Abdul-Hakim Shabazz: Biden won fair and square—and other election musings

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Abdul-Hakim ShabazzThe 2020 election is over, for the most part.

Absent some bogus rantings regarding voter fraud, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will run the country as president and vice president. Control of the Senate is basically down to two seats that will be decided in January, and Democrats keep control (barely) of the U.S. House.

Here in Indiana, Gov. Eric Holcomb, despite the rantings over masks, won easily. Republicans expanded their supermajority in the House and Democrats won a couple of seats in the Indianapolis area. And Todd Rokita happened to catch the attorney general’s seat and the coronavirus in the same week.

So here are my thoughts on each one.

POTUS

Let’s face it, Biden won the election fair and square. Now I’m not saying that there aren’t some minor issues or discrepancies. In a universe of at least 145 million voters, you’re going to have an issue or two. But allegations of this wholesale fraud are outrageous and just straight-up ridiculous. The Donald Trump campaign has provided no evidence of widespread fraud and judges in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nevada have already dismissed lawsuits. And think about this: Some of the places where the Trump camp is alleging fraud are run by Republicans and the GOP also won Senate seats, so if Democrats are going to cheat, they needed to do a better job.

Governor

I have to give a major shout out to Gov. Eric Holcomb on a major victory; heck 57% of the vote ain’t bad. Dr. Woody Myers, the Democrat, grossly underperformed and Libertarian Don Rainwater did about what I expected him to do—get about 11% of the vote. What’s interesting here is that if Libertarians play their cards right, they can grow their status as a political party in Indiana. If Libertarians can keep their 11% in the next 2022 election, where secretary of state is on the ballot, they can get major party status, giving them automatic ballot access. And the fact that Rainwater actually came in second in about three dozen counties should give them hope.

CD 5

In the Fifth Congressional District, Republican Victoria Spartz beat Democrat Christina Hale, once again cementing the district’s GOP credentials. Although Hale won the Marion County portion of the district, Spartz won Hamilton County 53%-42%. So that margin, along with the rest of the district, put her over the top. It was also a rebuke of the Democratic suburban strategy, which we saw take place across the country.

The Statehouse

Let’s be honest here, Democrats got their clocks cleaned. With the exception Fady Qaddoura who beat John Ruckelshaus in Senate District 30 and Mitch Gore who beat Cindy Kirchoffer in House District 89 in Marion County, Republicans won big. In addition to failing efforts to replace Speaker Todd Huston and Reps. Jerry Torr and Donna Schaibley, Democrats Terry Goodin, Melanie Wright and Chris Chyung also lost, giving Republicans at least a 71-seat majority. That hurts. And Democrats have some major soul searching to do if they want to come back into power in the next decade.

So what does it all mean? Well despite Joe Biden’s win (sorry Republicans, but he won it), Republicans are alive and well here in Indiana. Of course, the trick is to govern smartly so you can keep your gains. If you’re Democrats, you need to come up with some candidates and good ideas that Hoosiers will accept if you want to come back. And if you’re Libertarians, you just need a repeat performance in 2022.

Good luck guys and gals.•

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Shabazz is an attorney, radio talk show host and political commentator, college professor and stand-up comedian. Send comments to ibjedit@ibj.com.


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