By Kina Desai (Mira Costa High School Chapter)
Image Sources: ABC and Variety
On kickoff day of the controversial, passionate, and largely unparalleled presidential election of 2020, both Democratic elect Joe Biden and President Donald Trump delivered speeches and addressed Americans on election day. Joe Biden made his speech early on, which President Trump followed later in the night. Both Trump and Biden assured followers that they were confident with their trajectory, with Trump declaring himself victorious and Biden speaking on his confidence in his prospect of winning. The candidates approached the polling data with very different lenses, which can be scrutinized more effectively now that the results of the 2020 election are (for the most part) known.
Joe Biden began by applauding the public, saying, “your patience is commendable.” Biden recognized the vast number of votes still to be counted after the initial election day, and announced to the public that patience would be key and to wait until all votes are counted to declare a winner in the 2020 election. He went on to recognize the difference in this year’s election with a massive increase of mail-in ballots and early voting, thus creating a longer wait time on the counting of the votes and declaration of a winner.
Without stating an outright winner in the election, Biden did go on to assure supporters that he was “on track to win this election.” Although he was confident about the outcome, Biden reiterated that he would wait to celebrate until the ballots pointed to a clear winner. He spoke on the confident outlook he has on winning the electoral college votes in Arizona, Wisconsin, and Michigan, as well as his optimism in Georgia. He also expressed his hope to win Pennsylvania. Biden finished his election day speech by thanking all the American people, poll workers in particular, before ending with a touching personal antidote about himself and his grandfather.
Following Joe Biden’s election day speech, Donald Trump addressed the public late at night after election day. Trump began his speech by commending his many loyal supporters and condemning the “sad group of people” who make up his opposition. He continued on to talk about how he was on track to victory with votes being counted and record voter turnout. In fact, one surprisingly positive effect of this tumultuous election was that the 2020 election had the highest voter turnout rate in modern history.
President Trump focused much of his speech on the various states and the outlook of the election. Notably, he began by celebrating his win in Florida, which was one of the states in the public eye due to the possibility of it flipping democrat. Trump also declared to the public how this election, especially with mail-in ballots, had been “a fraud on the American public.” According to Trump, “we did win this election,” and the additional votes being counted that decide and say otherwise are fraudulent. He made his intentions of taking these allegations to the Supreme Court extremely clear, saying he wanted “all voting to stop.” In summary, Trump declared himself the winner of the 2020 presidential election without merit, and made unproven claims about voter fraud.
The vastly different approaches each presidential candidate took on the day of the 2020 election was reflective of the overall narrative of each candidate. Biden is often called “the voice of reason,” while many value Trump’s bold and passionate statements. Both Biden and Trump had vastly different views on the 2020 presidential election, the outcome, and how to move forward. Largely due to the impact of Covid-19 on voting, there was no winner declared on November 3rd. Four days later, Joe Biden was elected to be the 46th president of the United States of America.