Vilsack agreed Congress could move ahead on some climate initiatives, such as paying farmers to sequester carbon, and Republicans could probably go along with such a move. Some of the more aggressive climate proposals from liberal lawmakers are likely going to be shelved as Democrats concede how they are losing ground in rural areas. “There will be some climate discussions, but it’s not going to be the Green New Deal, that’s for sure,” Vilsack said.
Vilsack was part of a group of Democrats who worked aggressively to try to pull rural votes away from Trump and Republicans that did not achieve their goals. Trump again garnered strong support in rural America, as polls from DTN/The Progressive Farmer and others had projected.
Vilsack said Republicans right now have more trust in rural America and are more in line with rural voters, especially farmers, on positions such as regulation and taxes.
“Well, I can’t sugarcoat this: It was a disappointing night for the Democrats,” Vilsack said.
Rob Larew, president of the National Farmers Union, noted Trump remains strong in rural America, even if there is angst among some farmers over the president’s policies.
“There’s an endorsement, if you will, of the president’s focus to doing something about the China trade situation, even if it resulted in huge negative impacts for farmers,” Larew said. “There’s a desire for some sort of action, and I think rural America has appreciated his attempts, if not what it actually has done for his bottom line.”
In the presidential race as of Wednesday afternoon, Biden was at 248 electoral votes to 214 for Trump with Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania still undecided. Biden would need to hold on to leads in Michigan and Nevada to claim the 270 needed for an electoral college win.
Wisconsin was called for Biden shortly after 1 p.m. CST. With more than 3.2 million votes counted, or 95% of the vote, Biden was leading by a 20,517-vote margin in Wisconsin. Biden also was leading in Michigan by 321,300 votes out of more than 5.2 million votes counted, or about 96% of the estimated vote. In Nevada, the race was down to a 7,647-vote margin for Biden out of about 1.2 million votes counted, or 67% of the vote.
“It’s always been about 270, and I think the vice president was wise in understanding that the easiest and best way for a Democratic candidate to get to 270 is by maintaining what Hillary had in 2016 and adding back what we normally have had in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, and he benefited from picking up Arizona and the Nebraska 2nd (Congressional District),” Vilsack said.
The Trump campaign announced late Wednesday afternoon that is suing to stop the ballot counts in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
HOUSE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE RACES
Freshman House Agriculture Committee member Rep. Abigail Spanberger, in Virginia’s 7th District, on Wednesday afternoon pulled ahead of GOP state Rep. Nick Freitas, who had been a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2018 before losing the Republican primary. After trailing all night, the late-counted vote moved Spanberger ahead of Freitas by more than 2,700 votes. Spanberger is chair of the House Agriculture Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee.
Another House Agriculture Committee freshman Democrat, Rep. Xochitl Torres-Small, representing New Mexico’s 2nd District, lost to Republican Yvette Herrell in a rematch from 2018.
Republican Claudia Tenney leads Democratic Rep. Anthony Brindisi in New York District 22 by nearly 30,000 votes.
Former Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., leads Rep. T.J. Cox in California District 21.
The Associated Press called the race in favor of freshman Rep. Cindy Axne in Iowa’s 3rd District.
Rep. Cheri Bustos in Illinois District 17 was leading her GOP opponent Esther Joy King by about 11,060 votes.
Rep. Angie Craig in Minnesota District 2 was leading her race by 9,332 votes and had declared victory.
GOP Rep. Rodney Davis in Illinois District 13 was declared a winner in his race over Betsy Dirksen Londrigan.
Rep. Don Bacon in Nebraska District 2 won a third term in a strong race against Democrat Kara Eastman despite Biden beating Trump to gain the electoral vote in that district.
Also Rep. Troy Balderson in Ohio District 12 won reelection, while Rep. Jim Hagedorn in Minnesota District 2 leads in his race over Dan Feehan by 10,672 votes.