Claire McCaskill calls the election a 'wake-up call' for 'overconfident' Democrats

Claire McCaskill
(Image credit: NBC News)

The 2020 election is a "wake-up call" for Democrats, who were far too "overconfident" going in, according to former Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

McCaskill spoke to Today on Wednesday morning as the presidential race still remains tight and key battleground states have not been called. But the former senator said it was "not a great night" for the Democratic Party especially given their expectations going in, not just with the presidential race but with House and Senate contests.

"The Democrats, and I'll put me in that group, were overconfident that everyone felt the way we did about this president," McCaskill said. "The polling clearly was off badly, because not only is this election much closer than anyone predicted, but it also was not a great night for Democrats across the board. We expected big gains in the House, we expected to take the Senate."

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In fact, Democrats' chances of taking back control of the Senate appear to have diminished, and in the House, although Democrats have been projected to maintain their majority, Republicans have had a better showing than Democrats anticipated.

As far as the presidential race goes, McCaskill predicted Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will ultimately defeat President Trump once all of the votes are counted and projections in other key battleground states are made. At the same time, she said "this certainly was a wake-up call," chalking Trump's performance up to more Americans "than I ever realized" growing "comfortable" with his behavior.

Politico's Playbook put it even more bluntly, with reporters Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer writing that "to imagine the amount of soul searching and explaining the party will have to do" after apparently failing to win the Senate and not performing as well as expected in the House is "absolutely dizzying," as Tuesday was an "abject disaster for Democrats in Washington." Brendan Morrow

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