“Trump was set up for re-election pretty well. It was the pandemic that really hurt him. If he had just been presidential in the way he handled the pandemic, he would have had a better chance. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t do that,” explained Chris Saxman, Executive Director of Virginia FREE.
On November 9th, the Hampton Roads Chamber welcomed back Chris Saxman for part two of the Chamber Leadership Series: Election Coverage with Chris Saxman. On November 2nd, Saxman gave his 2020 election predictions and advised participants on possible scenarios following either outcome. In the post-election coverage, Saxman answered questions about what he thought contributed to the outcome, and what to expect moving forward.
With Joe Biden as the President Elect, but the Republican party holding the Senate, Saxman predicts we will see a stabilization of government for a while. “The consequences aren’t dis-favorable to the business community right now. You’ll probably see more stabilization within our government going forward,” said Saxman.
Occasio Gee asked Saxman if he believed early voting, voting by mail, and absentee voting redefined the profile of a “likely voter”. Saxman answered that it definitely did, and like he touched on in his pre-election coverage, he believes we will see those processes normalized going forward. In regard to counting those votes, Saxman criticized the length of time it took to get these results to the people. “States need to get their act together and count it on election day. It’s 2020, and for it to take this long is abhorrent,” said Saxman.
Chris Stone with Clark Nexsen brought up the movement to end the electoral college and asked Saxman what his views on that topic are. “I think the time has come to have a serious debate about what the merit of the electoral college is. I think it’s worth a substantive debate, but I wouldn’t just end it. I think there are valid points on both sides, but we need to be careful rushing something through during such a volatile time,” said Saxman.
When asked about the Virginia 2nd and 7th District Congressional races, Saxman said, “Those races were always very close. They are going to have a tough time in 2022. The dynamic changes with Biden at the top of the ticket. After you win you tend to let your guard down”.
Bryan K. Stephens, President and CEO of the Hampton Roads Chamber, asked Saxman why Virginia Metropolitan areas are trending Democratic. Saxman explained that with urbanization, issues tend to change from suburban issues that most Republicans address. Stephens also asked what changes we will see when Biden takes office. Saxman predicts Executive Orders that repeal what Trump had in place will be common and happen almost immediately.
Saxman thanked the Hampton Roads Chamber for facilitating events designed to get the business community engaged in politics. As he stressed during the pre-election coverage, being involved and engaged is essential. The Hampton Roads Chamber works to be an impactful advocate for members and facilitates events like this to help interpret the political process.
Thank you to the Hampton Roads Workforce Council and Inside Business for sponsoring the Hampton Roads Chamber Leadership Series.