From The Guardian, an article of interest to Franklin:
"Joe Biden won the electoral college, leads the popular vote by millions, and will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Taking down an incumbent president is no easy feat and Biden deserves credit for his disciplined and effective campaign.
But there is no question Biden underperformed vis-à-vis the consensus of pollsters and pundits. In Congress the underperformance was even more stark. Democrats expected to make gains in the House of Representatives. Instead, they are poised to return to Washington with an unexpectedly pared-down majority. In the Senate, Democrats were considered favorites to retake the chamber and deliver their party unified control of the federal government. Instead, they made only modest gains. This isn’t where the party wanted to be.
I run a Democratic political consulting firm and wanted to immediately get to work to understand why this underperformance happened. While there are certainly multiple answers to that question and various dynamics at play, we decided to start our inquiry with voters who leaned towards voting for Joe Biden in the last weeks of the election, but ultimately voted to re-elect Donald Trump. We put together a focus group to discuss the election with these voters and explore what changed their minds.
It will be easy for some to dismiss these participants as Trump voters (and they are!) but 70% of them told us they have a negative view of Donald Trump and at some point they supported Joe Biden before ultimately casting their vote for Trump. These aren’t Maga hat-wearing folks. "
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Note: words matter, what they mean, and how they are used matters. If we are going to come together to resolve the serious divide, recognizing how much we do have in common will be important. We can gather round the 'motherhood and apple pie' when we take time to understand what we mean when we say something. Mind reading not permitted, proper use of words is required. Not easy, but necessary.