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By Team Trump's standards, Biden has now won in a 'landslide'

In 2016, Trump's campaign manager argued that 306 electoral votes constituted a "landslide" and a "blowout." Biden has now matched that standard of success
Image: President-Elect Joe Biden
President-elect Joe Biden answer questions from the press at the Queen in Wilmington, DE on Nov. 10, 2020.Demetrius Freeman / Washington Post via Getty Images

Around this time four years ago, Donald Trump's campaign manager argued that 306 electoral votes constituted a "landslide" and a "blowout" -- and that was with the Republican losing the popular vote by nearly 3 million ballots.

Four years later, that's a standard Republicans would probably prefer to forget.

President-elect Joe Biden has won Georgia, picking up 16 Electoral College votes in winning the state, which hadn't voted for a Democrat for president in almost 30 years. President Donald Trump picked North Carolina, which he won four years ago, for a gain of 15 electoral votes. The win brings the final Electoral College tally to 306 votes for Biden and 232 votes for Trump. The outcome in Georgia, however, is subject to a planned recount of the state's votes.

Biden is the first non-Southern Democrat to win Georgia since JFK, and he's now one of only three challengers from the last century to top 300 electoral votes. Looking at the popular vote, Biden will end up with the strongest support of any presidential challenger since FDR.

Taking a step back, I'd argue there's a psychological aspect of the last week and a half. Many voters went to bed on Election Night thinking there was a very real possibility that Donald Trump had won a second term. In the immediate aftermath, there was a lengthy list of too-close-to-call states, creating the impression that the race was so extraordinarily close, it could go either way.

But as the dust settles, those feelings and impressions were based on an incomplete picture. Imagine a hypothetical: if Democratic voters were told the morning of Election Day that Biden would win with 306 electoral votes, and he'd defeat Trump by more than 5 million popular votes, I have a hunch they'd see it as a real success.

The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne Jr. had a column earlier this week that continues to ring true: "Myths often grow out of mistaken first impressions. So it needs to be asserted unequivocally that President-elect Joe Biden's victory is far more substantial than the conventional take would have it and more revelatory about the future than Donald Trump's election was four years ago."