Race to 270: The 2020 Election Breakdown

Olivia Johnson, Staff Writer

   The 2020 Election was an unprecedented time for American democracy. Amidst a pandemic, civil unrest, and political polarization, the 2020 president elect will be faced with many challenges that require innovative policy. Several battleground states were key factors in determining the presidential race between Donald J. Trump and Joseph R. Biden.
   With mail-in ballots and new safety guidelines, the Election’s results were revealed after a 5-day course. Former Vice President Biden was elected as the 2020 presidential elect on November 7, 2020. Below, see a breakdown of the days with statistical analysis.
November 3, 2020: Day 1
   The election kicked off with voting polls closing nationwide. Key battleground states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Ohio were watched heavily throughout election predictions.
   As polls closed, the outcome of the election was still unclear. Mass amounts of mail in ballots flooded voting centers, thus stalling the results of the election as states raced to count all ballots.
   Biden led in many democratic strongholds such California, Oregon, and Washington. New Mexico, Virginia, Colorado also were projected to show a Biden victory in their state. Past historical trends that displayed urban areas voting majority blue stayed consistent during the 2020 election, with most major urban areas voting in favor of Biden.
   Deep red states such as Indiana and Alabama, were projected to vote in favor of Trump. Vital states, Florida and Ohio, also showed Trump leading within the counties as more votes flooded in.
   The race was still in its premature stages with a presidential elect being unclear. Nationwide surveys showed that the economy was the hot topic for the election. Many voters wished to see a candidate that had an economic policy that was able to patch the damage the Covid 19 pandemic brought.

   At 9:33 PM ET on November 3, Biden led by a small margin as the presidential race continued.

November 4, 2020: Day 2
   As polls continued to close, the race remained too close to call. Key states Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Arizona raced to count ballots.
   The state of Pennsylvania did not start their count until early Wednesday morning which sparked debate over voter fraud in the state. Many questions of when their polls closed as well as legal issues with ballots sparked.
   Despite the unclear election results, President Donald Trump made a statement addressing the American People early in the morning on November 4.
   “This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election,” said Trump when asked about the election results, “So we’ll be going to the US Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop,” continued Trump.
   Protests nation-wide spread like wildfire outside of voting polls. Phrases similar to “Stop the Count” became popular as the idea of voter fraud was launched.
   Arizona’s democratic lead was also a shock for many. In the past, AZ has had a long history of a republican vote. Voter turnout and older populations accounted for the democratic lead. The state called their election for a lead with Biden, but revoked it due to premature estimates.

   States such as Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Wisconsin had many mail-in ballots to count. Despite the projected winning party, mail-ins stalled the actual count of states with significant electoral votes. Nevada, for instance, declared they would not call the race until as late as Thursday, November 5. The race remained close, having Biden leading by a mere 7 electoral votes.

November 5, 2020: Day 3
   As the election continued, tensions rose as the votes continued to flood in. As of November 5, 3:27 AM the electoral count totaled 253-213 with Biden leading by 40 votes. The results of the election remained unclear as key states AZ, WI, GA, MI ,and PA continued to count.
   The Trump administration made previous statements claiming to file lawsuits against Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Michigan. Paranoia spread across the nation as lawsuits of stopping ballot counting spread.
   Despite the lawsuits filed by the Trump Administration, poll counters continued to process ballots. Jocelyn Benson, Michigan Secretary of State, claimed every vote would be accounted for in the 2020 Election.
   Georgia with 16 electoral votes had mass amounts of ballots to count. While Trump was leading in the state, the margins continued to decrease as mail in ballots continued to be counted.
   Arizona and Pennsylvania also showed a tight race. Trump led in PA while Biden led in AZ. In the case that Biden won PA, he would be declared the official winner due to the 20 electoral votes he could potentially gain.
   While Biden led in electoral votes, many states remained close and the real winner was undetermined. With more and more votes flooding in, GA and PA flipped blue in the midst of the night. While the states were previously red, democratic mail in ballots caused Biden to flip the states.
November 6, 2020: Day 4
   Similar to the previous election days, many states continued to count ballots with both candidates having a clear path to victory.
   The electoral vote remained stagnant with a close race tallying 253-213, Biden leading. Six key states have not called their race which stalled the election results. Margins continued to decrease with PA and AZ’s margins getting closer.
   States with many electoral votes showed projections of a Biden victory. Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Arizona showed Biden leading by a small percentage. In the case Biden won Georgia, it would be a stark change compared to Georgia’s majority vote for Trump in the 2016 election.
   Trends in the 2020 election contrasted those in 2016. Many states such as Texas had far bigger differences in blue and red votes compared to the 2020 election and was a swing state which contrasted past elections. Trump’s path to victory narrowed as more states continued to flip in Biden’s favor.
   Former Vice President Biden planned to address the nation on the fourth day of the election. American citizens sat, holding their breaths as conflicting voter fraud information spread.
   “We don’t have a final declaration of victory yet but the numbers tell us it’s clear. They tell us a clear and convincing story we’re going to win this race,” stated Biden.
   The results of the election came closer as more votes continued to be counted.
November 7, 2020: Day 5
   The election made history on Nov 7, showing Biden as the winner with his Vice President Elect Kamala Harris. After his lead in key states, Biden attained the 273 electoral votes that secured his victory.
   Both Pennsylvania and Arizona called their races, making history. Biden led in both states which was the first time a democratic candidate won in PA and NV since the late 1900s.
   Mail in ballots showed a strong favor towards Biden, causing him to win a record-breaking amount of votes: almost 75 million.

   Days after the election, states continued to be called. Nevada, Michigan, and Wisconsin continued to favor Biden, showing a win for the democratic party.

Recap:
   With Biden as the 2020 Presidential Elect, history was made. Voter turnout was at an all time high with huge increases in young voters. 66.4% of eligible voters voted in the 2020 election while only 60% voted in 2016.

   A majority of POC, women, those under the age of 44, and college graduates voted in favor of Biden. Contrastingly, men, white Americans, citizens 65 and older, as well as those with no college degree voted in favor of Trump. A graph of voter demographics is shown below.

   Battleground states showed historic margins. Florida, for example, voted red by a mere 5% compared to the 2016 statistics.
   The aftermath of the election remains undefined. Voter fraud and validity remains a key political issue that divides the nation, emphasized through the many lawsuits Trump filed against the vote count in some states. The issue of accepting results also poses an issue for a polarized America.
   Celebration across the nation sparked with many republican politicians wishing the new President Elect luck in his new position. While the future remains unclear, a new chapter unfolds as America enters new challenges it has never faced.