- - Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Despite the current status of the 2020 elections, it is not too early to identify the losers and one very big winner.

The biggest loser? Joseph R. Biden. By running a campaign devoid of content and even his own physical presence, Mr. Biden allowed voters to imagine the worst about him and his policy preferences. Hearing only the noise from the “progressive” left, voters did imagine the worst and voted accordingly.

It turns out that the agenda of New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not popular. Its first contact with the voters was not a happy one for its advocates.

Even if Mr. Biden ultimately wins, it will be a very narrow victory and will provide him with nothing remotely approaching a governing mandate.

Mr. Biden’s insistence on being for nothing other than his own ambition to be president also helped to drag down Democratic Senate candidates. Mr. Biden took on an incumbent who is 25 points behind him with respect to favorability, who was managing a pandemic with mixed results, outspent him almost 2 to 1 in the last few months of the campaign, and still couldn’t win cleanly.

The next biggest losers? Democratic donors both large and small. Someone in the Democratic ecosystem convinced people to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in places such as South Carolina, Texas and Florida, all for nothing. The donors also spent around a billion dollars to elect an empty vessel — Mr. Biden — to execute their policy preferences. He won’t be able to do that because he will either lose outright or stumble into office without a compliant Congress or a mandate to govern.

Eventually, even suckers like Michael Bloomberg are going to figure out that Democratic consultants are hustling them.

Speaking of hustling, opinion researchers are the next biggest losers. Don’t listen to talk about shy Trump voters — that’s a smokescreen to hide incompetence and partisan bias. Despite 2016, opinion researchers again consistently oversampled Democrats. No one involved in this mess should ever work in campaigns again.  

The final set of losers in 2020 is, of course, the media. In his long march through American political institutions, President Trump has destroyed the Bush dynasty, the Clinton dynasty, the Obama legacy, the Republican obsession with President Reagan, many of the pointless and outdated customs of Washington, and, most importantly, the illusion of an unbiased media.

By refusing to directly confront Mr. Biden on pressing policy and personal questions, they abdicated their self-appointed role as guardians of civic virtue. At the same time, they unwittingly helped to sink Mr. Biden. In an absence of information, many voters simply (and probably correctly) assumed the worst about him.

At the same time, there is already one big winner in this election cycle. It appears as if Sen. Mitch McConnell has held the Republican majority in the Senate, when as recently as two days ago people who should know better were talking about a “blue wave.” Depending on the results in Michigan and Maine and how the January runoff in Georgia goes, it is conceivable that the Republicans will wake up on Epiphany on Jan. 6, 2021, with 53 senators, the same number they have now.

That will mean that Mr. McConnell, irrespective of who is president, will be able to direct and drive policy, budget and legislative decisions. We’ve already seen how this might work in practice. The majority leader from Kentucky pressed successfully for the selection of Justice Amy Coney Barrett against those in the Trump administration who wanted to be less aggressive. For the last seven months, he has been a steady stalwart for a right-sized coronavirus relief package, despite the efforts of one particular Cabinet member (Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin) to get involved in a bidding game with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The Republic, and the Republicans, are in good hands.

• Michael McKenna, a columnist for The Washington Times, is the president of MWR Strategies. He was most recently a deputy assistant to the president and deputy director of the Office of Legislative Affairs at the White House.

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