By Dr Anthony Ediae
November 3rd , 2020 marked the 59th quadrennial United States of America Presidential election.
The stakes have never been higher, due to the nature of the candidates involved. The American political system is dominated by two major parties; the Republican Party also known as the Grand Old Party (GOP) represented by the incumbent President Donald John Trump from Florida and Vice President Michael Pence from Indiana, and the Democratic Party represented by former Vice President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr from Delaware and Senator Kamala Harris from California, as Vice President.
The projected winner of the 2020 United States of America Presidential election, was the ticket of Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris. As widely publicised the result of the election is being contested by the Republican candidate, Donald Trump, who alleged election fraud in some of the swing States, despite officials of all 50 States stating that there is no evidence of systematic fraud or irregularities in their States. As current state of play, Joseph Biden is the President Elect and Kamala Harris, the Vice President Elect.
Significance of the 2020 Election
The 2020 election was significant, for a lot of reasons. It was seen by many, as a referendum on President Trump’s Presidency who has not been shy of courting controversies throughout his time in office, ranging from his handling of the Coronavirus pandemic that has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans, climate change denial, racial protest exemplified by the #Blacklivesmatter protest and the killing of George Floyd, and the appointment of U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Amy Coney Barrett. Donald Trump’s Presidency is alleged to have caused a divided United States of America with his support base strongly behind him, and the anti-Trump brigade strongly against his re-election. Leading to the election, tension was high with reports of record sales of firearms in some of the States.
The role of evangelicals in this election was palpable, with many evangelicals within and outside of America widely forecasting a clear victory for Trump as he was seen as the defender of the Christian faith, despite his numerous well documented non-Christian values. His support for the State of Israel, contributed immensely to gaining support from the Christian groups.
The election set the record for the most voter turn out since 1900, and largest vote cast in USA election history. The projected victory for Joseph Biden saw him get the most votes cast for a Presidential candidate in US election history, with vote of over 77 million (50.8%) and in the process, getting the most popular votes. However, US election is won on the number of Electoral College votes, and not on popular votes. Joseph Biden was projected to win 290 electoral votes, as against 217 for Donald Trump.
The election saw the most mail and early voting due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with most Democrats voting via mail and most Republicans voting on the day.
The 2020 election marked the first time since 1992 that an incumbent President has not won a re-election to a second term, and the first time since 1960 that a Presidential candidate won the election without wining the State of Ohio.
Kamala Harris will be the first female Vice President of the United States of America ,and the first African-American, Asian American Lady to occupy such a position.
The inauguration of the President and Vice President Elect, will take place on January 20, 2021.
The national exit poll showed that the following were issues that dominated how the electorate voted
The Economy 35%
Racial inequalities 20%
The Coronavirus pandemic 17%
Crime and safety 11%
Health care policy 11%
The Swing States
Texas won by Trump 52.1% (38 Electoral College votes)
Florida won by Trump 51.2% (29 Electoral College votes)
Pennsylvania won by Biden 49.7% (20 Electoral College votes)
Ohio won by Trump 53.3% (18 Electoral College votes)
Michigan won by Biden 50.5% (16 Electoral College votes)
Georgia won by Biden 49.5% (16 Electoral College votes) – currently having an automatic recount with Biden leading at the time of this report.
North Carolina result not yet declared but Trump leading 50% (15 Electoral College votes)
Arizona won by Biden 49.4% (11 Electoral College votes)
Wisconsin won by Biden 49.4% (10 Electoral College votes)
Nevada won by Biden 50.2% (6 Electoral College votes)
Iowa won by Trump 53.1% (6 Electoral College votes)
President Donald Trump has filed lawsuits in numerous States, challenging the projected result of the election which declared Joseph Biden as the President Elect.
The only case in history of a similar lawsuit was in 2000, when Vice President Al Gore challenged the result of Florida State which was won by George W Bush by 327 votes after a recount, as against 1,784 that President Bush led on the night of election. The difference between the 2000 and 2020 lawsuit, is that the difference in votes was hundreds of votes in 2000, as against tens of thousands of votes in States that President Trump is contesting the results.
What if President Trump Refuses to Concede
Conservative Lawyer, John Yoo, is among the latest legal voices to raise doubts about President Donald Trump’s attempts to reverse the result of the 2020 election with claims of voter fraud. He said:
“He may never concede; he doesn’t have to concede,” Yoo said. “The thing about the American Constitution is that, it doesn’t actually require the sitting President to do anything one way or the other. On January 20th, Donald Trump’s term ends, and Joe Biden’s, I believe, will begin”.
According to the 20th Amendment to the American Constitution, the candidate with the most electoral votes becomes President at noon on January 20th. The current President’s term is therefore, over on that day, just before noon.
“And yeah, he could say ‘I’m not leaving, I’m not conceding’ – but at that time, at noon, on January 20, he’s no longer the President”, Yoo said: “and all of the allegiance of the government, of the military, of the civil service, switches to the winner of the November 3 election, who I think is going to be Joe Biden. And then, he will become the President, and Donald Trump will become a private citizen, regardless of anything Donald Trump does”.
Dr Anthony Ediae, Consultant Psychiatrist, London, UK