Former Vice President Joe Biden wins presidency

McLean students react to President-elect Joe Biden and first female Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s victory

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Adam Schultz

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris participate in a grassroots fundraiser in Wilmington, Delaware, on Aug. 12. Biden is expected to address the nation tonight, Nov. 7, at 8 p.m. (Photo obtained via Adam Schultz/Biden for President on Flickr under a Creative Commons license.)

The morning of Saturday, Nov. 7, people nationwide opened their phones and computers to see that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris had won Pennsylvania, and the Democratic party had officially claimed the 2020 presidential election.
Although results of the election are not confirmed until December when the electoral college votes, the Associated Press has called the election in favor of Biden.
Despite most students at McLean being unable to vote, many had strong opinions and were paying close attention to the results.
“I literally cried tears of joy [when I found out Biden won]. It was awesome to make history with Kamala Harris,” junior Claire Mary Smith said.
Despite experts’ predictions that Biden would win, the race was a nail-biter, with initial election night results leaning in Trump’s favor.
“The results were not what I expected. I thought Trump was going to win. It was so close,” Smith said.
As states continued to count votes, the race shifted in Biden’s favor when he won five key swing states that Trump won four years ago: Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Arizona.
As a result, President Donald Trump and many of his supporters are claiming voter fraud.
“I think there has been recorded cases of fraud, especially in swing states. For example, a county in Michigan miscounted over 2,000 votes,” junior Sam Johnson said. “If there is enough evidence in set states for him to win, I think it needs to be investigated.”
While the country is drastically changing, Smith doesn’t predict a huge difference at the school.
“McLean is very liberal, so I think the dynamic will be OK. Obviously people will continue to be politically active, and the environment won’t be as hostile, whereas if Trump had won I think it would be another four years of ridiculousness,” Smith said.

Having a woman in the White House is going to be really good, especially because women are scared of their reproductive rights. I think it’ll make everything more progressive. I think having Trump out is going to be progressive and there’s going to be a lot more civility.”

— junior Lily Brumbaugh

Despite most of McLean being liberal—in a poll of 245 McLean students taken in October, 58.7% of registered voters said they would vote for Biden, compared to 20.2% who said they would vote for Trump—some people were still upset over the results.
“I’m rather disappointed. I don’t necessarily consider myself a Trump supporter, but I am a Republican and would rather have Trump in office than Biden,” junior Brigham DeVore said.
Biden ended up with the exact number of electoral college votes that Trump had in 2016, which Trump deemed a “landslide.”
“I saw someone talking about how the reason that Trump is hated is because he represents systematic racism, misogyny and patriarchy,” DeVore said. “[They] said anyone that believes those things to be issues in America and that Trump is an example of them can’t believe that Biden has won outright because if those issues and Trump represent them, then he has a shot at overturning the election.”
This election is historic because Biden received the most votes of an presidential candidate in history, as well as the fact that Harris will be the first female vice president.
“Having a woman in the White House is going to be really good, especially because women are scared of their reproductive rights. I think it’ll make everything more progressive,” junior Lily Brumbaugh said. “I think having Trump out is going to be progressive and there’s going to be a lot more civility.”
Some McLean students had especially memorable experiences when they heard the news of Biden’s victory.
“While I was at work today everyone began cheering when they found out Biden had won the election,” junior Audrey Loucks said.

Brumbaugh said she was “in the middle of her SAT this morning when the proctor told [her] Biden had won.”
A major point of contention in these past couple elections has been the use of the electoral college, considering Trump won the election in 2016 but did not win the popular vote. Some students are against the electoral college, arguing that the candidate with the most votes should win the election. Others continue to support the founding fathers’ decision.
“I’m a huge supporter of the electoral college. We have swing states, so that’s where candidates put the most of their money and effort, and if we didn’t have the electoral college, the swing states would be California, New York, Washington and all of the places with the largest population, so they would devote their time there,” Smith said. “No matter what, there would still be a power battle, so it’s better to have the electoral college than having huge states rule and have places like Wyoming be irrelevant.”
Although the lead-up to the election has caused political divide in the U.S., many McLean students hope this will come to an end.
“No matter who ends up in office, I hope they can bring some level of unity back to this country,” DeVore said. “The level of partisanship is absurd. We are all American before we are Democrats or Republicans.”