Donald Trump, you’re fired
It was on Saturday 7th November 2020 when news outlets finally projected the next President of the United States. The result left half of America (and possibly the world) with a needed sigh of relief. Former vice president Joe Biden became the new president-elect, beating his opponent, reality TV star and president Donald Trump.
When the polls started to close on Tuesday 3rd November, things were looking positive for Republican nominee, Donald Trump. At first, the polls counted the ballots which had been cast at polling stations on the day. These votes have always been a higher Republican voter turnout – especially as Trump and Biden offered differing advice for voters. Trump urged his voters to go to the polls on election day whereas Joe Biden suggested early mail in voting to ensure voter safety during the pandemic. This was reflective on election night as Biden was trailing Trump in several states, and the election maps looked far more red than blue.
States, Statistics and Standing Ground
As expected, the election was full of anticipation and unpredictability, much like 2020. Most news sources were reluctant to project states too early, hence the five-day coverage. To win the election, candidates must gain 270 electoral college votes which Joe Biden successfully did. He then surpassed the requirement to finish with 306 votes in total compared to Donald Trump’s 232.
Here is the final election map, which was finally completed ten days after the election:
Not that the popular vote holds any contribution to the final results but Joe Biden this by over five million. By doing so, he has made history by earning the most votes ever in a US presidential election – beating Barack Obama. However, Biden is not alone in his historical win. Kamala Harris will become the first ever, African American/American Indian female vice president. Her husband, Doug Emhoff will become the first ‘second gentleman’.
“I won the election!”
Despite the clear result of the election, Donald Trump’s refusal to accept and concede has not come as a surprise. His stance on ‘fraudulent’ mail in votes was made clear from the start and his behaviour while shocking is not predictable. In true Trumpian style, the current president replaced the congratulatory/concession phone call for an abundance of tweets with false claims. One does not have to search far to be swept away into the delusion of Donald Trump’s Twitter page and his insistence that he won the election.
What’s Next for America?
As Trump was preoccupied with voter-fraud claims, the Biden/Harris team began their first state business – tackling Covid-19, a promise Biden made in his victory speech in his hometown, Delaware. “We cannot repair the economy, restore our vitality, or relish life’s most precious moments – hugging a grandchild, birthdays, weddings, graduations, all the moments that matter most to us – until we get this virus under control,” he said. Within days of his election, the president-elect had created his coronavirus taskforce, full of scientists and epidemiologists who will “help take the Biden-Harris COVID plan and convert it into an action blueprint”.
What will Trump do in the two months left until the inauguration of the Biden/Harris administration? Usually, the lead up to the inauguration is a transitional period. During this time, presidents tie up loose ends and president – elect’s begin forming their plans and goals for office. However, this is not a usual election, presidency or transition. Trump has begun lawsuits to prove his baseless fraudulent voting claims and in turn, neglected efforts to handle the pandemic.
Biden won the election, but did he win the United States of America?
While Biden has made history in this election, it is important to also draw attention to the losses the Democrats made in their campaign. Biden has lost many Democrat voters from ethnic minority backgrounds despite their majority in the popular vote and the electoral college votes. It comes as a surprise, as Donald Trump has been famous for his radicalised stance and attacks against ethnic minority communities.
However, the polls would beg to differ and paint a different picture to the rhetoric Trump has created. The margins have shown a 47%-point shift towards Trump/away from the Democrats, an unprecedented change that the Democrats were not expecting. While 78 million votes are a tremendous number of votes – it would be dangerous to ignore Trump’s 73 million votes.
For majority of the ‘election week’, the important swing states were too close to call. While many will welcome a presidency believing in science, women’s rights and dismantling systemic racism. It would be naïve to dismiss Trump and his voters. Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign unlocked an underground mentality of political ideologies that created a wave across the world.
While Trump exits the White House, he leaves a lasting legacy in America and the world.