After 96 Hours of Counting, We Have a Presumptive Winner
By Logan Balsan
Volume 1 Issue 2
November 24, 2020
Image provided by CNN
Written by: Logan Balsan (in coordination with Craig Papajohn-Shaw)
Disclaimer: Election Results can change as campaigns are contesting election results in court
On Saturday, November 7th, 2020, the Associated Press announced that Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. would win the State of Pennsylvania and its 20 Electoral Votes, putting him over the 270 minimum needed to win the Presidency. However, the results of congressional elections across the country could seriously affect the Biden/Harris agenda within the next four years.
In the House of Representatives elections, the Republicans have (so far, last update on Sunday, November 15th, 2020 as there were still mail-in ballots to be counted) gained 5 seats. Even here in New York, State Assemblyman Andrew Garbarino, Republican, won to succeed retiring Rep. Peter King, Republican, in his House seat. In Staten Island, Max Rose became a single-term representative, losing to State Legislator, Nicole Malliotakis, a registered Republican. Upstate, Claudia Tenney, Republican, ousted Anthony Brindisi to also make him a single-term representative. Many polls (according to Realclearpolitics.com) had many of these incumbents or Democratic challengers up. For example, FiveThirtyEight projected Jackie Gordon, Democrat, to have a 55 percent chance of defeating Andrew Garbarino to succeed Rep. King.
In the Senate elections, the Republicans held significant seats that had Democratic challengers up in polls. In Maine, Senator Susan Collins, Republican, survived a challenge from State House Speaker Sara Gideon, Democrat by more than 7 points, while polling had Gideon up 6 to 7 points. In North Carolina, incumbent Republican Senator Thom Tillis nearly lost to former State Legislator Cal Cunningham, but after a scandal cast a shadow over Cunningham’s reputation, Tillis was able to squeak out a win for the GOP. Republicans did the same in Montana between Senator Steve Daines (GOP) v. Governor Steve Bullock (D). The Republicans lost two senate seats though. In Arizona and Colorado, Senators McSally of Arizona and Cory Gardner of Colorado lost in big races that favored their Democratic challengers. The Senate majority is in tandem, with two Senate seats in runoffs: both of Georgia’s Senate Seats. Senator Perdue failed to reach 50%+1 votes in order to avoid a runoff, and in the Special Election, Senator Kelly Loeffler and Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock were unable to reach 50% as well, leading to a runoff. These two seats will decide the fate of the Senate Republicans’ majority come January.
If the Republicans made gains in Congress, how does it translate to Joe Biden, Democrat, winning the Presidency? Normally, when Republicans see gains in their congressional races, it gives the Republicans a higher chance of winning the Presidency. President Trump was calling for votes to stop in some places, and recounts in others. After Joe Biden started to lead in Georgia, it was all over for President Trump, because once Biden won Arizona, he needed Georgia to have a chance to win. Did we expect Trump to concede from the get go if he lost? As predictable as he is, Trump filed for numerous court cases in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia, and Wisconsin, on the basis of voter fraud. Trump did not see much victory in any Michigan court cases, as the Michigan Supreme Court denied his cases a hearing. However, there were tabulation errors in Michigan. For example, voting technology accidentally projected Biden to win Antrim County, while Trump actually led by 6,000 votes. The Michigan GOP Chairwoman called for a hand recount in all other counties, since they used the same technology that created this error. Trump’s campaign, however, won a case in Pennsylvania that required all counting to be monitored by observers. In the Supreme Court, Justice Alito required all mail in votes that came in after Election Day to be counted separately. Another rumor was spread that voters in Arizona were given sharpies to submit their ballots, and that they bled through the ballot and therefore the scanner could not read it. Due to all the confusion and the numerous rumors spread, it is difficult to determine whether all these rumors are true or false.
While it is too early, 2024 will be determined by what President Biden will accomplish in his term, as he has stated on the campaign trail he would only seek one term. Will Biden’s environmental agenda put the economy on the backburner? Will Biden’s tax program actually raise taxes on the middle class, and in New York State alone to a 60 percent cap? Will Biden be able to work with a Republican Senate majority, and a possible House majority after the 2022 midterm elections? While this may be speculation, there is a reality that concerns Biden’s ability to work with the Republican Congress that may kill his agenda point blank, and it may cost the Democrats, and possibly Vice President Kamala Harris, the election in 2024.
Now, the Election of 2020 is over, and President Biden must decide the direction of America over the next four years. He has much to do, with the entire world watching him.