Former Vice-President Joe Biden has won the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, defeating the incumbent President Donald J. Trump.
A majority of the television networks called the race on Saturday 7th November, 4 days after polls closed across the United States.
Biden is projected to win 306 electoral college votes, to Trumps 232. Biden managed to re-capture the ‘Blue Wall’ that Clinton lost so narrowly in 2016. States like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, flipped back to the Democratic candidate.
He also managed to flip states like Arizona and Georgia, that haven’t voted for a Democratic candidate since the 1990s. As well as receiving more votes in Texas than any other Democrat in history.
Paving the way for a potentially seismic restructuring of the American South that could radically alter any future presidential election.
The election is also historic as it will make California Senator Kamala Harris the first female, the first African American and the first Asian American Vice-President.
During her acceptance speech in Delaware, Harris said that “while I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities”.
The electoral college will meet on December 14th to count the results with the Senate and Congress ratifying the results on January 6th.
Due to the unprecedented nature of this election, taking place amidst a global pandemic, there were a considerable number of early voting either in person or by mail. With an estimated 100 million Americans voting before polling day.
The huge number of early voting, coupled with the sporadic nature of different states having different laws about how and when those votes could be counted, meant the results in some states took several days to be counted.
The drawn-out tension and countless hours of election coverage lead to the unlikely rise of the term ‘Chartthrob’. With the internet seemingly abuzz with election analysts like MSNBC’s Steve Kornaki, and CNN’s John King and their immense ability to dive into the election results coming out of any given county, in any particular swing state, and present their findings with such clarity.
Turmoil still remains however, as President Trump refuses to acknowledge defeat. Arguing the election was “rigged” against him, and having his team launch multiple lawsuits in key states. The President and his legal team however, have still failed to provide any credible accounts of voter fraud or the votes being “rigged” against him.
Trumps refusal to concede, alongside senior Republicans such as Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, has led to 70% of Republicans not believing the Presidential Election to be free or fair.
With so many Republicans questioning the legitimacy of the election results, it raises questions around President-Elect Biden’s ability to unite the country when he is sworn into office.
As well as the major political ramifications of Trumps refusal to concede, administrative problems are beginning to arise too. Emily Murphy who runs the General Services Administration, and was appointed by Trump, is refusing to sign off on the transition.
Due to Murphy’s decision the incoming Biden administration will have a lack of funding to rent out crucial Washington DC office space.
Murphy’s refusal to budge also has serious consequences surrounding Biden’s senior officials’ abilities to
Chris Lu, the executive director of Obama’s transition told NPR that “hopefully, this is just a temporary setback”
As well as the transitional issues facing Biden, he is also met with fierce division within his own party.
Biden won a coalition of support spanning from Democratic Socialists like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, all the way through to the wife of John McCain, the Republican who ran against Barrack Obama in 2008.
In a bizarre twist of events, even Anthony Scaramucci, who did a two-week stint as Press Secretary for President Trump endorsed Joe Biden.
However, cracks are beginning to show, with a fractious conference call amongst Democratic congressional candidates that took place on the Thursday after the election, highlighting just that.
Many on the call, including Representative Abigail Spanberger, the moderate Democrat representing the Virginia 7th reportedly told her colleagues that the Democrats should never say socialism again, and bemoaned the ‘defund the police’ message that has become increasingly popular amongst a certain section of Democrats.
All eyes now turn to the senate run-off elections in Georgia in January, which will determine the outcome of the senate.
A fractured Democratic party, an uncooperative Republican party, a potentially divided Senate, and a previous administration that refuses to cooperate, all on top of a global pandemic, it seems as though a President Biden administration will will be faced with major challenges the moment they walk in the door.
Image Credit: Los Angeles Times