As votes were being counted in the final few states in the United States presidential election yesterday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said Joe Biden’s electoral victory was “imminent.” She said Biden would soon no longer be referred to as the former vice president but “president-elect. It is a happy day for our country…because Joe is a unifier,” Pelosi said in a press conference held in the U.S. capitol.
Meanwhile, a top election official in the state of Georgia said he would expect a ballot recount in the battleground state.
“With a margin that small, there will be a recount in Georgia,” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said.
President Trump had taken a strong early lead in the state that carries 16 electoral votes and has not voted for a Democrat for president since Bill Clinton in 1992.
But, with 99 percent of the votes counted as at yesterday, Biden polled a slim vote lead. There are 4,169 ballots left to be counted as at last night.
Biden also took the lead in Pennsylvania, which has 20 electoral votes. While Trump would need to win all the remaining states (Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia and Arizona) to really move back into the contest, Biden needs only 17 electoral votes to be announced President-elect.
The least of the remaining states (Arizona) has 11 electoral votes, meaning that the former vice president would need to win just one or two of them to wrap up his victory.
At 213 electoral votes, Trump is trailing Biden’s 253 by as much as 40 votes. The remaining states of Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada and Georgia amount to 53 electoral votes.
Biden was already scheduled to speak Friday night, as Trump Campaign said the election was not over. The Trump Campaign’s general counsel, Matt Morgan, Friday afternoon said Georgia was headed for a recount. Trump has repeatedly insisted on not conceding to Biden without a legal fight, even if he surpassed the 270-electoral-vote threshold.
His campaign said it disputed Biden’s lead in four states — Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia and Nevada, saying there were irregularities in Pennsylvania. Trump claimed he was on course to winning Arizona.
Tuesday’s presidential election was surprising only in the context of the polls that led to the speculation of the possibility of a ‘blue wave.’
No doubt, demographic change in the U.S. played out in favour of Democratic Party, which enjoyed support of minority groups and youth population.
With GOP’s seeming loss, it may face a more serious challenge winning presidential elections in the next decade, as this appears a replica of the political events that followed the Great Depression of the 1920s when republicans lost a monumental election.
Just as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and Donald Trump’s alleged poor management of the pandemic became top campaign issue for Democrats in the 2020 Presidential election, the Great Depression of the 1920s had met the Republican Party in office, as the ruling party at the time was previously winning elections handily.
The Great (economic) Depression and its impact on American lives at the time helped the Democrats to sweep into the Presidency and the Congress. Subsequent political and demographic events within the period also foretold the future of the Democratic Party, albeit positively.
In the elections of 1932, 1936 and 1940, first-time voters voted two-to-one in favour of Democrats, and stayed loyal to the party throughout their lives.
It was that block of voters that allowed the Democrats to dominate American politics from the 1930s until nearly the end of 1960s.
It has only been one time since then, when in a series of elections, one party had really totally dominated the youth folks, and that is last five presidential elections, including last Tuesday’s, where the youth voting population has been broken about three-to-two Democratic.
The group now includes everyone under the age of 45, about 40 per cent of the total electorate. As the youths grew older, they stayed loyal to the Democratic Party and they voted more regularly. It is believed that the youths, who drove the Democratic Party in the 2020 election, are going to be around for a generation or more.
On the Republican side, the GOP has been heavily dependent on older voters. Unlike young voters, the older folks are not going to be around in a generation or two, which means that the wave is trending on the Democrats side.
Specifically, the demographic impact on last Tuesday’s presidential election goes beyond age: The Republican Party is, for the most part, a Whites’ party. Nine of 10 of its voters come from non-Hispanic Whites, a group that is now a declining proportion of U.S. population.
Statistics from the U.S. election indicate that the non-Hispanic White American voters in the 2020 Presidential election were just below 70 per cent. In the 1990s, the number was well over 80 per cent.
The minority groups — blacks, Asian Americans, Cubans, Hispanics, among others — are an increasing proportion of U.S.’ population, and these minority groups are heavily leaning Democratic.
Ninety (90) per cent of blacks vote democratic; Hispanics vote two-to-one; Asian Americans now vote three-to-one Democratic.
Asian Americans remain the most interesting because they have the profile of being Republicans. The income of an average Asian American family is about $10,000 higher than the non-Hispanic White. They represent just about six per cent of the U.S. population but remain the fastest growing group in the United States. Like the traditional Republican constituency, Asian Americans are twice as likely to start a small business. This group, in 1992, voted 3-2 Republican but members now vote Democratic.
Republicans actually made some inroads among the Hispanics in last Tuesday’s election, but it was just a few percentage points that made little or no difference.
Religion also played a major role in what has become a bitter outcome for the Republicans. The GOP appears to rely heavily on votes of White Evangelicals, who constitute about 40 per cent of Republicans and voting 4-1 Republican.
However, this group is evidently declining in numbers. As U.S. continues to get less religious, the Evangelicals, which constituted 20 percent in the 1990s, are now 15 per cent. American evangelicals started in the 1950s, peaked in the 1960s and started declining in the late 1990s.
College-educated voters also form the bulk of Republican voters. That number is also declining, even as they voted 2-to-1 Democratic.
Responding to issues of possible voter fraud, as alleged by the Trump Campaign, Mike West, the Community Outreach Manager, Cuyahoga County Board of Elections in Cleveland, Ohio, a state won by the Republicans, told The Guardian the election processes in the U.S. does not allow any intruder to “insert anything faulty,” even “with all the talk about rigging.”
He pointed out that the only major challenge the counties of Ohio experienced was managing voting during the pandemic, with all the checks and provisions required for social distancing.
Mr. West’s counterpart in Georgia, Mr. Trey Hood, however, stated that there would be “legal challenges” in any of the states closely contested.
Thomas Patterson, a professor of Government at the Kennedy School, Harvard University, Cambridge, told a group of international journalists at the virtual session of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election Reporting Seminar in Hawaii that demographic change in the U.S. played out in favour of Democratic Party, which enjoys support of minority groups and youth population.
Patterson, in response to The Guardian’s inquiry, said the history of the U.S elections shows that it is not only politically divided along party lines — Republicans and Democrats — but it is nearly an equally divided one. He noted that demographic change to which Trump’s Republican Party failed to strategically respond has put the party in an almost irreversible decline.