President Donald Trump lost. But Trumpism did not.
It won in the parts of the country and with the voters whom Trump catered to over four years, constantly jabbing the hard edges of almost every contentious cultural issue into Red America, on the bet that fear and anger were a winning hand. It almost was.
Joe Biden defeated Trump to win the presidency, and is on pace to win up to 306 electoral votes, a total that would match what Trump exaggerated as a “landslide” four years ago. In a typical election year, such a victory would mean Biden would have carried other Democrats along with him. Instead, several promising Democratic Senate and House candidates, including incumbents, lost.
For Trump, the situation was the inverse. His popularity among his base voters helped protect incumbent Republicans but was not enough to save him. He won more votes for president than any other candidate. Except Biden. The rejection of Trump was personal.
The election did little to suggest that the country was suddenly less polarized. Trump wrung out votes from areas where he already had a core of support, in rural and small-town America. Biden did the same, only more, in urban