Let's be honest: this year's presidential election is one of the most stressful things about 2020, and the majority of the country will be more than happy to see it come to a final, decisive end. However, Americans are going to have to wait a bit longer before a final call is made. After a tense night with a record-breaking voter turnout, as of Nov. 4, the results are still being hashed out in several key battleground states across the country — but at least one candidate is pretty confident about which way the wind is blowing. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's speech after Election Day 2020 didn't hold back on his expectations for the election results.
As he stepped onto the podium to deliver his speech, Biden appeared visibly solemn, yet profoundly grateful. His words highlighted the resiliency and strength of the American people, and expressed his confidence that the election would ultimately be resolved in his favor once every vote was accounted for. "If we had any doubts, we shouldn't have [them] any longer, that a government of, by, and for the people is very much alive in America. Here, the people rule," he said.
"After a long night of counting, it’s clear that we’re winning enough states to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency," Biden continued. However, he stopped short of fully claiming victory ahead of the final count. "I’m not here to declare that we’ve won," he said, "but I am here to report when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners."
Biden's words were in stark contrast with President Donald Trump's speech at the close of election night, in the early hours of Nov. 4, when he once again sowed doubt about the legitimacy of America's election process. "I've been saying this from the day I heard they were gonna send out tens of millions of [mail-in] ballots," he stated to a room full of his supporters at the White House. "This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country," he added. There has been no evidence of mail-in voter fraud in the 2020 election, according to the FBI.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the United States, claiming over 233,000 lives as of Nov. 4, a record-breaking number of Americans opted to cast their ballots through the mail-in voting system this year. Not only have these ballots slowed the turnaround of election results in many states, they've also narrowed Trump's lead to razor-thin margins in many key swing territories. Because some states, such as Alabama, Indiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, do not allow mail-in ballots to be counted until the day of the election, many poll workers stayed up all night tallying votes from mail-in ballots.
Although many legal experts have assured Americans that these ballots contain perfectly valid votes, the president insists that counting them, in addition to the in-person votes on Election Day, would lead to illegitimate election results. "We want all voting to stop. We don't want them to find any [mail-in] ballots at four o'clock in the morning and add them to the list," he stated in his Nov. 4 speech.
Political scholars state that whether or not Trump approves of the election results is irrelevant, as it is not the president who dictates the outcome. Biden highlighted this fact during his speech. "Power can’t be taken or asserted. It flows from the people," Biden said. "It is their will that determines who will serve as the president of this great nation. And their will alone."