Joe Biden winning the U.S. presidential election will make him the 46th President of the United States come 20th January 2021. However, if the results of this past week’s election are anything to go by – Trumpism will be staying firmly put in America, even after U.S. President Donald Trump departs the White House.
Mr. Trump closed his campaign with a blitz of rallies where he promised his crowds of supporters that he would shock the world again, predicting a victory like he had in 2016. The crowds of thousands ate it up, completely disregarding the polls and his poor approval numbers.
“A great red wave is coming,” Trump said 31st October at a rally in Pennsylvania. “There’s not a thing they can do about it.”
The truth is, there was no red wave. When the final votes are counted and verified, Biden will likely have a total of 306 Electoral Votes to Trump’s 232. That’s the same result Trump had in his win in 2016. Biden is on track to win the popular vote by over five million votes and receive the most votes for a presidential candidate in U.S. history.
But Biden’s win does not mean Trumpism is going away. How do I know that? Well, the first thing I’ll point out is that over 70 million people voted for Trump; which is 7.3 million more votes than he had four years ago. Yes, you read that correctly. After four years in office that was filled with scandals, lies, and impeachment, he still got more votes this time around.
The election was far from the “blow out blue wave” the Democrats were expecting, despite Trump’s failure to deal with the coronavirus and the struggling economy. This election did little to calm people’s nerves and instead exposed just how divided the country still is.
In his victory speech on Saturday, Biden reached out to Trump supporters, imploring them to give him a chance to lead the country before judging him.
“This is the time to heal in America,” he said. “They are not our enemies. They’re Americans. I will work to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify. I won’t see red states and blue states, I will always see the United States.”
The biggest question so many have today is just how did Trump nearly get re-elected despite all his misgivings in his first four years in office? For starters, he went and appealed to his base. He railed against the so-called “elites” and went campaigning around the country in the middle of a raging pandemic with mostly maskless supporters filling airport hangars. He had his finger on the pulse of his base and he knew just how to push the right buttons.
He pushed baseless conspiracy theories and insisted (with no evidence) that former U.S. President Barack Obama spied on his campaign – the election was “rigged” against him, he claimed. Trump knew his supporters would eat it all up and they did. He would also profess to have done than his rivals for African Americans, Latinos, and women.
In this election, Trump’s popularity did actually rise among African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, and women. Yes, Biden won all those demographics by wide margins but Trump did better with each group than he did four years ago. 39% of older Hispanic voters went in Trump’s direction, up 14 points from 2016, while 19% of black voters between the ages of 30 and 44 backed the President.
In the key battleground state of Florida, Trump’s 12-point surge among Latino voters, mainly Cuban-American, was a key reason he secured the Sunshine State. In Texas, he won Latino voters in counties closer to the Mexico-United States border despite his remarks about Mexicans in 2015 and his infamous plan of building a border wall.
In Texas’ Hidalgo County, which is 90 percent Hispanic, Trump won 40,000 more votes than he did in 2016, increasing his vote share from 28% to 41%. What helped the President increase his standing among Latino voters this time around was refraining from using the racist rhetoric that he used four years ago.
While Biden won the demographics of suburban women and older voters, Trump’s core support came from evangelicals, white, non-college-educated voters, and Republicans who liked his tax cuts. However, the biggest reason may be that his supporters see themselves in Trump.
“He is us, in the White House,” Lena Gomez, a Texas voter, said. “He speaks for us.”
Biden won this election by calling for a return to decency, and his appeal to be a president for all Americans and not just for those who voted for him was a key part of his message and appeal to voters.
However, the President-elect will have a lot of work to do if he has any hope of winning over those loyal Trump supporters. It won’t be easy – but it is the vital first step for Biden to achieve his goal of bringing the country together.
While Trump is leaving office, it is clear that Trumpism is not going away anytime soon. With that said, if anyone can heal a wounded and divided country, Joe Biden can.
“This is the United States of America,” Biden said on Saturday. “I truly believe there is nothing we can’t do if we do it together.”
Words by Stephen Michael