Recounts and a party that doesn’t understand why it lost
Back in 2000, we spent 30 days arguing about the election until VP Al Gore finally accepted that George W. Bush had won Florida. In other words, the election night Florida call stood but most of his supporters still think that Mr. Bush stole election. That’s what nasty recounts do! Results don’t usually change and bad feelings just get worse.
It won’t take 30 days in 2016, but the hard feelings will continue.
Our good friend Richard Baehr believes this is all about making Mr. Trump illegitimate, especially in the minds of liberals who just can’t believe how the movie ended at 2 A.M. when Pennsylvania spoiled it. After all, some of them were apparently popping champagne on their way to the Clinton headquarters.
The real problem with recounts is that they don’t change results or explain the sorry state of the Democrat Party. In short, the Democrats are on the verge of irrelevancy, unless you live in a minority district that they win without opposition.
The party is probably going to be in the minority for a while, as Amber Phillips points out in the Washington Post:
November was a tough election cycle for Senate Republicans, who were defending 24 of the 34 seats up for grabs, many in states that Obama won twice.
It will basically be the reverse in 2018. Democrats are defending 10 seats in states that Trump won, sometimes by double-digit margins. Midterms are normally kind to the party not in power, but this map shows serious head winds for Democrats.
Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin III (W.Va.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Jon Tester (Mont.) are running for reelection in states that voted for Trump over Clinton by 19 points or more. (In West Virginia, Trump won by 42 points.) If these Democratic-held seats and a few others fall to Republicans in 2018, it’s possible the GOP’s 52-seat majority becomes a 60-seat supermajority.
At the very least, it looks likely Republicans will pick up a few seats.
More bad news for Democrats: Some political analysts think that if Republicans turn seats in red or red-leaning states, such as West Virginia, Indiana and Missouri, those seats could stay Republican for a long time. Especially if 2016’s presidential election is any indication.
My colleague Philip Bump calculated there were 27 counties that had supported the Democratic candidate consistently for at least 40 years that switched to Trump in this year’s election. Those counties were clustered in states such as Indiana and Michigan, where Democrats will be defending Senate seats.
We don’t like writing party obituaries because parties have many lives. After all, have we not been reading for 20 years that demographics would doom the GOP?
Nevertheless, Democrats have problems. They seem to be talking over the heads of most Americans who don’t live in San Francisco or the East coast.
They’ve focused too much on defending abortion rather saving jobs from moving overseas. They would rather fight for same-sex marriage than accept a Nativity scene during the holidays. They would rather say “I don’t want to offend anyone” than Merry Christmas.
They are so invested in political correctness that they speak a foreign language that most Americans can’t understand.
So go ahead and recount. It won’t change the results.
My first advice to the Democrats is to come to terms with reality. Simply put, most Americans would rather talk about jobs than climate change.
My second bit of advice is to remember VP Nixon from 1960. In a mature democracy, the loser should concede and put the nation first. Of course, it starts with the candidate who must tell his or her supporters that the election is over and we have a president-elect.