Our forthcoming book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses the state of the parties.
Kevin Kosar at AEI:
The GOP should also take heart at who voted for them. Professor Andrew Busch of Claremont McKenna College points out “Trump gained four percentage points among blacks (to 12%), four among Latinos (to 32%), and seven among Asians (to 34%).” One exit poll found nearly one in five Black men voted for Trump. In Florida, which so many pollsters had all but given to Joe Biden, Trump triumphed thanks to Latino votes.
At the state level, Republicans also did well. They won eight of 11 races for governor and currently occupy 27 of 50 gubernatorial mansions. Republicans also have majorities in 29 of the 50 state senates and half the lower chambers. And Republicans achieved all this despite the nation suffering from a pandemic and economic tumults, as well as running with President Trump’s high disapproval ratings.
The GOP should be looking at all these positive developments and thinking about ways to replicate and expand them. But no. Instead, many Republicans see 2020 as a disaster, and blame fraud — which they failed to prove — and high voter turnout for their defeats. Even worse, they are advocating policies that are all but certain to reduce voter turnout.
In recent weeks, state legislators have proposed reducing the time allowed for early voting, eliminating ballot drop boxes, and disallowing poll workers from correcting clerical errors on ballots (e.g., adding the voter’s zip code if she forgot to write it down. Absent corrections, these ballots would be thrown out.) They also have introduced bills to reduce access to absentee voting by forcing individuals to apply each year, and they would mandate that absentee ballots be notarized. (Notaries public must be elated at the prospect of millions of new customers.) They also have targeted same-day voter registration, which helps increase the percentage of first-time voters to participate. Gobsmackingly, one legislator is even advocating a law that expressly allows the legislature to throw out the state’s presidential electors if legislators dislike it.
This strange lack of confidence in the GOP brand was aptly expressed by a Republican elections official in Georgia. The 2020 election was “terrible” for her party, so the state’s rules need to be changed “so that we at least have a shot at winning.”
This is not a good look for the GOP. Not least, it is out of step with the preferences of most voters, who like to have the choice to vote early or absentee and who do not want to be forced to navigate red tape to do so.