A Breakdown of the 2020 Election

A picture of the electoral map as of November 12, 2020.

For the past few weeks, tensions have been brewing in the United States regarding the 2020 Presidential Election, one that surely is going down in history books. Political signs for both Trump and Biden have popped up all over my town, and many people, including celebrities, have been urging others to use their voice and vote. However, you may be wondering, how is this any different from another election? People vote every four years, and we determine who our president will be. This year’s election, however, has some unique properties surrounding them.

Let’s talk about the candidates: President Donald Trump of the Republican Party and Former Vice President Joe Biden of the Democratic Party. Trump has always been hated by the Democrats and leftists, but he somehow still managed to secure a win over Hillary Clinton in 2016. That said, earlier this year, Joe Biden didn’t stand a fighting chance to win the election. Most Democrats didn’t like him, and more and more Trump supporters voiced their approval of the President, despite his impeachment in December 2019. However, 2020 has brought many pitfalls: the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, the rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement, countless riots, California wildfires, and so much more. Somehow, politics has entered into these problems, and instead of being scientific, equality, and environmental issues, they have been intertwined into politics. It baffles me that treating all human beings equally and the spread of a very real, potentially deadly virus are considered political issues. President Trump’s poor responses to all of these problems have opened the eyes of many people and changed their minds about supporting him. His approval rate dropped, and many people started using the phrase “Settle for Biden,” meaning that the two candidates are both “bad”, but Biden is the “lesser of two evils”.

Over the next few months, things got even worse for Donald Trump. Many Americans felt that he was ignoring the issues of the killing of innocent black people and coronavirus, even admitting he downplayed it and knew how dangerous it was. Trump has always had a bad track record- multiple recordings and videos have surfaced over the years of him talking crudely about women (including his daughter) and being racist towards many groups of minorities, including African Americans. He also lost the support and respect of many Chinese supporters, after he called the coronavirus the “China virus” and the “Kung-Flu”. Everything he did seemed to lose the support of many, and this is where Joe Biden took his chance to encourage the American people to vote for him. To be honest, if coronavirus and the BLM movement never happened, then Trump would’ve probably won, even if many people don’t like him. His poor responses to these vast issues lost him a lot of support he needed, and his personality and rude comments only got more offensive.

The days leading up to the election were full of tension, many people even saying that no matter who won, there would be a “civil war” in America. It’s crucial to also understand what was happening in the weeks before Election Day: mail-in ballots and early voting. Donald Trump discouraged his supporters to vote by mail-in ballots, saying that they were “undemocratic”. Joe Biden, on the other hand, encouraged his supporters to vote by mail-in ballots because of the threat of the coronavirus. This becomes important later on. On Election Day, at approximately 7 PM EST, the first votes were being counted. I watched for hours, observing what each state was voting. Another big difference in this election is the number of swing states, with Texas, a historically red state, becoming an unsure territory. Others included Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Wisconsin, etc. To my surprise, Georgia, Florida, and Texas started off blue- even staying blue for quite a while. Sadly, they turned red, but I was still proud to see history in the making. When will you ever see a blue Texas ever again? When I went to bed that night, however, I felt very discouraged- almost every swing state Biden needed to win was red. But when I woke up the next morning, I got a pleasant surprise: Wisconsin and Michigan were blue! I rejoiced, and over the next few hours and days, more and more states started to go blue, including the swing states of Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. Biden was declared President-Elect along with Kamala Harris as Vice President-Elect on Saturday after AP declared Pennsylvania officially blue.

How did this happen? Well, you remember the mail-in ballots that Trump so vehemently opposed? Those were the key to Joe Biden’s victory, as mail-in ballots were being counted last, as they were still coming in from the mail. Trump’s early lead in many states did not include mail-in ballots, almost all of which were for Biden, which eventually brought him to victory. However, there was no “blue wave” that happened during the election. Many swing states remained very close, with Biden only leading by a few thousand votes. Where was this blue wave? I think that social media, such as TikTok, overplayed the number of people voting for Biden. Many Biden supporters are still too young to vote, but they still encourage others to vote. Many people also say they’re voting Biden because it won’t get them “canceled”, but they might vote for Trump anyway. We also can’t forget about the silent majority. The race remained a very close one, right up until the very end.

Now, let’s talk about demographics. What states voted for which party/candidate? There the historically blue states that are always going to be blue no matter what, such as New York and Calfornia. There are also states that are historically red, such as Alabama and Louisiana. Typically, white males who live in more rural areas vote red, and women and POC and people who live in cities tend to vote blue; that’s just the pattern. This election was particularly interesting because many historically red states started to turn blue/close the margin between red and blue. This is because more and more people, typically young people, are moving from historically blue states to cities like Atlanta and Charlotte in historically red states such as North Carolina and Georgia and are bringing their more liberal ideas and political beliefs with them. Young people tend to vote blue, so the cities turn bluer as a result, accounting for Georgia and Arizona turning blue. Arizona turned blue for the first time since 1996, and many people are saying it’s due to the work of Cindy McCain, the widow of well-known Republican Senator John McCain. Shockingly, Cindy McCain publicly endorsed Biden, putting party over country, because she believed Biden was the better choice to lead and represent our country. This could mostly be due to the fact that Trump publicly and very rudely insulted John McCain, a very decorated war hero. Trump’s personality has caused many people to shy away from him and vote blue despite their political parties. Over the next few years, more and more Democrats with liberal beliefs will move to more historically red states either for work or retirement, and they will bring these beliefs with them, which could potentially turn a historically red state such as Texas to turn blue for the first time.

Although I don’t agree with some of Trump’s political and economical ideas, I wouldn’t oppose him so much if it wasn’t for his horrible, misogynistic, homophobic, and racist words. I think many people feel the same as me. The past four years have caused unimaginable division in our country. Instead of Americans, it’s now Republicans vs. Democrats, with both sides opposing the other. In my opinion, President Trump has not been a president for all Americans; he is only a president to his supporters, which is not the entire population. Him refusing to condemn white supremicists in the first presidential debate and him comparing himself to Abraham Lincoln just shows his contradiction of his words and actions, which loses him even more support from Democrats.

The 2020 Election has been one for the books. Joe Biden won over 77 million votes, breaking Barack Obama’s previous record and beating Donald Trump with the popular vote by over 5 million. Kamala Harris is now elected to be the first woman and woman of color to be vice president, and Joe Biden will become the oldest elected president. However, this is a lot of controversy over voter fraud, as President Trump has filed lawsuits in swing states such as Pennsylvania demanding a recount, even though there is no evidence of voter fraud. He just can’t seem to accept the fact he lost. many of his supporters are saying he can still win, but that is a very small possibility. As of now, Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States, and I hope that he will do better to unite our country instead of dividing it further. Disregarding his policies, I believe Joe Biden is a President for all groups and will work tirelessly for all Americans, regardless of whether or not they voted for him or not.

George Washington was right to warn us in his Farewell Speech about the dangers of political parties. Today, they’re as ineffective as ever, pitting Americans against each other. We need to remember that even with all of our differences, we are all still Americans, which is the most important thing.

Injustice from the eyes of a high schooler. Activist. Lover of history. Here to educate and inspire.