The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal has concluded that while Joe Biden may win the White House, “his party and progressive ideas lost.”
Chuck Schumer is likely to remain the Senate minority leader and Nancy Pelosi will have a “thinner” majority in the House, the board noted.
“As the votes continue to be counted in swing states, Joe Biden has the best chance to become the next president,” the board said. “But the closer we inspect the nationwide election returns, the more the result looks like a defeat for the rest of his Democratic Party and especially for the progressive agenda. Mr. Biden would take office without a mandate beyond addressing Covid-19 and not being Donald J. Trump.”
The board pointed out that if Biden prevails, he will have “reversed Mr. Trump’s victory in 2016 with hair’s-breadth advantages in Wisconsin and Michigan, and perhaps Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona.”
“None of them will be by large margins. He will have vanquished an incumbent president, which is no easy task.”
A look down the ballot and across the nation shows Biden’s potential victory “looks remarkably limited and personal.”
“Most new presidents enter office having swept allies into Congress and statehouses as the public embraces his agenda and vision for America,” the board said. “Certainly this was true of Barack Obama in 2008 and to a lesser extent Mr. Trump in 2016. Mr. Biden had no such coattails.”
The Journal pointed out House Democrats gave up some of the suburban gains they made in 2018 while continuing to struggle in rural areas.
While the full results won’t be in for weeks, Speaker Nancy Pelosi likely will find her majority cut in half, the smallest in 20 years.
Further, the board said, the “GOP already looks to have won 50 seats to 48 for Democrats, who had expected to ride public dislike for Mr. Trump into the majority.”
The other two seats are from Georgia, and one will be decided in a runoff. A GOP incumbent leads in the other.
“A GOP Senate may compromise with Mr. Biden around centrist ideas, but the aggressive House agenda of the last two years would die again,” the board said.