Written by: Jessica
Edited by: Joaquin
Visual by: Anushka
After a seemingly long wait, Joe Biden has secured his spot as the 46th president of the United States, surpassing the required 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidential election. Swing states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Arizona have all shifted from red to blue from the 2016 elections to present. In particular, Arizona has consistently voted red in presidential elections since 1952. Regardless of being the frontrunner throughout the campaign, Biden continued to hold events in key states, while maintaining social distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Biden’s victory has also set history; Biden being the oldest candidate to win the presidency at age 77 and his running mate, Kamala Harris, being the first ever female vice-president elected, as well as the first Black American and Asian American.
According to statistics of exit polls by Edison Research for the National Election Pool, majority of those in racial minorities and the LGBT community were in favour of Biden. The polarized country naturally had very divided reactions to the results. Massive celebrations took place on the streets across the country such as Washington DC and New York. Many supporters of the losing candidate, the incumbent President Donald Trump, were in denial of the election results. Protestors gathered around state capitol buildings, arguing over unsubstantiated electoral fraud claims. In order for Trump to have won in Pennsylvania, 55,000 votes from the state would have to be invalidated. Pennsylvania’s Democratic attorney general, Josh Shapiro, has stated that there was no evidence found which supported claims of the counterfeit election. Arizona’s Republican attorney general, Mark Brnovich, also stated that state officials got about 1,000 complaints over election fraud, but had no evidence of it. Once the vote counting finishes, Biden is predicted to be 5 million votes ahead of Trump, breaking the record of most votes cast for presidential candidate, currently with 78 million votes. Trump has also surpassed previous record holder, Obama, who has received 69,498,516 votes in the 2008 presidential election, with approximately 73 million votes.
The Biden-Harris Transition website shows their priorities and plans for COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity and climate change as president and vice president-elect. Biden has stated that he plans to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and the World Health Organization, both of which Trump had withdrawn from. With increasing COVID-19 cases in the US, Biden released a statement saying that “dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts. The advisory board will help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations.” He also plans to reverse Trump’s foreign policy actions, lift the travel ban in Muslim-majoritiy countries and allow undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children to stay in the country.
The ISM community had expressed their thoughts on the 2020 election on social media, many reposting content advising those old enough to vote and some showing their frustrations with the slow counts in states. When Beeke (9) was asked for her opinion on the election, she responded, “I’m pretty happy that Biden won because I believe he’s inherently better than Trump. Neither of them are perfect but I think that Biden has better policies for health insurance because not everyone can afford private health insurance. He believes in climate change and listens to scientists. He also has a planned approach for COVID-19 and I’m pretty sure he’s raising the minimum wage and planning to undo Trump’s immigration policies.” Sofie (9) directed her focus to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying, “the fact that the votes were really close meaning that so many people still voted for Trump is really concerning. I also think a reason a lot of the swing states like Georgia voted blue this year is because of how poorly Trump handled the COVID-19 pandemic. Georgia had a concerningly high number of cases and due to Trump’s poor leadership and insensitivity when handling the pandemic, residents of Georgia who personally dealt with the virus began to dislike him and voted him out.”
While Trump refused to acknowledge the results of the election, Biden expressed his desire for the country’s unity in his victory speech as he said, “I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but to unify.” Many look forward to the changes he plans to make as he takes office during a time of global crisis.
Bradner, Eric, and Sarah Mucha. “Biden Plans Executive Actions That Would Undo Trump’s Policies.” CNN, Cable News Network, 8 Nov. 2020, edition.cnn.com/2020/11/08/politics/biden-first-day-executive-actions/index.html.
Enten, Harry. “Joe Biden’s Win Grows More Decisive Each Day as Votes Are Counted.” CNN, Cable News Network, 12 Nov. 2020, edition.cnn.com/2020/11/11/politics/joe-biden-2020-election-win/index.html.
Ferré-sadurní, Luis, et al. “Biden Flips Arizona, Further Cementing His Presidential Victory.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 13 Nov. 2020, http://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/12/us/biden-wins-arizona.html.
Lewis, Sophie. “Joe Biden Breaks Obama’s Record for Most Votes Ever Cast for a U.S. Presidential Candidate.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 13 Nov. 2020, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/joe-biden-popular-vote-record-barack-obama-us-presidential-election-donald-trump/.