By: Maria Giovanna Jumper
This morning we woke up to incumbent President Donald Trump declaring an unwarranted victory over opponent, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden. This came in as Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Nevada, and Alaska had not been declared yet.
President Trump giving a victory speech on November 4th, 2020 prior to many states being declared. Photo from usnews.
In his victory Trump claimed that a “sad group of people” are trying to “disenfranchise” his supporters by not announcing the votes. He went on to say that he was getting ready to celebrate, claiming that he was winning everything and then “it was all called off.”
Where this claim comes from is unclear, until around 9:30 pm Biden was leading in Ohio and other key states. Although Trump was leading in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania as of last night, by this morning, according to the New York Times, over 98 percent of the vote has been counted in Wisconsin and Biden is leading with 49.4 percent of the vote. A similar story is unfolding in Michigan, as of 4:55pm, 97 percent of the vote has been counted and 49.8 percent has been awarded to Biden, a slim lead to Trump’s 48.6 percent of the vote there.
In the same speech Trump called this “a fraud to the American public, this is an embarrassment to this country” when speaking about the official numbers yet to be reported. Yet the Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, said to the Washington Post “We still have over one million mail ballots to count in Pennsylvania. I promised Pennsylvanians that we would count every vote, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Trump’s claim of victory came later in the speech when he said, “we were getting ready to win this election, frankly we did win this election.” Then calling to hold up the integrity of the election “for the good of this nation.” Trump went on to say that he wants the “law to be used in the proper way” and said he will be going to the United States Supreme Court to stop vote counting, saying “we don’t want them to find any ballots at 4:00 in the morning and add them to the list.”
But, for some states it's not finding random votes at 4 in the morning, it is millions of votes, both from those who voted via mail-in ballots, and from those serving our country overseas.
This election is far from over. The key states to watch for Biden are Nevada, Arizona, Michigan, and Wisconsin, which if he wins all four would put him over the 270 mandatory electoral votes. So far of these four states, Wisconsin and Michigan have been called for Biden. For Trump, he needs to hold on to Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, and take one of the larger states that hold Biden in the winning as of now.
Some who have historically supported Trump came out saying it was grossly inappropriate for him to claim victory now. Chris Christie, the former GOP governor of New Jersey, said on ABC news, “All these votes have to be counted that are in now… Tonight was not the time to make this argument. I disagree with what he did tonight.”
Many news sources, including ABC news, CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, have said that many of the votes that still need to be counted are in Democratic hubs and could lead to a Biden win, although no one is sure yet.
Notably, one of the largest shifts in the election will be the flip of Arizona. This may end up being one of the most notable changes of the night.
When asked about Biden’s possibility to win and the timeline of election results, Professor Maggie Gray, chair of the Political Science department said, “Let’s assume that Arizona goes to Biden and North Carolina goes to Trump with Georgia and Pennsylvania still in play, if Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin all go to Biden I think that speaks to wrapping this all up sooner, but it depends on recounting.”
As of now the New York Times is showing Biden with 253 electoral votes and 70,501,894 popular votes (50.3 percent of the vote) and Trump at 214 electoral votes and 67,316,817 popular votes (48.0 percent of the vote). ABC news has concurred on these numbers, while fox news has declared Arizona for Biden giving him 264 electoral votes.
The election can still go either way and will definitely be a historical moment. In terms of when we will know, Professor Traci Levy of the Political Science department said, “If I had to guess, and this is a guess because it really depends on margin of error, I would guess by tomorrow unless we go into recounts”
Professor Gray continued to say, “There are absentee ballots that are still being counted, and in most states if there is a problem where you are denied the ability to vote at polling sites, you can put in a provisional ballot of some form, which in this election may make a significant difference, and those ballots, along with absentee ballots, are most vulnerable to being invalidated.”
Ultimately, it might be many days or weeks before we know who the next President of the United States will be.