A Closer Look at the 2020 Election Results

Angel Benjamin, Co-Editor in Chief

While the streets bustled with grinning faces and raised signs in celebration of the long-awaited announcement of victory for president-elect Joe Biden, this wasn’t the only eruption of emotion that occurred in cities across the country this past Saturday. In front of city halls and on sidewalks, many protested the results as being evidence of voter fraud and cheating.

The 2020 presidential election was one of the tightest races in American political history, revealing margins that painted a nation in half and highlighted a citizenry divided in ways that go deeper than just red and blue.

On Saturday afternoon, the Associated Press called that Biden won Pennsylvania and had secured its twenty electoral votes, pushing him over the required two hundred seventy threshold with a heavy two hundred and ninety votes. Among the population, about fifty percent of voters had cast their ballot for Biden and forty seven percent stood behind President Donald Trump. As the new president begins his transition plans, President Trump continues to place his focus on his election lawsuits as he sues for voter fraud in a few major states.

Despite the relief and excitement many felt after the announcement of Biden as the victor and feel in anticipation of Biden’s presidency, I am still amazed by the overwhelming number of people who voted for the incumbent president. This places Biden’s presidency into a larger perspective that goes beyond pushing for laws enacting social justice and lowering the daily new cases and gruesome deaths from COVID-19. Biden has the eyes of the world, in addition to the eyes of his constituents, on him and their expectations are both a weight and a reminder on his shoulders of the promises he made on the campaign trail. He holds a fragile country in his hands, and only time will tell whether or not his plans will save it.

This isn’t to say a civil war will break out if Biden isn’t careful but it is not too far-fetched to say there are tensions in the nation, further aggravated by the way the election ended. 

Trump supporters have taken to the streets too, though not in celebration but in protest. Some have come armed with more than just words as guns have been part of some protesters gear. CNN reporters Michael Warren, Caroline Kenny, Bob Ortega and Casey Tolan recently interviewed Republican voters in a November 9th article where they asked for their opinions about the election results. Many claimed events of “voter fraud” as a major issue, just as the president did last week.

I have been wondering why people voted for Trump in the first place. Is it because his policies just aligned with their beliefs and priorities or was it just because he was the Republican candidate? The truth is, many view him as the right person to improve the economy and prioritize national security to protect Americans. However, others believe he aligns with their values and has taken more action in four years than Biden has in, as Trump often pointed out during debates, his forty seven plus years in government. 

A few Republican leaders have publicly accepted the election results while others seem to support claims about fraudulent activity in counting the ballots. This difference in reaction to the news of the president’s defeat is a sign of how the Republican Party too is fractured; divided in a way that is really no different from the Democratic Party.

As the president-elect and our president for the next four years, Biden will need to work with both parties and listen to all voices with the intention of truly working to mend some of those cracks within our society. As all presidents must do, Biden will need to appeal to both the trusting voters who went blue and the disappointed voters who chose red in order to truly work towards uniting the country.