News/Op-Ed: Former V.P. Biden and President Trump Play A Waiting Game In One Of The Closest Elections In U.S. History
by Joshua Hernandez, Editor-In-Chief
Despite the fact that Americans nationwide were under the general consensus that this presidential election would be very close, it is unlikely that anyone knew it would be this close. In an election that has spanned two days and going into three without a clear winner, here’s where both candidates stand as a presidency hangs in the balance.
While the election is certainly closer than many Americans thought it would be, everything that has played out thus far has most definitely gone as expected.
After midnight on November 3rd, with states such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, and North Carolina hanging in the balance – with a presidency attached to it – both candidates were caught in the middle of an election hot potato.
At the end of the night, Biden had leads in Arizona, Nevada, and Wisconsin, with President Trump holding slim – and now even slimmer – leads that were within a margin of error.
With polls long closed and the grueling election process playing itself out in a very prolonged manner, both Vice President Biden and President Trump decided to make formal statements to the America people as the presidency hung in the balance with no clear winner established to claim it.
In order to quell the concerns of his base of support, the former Vice President said in a short statement from the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware that while he was confident he was headed toward a victory and the 270 threshold needed to formally win the presidency, there was no way he could possibly claim victory without results finalized, instead commending his supporters for their patience in getting the results and telling them to “keep the faith” while promoting the idea of civility and unity.
On the other hand, in a polar opposite speech given at the White House by President Trump, he claimed victory of the entire election while throwing around the baseless accusation of voter fraud within those key battleground states, undermining the integrity of America’s democracy by degrading the power of the people from their right to use their voice at the polls and vote.
The way in which President Trump claimed victory early and accused the battleground states’ election officials of voter fraud was so far past staying within the bounds of Democracy that even Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the heavily partisan Senate Majority Leader, spoke out against President Trump in statement, saying “Claiming you’ve won the election is different from finishing the counting.”
Furthermore, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) also made sure, as a Republican, to distance himself from the President’s claims of voter fraud and speak out against his attempt to prematurely claim victory, saying, “taking days to count legally cast votes is NOT fraud.”
Due to the social media climate being extremely toxic due to extremes from both sides of the aisle, with leftists on Twitter claiming voter suppression while right-winging Twitter users claim voter fraud due to Biden’s leads and comebacks in key battleground states, Marco Rubio weighed in against the leftists claiming voter suppression, saying “And court challenges to votes cast after the legal voting deadline, is NOT suppression.”
Meanwhile, key left politicians have pushed back against the voter fraud conspiracy being pushed by right-wing social media users, as Bernie Sanders stated in a tweet:
In spite of all the things that may be being pushed on social media from left and right winging social media users – either claims of voter suppression or voter fraud – are simply not correct or rational.
The reason Vice President Biden has continued to make tremendous late strides in key states is due to the fact that the battleground states counted same-day votes BEFORE they counted early votes and mail-in votes. The mail-in votes in this election have favored Biden, since almost 80% of those mail-in ballots were votes to Biden, with the remainder of the chunk going to President Trump.
A claim suggesting either voter suppression or voter fraud – more specifically the latter – are simply not true. For many states such as Pennsylvania, early voting is new, and the seismic uptick in mail-in votes cast have reached unprecedented numbers, meaning states are taking longer to count every vote.
The best thing to do as of now is to maintain patience as votes are counted and precincts finalize vote tallies. The counting of votes, even if prolonged, is how elections have always worked within American Democracy, even if this year seems longer than usual.
As of now, the Presidency hangs in the balance and the rhetoric of the two candidates thus far shows a stark contrast in the way they view such an integral part of American Democracy.
The most recent results, Via CNN, have President Trump leading in Georgia by 13,534 votes with 98% of the results in, North Carolina by 76,737 votes with 95% of the results in, and Pennsylvania by 111,369 votes with 92% of the results in. All the aforementioned states are far from being called, with a large amount of outstanding votes yet to be fully reported.
On the flip side, Vice President Biden leads in Arizona by 68,390 votes with 86% of the results in, while also leading in Nevada by 11,438 votes with 89% of the results in.
Vice President Biden leads in the popular vote with 72.3 Million votes – the most for a single candidate in US History – while President Trump has 68.5 Million votes, another impressive mark.
As of now, Vice President Biden leads President Trump 253-213 in the race to 270 electoral votes. If Biden wins Arizona and Nevada, which he may be on the path to, he hits exactly 270 and secures the presidency. Meanwhile, even if President Trump wins North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Alaska, he still loses the election.
With many more outstanding votes left to be reported in places such as Pennsylvania and Georgia, which have heavily favored Vice President Biden during this cycle, the prospects of a second term – and a clear path to 270 – look grim for President Trump, barring anything unforeseen.