The limited crossover power is even true in places that were bright spots for Democrats. Biden flipped longtime Republican stronghold Kent County, Michigan, which includes Grand Rapids, Gerald Ford’s hometown. But those gains were built more on the local electorate getting younger than any measurable surge of conservatives backing Biden.
Joe Farrington ran for Congress as a “working class Republican” and owns a bar in Lyons, Michigan, about 50 miles east of Grand Rapids, in Ionia County, where Trump won nearly two-thirds of the vote. During a candidates’ debate, he called Trump “somewhat of an idiot” — and finished fourth in a five-way primary race.
He says Biden is doing the right thing on infrastructure, social issues and the environment. Still, Farrington said he’ll remain loyal to the Republican Party — even if he runs for Congress again in 2022 in opposition to much of what it stands for. “We need to change it from within,” he says.
Scott Carey, former general counsel of the Tennessee Republican Party, wrote an op-ed in October saying he was voting for Biden. He’s been mostly satisfied so far — but not about to become a born-again Democrat. He worries about tax increases and government overreach.
“I don’t see myself becoming a big Harris, or certainly a Bernie fan or anything like that,” Carey said of Vice President Kamala Harris and liberal Sen. Bernie Sanders. If Biden decides not to seek a second term in 2024, Carey said, he’d be more excited about Republicans, including “some governors I’ve never even heard of who would step up post-Trump and bring us back to sound governing policies.”