By: Kenyan Carter | News Editor
On Nov. 7, 2020, the Associated Press projected Joe Biden as the 46th president after days of vote counting in several states. Biden, 77, will be the oldest president in history when he is inaugurated in January.
Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris will make history as the first woman of color, an African American and South Asian descent, to become vice president.
Joe Biden made history as he won the popular vote netting over 76 million and counting.
The youth also played a pivotal role in this election. According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), “53 percent of eligible youth voters cast votes in this election versus 45 percent in 2016.”
Young voters heavily favored Joe Biden. According to estimates from New York Times, “62 percent of young voters cast their vote for Biden compared to 35 percent for Trump.”
Donald Trump has yet to concede the race and claims fraudulent ballots were cast against him. Trump filed lawsuits in multiple states to stop counting or throw out suspected fraudulent votes. He believes the fraud stems from mail-in ballots which disproportionately supported Joe Biden.
Dr. Phillip Habel, professor and chair in the department of political science and criminal justice in the College of Arts and Cciences, says there is some precedent for the Trump lawsuits.
“There will likely be court cases involving ballots that arrive late,” Habel said. “We’ve seen this already that the court has intervened to clarify what to do. But from my understanding in a state like Pennsylvania right now, the counting of ballots are all those at this moment have arrived on time. There’ll be another question about ballots that arrive late.”
Cynthia Tucker, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and USA journalist-in-residence in the College of Arts and Sciences, says mail-in ballots are a normal part of the process.
“There is nothing inherently fraudulent about mail-in ballots,” Tucker said. “ The process in states that have a lot of mail-in ballots is well protected and well guarded. Much like the absentee ballots cast in Alabama.”
Tucker also pointed out that Republicans oversee the vote counting process in places Trump is claiming fraud.
“Georgia has a Republican secretary of state and a Republican governor,” Tucker said. “The Republican secretary of state said there’s nothing fraudulent going on.”
The state of Alabama has also elected a new senator. Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville defeated incumbent senator Doug Jones. Tucker believes that Trump’s popularity in the state propelled Tuberville to victory and used former Attorney General Jeff Session as an example of Trump’s influence in the state.
Despite winning the presidency, Democrats underperformed in House and Senate races preventing a supermajority that expected via polling data. This is the second general election in a row where pollsters underrepresented Republican voters by a large margin.
Thomas Shaw, director of the Masters in Public Administration program and the USA Polling Group, said polling methodology has room to update.
“I think what we will probably see is a continuation of traditional survey research that needs to adapt itself to the new landscape,” Shaw said. “Then augmented with other ways of trying to look at public opinion.”
Dr. Habel says changes are possible but polling elections will always have unique obstacles.
“One of the particular challenges of election surveying is that you want to speak with the people who are voting in the election,” Habel said. “Identifying that group of people can be challenging. A lot of people registered on the day of the election, a lot of people who had plans to show up won’t, of course, this year we had the challenges of the pandemic, so that created a whole other host of challenges.”