elections. For Hispanics, too, CNN notes that the 2020 elections saw "most dramatic shifts - in Trump's favour". For a man who hates blacks so much, this seems an inexplicable result.

As for Covid, the data from CNN and Worldometer suggests that in counties were death rates were the highest in the country, Trump won! The debate on which was the right way to handle the COVID pandemic will go on for years. But note that 5 of the 7 most affected states with the highest deaths were ruled by Democrats and accounted for 37% of all deaths in USA. In the US, a building in Florida can have its own laws overriding a national or state law so waiting for a President to set the tone is a debatable idea in "free-country" USA.

Those who don't like Trump hate him for who he is: an unhinged, obnoxious buffoon who stamps over the norms of acceptable behaviour and language. 75 million people voted against him and voted for what columnist Bill Bonner calls "a Washington Insider". With allegations on his treatment of woman or financial dealings of his family, Biden could not be packaged as a saint. In fact his campaign relied heavily on his tenure with Barack Obama and Obama's endorsement of "my friend, Joe". Make no mistake: Biden was sold as an "insider".

Even the most devout Democrat would tell you that if a puppy (no insult to Man's Best Friend) had been made the Presidential Nominee of the Democrat Party, the puppy would have probably out-voted Trump. It is possible that a puppy would have received even more votes than Biden, given that embarrassed Republicans would have switched loyalties from Trump and voted for the puppy. This analogy is similar to the 2016 campaign where Hillary Clinton was disliked and Trump became the (un)comfortable vote for many.

The flip side of the coin is that those who love Trump, well, love him - forever. Every buffoon-like statement from Trump is seen as a slap on the face of the establishment which has been accused of losing touch with millions of Americans. The "insiders" are seen to be unhinged with the reality of the challenges that many American households face.

Table 3: Did voters moving from Democrat ruled states to swing states like PA and GA and ensure the Democrats won? PA has 20 electoral seats to offer and GA had 16. People from neighbouring states like New York saw 1,076,759 FEWER votes cast (in a year when there was a 10% increase in total votes) and those "lost" votes from NY seem to have found their way to neighbouring states like PA where they may have moved to escape the pandemic. Similar for NJ, DC and MD: fewer people voted in 2020 than in 2016

STATE How many votes did Democrats win the state by in 2016? How many more Total Votes cast in 2020 How many more votes did the Democrats get in 2020? Delegates
PA -44,292 602,486 436,110 20
DEL 50,476 58,488 59,810
DC 270,107 (21,554) (14,565)
NJ 546,345 (100,733) 40,886
NY 1,736,585 (1,076,759) (855,330)
MD 734,759 (284,313) (87,604)
GA -211,141 869,201 589,895 16
TOTAL 3,082,839 46,815 169,202
Source: CNN, election data

Table 4: Did voters moving from Democrat ruled states to swing states like AZ and ensure the Democrats won? AZ has 11 electoral seats to offer. People from neighbouring states like CA saw 247,218 new votes a gain of 3% in total votes cast in 2016 (in a year when there was an 10% increase in total votes) and those "lost" votes from CA may have found their way to neighbouring states like AZ, NV, NM, CO where people may have moved to escape the pandemic?

STATE How many votes did Democrats win the state by in 2016? How many more Total Votes cast in 2020 How many more votes did the Democrats get in 2020? Delegates
AZ -91,234 751,039 482,907 11
CA 4,269,978 247,218 572,052
NV 27,202 209,827 131,084
NM 65,567 120,845 112,788
CO 136,386 391,010 414,633
TOTAL 4,407,899 1,719,939 1,713,464
Source: CNN, election data

Table 5: Did voters moving from Democrat ruled states to swing states like MI and WI ensure the Democrats won? MI has 16 electoral seats to offer. People from neighbouring states like IL saw 37,931 FEWER new votes cast in 2020 (in a year when there was an 10% increase in total votes) and those "lost" votes from IL may have found their way to neighbouring states like MI and WI where people may have moved to escape the pandemic?

STATE How many votes did Democrats win the state by in 2016? How many more Total Votes cast in 2020 How many more votes did the Democrats get in 2020? Delegates
MI -10,704 731,011 526,014 16
IL 944,714 (37,931) (37,983)
WI -22,748 323,849 248,033 10
MN 44,765 327,609 350,295
TOTAL 956,027 1,344,538 1,086,359
Source: CNN, election data

Many argue that Donald Trump, not the Republican Party, won 70 million votes. Since 1987 Trump has been a member of the Republican Party, the Independent Party, the Democrat party and, finally, became a Republican in April 2012 and then won the Presidency in 2016. Not being a "committed" Republican, could Trump start his own political party and still get those 70 million votes? If Biden was to start his own political party and leave the money machinery of the Democrat Party, would he get 75 million votes?

For now many people are in the "I like" Trump or "I hate" Trump camps. It would be a blunder if policy makers in the US ignore the pain that is felt by many left behind during forty years of globalisation and "financial exclusiveness" of the US economy.

When Biden talks about being the President for all of America and gives the insiders that warm, fuzzy feeling, he echoes what his previous boss and Democrat Senator from Chicago, Barack Obama, parroted in his election campaign in 2008 on the mouthpiece of "change". The fact is that the disparity between the rich and the poor has increased over the past 25 years and the relentless downhill march towards economic stagnation - or economic slippage for a typical American family - did not pause during the 8 year reign of Obama.

While gushing over the convincing win of Biden (over what was a very a tight race) the commentators happily note that the wealthier suburbs voted against Trump. That is precisely the problem: there is a rich-poor gap and the coastal/interior gap.

Trump won and was never accepted as a winner by the Democrats.

Biden wins and will not be accepted as a winner by the Trump supporters.

The divide remains. A battle has been won. The war against inequality of incomes and opportunity needs to begin. Not only in the US, but globally.


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Disclaimer: The Honest Truth is authored by Ajit Dayal. Ajit is Founder of Quantum Advisors Pvt. Ltd. which is the Sponsor of Quantum Asset Management Company Pvt. Ltd – the Investment Manager of the Quantum Mutual Funds. Ajit is also the Founder of Quantum Information Services which owns Equitymaster and PersonalFN. The views mentioned herein are that of the author only and not of Quantum Advisors, Quantum AMC or Equitymaster. The information provided herein is compiled on the basis of publicly available information, internally developed data and other sources believed to be reliable by the author. The information is meant for general reading purpose only and is not meant to serve as a professional guide / investment advice for the readers. Readers are advised to seek independent professional advice and arrive at an informed investment decision before making any investment. Whilst no specific action has been suggested or offered based upon the information provided herein, due care has been taken to endeavour that the facts are correct, accurate and reasonable as on date. None of the Author, Quantum Advisors, Quantum AMC, Equitymaster, their Affiliates or Representative shall be liable for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, consequential, punitive or exemplary losses or damages including lost profits arising in any way on account of any action taken basis the data / information / views provided in The Honest Truth.

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1 Responses to "US Elections: Won a Battle, Now the War"

murthy

Nov 17, 2020

very good analysis. if you can enlight us on what to expect from biden, in the next 4 years in terms of economic policies and its impact on the global economy.

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