November 8, 2020
Now that numerous media outlets have called the Presidential race for Joe Biden, we will have to wait until all legal remedies are exhausted to ensure the validity and credibility of election outcomes. However, there are several outcomes from this election that are clear and important to share with our members as we continue to analyze results.
First, it appears we will have a divided government at the federal level. Republicans narrowed the majority in the House, but Democrats will maintain power going forward. The outcome of two runoff races in Georgia has the possibility of flipping power in the Senate, but it is likely that Republicans will maintain a majority in that chamber. This result portends that the parties will have to work on issues where they can find common ground.
At the federal level, there will also be important changes in leadership of key committees. In the Senate, if Republicans maintain their majority, it is likely that John Boozman (R-AR) will become the new chairman of the Agriculture Committee, replacing retiring senator Pat Roberts. In the House, there will certainly be new leadership of the Agriculture Committee as representative Collin Peterson (D-MN) lost his re-election bid.
Second, at the state level Republicans maintained majorities in several states. This is an important development as legislatures around the country will embark on redistricting efforts in the coming year. In large states like Texas and battleground states such as Florida, North Carolina, Michigan and Pennsylvania, Republicans held onto existing majorities in the state legislature. These results set up redistricting that is likely to temper demographic changes in those states.
Finally, in Massachusetts a right to repair ballot measure relating vehicle telematics passed overwhelming despite nearly $30 million being spent by auto manufacturers to defeat the proposal and making it the most expensive ballot measure in state history. Right to repair proponents have been quick to jump on this as evidence that legislation should move forward in other states for digital devices, including farm machinery. We have been very successful defending against these efforts over the past several years and the results of the ballot measure will undoubtedly make it more challenging, however, we are confident that we can build on our success moving forward.
WEDA CEO, John Schmeiser, had this to say about the elections: “With all-time high voter turnout, this historical election is proof that American democracy is vibrant and doing well. The mixed results demonstrate that the electorate requires the nation’s leaders to work together on solving important issues. WEDA will continue advocating for public policy outcomes that benefit successful dealers at all levels of government.”
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Written by Western Equipment Dealers Association