Unprecedented Election, Unprecedented Year; Biden Winning


Nick Bumgardner, Political Editor/Analyst, Advanced Journalism

A truly unprecedented year is being capped off by a truly unprecedented election.

Election week has all but concluded in America, with Democratic challenger Joe Biden poised, as the last votes trickle in, to win the 2020 presidential election and cement a decisive 306-232 electoral vote margin and 4 million vote lead nationally.

Biden holds the lead in 3 of the 5 states still outstanding as of Friday evening and experts expect the race to be called this weekend, as the remaining handfuls of mail in, provisional, and military ballots are counted and reported.

At 8 p.m. CST, Biden became the first presidential candidate in American history to secure 75 million votes, the most in any presidential election.

Dubbed a “red mirage” by election analysts, the election returns on Tuesday disproportionately favored Republicans, who overwhelmingly voted in-person, creating an election night atmosphere unlike any other.

Meanwhile, mail-in ballots, the overwhelmingly preferred method of voting in 2020 for Democrats, slowly changed the political landscape, as states across the country began factoring them into their count.

Due to the sheer volume of mail-in votes, an unprecedented number due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many states took the remaining week to iron out their final tallies.

Wisconsin, one of the states Trump carried early, finished in a narrow 20,000 vote lead for Biden when the votes were finally counted.

Democrats’ presidential victory was built right at home in the “Rust Belt.”

Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania–the historic Democratic “blue wall” was reconnected after a narrow defeat in 2016, carrying Biden to a win.

Adding to his flips in the Upper Midwest, Biden also flipped the all-important Southwestern battleground of Arizona and, barring a ~5,000 vote swing on the recount, the typical GOP stronghold of Georgia, a state that last went blue in 1992.

Biden will also win a split of electoral votes from both Maine and Nebraska, who divide their electoral votes by Congressional district, and the traditional bellwether state of New Hampshire.

As for Congressional races, the Democrats largely underperformed.

In their quest to flip the Senate, Democrats finished Friday with a net gain of one seat, shrinking the Republican majority to just two seats, but still needing to pick up two additional seats to secure a majority.

The fate of the Senate will now rest at the feet of both Senate races in Georgia, which will be advancing to runoff elections set to take place in early January.

In the House, the Democrats maintain their majority, but a shrunken one at that, with NBC projecting them to have their majority dropped from 35 seats to just 17.

As we end the year, a Democratic presidency, paired with a Democratic House and Republican Senate, has been all but decided.

A divided Congress will throw a wrench in Biden’s hopes at passing much, if not all, of his agenda and casts serious doubt as to whether or not any substantial COVID-19 relief package will come from Congress at the start of next year, when the new president and Congress will come in.

Issues such as health care reform, a minimum wage increase, climate action, and immigration reform will likely be placed on the back burner as America heads toward a dark, deeply gridlocked chapter in the COVID-19 pandemic.