The Electoral Saga Ends: But What is Left as the Dust Settles?


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Michael Stokes

Hayden Kim, Opinion's Editor

The saga of the 2020 Presidential Election is finally over (almost).

The nail in the coffin? Pennsylvania. On November 7th, 2020, Fox News, NBC, and others called Pennsylvania for former Vice-President Joe Biden which put him over the projected electoral college vote of 270 almost 5 days after Election Day. With election results to still return in Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada, Biden could extend his lead to well over the 270 electoral college votes needed to secure the presidency.

As expected, President Donald Trump has challenged the results in multiple states including Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. However, this is unlikely to change the results as recounts only swing a few hundred votes to either side and may actually benefit Biden as mail-in ballots are harder to count than physical ballots. The biggest questions that remain are: what is going to happen in the Senate and what lies ahead for President-Elect Joe Biden?

The final result of this election in the Senate are still unknown. The Democrats expected a “blue wave” in this election but got more of a blue tide. With the presidency, the Democrats have the 101st tiebreaker vote in the Senate as the Vice President also holds the title of President of the Senate. This means that the Democrats need to obtain 50 seats instead of 51 to win control. Currently, the Senate sits at 48 seats to each party with three races to be decided: Alaska and the two Georgia seats.

Alaska is very likely to return to incumbent Republican Dan Sullivan as he is currently doubling Democratic challenger Dan Gross’s vote totals. Next, the most likely decider of who controls the Senate: Georgia. Both of Georgia’s Senate seats are slated to head into a January run-off election as Jon Ossoff was able to pull David Perdue’s vote percentage down to below 50% and mandated a run-off election. For the other Georgia seat, Raphael Warnock and Senator Kelly Loeffler head into the same run-off election as Ossoff and Perdue although under different terms. This run-off came after a special election which allowed an open field for any candidate for all parties to throw their hats in the ring for the seat. However, no candidate was able to win 50% of the vote and thus, also headed into a special election between the front runners of each party. After the Presidential election excitement dies down, I believe both parties are going to invest heavily in the state, hoping to sway voters. These two races effectively hold the keys to the Senate. For the Democrats, it could mean total control of government for at least two years before the midterm elections which could allow them to overturn some or all of President Trump’s policies and laws. On the flip side, the Republicans could maintain control of the Senate and, like during Obama’s Presidency following the 2010 midterm elections, will stifle and prevent any motions in Congress by the future Biden Administration. In short, Georgia holds the keys to the government.

Looking to the future administration, President Biden would be only the second Catholic President in  United States’ history after John F. Kennedy. This being said, Biden has very high expectations after the train wreck that will end the Trump administration. Biden has gone right to work as he attempts to legitimize his victory through press conferences and other events as he demonstrates his openness to begin the transfer of power, as done by the long line of President-elects before him. This strategy helps Biden appear as more reasonable than the President and makes it increasingly harder for state and federal judges to overturn the election results. Biden has a long road ahead between now and January 20th when he will be inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States and, no doubt, there will be interesting twists and turns as President Donald Trump continues his concession holdout.