Politics

Joe Biden to become 46th President of the United States

Joe Biden will move into the White House following his inauguration. Source: AgnosticPreachersKid (via. WikiMedia Commoons)
Joe Biden has won the Presidential election and will become the 46th President of the United States.

By Hallum Cowell and Tom Kingsbury | Political Editors

On November 7, Joe Biden was projected to win the race for the White House. While many in the US and around the world had hoped to wake up on November 4 with news of a winner, counting votes took longer than expected. This was due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the significant increase in postal votes. Incumbent President Donald Trump failed to secure a second term – a rarity in American electoral history. Joe Biden is now President-elect of the United States, and will be inaugurated sometime in early January. 

As the Gair Rhydd politics team covered the evening’s events, we saw a sizable early lead for President Trump in many states he was expected to be behind his rival Biden in. 

Many of these states were integral to the result of the election, and some were states Trump had ‘flipped’ from the Democrats in 2016 but was predicted to lose this time around.

In Pennsylvania, for example, early ballot results looked excellent for Trump, and in Michigan and Wisconsin, Trump was ahead by a large margin in the first batch of votes declared.

But it seems now these ‘blue wall’ states have all now been called for Biden.

So the question is: how and why did Trump’s early lead dissipate?

This is where the ‘red mirage’ comes into play. In some states, including the three we have focussed on here, early and mail-in ballots were not allowed to be counted until the polls had closed.

Biden and other leading Democrats had urged their supporters to vote by mail or vote early, and in contrast President Trump had been sceptical of mail-in voting and did not encourage early voting.

This resulted in a ‘red mirage’ effect, where states released their in-person, on-the-day results first, which leaned Republican more so than mail-in and early votes.

The mirage effect showed Trump much further ahead in certain states than he really was, and in states Trump had looked ahead in, Biden gained on Trump over the night – and days – following the election.

This has led to a sharp increase in Democrat votes in recent days, eroding Trump’s lead in some areas while completely overtaking the incumbent President in others.

By the day it looked more and more likely that Joe Biden would become the President of the United States. With many of the states left to be called leaning Democrat, it seemed it would take some huge upset for Trump to win. As the days after the election passed Biden only had to claim a small number of the remaining states, in the end it was Pennsylvania, a state which many had predicted would decide the election, which voted him into office with their 20 electoral votes.

Both candidates have been holding nightly speeches, laying out their thoughts on the election. Trump has proven the most divisive, which is a fitting way to end his Presidency, calling the election rigged. Trump’s main argument comes down to mail in ballots, he argues that any votes counted after election night (that would have been November 3 going into November 4) illegal votes. There is no electoral basis or legal groundwork for this argument.

Trump argued that he had already won the election, and indeed if voting had ceased on the night and only the votes cast on November 3 had counted he would have. The Trump campaign has made a number of legal attempts to stop the counting of votes in states, all of which have been thrown out due to a lack of evidence of voter fraud. However, at least in the eyes of the Trump campaign, this is a battle which is far from over and if the Republican party throws their weight behind these allegations then it is possible the election result could be mired in court for weeks or even months to come.

It is also unclear whether Trump will be willing to give a concession speech, a tradition for the losing candidate, now that he has lost the election. 

Biden on the other hand had refrained from claiming victory in the election, instead calling for unity among the American people. However, whether they will listen to him is another matter entirely, as protests continue across the nation from both sides of the political divide.

Upon winning the Presidency Biden once again called for unity among the American people, and in what some may call “deep blue” states such as New York and DC there was celebration at this victory. Elsewhere Trump supporters found themselves in a similar state to Democrats in 2016, disillusioned and distraught at the result.

Follow @gairrhyddpol for all of the latest updates from the world of politics.

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