Following the announcement of President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory Saturday, UA students are reflecting on how Biden’s presidency may impact them personally.
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris made history after defeating President Donald Trump with over 75 million votes, the most ever cast for a U.S. presidential candidate.
Three and a half days after the election, the Associated Press called the race, when Biden’s votes surpassed Trump’s in the ongoing count in Pennsylvania. The AP projects a total of 290 electoral votes for Biden, with a few states still too close to call. The threshold needed to win is 270.
With vote totals still trickling in, some UA students think only time will tell if Biden has truly won.
Austin Rose, a sophomore who voted for Trump, said he thinks calling the election was premature given the multiple lawsuits the Trump campaign has filed since Election Day. At least three lawsuits have been filed in Pennsylvania with allegations of election fraud and voting irregularities, all of which are pending.
As a gun-owner and anti-abortion advocate with plans to enlist in the military after college, Rose said he supports Trump’s right to not concede the election.
“I think that he has every right, right now, to do what he is doing,” Rose said. “He has filed lawsuits with what I see to be legitimate reasons. Whether they prove to be right or not, that will be up to the courts to decide.”
Trump, who has claimed without providing evidence that there was widespread voter fraud in key battleground states, has shown no indications he will concede. Rose hopes that Trump will exit the White House peacefully if the courts rule in Biden’s favor, he said.
Other UA students, like Kay Simon, a senior, fully endorse the validity of the election results. Though she hoped Biden would win, Simon had prepared herself to see Trump win the election, she said.
“I think that we have been put through so much in the last four years, and Trump has never been told no in his life,” Simon said. “He has never had to take no or has accepted no and so it’s an honor to be one of those 71 million [people] to say ‘no Trump, no more, we’re tired of it.’”
Simon said her biggest fear following the election is that individuals will become complacent, leaving the nation’s problems up to the change in administration. She hopes people will continue to work and fight for what they believe in, no matter who is leading the country
Ronan Benford, a freshman, said while he was excited to see Biden win the election, his joy was overshadowed by disappointment about the closeness of results in some states.
“The fact that it was such a close race against a president who is responsible for the deaths of over 230,000 people, and the fact that it was still so close after that, indicates that the Democratic strategy for becoming president [is] poor,” Benford said.
As a public health major, Simon said she voted for Biden in the hopes that the former Vice President will prioritize universal health care, something she said every American deserves.
“I voted for Bernie in the primaries and then Biden in the presidential and I am just very anti-Trump to put it simple,” Simon said. “I wish that we could make politics political again and not a reality T.V. show, and I felt very much confident that Biden and Kamala could restore that for us.”
College Republicans member Brennen Queen said that although he holds conservative beliefs, he voted for Biden in hopes of electing a president who will put American lives first by better managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I consider myself more as a traditional conservative, and I often reject the idea of both parties trying to split our country apart,” Queen said. “We need to unify. My initial reaction to the election results was fairly indifferent.”
While he has lingering concerns over the Biden-Harris administration, like the possibility of the Green New Deal, Queen said he thinks Biden will create an effective plan to eliminate COVID-19 in the U.S.
“The fact that the Trump administration, and the people [who] support him, throw the issue of Covid on the back burner is baffling to me,” Queen said. “We as Conservatives often see ourselves as pro-life. To me, that applies not only to the unborn, but also taking care of our weak and elderly.”