Assuming that the last few projections hold, Joe Biden won twenty-five states (plus the District of Columbia) and lost twenty-five. Our fifty states are split down the middle.
Back in the 19th century, however, at the start of the Civil War, the United States had only thirty-five states. They were all in the eastern half of the country, except for California, Nevada and Oregon in the far west.
Nineteen of those states didn’t allow slavery and stayed in the Union. They voted for Joe Biden this week fourteen to five.
There were also five “border” states that allowed slavery but didn’t want to or weren’t able to leave the Union (Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland and Delaware). They split as evenly as possible this week, two for Biden and three for his opponent.
Eleven southern states left the Union in 1861, starting a civil war in order to protect (and expand) slavery. Two of them voted for Biden, while nine voted for the racist.
After the Civil War, the US added fifteen more states. Most of them were part of the “Wild West” — the home of assorted rugged individuals. Five voted for Biden, ten for the sociopath.
Thus, of the twenty-four states that stayed in the Union in the 1860s (the northern, border and Far West states), Biden won nineteen and lost five.
Of the twenty-six states that left the Union or weren’t fully part of the country in the 1861, Biden won seven and lost nineteen.
In some ways, we haven’t progressed much from the 19th century. Divisions between the North, the South and the Wild West remain.
And yet . . .
From Robin Givhan of The Washington Post:
As the country waited for ballots to be counted, it was Biden — not the occupant of the Oval Office — who was reassuring people that this democracy was intact, that the system was working and that the center would hold. He was the voice of calm optimism in the midst of tumultuous times.
When he became president-elect late Saturday morning, he did something far more herculean than accepting responsibility for a worsening pandemic and a struggling economy. He removed a terrible, suffocating weight from the back of this nation. . . .
His simple dignity and empathy are ballasts for a country that has been teetering between an openhearted, just future and a self-righteous, narrow-minded past. And when he addressed the nation Saturday night, he put his full heft as a statesman and a man of good will to that task.
“What is the will of the people? What is our mandate? I believe it’s this: America called upon us to marshal the forces of decency, the forces of fairness. To marshal the forces of science and the forces of hope in the great battles of our time. The battle to control the virus. The battle to build prosperity. The battle to secure your family’s health care. The battle to achieve racial justice and root out systemic racism in this country. The battle to save our planet by getting climate under control. The battle to restore decency, defend democracy and give everybody in this country a fair shot,” Biden said. “That’s all they’re asking for. A fair shot.”