The  2020 US presidential election

Published November 6, 2020, 5:34 PM

by Dr. Florangel Rosario Braid


Dr. Florangel Rosario Braid

As of time of writing, the counting in the US presidential election is still going on, but it seems like it will be a Biden presidency. The count shows Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden with 253 electoral votes over Trump’s 213. And he leads by 63,000 in Pennsylvania which would give him another 20 electoral votes.

In the middle of the counting, when the popular vote appeared to be favoring President Trump (although Biden was ahead by 7 electoral votes, Trump went on the air falsely declaring victory and accusing a group of Democrats of stealing the election and trying to disenfranchise his party. He threatened to go to the Supreme Court to stop the counting.

The vast difference between the two presidential candidates manifested itself much later when Biden himself faced the American voters asking them to exercise patience. This, even though he was already much ahead in both the electoral vote count.

The US 2020 election was held during the pandemic, thus encouraging almost half of the voting population to vote by mail. Final election results may take days or weeks. It was held at a time of great uncertainty as America is today highly polarized.

As many know, Americans do not vote directly for the president or the vice president. Instead citizens in each state vote for electors (representatives chosen in each state equal to the number of seats that state has in the House and Senate). A total of 538 electors are chosen and the magic number 270 is the minimum number of elector votes required to secure a majority and win.

This system, the Electoral College was introduced by the founding fathers in Article II of the US Constitution to prevent what they described as the “tyranny of the majority.” It was only in five elections – 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016 that the Electoral College had prevailed. In 2016, Trump won the electoral votes, not the popular, which was won by Hillary Clinton. Al Gore lost to George Bush in 2000 although he won the popular vote.

US elections had always been regarded as significant as they redefine the policy directions in the global order.

In our own country, we need a political environment for the post-COVID era as well as the presidential elections.

Analysts note that a Biden presidency will be “much less tense” as the Trump presidency had brought Americans to considerable uncertainty. The Trump presidency brought about restrictive policies on immigration, protectionist trade wars, constrained growth to less than 2%, and caused considerable concern to environmentalists when he withdrew from the Paris pact on climate change. Biden is expected to “decarbonize” the US economy through regulation of polluting industries. He would have a more liberal approach to immigration, and a tough line on China. A gradual doubling of federal minimum wage is expected as a GDP growth to 2% to over 5% at the end of 2021 is anticipated.

A more favorable environment for human rights is likewise expected under a Biden presidency. Fil-Ams and our local community are much pleased over the re-election of NY Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and several Democrats, including Minnesota’s Somalian Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and several native American women.

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