In 2020, Joseph Biden beat Donald Trump by 4.54%. For perspective, that is within the margin of error of most polls. In other words, it was kinda close.
But how close was it? Very. Because, in a small number of battleground states, Joe Biden won by only 0.2% of the electorate.
The margin of popular vote win over the last 17 elections, so going back to Eisenhower, has ranged from a half a percent (George W. Bush’s win in 2000) to the highs of 22 to 23% (Johnson and Nixon). Biden’s win was close to the 2012 Obama victory and the 1992 Clinton victory. So close, but not out of line in comparison with many other races. Biden beat Trump by more than double the margin with which Trump beat Clinton. It was a good, solid run.
On the other hand, the decision for this race was made in a very small number of states, included some of the states that gave Trump his victory of Secretary Clinton. If we look at the closest states that ended up in the D column, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada, the total margin was 0.2% (two tenths of a percent). If we assume most of the other states are set to go for either Biden or Trump in 2024, and that these are the battleground states, that is a very very close race.
It would only be fair to look at the states that were very close but happen to go red in 2020. North Carolina went for Trump by 1.35%. That is close enough to pull that state over to the sane side and claim those electoral votes. The problem is, after that, all the near-miss red states were not near misses. The next two close calls were Florida (3.36%) and Texas (5.58%). These states are unreachable.
Here’s the bottom line. The total number of electoral votes is 538. 17.66% of those votes are distributed among the seven closest states (those mentioned above that went for Biden, plus North Carolina), which individually range from 0.24% to 2.83% of the popular vote. This would be like the entire European conflict of World War II being fought in Germany, France, Poland and Spain. (I guess that’s why they call them battleground states.)
What does this mean if you don’t want Trump, the obvious nominee* for the GOP, to win? This means you need to do three things.
1) Fight for Biden in your own state, to the degree that your state is close. Under no circumstances vote for a third party candidate, because that is just embarrassing for you,even if your state is not close.
2) Give some money to the Biden campaign, so they can use it where they see fit.
3) If you are in one of the battle ground states, then see #1 and #2 above, and just keep doing that as much as you can. Meanwhile, fight for and do not undermine local and state level democrats. Vote for them will percolate up.
4) If you are not in one of the battleground states, look for opportunities to help both Biden and various close-race Senate and House candidates wherever they may be (including your own neighborhood).
All the signs indicate that the MAGA extremists are strong, just as strong now as last cycle. But the signs also indicate that this year is their high water mark, if we stick together and kick their assess. So don’t stray, don’t weaken, and do not be cute about this**
*We should have a plan for if that not ends up being the case.
** By cute I mean voting for a third party candidate, or splitting your ticket.