by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A new Democratic administration would take office in the midst of a pandemic and economic downturn. Biden has suggested on the campaign trail that he would contemplate renewed lockdowns and a national mask mandate. Many of his supporters have directly blamed the president for the COVID-19 death toll in the United States. There are currently over 10 million cases in the country.
“The 46th president will confront a divided country beset by unprecedented and complex set of difficulties,” said Democratic strategist Brad Bannon. “Election returns and exit polls revealed sharp differences between men and women and white and minority Americans. The new president will immediately need to confront the ravages of the pandemic, rebuild a shattered economy, and address the looming threat of climate change.”
Divisions within the Democratic Party have also resurfaced since the election, as centrists have accused the most liberal members of their party of saddling them with issues such as “defund the police” that are indefensible to their constituents. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, who was narrowly reelected in her Virginia swing district, warned of getting “torn apart” in the next election if Democrats continued to run on progressive priorities. A former top Biden aide described Trump as the “glue” that held the coalition stretching from Republican John Kasich to socialist Bernie Sanders together.
“His response to these challenges will be limited by a Republican Senate, barring a Democratic sweep of special elections in January, a solidly conservative Supreme Court majority, unrelenting hostility from Trump supporters, and differences within his own party between establishment and progressive Democrats,” Bannon said. “Joe Biden will have his work cut out for him with a Senate controlled by the GOP and run by Mitch McConnell. He ran on a platform of bringing people together, and now, he’ll get his chance.”