If you’re surprised about the incoming results of the US election, you’re not alone. The polls consistently showed Democratic Nominee Joe Biden with a significant lead over President Donald Trump, so much so that Biden was expected to have a landslide victory on Tuesday night.
But as the results started trickling in, it quickly became clear that, once again, the data was vastly wrong. Just like in 2016, when Hillary Clinton was polling far ahead of Trump but ultimately went on to lose the presidency, somehow, the stats told a completely different story to that of the American voters’ ballots.
With incredibly important swing states, such as Florida and Texas, going to Trump and others, such as Pennsylvania, too close to call, it’s still almost impossible to pick who will win this year’s election. On one side, there’s Trump claiming victory and on the other, Biden. The news reports are a mess, people are angry and shops are boarded up all around the country in anticipation of violence. A country that prides itself on having ‘united states’ looks more divided than ever – so where did it all go so wrong?
A Guardian report that I agree with places more blame on the pandemic than just an influx of mail-in voting. Though Trump’s handling of the virus is undoubtedly abysmal – the US had the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 ever yesterday – the fact that Biden’s campaign focused almost exclusively on how bad the President responded to the pandemic meant that the Democrats didn’t spend enough time addressing the issues that made working-class America vote for Trump in the first place: they felt ignored, they had lost their jobs and communities, they thought others – foreigners very much included – were getting a better deal than them, and they wanted someone to address their concerns on a wider stage.
Despite the Black Lives Matter movement showcasing in plain sight that the President is a white supremacist, despite thousands dying of a virus daily in the country and despite the climate crisis resting on Trump not being re-elected for another term, this election shows that people care more about the economy and their own gain than they do the welfare of others. A depressing but important factor – and something that perhaps Biden should’ve focused on more.
Here’s hoping that the remaining states tip blue, and that the boarded-up shops were an unnecessary caution, because the last thing we need to round out 2020 is another four years of Trump, more violent riots and the last bit of hope stamped out of us.