Across the United States, a fraction of Americans ensued in spontaneous jubilation upon the declaration of Joe Biden as the 46th Presidents. The fiercely contested poll results showed that President-elect Joe Biden secured enough votes to ouster the incumbent, denying him a chance to secure his second term in office. A significant portion of the US electorate was moved by the announcement of Joe Biden’s triumph over Donald Trump and took to the streets dancing, honking horns, and banging on pots and pans. The celebrations were phenomenal in several cities such as Philadelphia and Atlanta, particularly due to their significant role in propelling Biden and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, to a landslide win.
However, despite Biden securing more than 74 million votes, students hold mixed reactions toward the results of the presidential election. On the one hand, the majority think that the President-elect won the November 3 election. This part of the population believes that Biden was a better candidate than the incumbent. The positive evaluation of Biden is attributed to several major events which occurred in the country before the poll. Some of the major issues include the attempted impeachment of President Trump, the economic downturn, and management of the coronavirus, as well as the massive demonstrations that erupted spontaneously in different cities following the death of George Floyd. On the other hand, a considerable percentage of the student population believes that the election was not free and fair. Particularly, this faction thinks that President Trump did not lose the “fraudulent” election. These disparities reflect the beliefs, values, and opinions of the two dominant political parties – Democrat and Republican.
The students’ attitudes toward the outcome of the recent poll are dependent heavily on their perception of how President Trump and his administration responded to some of the key issues identified above. Concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, liberal students think that poor management of the epidemic had a significant influence on the election outcome. Earlier this year, no one in the US and across the world had heard of the novice illness. About ten months later, the matter still dominates the student conversations in the country. Notably, the conservative students believe that President Trump’s attempts to downplay the value of wearing masks in reducing the spread of the disease demonstrated his poor leadership. This matter was coupled with his decision to relax the restrictions imposed on business enterprises and public institutions such as schools, and places of worship.
Consequently, they assume that the escalated rise in the number of infections and deaths of Americans resulted in President Trump’s downfall. In comparison, students who seem to be strong supporters of the incumbent maintain that the decision to relax the measures put in place to slow the spread of the virus were justified primarily due to their negative impact on the economy. They hinge their argument on the skyrocketing unemployment and closure of firms. According to the proponents of this perspective, lifting some of the stringent measures would facilitate the recovery of severely ailing economy.
The recent recession is another primary determinant of the outcome of the presidential poll cited by students. The overall health of the US economy remains a pressing issue for many students and voters, especially when it is deteriorating. Before the coronavirus outbreak, the incumbent had an outstanding accomplishment, with an almost a three-year-record of keeping the US economy robust and healthy. Students who support him think that this exemplary achievement is a reasonable justification for his reelection. They believed President Trump was the best candidate to entrust with the economy. However, these attitudes diminished following the country’s pervasive closure of small and medium business establishments due to the lockdowns. His opponents draw on this issue to discredit his claims of clinching his second term.
Similarly, the brutal murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 sparked racial tensions across the country. Liberal students identify the 46-year-old African-American man’s killing as a historical event that demonstrates gaps in the criminal justice system. Mainly, they think that the protests illuminated a need for large-scale police reforms, which can be realized only by a new system of political leadership. On the other hand, conservatives pay attention to the violence witnessed in several cities during the civil unrest. They see the public disorder as minor, which could not have influenced the poll results.
In conclusion, it is imperative to note that the partisan attitudes among students and even US citizens have severe implications for the country’s politics and election. Majorly, this polarization may reinforce and exacerbate some of the deeply rooted social and cultural divisions among US voters and citizens at large. This trend may threaten efforts to create a more inclusive nation by deepening inequalities, mostly based on race and religion. Moreover, the partisan attitudes may influence loyalty to political parties as members can be attracted to those positively evaluated. Strong biased opinions may lead to shifts and new alignment between voters and parties due to a movement from one camp to another.