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Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Ira L. Black/Getty Images     

When President Trump first took office, there was lots of talk about "normalization."

The state of play: Today, American voters will either codify a new normal or relegate many of Trump's unconventional tactics to history's anomalous footnotes. Among them is browbeating and boycotting U.S. companies.

  • Trump began tweet-supporting boycotts well before he became president, including against Starbucks (for its infamous red holiday cups) and the maker of Oreos (because it was moving some production to Mexico).
  • He continued the practice after Inauguration Day, giving oxygen to grievances that ranged from policy (e.g., Harley-Davidson) to politics (e.g., Goodyear) to personal (e.g., pick a social media or mainstream media company).
  • Many of these tweets caused the target company's stock to sink, although the impacts were more pronounced earlier in Trump's term.

Joe Biden doesn't have the same type of history, either before or during the 2020 campaign. This isn't to argue that he's an uncritical friend to business — for example, he wants higher corporate taxes and shares some of Trump's animus toward Silicon Valley — but rather that his strikes would be of the more traditional, technocratic variety.

Flashback: Earlier this year, Trump made a false comment about a Fortune 500 company, related to an action it had taken. When I asked the company’s communications chief why he wouldn't comment on the record, he replied that it wasn’t worth the barrage of negative tweets that would likely follow. “We’d rather minimize the damage,” he explained.

The bottom line: We've stopped being shocked, or even surprised, when the White House attacks an American company by name. One question on the ballot today is if that change is permanent.

Go deeper

The Trump family's grip on the GOP

Donald Trump Jr. with Ivanka Trump on Nov. 4 in the White House. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

As officials were counting ballots well into a second day, Donald Trump Jr. sent a full-throated call on Twitter for "2024 GOP hopefuls" to defend President Trump by amplifying unsubstantiated accusations of election irregularities. Within minutes, a number of Republicans rushed to social media to defend the president.

Why it matters: The quick response shows the huge hold the Trump family has on the Republican Party, even as the president is on the cusp of defeat.

Updated 18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Sen. Kelly Loeffler to return to campaign trail after 2nd negative test

Sen. Kelly Loeffler addresses supporters during a rally on Thursday. Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Sen. Kelly Loeffler's (R-Ga.) campaign announced Monday that she "looks forward to getting back out on the campaign trail" after testing negative for COVID-19 for a second time, following earlier conflicting results.

Why it matters: Loeffler has been campaigning at events ahead of a Jan. 5 runoff in elections that'll decide which party holds the Senate majority. Vice President Mike Pence was with her on Friday.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Key government agency says Biden transition can formally begin

General Services Administrator Emily Murphy. Photo: Alex Edelman/CNP/Getty Images

General Services Administrator Emily Murphy said in a letter to President-elect Joe Biden on Monday that she has determined the transition from the Trump administration can formally begin.

Why it matters: Murphy, a Trump appointee, had come under fire for delaying the so-called "ascertainment" and withholding the funds and information needed for the transition to begin while Trump's legal challenges played out.