Mr Johnson made the comments to a liberal activist pretending to be a conservative while she questioned him during an event in Milwaukee. The woman pretended to buy into Mr Trump's election conspiracy theories, and suggested that voter fraud was the reason the former president lost in Wisconsin.
Mr Johnson tells the woman that he disagreed, noting that there was "nothing obviously skewed about the results”.
“If all the Republicans voted for Trump the way they voted for the Assembly candidates, he would have won. He didn’t get 51,000 votes that other Republicans got, and that’s why he lost,” Mr Johnson said.
Senator Johnson is 100% correct. Previously I examined the election results in three swing states. I found that in every one of those states now President Joe Biden not only received more Republican votes than Trump received Democratic votes, the difference in the cross-over votes was so large it cost Trump those states and the election.
While the Never Trump Republican contingent has never been large, it was big enough and committed enough to ensure Trump's tenure in the White House was limited. While Trump was losing the election, Republicans up and down the ballot ran ahead of Trump because those Never Trump Republicans, after scratching for Biden, were voting for the rest of the GOP ticket. Let's look at the swing states results versus the exit polls in those states:WISCONSIN (10 Electoral Votes)
Biden won the Badger state by 20,567 votes. Partisan breakdown in the state according to 2020 exit polls was 37% Republican, 32% Democrat and 32% Independent. Of the Democratic voters, 4% voted for Trump and, of the Republican voters, 7% voted for Biden. If Republican Wisconsin voters would have matched the Democrats support for their presidential candidates, Trump would have had 36,401 more votes and won the state.
ARIZONA (11 Electoral Votes)
Biden won Arizona by 10,377 votes. Partisan breakdown in the state was 34% Republican, 27% Democrat, and 39% Independent. Of the Democratic voters, 3% voted for Trump while 10% of the Arizona Republican voters voted for Biden. If Republican Arizona voters would have mirrored their Democratic counterparts, Trump would have had 69,058 more votes and fairly easily won the state.
GEORGIA (16 Electoral Votes)
Biden won Georgia by 11,779 votes. Partisan breakdown in the state in the 2020 election was 38% Republican 34% Democrat, and 28% Independent. Democrats voted for Trump at a 4% clip, while 6% of Republicans voted for Biden. Not much of a margin, but enough. If Republican Georgia voters had simply matched the Democrats support for Biden, Trump would have had 37,576 more votes and won the state.
If Trump had won Wisconsin, Arizona and Georgia, the electoral college count (assuming no faithless electors) would have been 269-269, thus handing the election to Trump since the House of Representatives, which has a majority of delegations dominated by Republicans, would have decided the presidential contest.
Trump's party crossover vote trailed Biden's in the other swing states including Michigan (-3), Pennsylvania (-1), Nevada (-1) and New Hampshire (-4) though Trump's simply matching Biden's performance wouldn't have put him over the top in those states.. Noteworthy too is that Trump lost the cross-over vote contest in even red states. For example, Indiana (-1), Missouri (-2), Nebraska (-3). In blue states, the divide was even greater: California (-8), New York (-15).
Despite Trump's supposed appeal to Democratic-leaning working class voters, I could find no state in which Trump beat Biden in cross-over votes. In 2016, Trump and Hillary Clinton tied in getting cross-over votes.
Senator Ron Johnson is absolutely right. Fraud didn't elect Biden, Republicans did. If Trump would have simply matched the performance of down ballot Republicans, he would have been re-elected. Trump lost because a significant share of Republican voters simply did not like him.
Biden's working strategy was always that he could get less educated, white working class voters to return to the Democratic fold after years of drifting toward the Republican Party. Despite considerable effort, Biden barely moved the needle on that demographic.
Instead, Biden won the election by performing much better in America's suburbs than Democratic presidential candidates before him. While Biden's outreach effort to white, working class voters failed, he did spectacularly well with well-educated, wealthy suburbanites who couldn't stomach another four years of Donald Trump.
Biden though seems disinterested in exploiting and expanding the suburban electoral shift toward Democrats, a trend which actually began a decade ago. Biden's Lyndon Johnson-esque domestic policies seem a continuation of his outreach to the very white working class voters who shunned him in 2020. Meanwhile, the fiscally conservative suburbanites whose votes ousted Trump find themselves at the prom alone. Their date is across the room trying to hook up with someone else.
With redistricting and history against them, the Democrats have little chance to hold on to the House in 2022. But if Democrats want to hold their losses to a minimum, and retain control of the Senate, Biden would be well advised to reverse policy course, and start courting the fiscally conservative suburbanites who made him President.
OOP's short takes
- On Saturday, I received seven emails from the Trump campaign wanting money. Friday, it was five emails, Thursday six and Wednesday seven. I remember last year when apparently someone from the campaign saw my critical Trump blog posts and removed me from the email list. Somehow I am now back on the list.
- I see that the Trump campaign is continuing with the fraudulent practice of claiming that political donors' contributions will be matched up to 500%. Because of campaign contribution limits, there is no way to actually match contributions. The Trump campaign is certainly not alone in lying to contributors about matching. Other Republican and Democratic campaigns have made the fraudulent matching claim. The Federal Election Commission needs to put a stop to the practice which has been going on for at least two years. And if the FEC won't do it, state attorneys general need to step in and take action.
- Reports out of Afghanistan is that the Taliban has not allowed four planes filled with Afghans and Americans evacuees to leave the country for days. The planes are being held up as leverage by the Taliban to get more from the United States, quite possibly formal recognition as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.
- The odds that the months ahead will be filled with stories of Americans held hostage and our Afghan allies slaughtered by the Taliban are about 100%. The overwhelming majority of Americans supported pulling out of Afghanistan and ending our misguided attempt at nation-building. The problem was not that decision, but rather the bungled evacuation effort. Biden can rightfully put some of the blame on Trump's disastrous Taliban policies, but it was Biden's choice to continue those policies which led to the evacuation failures.
- A week before the recall election, California Governor Gavin Newsom appears to, finally, be in a good position to win the vote to stay in office. California's recall election works like this. Once a recall petition is signed by enough voters, an election is held. The election consists of two votes. One is whether the incumbent should be retained in office. The second is a vote for his/her replacement. In the event there are enough votes to remove Governor Newsom from office, you go to see who wins the second ballot.
- The problem with the law is that the second ballot is that the replacement candidate can be elected with a small plurality of the vote. Projections are that conservative radio host Larry Elder, running as a Republican, might lead the field of Republicans and Democratic replacement candidates with as little as 18% of the vote.
- The recall election process is right now the only realistic way a Republican can be elected statewide in California. Which begs the question why the Democrats, who control all the branches of California's government, do not simply change the recall election law.