Biden might win in a landslide. That would make things more complicated.

And if Biden did record a 400-plus electoral vote win, the political consequences would be huge. In the Senate, any new member who rides his coattails to power would serve for six years — safe from potential Republican comebacks in 2022 or 2024. That breathing room could allow Biden — or progressives in Congress — to make significant advances on issues of their choosing, not least because the liberal wing of the party might finally have enough votes to bypass moderates such as Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.). Policing, gun control and wealth inequality would all be ripe for action.

The long-term benefits might be even more substantial for Democrats. The state legislators elected in 2020 will play a pivotal role in drawing the next set of congressional and state-level district maps. If Biden can lift Democrats to victory in the states, they’ll be able to replace Republican gerrymanders with fairer maps — or, if they decide to take the unprincipled routes, gerrymanders of their own. Either way, these maps would outlast the Biden administration and shape politics for years to come.

This election is often cast as a straightforward choice: Will voters make Trumpism the permanent, dominant strain in our politics, or do they want a return to Obama-era normalcy? It isn’t that simple. A stinging rebuke to Trump and the desire to heal the nation may not be compatible — especially with Biden’s campaign relying on the most progressive platform in modern history to excite voters.