America Reacts to the 2020 Presidential Election Results

Children watch fireworks to celebrate Bidens victory.

REUTERS/Mark Makela

Children watch fireworks to celebrate Biden’s victory.

Elle Cavanaugh, Contributing Writer

After four days of anxiously waiting for key swing states to finish counting the ballots for the 2020 Presidential Decision, on Saturday, November 7, Joseph R. Biden Jr. surged past 270 votes and was elected the 46th President of the United States.

Because of COVID-19 concerns, millions of Americans turned to absentees to cast their ballots. Officials worked around the clock to count mail-ins as they flooded in days after Election Day. Although it seemed very likely early on that the now Presidential-Elect would win the popular vote–Biden had the most votes cast of all time–the results of the election laid in the hands of the electoral college.

Winning Pennsylvania brought Biden’s electoral total to 276 votes Saturday morning. Today on November 14, the New York Times projection shows Biden with 306 electoral votes and Trump with 232

CNN, NBC News, CBS News, ABC News, and the Associated Press announced Biden’s victory on Saturday morning. It took Fox News 16 minutes longer to project Biden as the winner. Fox News notoriously caters to a more Republican audience, so this delay in the projection of a Democrat winner concerned many liberal Americans. 

It took President Trump weeks to state on the record that he would accept the results of the election if they were not to go in his favor. That frustrated and scared many Americans. Now that he has lost, the 45th President has yet to concede to the President-Elect and continues talking about voter fraud. (The New York Times reports that election officials in every state have confirmed that “There is no evidence that fraud or other irregularities played a role in the outcome.”)

Beginning Saturday, Trump supporters have been protesting the results with signs reading “Stop the Steal” and “Democrats Cheat to Win!” Many have promised that they would take this election “To court.” Others have accepted the defeat and wish the President would make the traditional concession, a custom that has been in place since 1896.

Junior Andy Reid explains, “Joe Biden will be the 46th President of the United States and won the popular vote which is an incredible margin to defeat an incumbent by…I understand Donald Trump’s willingness to fight the results of this election, but I think in 99% of scenarios he still ends up losing. Democracy has spoken and to fight that is to fight America, which is the country we need to preserve.”

Reid claims, “Although I am certainly biased, this election was a huge win for the Republicans,” explaining that “Republicans maintained control of the Senate and made gains in the House.” (Although likely that there will be a Republican Senate, we cannot confirm this until runoffs in Georgia have determined their Congressmen. Also, while Republicans did flip some seats in the House, Democrats will remain in power there.) 

Reid remains hopeful that “Many people on the right are willing to give [Biden] a chance and accept the reality.” 

Other HHS students like junior Jack Libby are apprehensive about the transition of power stating, “I hope that the results of this election do not anger too many people to a point where national artifacts, cities, or even government-affiliated buildings get destroyed.” Libby states that he “Expected the outcome,” explaining that “When an administration is not handling a flaw well, and it has approached the point where it is a global issue (talking about the pandemic), there needs to be a change in that administration.” He revealed that “This election result has given me confidence that people will calm down and a united nation will be restored again.”

Junior Kate Schembri agreed with Libby that the current administration is failing the country, adding that “There has been a ton of hate coming from the President and this administration.” She shared, “I was personally really thrilled with the election results because I have been a Biden supporter since day one, and I really think that this nation needs a change.”

The majority of Americans agree with Schembri on this. While Trump supporters protested the results, Biden supporters filled the streets to celebrate their victory. Americans lined the Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House clutching signs reading “You’re Fired!” and “The Real Majority Has Now Spoken!”. National Geographic notes that this is the same spot where the government teargassed peaceful protesters campaigning for the Black Lives Matter Movement five months ago. Now, they sing “Sweet Caroline” as they rejoice over the fact that America has elected its first female and person of color Vice President, Kamala Harris.

Senior Julia Burm explained that Biden and Harris’ win is “Another positive sign for the future of progressive politics” and “Although Joe Biden does not support progressive values to the extent that I would like, I have more hope for the future with this election.” Burm added, “Trump’s rhetoric over the past four years has encouraged minority oppression, and I am very glad to see him leaving the Oval Office.”

Freshman Ellie McKay agreed with Burm adding, “I feel really hopeful, and even though America has a lot of work to do, and we are far from done, [the result of the election] was a great step in the right direction.”

With a lot at stake as the United States continues to polarize politically, we knew this election would showcase a complicated range of reactions from Americans. Biden will be succeeding the controversial Trump administration that led a turbulent four years. With likely a Republican Senate and possibly a close House, the new executive branch will have to be creative when navigating through their time in office. No matter what happens, it will be fascinating to watch how Americans on both ends of the political spectrum continue to react over the course of the next four years.