The 2020 Election

The+2020+Election

On November 7th, it was declared by a majority of media sources, that Joe Biden had won the presidential election against Donald Trump, making him the 46th president.

Going back to the primaries, Trump as sitting president, made him a shoe in to be the Republican nominee, so all attention was brought to the Democratic primary. While candidates like Senator Elizabeth Warren, Mayor Pete Buttigeg and former NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg got some support, the rest of the candidates received little to none or dropped out. It was clear the fight was going to be between Joe Biden, the former Vice President under the Obama administration, and Senator Bernie Sanders, who also ran in 2016.  

Even though the race was close, Sanders eventually dropped out of the race on April 8th, making Joe Biden the nominee. It is unclear as to the full reason why Sanders dropped out of the race, despite having a large support network. However, it is rumored that most in the Democratic party believed that of all of the candidates, Biden had the best shot of betting out Trump. Additionally, Sander’s view did not quite align with the moderate Democratic party values.

Leading up to the first presidential debate, the two camps built up their campaigns. Biden announced that California Senator, and former primary candidate, Kamala Harris would be his Vice Presidential nominee. He made it clear early on that he would name a female to be his vice president, later saying it would be a women of color, in due part to the Black Lives Matter movement and the growing demand for criminal justice reform. This made Harris a great choice, having served as California’s Attorney General. 

Trump’s campaign for this year’s election mimicked that of 2016, including hosting large in-person rallies across the nation, drumming up further support, and showcasing how he was going to bring change to the country. These events did however come under fire, as having large crowds in an arena, most unmasked, is considered to be unsafe with Covid-19 continuing to spread.

The Biden campaign presented a heightened focus on spreading awareness through social media, as Biden needed to encourage younger voters to stay with him. Especially targeting those who would have voted for Bernie Sanders. 

On September 29, the first debate occurred with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace moderating. The two debated the five major issues of how to handle the Coronavirus, the current state of the economy, the Black Lives Matter Movement, the Supreme Court, and the integrity of the election. Additionally, the candidates both faced the questioning of their past records. However, what most remembered that night, was not the issues discussed, but the mess that it was. CNN’s Jake Tapper went so far as to describe it as “a hot mess, inside a dumpster fire, inside a train wreck.” Many on both sides accredit the major issues to Trump’s debate style called the Gish Gallop, where the debater attempts to overwhelm the opponent. An unprepared Wallace was unable to take control of the situation with constant interruptions on both sides.

At the second debate on October 22nd, the microphones were muted to prevent interruptions and the debate was handled far better by NBC White House correspondent Kristen Welker, allowing for a clear view of each candidate’s view points.

It all came down to election night on November 3rd, where the votes were split between voting in person and voting by mail. Leading up to the election, Trump had issues with the mail in voting, believing it would cause widespread election fraud and therefore he encouraged his supporters to vote in person rather than by mail. On the night of the election, Biden was leading with confirmed electoral votes, but if the counting had stopped that night, the swing states would have gone to Trump, causing him to win the election. However, due to the large number of mail in votes, the election was still up in the air, with states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Georgia turning blue in the days following November 3rd. Joe Biden won the popular vote, as well as the electoral college by 58 electoral college votes, even with Georgia still not being fully called.

The Biden campaign publicly celebrated the win on November 7th, and announced to his supporters that he had won the election, although the fight was not quite over.

Trump has yet to concede the election, blaming the loss on widespread voter fraud. Some Republicans have given him support on this, while others have criticized the current president for not admitting defeat. As of today, no allegation of widespread voter fraud has been confirmed, with most accusations having little to no evidence. Even so, with such few cases of alleged voter fraud, the votes Trump could recover still wouldn’t lead to a win.

Until Trump concedes, the Biden forces will be shut out of important information like the state of COVID-19, which would be given to the upcoming president to help prepare before entering the office. Instead, they have had to rely on only public information, thus far. Regardless of Trump’s lack of acknowledging defeat, the Biden campaign is preparing to take office in January of 2021.