Such a victory could lead to the end of the nation’s clearest impediment to structural change.
The political epitaph of President Donald Trump has not yet been written. Trump is still the incumbent president in a polarized country. He has millions of dollars to spend in his 2020 campaign and near-total control of his party. He should not be counted out until the Electoral College casts a majority of votes in favor of his opponent.
But with each passing day, the chances of a Joe Biden presidency increase. Biden’s positive poll numbers continue to grow. A representative Monmouth poll on Monday gave Biden a twelve-point advantage, while an Economist/YouGov poll gave him a nine point lead. His success has ripple effects throughout the country. It forces Republicans to spend money in previously safe states such as Georgia and Arizona, money that they would have otherwise spent shoring up Michigan and Wisconsin. The chance of success also increases Biden’s support among Democrats and diminishes the party divisions that were so stark during the previous presidential campaign. There have been none of the failed endorsements and stories of lukewarm Democratic support that plagued the Hillary Clinton campaign. As Democrats continue to think Biden might win, they will continue to unify behind their candidate.
While a Biden victory is still far from ensured, a landslide now seems like a distinct possibility. Such a landslide might force open the floodgates of social legislation by removing the filibuster, one of the nation’s greatest impediments to change.
It is clear that a change is underway in Senate thinking about the filibuster. Several key senators have reversed their previous support for the filibuster in recent weeks. Many key Democratic leaders have also refused to openly support it. Joe Biden has said nothing. Bernie Sanders has floated the idea of abolishing the antiquated practice as well. Perhaps the only Democrat to actively support the filibuster is Dianne Feinstein, who will most likely fold if 50 other members of her caucus vote to get rid of it. This change is significant, given that leading Democrats have resisted any effort to drop the practice prior to this year. Their argument was always the same: dropping the filibuster for Democratic bills means…