Former President Donald J. Trump is the undisputed leader of the Republican Party.
Flipping just 45,686 votes in three states (Georgia, Arizona, and Wisconsin) would have changed the outcome of the 2020 election in Mr. Trump’s favor — in no way was the presidential election a blow-out or a referendum on Mr. Trump’s policies.
Mr. Trump expanded the base of the Republican Party, growing it by more than 7 million people in the past four years. He increased the racial and ethnic diversity of the GOP by increasing its gains among Hispanics (R +20), Blacks (R+9) and Asian and other groups (R+13) over 2012.
The GOP, once known as “country club Republicans” has been transformed into the working-class party. Among White, non-college voters Mr. Trump performed 13 points better than former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Since 2010, the GOP has gained 12 points among blue-collar workers, while Democrats lost 8 points, according to an NBC News data analysis.
If the election were held in February of 2020, Mr. Trump would’ve been reelected in a landslide. The economy was on fire, he had just secured a trade deal with China, he defeated a partisan impeachment, and Tara Reade had just accused now President Joe Biden of sexual assault.
Mr. Trump didn’t get beat by Mr. Biden, he got beat by China, Democratic electioneering, big tech and the mainstream media. It was a presidential year like no other.
The global coronavirus pandemic unleashed by China and the U.S. having to shut down its booming economy obviously didn’t help anyone but Mr. Biden, who didn’t have to come out of his basement the entire election cycle. The Biden campaign was able to craft its entire message on personality — where Mr. Trump consistently polled behind, and less on substance — where Mr. Trump consistently won.
Voters were with Mr. Trump on his stance on Iran, not defunding the police, reducing taxes, increasing U.S. energy independence, smaller government, bringing back American manufacturing and building the border wall in poll after poll. Unfortunately, those issues took a back seat after March.
Democratic electioneering also played a role. In Wisconsin, for example, the state’s Supreme Court kept the Green Party’s name off the presidential ballot. In 2016 the Green Party candidate in the state garnered about 30,000 votes. Mr. Trump lost the state to Mr. Biden in 2020 by about 20,000 votes.
Democratic members of Wisconsin’s Elections Commission were concerned a Green Party candidate would siphon votes from Mr. Biden. So, they opposed Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate, name on the ballot because his running mate, Angela Walker had listed two addresses on her campaign paperwork.
Ms. Walker said she listed two addresses because she moved while the Green Party collected signatures to get on the ballot — a valid reason. However, the Democrats were ultimately successful, as the state’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of them — not on the merits of their case, but on the technicality the Green Party filed their challenge too late in the election process.
None of this is illegal, mind you. It’s just one example of what local Democratic officials in swing states did to manipulate election rules in ways to benefit their coalition.
The mainstream media and Big Tech were also responsible for swinging the election. Both suppressed damaging stories on Mr. Biden (like the New York Post’s expose on Hunter Biden) and elevated crisis’ in the Trump administration (remember CNN’s coronavirus death tracker?).
A post-election report from the Media Research Center showed 17 percent of Mr. Biden’s voters wouldn’t have voted for the Biden-Harris presidential ticket if they had known about at least one of the eight news stories that were suppressed by Big Tech and the mainstream media.
So, Republicans should be wary in distancing themselves from Mr. Trump. 2020 was an unusual year and by no means a repudiation of his policies. Mr. Trump grew the Republican base and transformed the party. And he’s still its undisputed leader.
• Kelly Sadler is commentary editor at The Washington Times.
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