Joe Biden: Expert on impact of election win on democratic states
President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the US’ 46th President later this month on 20 January. While President Donald Trump has conceded defeat to Mr Biden after the Electoral College voted for him in December, it now appears that the Democrat might face opposition from Republican politicians who meet on 6 January to count the electoral votes, which gave a 306 to 232 victory to Mr Biden. President Trump has been reported as “appearing to back” the idea of trying to overturn the election result in Congress in a series of tweets he made over the weekend.
At least 140 Republicans in the House of Representatives are thought to be planning to vote against counting the electoral votes that certify Mr Biden’s victory.
Despite this, the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, a Republican, has stressed the importance of certifying Mr Biden’s victory.
Opposition from the Republicans will stick throughout his next four years in office.
Yet, many like Dr Jonathan Mellon, a senior politics researcher and co-director of the British Election Study at the University of Manchester, have said Mr Biden faces a deeper-rooted, uphill battle against members of his own party.
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Much of Mr Biden’s political campaign was based on appealing to the liberally progressive, younger American population – as well as those who were tired of Mr Trump’s presidency.
But there remain conservative Democrats who will vehemently oppose Mr Biden’s attempts at rolling out liberal policies that were pushed by figures like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Dr Mellon told Express.co.uk.
He said: “The main reason Biden is not going to be able to push things through is because he’s probably not going to have a majority in the Senate, and even if he does get a majority, it’s going to be a majority that includes extremely conservative Democrats such as Joe Mansion in West Virginia.
“So, in practice, it’s probably the legislature that will hold back his agenda from being more radical, more liberal.
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“And given that, I think inevitably the wings of any party who aren’t in control of a party at any particular moment are going to be dissatisfied with the direction of a party in some ways.”
Tim Bale, Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University, told Express.co.uk that identity politics among the Democrats could lead to Mr Biden’s downfall should he fail to deliver on his promises.
He said: “The Left in the Democratic Party, while it has redistribution plans, public services agenda, it is also in some ways obsessed or even more obsessed with identity politics.
“It could well be that they don’t think Biden is taking sufficient action to help poorer communities in the US or indeed do something about the kind of institutional structural racism in American society.
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“Perhaps they will get upset with him.”
However, as Prof Bale added: “But I suspect that actually, the fact that American government is a divided government, he will therefore face an uphill battle with the Senate and the Supreme Court anyway.
“To some extent this gives him a bit of an excuse that he can’t get everything done, because even his opponents would have to admit that that is quite a difficult situation.”
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In November, less than 48 hours after the US election polls closed, Democratic members of Congress gathered for a conference call.
A fiery debate ensued, in what the Financial Times described as an “insight” into a key challenge that Mr Biden is faced with: keeping moderate and progressive Democrats from tearing the party apart.
Many of those Democrats who were “distraught” during the call were “self-styled centrists” who lost their seats.
Democrat rift: Abigail Spanberger launched into a furious attack on her left-leaning colleagues
Many blamed the most progressive members of their party, like Ms Ocasio-Cortez, for tarnishing the party’s brand with calls to “defund the police” and embrace “socialist” policies such as Medicare for All, which would effectively eliminate private health insurance in the US.
Audio, published by the Washington Post, saw Abigail Spanberger, a first-term congresswoman from Virginia who had secured re-election by a single point margin, lurch at many of her colleagues.
She said: “If we are classifying Tuesday as a success from a congressional standpoint, we will get f***ing torn apart in 2022.”