With vote margins narrowing in Georgia and Pennsylvania, the prospects of Joe Biden reaching 270 electoral votes loomed larger on Friday morning. But news organizations, including NPR, remain very careful not to call the race or make premature projections. Underlying the anxiety and impatience to call the race is a political culture that won’t disappear with the end of this vote counting.
Matthew Dowd is a veteran Texas-based political analyst who served under President George W. Bush as a chief strategist, and has worked more recently as a political analyst for ABC News. He told Texas Standard he believes Biden has won the election, and that President Donald Trump’s statements about his own victory will not be borne out by the numbers.
“Math is hard for some people, but it’s inevitable,” Dowd said. “And I think we’re already there. It’s just wrapping it up at this point.”
Dowd doesn’t expect Trump to give the usual concession speech, ending the campaign.
“I think Joe Biden, once it’s confirmed, is just going to have to move on,” Dowd said.
Legal challenges to vote totals, and recount requests from the Trump campaign could keep the process of finalizing election results going for awhile, but Dowd says it’s unlikely to change the result of the election overall. He says Biden is likely to win Pennsylvania by a convincing margin, which would give him 20 additional electoral votes – more than the margin needed to win.
Dowd, who has focused his writing on unification of disparate political forces in the U.S., said November 6 is the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s election to the presidency in 1860 – an election that occurred as the union was close to a breaking point. Dowd speaks approvingly of Lincoln’s inaugural address, delivered on March 4, 1861.
“We are friends. We are not enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature,” Lincoln said.
Dowd says he expects Biden to seek unification.