• JSIA Bulletin

KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THE US ELECTIONS 2020

Along with being the most important elections, the US Elections 2020 were also eventful and took quite a few unexpected turns. Be it Trump’s confidence about winning again, or the Democrats’ confidence about their victory in the Senate, a twist of certainties took place which made this election eventful. Hence, after analysis, I provide you with five key takeaways:


1) Turnout was the highest in ten decades


The voter turnout is known to be low in the US due to various reasons including the fact that the voting takes place on a Tuesday, which is a working day. Though better than 2012, the voter turnout was comparatively low in the 2016 elections as well. However, in the 2020 elections, the voter turnout was the highest in the last ten decades; 73% of the eligible voters voted. Both the party voters were deeply motivated to support their parties.


Joe Biden, the President-elect, won the highest votes ever won by a presidential candidate, and Donald Trump won the highest votes ever by a Republican presidential candidate. Even though Trump lost the elections, he performed better than what the polls predicted. The same happened in the 2016 elections as well. The reason for this is explained through the ‘shy voter’ phenomenon, whereby the voter does not express their opinions towards a candidate in the fear of being judged in society. They either give a false viewpoint when asked or avoid answering any question related to the elections, which is why their view remains unaccounted for, and hence, Trump performs better in reality than in the polls.


2) History set by Harris


Kamala Harris, the Vice-President-elect, is the first woman vice president of the United States, along with which she is the first South Asian and Black woman to step into the shoes of a vice president of the greatest nation in the world. Abby Phillip, a CNN journalist, points out an irony of how ‘Trump's political career began with the racist "birther" lie intended to discredit the first Black president, Barack Obama. It now ends with the first Black woman in the White House.’ Though one should not ignore how Harris’ judicial records favour the cops and the death penalty (which is not appreciation worthy), it is remarkable and an important achievement for feminism in American politics and by all means, it should be acknowledged.


3) Trumpism will stay


The Democrats are celebrating Trump’s exit from the White House, however, what they need to realise is that Trumpism is going to stay. The effect of Trumpism will last longer than Trump’s time in the Oval Office. Though 80 million citizens voted for Biden, the other 74 million voted for Trump, which is a small margin. It shows that the people strongly believe in Trump’s ideology; despite Trump’s evident failures (i.e. handling of the COVID pandemic) and his rhetoric, where he blabbers one fallacy in every three minutes, the Trump supporters religiously continue to follow the ideology, and over these four years, Trump has strengthened this base in such a way that it will be a challenge for the Biden administration to break through this ideology of ambiguity and unite all the Americans to one vision.


(Image Source)


4) Trump and his tantrums


When Pennsylvania was still counting the votes, Trump gave a speech and mentioned how he won over Pennsylvania and the elections, only to realise how, in the end, PA flipped towards Biden. Ever since Biden was announced the President-elect by the ‘lamestream media’ (as put by Trump himself), Trump has raised a lot of allegations. His tweets constantly talk about how the elections are rigged, how he still is and will be the President, how he ‘WON THE ELECTIONS BY A LOT!’ and how the 2020 election was a ‘corrupt election.' This type of spontaneity, unpredictability and informality are not expected from a President who lost his re-election.


Calling the election rigged goes far beyond how Trump is a sore loser; it extends to the fact that a President is outright refusing to accept and respect the decision made by the citizens. Again, this has never happened before.

After posting his hundredth ‘RIGGED ELECTIONS’ tweet, he filed a legal lawsuit in the swing states such as Wisconsin and Georgia where he lost and asked for a recount, after which he lost again as the recounts were in favour of Biden. Furthermore, along with refusing to concede (which was again, a reaction never seen before), Trump delayed the transition from the Trump to Biden administration in the White House as he refused to believe that Biden won. Posting numerous tweets which are disputed, calling the elections rigged, filing lawsuits for a recount and not allowing a smooth transition for the new administration are a few episodes which were not observed in the previous but this election.


5) The Senate race


The Democrats were confident about their control over the Senate. However, the events took a turn when it was seen how the Republicans were leading in the Senate seats. The Democratic candidate John Hickenlooper defeated Senator Cory Gardner in Colorado, and Arizona progressives were optimistic that Mark Kelly would oust Senator Martha McSally. In Georgia, one Senate race was too close to call and another advanced to a runoff. The race is close as of now as Georgia is yet to declare its result; Georgia’s decision will determine who will have the control over the Senate, which makes the Senate elections all the more exciting!


Cover Image: Associated Press

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