Home State Pennsylvania Delivers Biden Electoral College Victory
AP is reporting Joseph R. Biden Jr. will become the 46th President of the United States after his home state of Pennsylvania has made him the oldest ever President-elect. Kamala Harris will be the first female executive, shattering a glass ceiling that remained in place for far too long.
North Carolina went for Trump early this morning, which initially kept the dream alive for the incumbent.. But this afternoon, Pennsylvania brought the electoral tally to 279-204 in favor of the Democrats, putting the election mathematically out of reach for Trump. Wisconsin, Georgia and Florida are still undecided, and the tally will be completed on an unknown timeline. Biden stamped the election with approximately 5.3 million more votes than Trump, and a command of nearly 52% of total votes cast.
Biden’s camp has stated the President-elect will wait to make a victory speech until all the votes have been counted. However, it is likely Biden is delaying until Trump makes a formal concession. The acquiescence of the defeated is a crucial element of democracy and the peaceful transfer of power, especially at the presidential level. Should Trump choose not participate in this political regularity it will cast an ugly shadow over the transition of power that has only just begun.
Trump’s adult children have taken to social media citing nondescript voting irregularities in states outside the three that are still undecided. The first children are using Twitter to directly shame numerous Democratic election commissions and governors who oversaw the expansion of vote-by-mail. With the assistance of the First Family, GOP loyalists are beginning to question the legitimacy of the election and are developing targets they believe to have treated them unfairly. Kellyanne Conway has said the election is not over until all the votes have been counted; as a technicality, this is true. Conway and the Trump team must be aware of the now-insurmountable Electoral College lead; however, their position is that the election is still not decided.
Still scarred from their slow response in 2000, Democrats do not intend to be caught flat-footed. Ron Klain, a crucial member of Al Gore’s legal team from the 2000 Florida recount, was already spotted in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania wearing an expression that plainly stated he is not there on vacation. If there is going to be a fight, the Democrats seem to be preparing for it to take place in the Keystone state.
In a wild turn of events in the Senate, AP made a rare reversal in the South Carolina Senate race. Lindsey Graham has indeed been reelected, dealing a political and psychological blow to Democrats who may have been getting comfortable with the notion of majority power in the Senate--and life without Lindsey Graham. Graham will have to walk back some of the remarks he made in his concession, in which he called the South Carolinians he governs “politically, ethically and intellectually challenged”.
Steve Bullock has been declared the winner in the Montana Senatorial election. Bullock, at one time a Presidential candidate and currently the governor of the state, won by a margin that will likely see a demand for a recount from Republican incumbent Steve Daines. In Montana voters use paper ballots, and recounts are conducted by hand. As seen in Florida in 2000, recounting paper ballots can be highly subjective if the ballot has not been filled out with precision or the ballot has deteriorated from handling. As of now, Bullock can claim victory and with it a Senate majority as Democrats now have the Vice Presidency and 50 Senators to the Republicans 49.
In the jungle election in Georgia, none of the five candidates were able to claim a majority. Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock received the most votes and will have a run-off in January. The delayed fuse attached to this Senate race will affect both sides. The Republicans need Loeffler to win the run-off or they will be the minority party in both houses of Congress and the Executive branch for the first time since 2008. The last 50-50 split in the Senate was during the uniquely partisan 107th Congress in 2001. Republican Trent Lott and Democrat Tom Daschle agreed to split resources and committee representation. The Republicans, who had just won the White House in a controversial race, retained chairmanships and other powers of the majority until Jim Jeffords left the Republican party, breaking the tie.
The Democrats reloaded another majority in the House of Representatives for the second consecutive Congressional term. Nancy Pelosi will likely be selected as Speaker, but there is conjecture that she will be ushering in a new, youthful era of committee chairs. This is not to say Adam Schiff, who was reelected in a landslide, will be relinquishing control of the Intelligence Committee, but there may be millennial faces in other leadership positions in the near future. Rumors of Steny Hoyer’s retirement after nearly forty years of service in the House have been gaining steam. If the number two position in the House becomes vacant, a generational transition that fundamentally alters the composition of the lower chamber could take place.
Democratic supporters have had a jubilant yet reserved celebration of their victories in the Presidential and Senatorial elections. Social media is aflame with Biden and Harris posts, reminiscent of Barack Obama’s first election in 2008. But Trump’s lack of concession and his team’s acidic discourse in the wake of Pennsylvania going for Biden is foreboding of unfinished business.
All eyes remain on an unusually silent White House as the fate of the nation and the peaceful transfer of power hangs in the balance.