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So … What Happened Election Night?

So, what’s going on? First, we do not have a winner at the presidential level. Despite what either candidate says, there is no winner. Second, the Senate is also still up for grabs as many close elections go uncalled. Finally, Democrats early in the night did claim a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, per multiple sources. 

So here are some answers to many of your lingering questions about this election.

Why is this election taking longer to count than past elections?

This election broke records for early voting (both in-person or mail-in), in most cases, these ballots take more time to count. This is also complicated as some states allow mail-in ballots to be counted after election day if they are postmarked by election day. This is why it is taking much longer to count.

When will we know the results?

Each state is different, so it is difficult to know when the election results from each state will be final. For example, North Carolina can accept mail-in ballots until November 12, so it is difficult to predict an outcome especially if the outstanding ballots could change the results. But one thing is for sure, election results are final when, and only when, all the votes are counted, despite what either candidate claims.

At the presidential level what states are still up for grabs?

As of 7 a.m., based on ABC News projections, there are still nine states uncalled. While some of these (such as Arizona) have been called on other broadcasts, ABC News has not called the state. The states that are still uncalled are: Nevada, Arizona, Alaska, Wisconsin, Michigan, Maine, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Georgia. 

Why did President Donald Trump claim victory?

While most candidates often speak in optimistic hyperbole, this claim is verifiably false at this point. He has not won the election. 

Will this election be decided in the courts?

There is no definitive answer to this question at the moment. Elections have always been litigated and argued over (think Bush v. Gore). And even in this election there were many legal suits brought over election law. However, what the president is suggesting would be a challenge to election law after the election. While this wouldn’t be unprecedented, courts are much less likely to alter results after the election. 

Who’s up, who’s down?

At the moment, Joe Biden is in a better place than the president, at 7 a.m. based on ABC News projections, Biden has an electoral vote lead of 225 to 213. However, this race is far from over; while Biden is favored, Trump still has a chance. In this election each state is different, and each state has different votes left.

One thing that complicates the results is the stark divide between early votes and in person votes. Election data and polling numbers indicate that early voting across the country was much more advantageous for Democrats, while election day voting was much more positive for Republicans. This means that what kind of votes are left to count is key to predicting the results. So let’s look at the states.

  • Alaska – With about 36% reporting, Trump is leading big (61%-35%). However, with such a small amount of votes, it is hard to extrapolate from the data. Despite this, Trump was predicted to win the state.
  • Arizona – While ABC has not called the state, many other outlets such as Fox News have called the race for Joe Biden. This is because with over 80% reporting Biden is leading by 5 points. 
  • Georgia – Early in the night, Georgia looked like it was going to go into Trump’s column, but now with 92% reporting, Trump leads by 2 percentage points (50%-48%). The reason this race has not been called is because of where the outstanding ballots are from. For example, in heavily democratic leaning areas such as Atlanta, there are many votes left to count. 
  • Maine – Maine has been a surprise, not because of the results, but because of how slow they have been when it comes to counting. Despite this, most news outlets have called Maine for Joe Biden. As of right now with over 70% reporting, Biden leads by 13 points.
  • Michigan – Michigan is tight with Trump in a narrow lead with 86% reporting. The state has not been called because the remaining votes are primarily early votes which favor the challenger, Biden.
  • Nevada – With 86% reporting, the state is virtually tied. The remaining votes are expected to be early votes, which is expected to favor Biden. 
  • North Carolina – North Carolina stands with a 1 point lead for Trump with 95% of votes reported. The reason for the state not being called is that ballots can still be received until November 12.
  • Pennsylvania – In the state that was expected to decide it all Trump is leading by a 9 point lead with 75% of the votes reported. While this seems like a large lead, there are still tons of votes to count in left leaning counties such as Alleghany and Philadelphia. 
  • Wisconsin – Joe Biden holds a narrow lead with 97% of vote reported. The remaining vote is expected to favor Biden, but the results will be close.

As of right now, Biden definitely has an easier path to victory than Trump, but it is not over, and Trump has come from behind before.

What is next?

Ahead there is a lot of uncertainty and a lot of counting. It’s important to remember that despite ensuing chaos and false claims, it’s not over until the last vote is counted.

Editor’s notes:

  • ABC News predictions were chosen for this article because of their tendency to make calls conservatively and wait until there is overwhelming evidence of a victory.
  • The data and results in this article are constantly changing, The Hyphen recommends following major news outlets for the latest results.

Written by Max Fisher

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Election 2020: Where the Presidential Candidates Stand on the Issues

In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, one other news story has been a constant this year: the presidential election. Although many people have already voted by mail or in early in-person voting, still many more are going to the polls today. Current President Donald Trump and former Vice president Joe Biden are leading the charge for the major parties. Howie Hawkins and Jo Jorgensen are running for the Green and Libertarian parties. 

With only two presidential debates leading up to election day, voters had fewer opportunities than usual to hear directly from the candidates side-by-side. However, the debates and campaign speeches do reveal a lot about where the candidates stand on some of the major issues of interest to Jeff High students:

COVID-19

COVID-19 has been a major topic through all debates and campaign events. During a rally in Wisconsin, Trump said,” We are rounding a corner. We got the vaccines …. but even without it, we’re rounding the corner.” Biden struck a different note in the final Presidential debate, saying “We’re not learning to live with it. We’re learning to die with it.” He has advocated for stronger mask mandates and vowed to make the vaccine free for everyone once it is cleared by the FDA.

Taxes

At many campaign events, Biden has spoken about a new tax proposal. Biden wants to increase income and payroll taxes on high earners (defined as those earning more than $400,000 a year), while expanding tax credits for lower-income and middle class Americans. Trump has spoken out against the plan, calling it a tax hike. His running mate, Vice President Mike Pence, said at the vice presidential debate that Biden’s plan would end up raising taxes “on every American.” 

Unemployment and Job Creation

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 7.9 percent of Americans are unemployed in September of this year. At a rally in Michigan, Trump spoke out about how his administration has helped create jobs, citing the number of car plants that have been developed since his first term and will continue to grow during his second term. Biden, meanwhile, has touted his plan to “modernize American manufacturing and technology, to ensure that the future is made in America.” One part of that plan is to “impose a tax penalty on companies that avoid paying U.S. taxes by offshoring jobs and manufacturing, only to sell those goods back to the American people.” 

Race Relations

Protests and rallies have been held all throughout the nation following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Jacob Blake. Both Trump and Biden have spoken about these events. Trump has said many times that he wants to stop the protests. “Think of the smoldering ruins in Minneapolis, the violent anarchy of Portland, the bloodstained sidewalks of Chicago, and imagine the mayhem coming to your town and every single town in America,” he said. On the other hand, Biden said he believes there is a difference between protests and riots. “I want a safe America,” he said, and then added, “Safe from COVID, safe from crime and looting, safe from racially motivated violence, safe from bad cops.”

Although there are many more issues at play in this election, these are some of the key topics. Although their plans look different and they stand for different things, Biden and Trump both have one thing in common: they want the best for this country. 

Written by Rachel Lowe

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Election Day By the Numbers: 2020 Features High-Stakes Races and High Voter Turnout

Heading into election day, over 95 million Americans have already voted according to the U.S. Elections Project. This record level of early voting is indicative of one of the most hotly contested and divisive elections in U.S. history. 

The election has also been complicated by COVID-19. States and localities have had to scramble to find the resources, money, and people needed to hold a high-turnout election safely. In many states, the solution was to expand mail-in and early, in-person. This adds a new level uncertainty as the different levels of government attempt to deal with the unprecedented levels of early voting. This could also lead to delayed election results, as certain states allow ballots to be received after election day. 

In America, election administration is given as a state duty by the constitution. This results in many different systems and rules based on the location. Also, as the election is playing out, many lawsuits have been decided or are being litigated to decide which ballots will count. This uncertainty has many on the left worried that the president will use this uncertainty to claim victory with a lack of any evidence. 

What is clear is what’s at stake on this election day: Democrats are on offense with a chance to claim a trifecta (Control of the House, Senate, and Presidency) at the federal level. Starting with the House, FiveThirtyEight (a data-focused news outlet that predicts election results based on polling and other variables) gives the Democrats a 98 percent chance of keeping control of the chamber. The Senate is a little tougher but still has Democrats optimistic. FiveThirtyEight gives Democrats a 76 percent chance of holding on to the chamber. And finally, at the presidential level, the site says Joe Biden has a 90 percent chance of winning the presidency. It should be noted that the forecasts do not factor in judicial challenges to the results. 

Presidency

At the presidential level, Joe Biden is squarely in the lead, and unless there is an unprecedented polling error, President Donald Trump will have to run the tables in all the battleground states. 

How Trump Could Win: To win, Trump will have to make up a large deficit in the polls to Biden, and he will have to rely on key demographics in swing states to reach 270. First Trump has to hold onto the states that he didn’t think he’d have to defend. Most major pollsters show races in Texas, Georgia, Iowa, and Ohio are close to a dead heat in polling; Trump carried these states handily last time. If Trump doesn’t hold on to all four of these toss-ups, the race is over for him. On top of that Trump will also have to win in three swing states in the South, as well as North Carolina, Arizona and Florida. Without these three states the president has little chance of prevailing. And finally, on top of all of that he would have to come from behind to win in Pennsylvania where the most recent New York Times poll has Biden leading by six points. While it may be easy to count the president out, it was only four years ago when the political outsider shocked the world by crushing his predictions and winning the White House.

How Biden Could Win: Biden’s path to 270 electoral votes isn’t complicated or nearly as hard as Trump’s. Simply put, out of the eight competitive states (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa and Texas), Biden needs to win one. If he is able to capture just one of these states he will win the presidency. Despite what seems like an easy task, the left is still haunted by their false optimism four years ago.

Senate 

The outcome of the senate will have a large effect on the governing success of whomever wins the White House. Right now, the Senate is composed of 53 Republicans and 47 Democrats. And Democrat Doug Jones of Alabama is very unlikely to win reelection. This means that to control the senate, the Democrats will need to gain four seats if Biden wins and five seats if he doesn’t win. (The reason for this difference: the Vice President would cast the deciding vote in a tie, meaning that Democrat Kamala Harris would add another vote if Biden wins). 

Democrats are favored to take back seats in Colorado, Maine, North Carolina and Arizona. They also have a nearly 50-50 chance of taking two seats, in Georgia and Iowa. They also have an outside shot of picking up seats in Montana, South Carolina, Alaska and Kansas. There will also most likely be a runoff in Georgia for its second Senate senate seat later this year (a runoff occurs when no candidate reaches 50 percent in the first election, then the top two candidates face off.)

House

For the Republicans to even have a chance to win the House, there would need to be a massive polling error, in which the news media dramatically misrepresented the views of the American public. The Democrats are almost certain to retain a majority in the house.

The Bottom Line

While each individual race is local and has many issues that depend on the state, the stakes at the national level are clear: if Biden wins on election night and Democrats retake the Senate while holding on the House, the Democratic Party will have a trifecta for the first time since Barack Obama’s first term. 

Written by Max Fisher

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Feature

A Not-So-Brief History of Women in Politics

With Kamala Harris on the Democratic presidential ticket, this year could be a turning point for women in American politics. However, Harris is just the most recent in a line of trailblazing women.

1872 – Victoria Woodhull runs for President. Woodhull also created a publication called Woodhull and Claflin’s Weekly.

1887 – The first female mayor is elected: Susanna Salter of Argonia, Arkansas.

1916 – Jeannette Pickering-Rankin is the first woman to be elected to congress. 

1920 – White women are granted the right to vote.

1923 – Soledad Chacon, a Latina woman, wins the election to become the Secretary of State in New Mexico.  

1952 – Charlotta Spears-Bass is the first black woman to be nominated for vice president. 

1952 – Asian American women earn the right to vote.

1962 – Patsy Takemoto Mink becomes the first female Asian/Pacific Islander woman to be elected into state senate.

1965 – Native American women earn the right to vote.

1974 – Elaine Noble becomes the first openly queer woman to win in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

1976 – Mary Rose Oakar is the first Arab-American woman elected to senate.

1980 – LaDonna Harris becomes the first indigneous woman nominee for vice president.

1984 – Geraldine Ferraro is Democratic Party’s vice presidential nominee, making her the first female vice-presidential nominee representing a major American political party. 

1985 – Wilma Mankiller becomes the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation.

1992 – Nydia Velasquez becomes the first Puerto Rican woman elected to congress.

2001 – Condelezza Rice becomes the first woman to hold the position of National Security Advisor.

2016 – Hilary Clinton runs for president, before losing to Donald Trump.

2017 – Nikki Haley becomes the first Indian-American woman to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

2020 – Kamala Harris runs for Vice President along with Joe Biden on the Democratic ticket. 

Compiled and written by November Shawler 

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And Then There Were Three

Former Vice President Joe Biden takes the lead in the 2020 Democratic Primaries, while multiple candidates drop out of the presidential race.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has appeared to take the lead in the 2020 Democratic primaries following his surge on what is known as Super Tuesday. 

On Tuesday, March 3, 14 states (Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia) and one United States territory (American Samoa) held primaries and caucuses for the Democratic candidate in the 2020 presidential race. 

Biden surged, winning Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Maine,  Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) won Colorado, Utah and his home state of Vermont. Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg won American Samoa. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) held one delegate.

According to The Washington Post, in order to win the Democratic nomination, a candidate needs 1,991 delegates. Each state has a certain number of delegates based on the population and the weight in the Democratic party. Based on the number of votes they receive, the candidate wins the delegates. 

Bloomberg dropped out on Wednesday, March 4. After failing to win any states, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) dropped out of the race on Thurs., March 5.  Gabbard still remains in the race.

On Tuesday, March 10, primaries were held in Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington.  According to The Washington Post, Biden took the lead in Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri, while Sanders took the lead in North Dakota. Washington has yet to be called.

Biden has received endorsements from former candidates Pete Buttegieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Bloomberg and as of March 9, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). It is currently unclear who Warren will endorse.

The presidential election between current President Donald Trump and the Democrat nominee will be on Nov. 3, 2020.

Story by Greta Reel

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Presidential Primary Season in Full Swing

The Democratic Primary season has begun with the first two states (Iowa and New Hampshire) in the book and “Super Tuesday” states tallying votes. The Primary process will finish in Milwaukee on July 13-16, where Democrats will nominate their opponent to battle incumbent President Donald Trump in the general election. (As of right now, the Republican Primary is almost a lock for Donald Trump. The President has high numbers within his own party, and it should be an easy primary season for the incumbent.)

To win the nomination a candidate must amass 1,991 delegates by the end of the process. While early, if there continues to be no clear consensus candidate, this opens the possibility to a contested convention. In this case, if no candidate is elected in the first round of ballots, delegates will be free to choose whoever they please as the nominee. With many contests to go, only time will tell.

Joe Biden

Age: 77 Education: University of Delaware, Syracuse University Law School Former Offices Held: New Castle County Councilman (1970 – 1972), Senator from Delaware (1973 – 2009), 47th Vice President of the United States (2009 – 2016)

Strengths: • high name recognition • reputation from working with Obama, who is extremely popular in the Democratic Party •  black voters will help him in the south Weaknesses: • poor debate performances • prone to political gaffes and blunders

Bernie Sanders 

Age: 78 Education: Brooklyn College, University of Chicago Former Offices Held: Mayor of Burlington, Vermont (1981 -1989), Vermont Representative (1990 – 2006), Senator of Vermont (2006 – current) 

Strengths: • solid base of support from the 2016 campaign • huge amounts of grassroots fundraising • extremely well with young voters 

Weaknesses: • recently suffered from a heart attack • little support from within the Democratic party

Elizabeth Warren 

Age: 70 Education: University of Houston, Rutgers University, George Washington University Former Offices Held: Chief Advisor of the National Bankruptcy Review Commission (1995 – 2005), Chairman of the Congressional Oversight Panel (2008 – 2010), Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (2010 – 2011), Senator from Massachusetts (2012 – current) 

Strengths: • regarded as one of the smartest candidates in the Democratic race • experience and policy statements have gained her the catch-phrase “I have a plan for that” • hopes to be a more palatable progressive choice to party moderates. 

Weaknesses: • multiple controversies over her over exaggeration of her Native American roots • potential to be everyone’s second choice 

Pete Buttigieg

 Age: 38 Education: Harvard University, University of Oxford Former Offices Held: Mayor of South Bend (2012 – 2020) 

Strengths: • seen as fresh and new in the political world. 

Weaknesses: • little experience and low name recognition • poor numbers within the black community

Amy Klobuchar

 Age: 59 Education: Yale, University of Chicago Former Offices Held: Hennepin County Attorney (1999-2006), U.S. Senator from Minnesota (2006 – present) 

Strengths: • from the Midwest, a key battleground area in presidential elections • well-spoken and has a prosecutor’s quick wit 

Weaknesses: • lower name recognition than other top-tier candidates • rumors of poor treatment of staffers early in the campaign, which Klobuchar has denied

Others Three other major candidates are running on the Democratic side. Michael Bloomberg (10.0%), Tom Steyer (1.6%) and Tulsi Gabbard (1.4%) are all still in the race. While these candidates have yet to earn any delegates, the primary season is long and prone to upsets and meteoric rises to the top. *Polling Averages According to Real Clear politics 

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Your Cheat Sheet to Midterm Elections

With midterms coming up soon, political issues are on voters’ minds, but not everyone knows how the midterm election works or the importance it has for our government.

Midterm elections are for Congress — the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Congressional elections take place during even years, and the election in between presidential election years is known as the midterm.

In every midterm, about one-third of the Senate seats and all 435 House seats are voted on. This year, there are 35 Senate seats up for election.

Those voted into the House of Representatives have two-year terms, and are voted in based on districts within the state. Indiana has nine districts. Clark County is in the ninth district. The two candidates running for the ninth district House seat are incumbent Republican Rep. Trey Hollingsworth and Democrat challenger Liz Watson.

The Senate has 100 total members who serve six-year terms. The seats being voted on this year include one of the two seats for Indiana. Incumbent Democrat Sen. Joe Donnelly is running against the Republican challenger Mike Braun, and the Libertarian challenger Lucy Brenton this November.

“Midterm elections are a referendum on the President. If voters don’t like what a president is doing, midterms can change control of one or both houses of Congress,” said Aaron Dorman, a government teacher at Jeffersonville High School.

The midterm election usually attracts a lower turnout of voters compared to the  presidential election, because not everyone thinks it is as important. If you are eligible to vote you should; the midterm election, just like the presidential election, is an opportunity to change the majority party in one of the three houses of the federal government.

By Meredith Shepherd

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Candidate Profile: Liz Watson

Liz Watson is the local Democrat candidate for Indiana’s ninth district. Watson is running for the House of Representatives against Republican Trey Hollingsworth.

According to her website, Watson is running for Congress to fight for working families in Indiana.

Here are her views on some of the issues she would face in Congress:

Women’s Rights: Watson’s website says she has been an advocate for women for 20 years, especially for working women with families. She has worked on improving the juvenile justice system to help with the needs of girls and young women with histories of sexual abuse. If elected, she plans to demand full funding for the Violence Against Women Act, as well as advocating for women to have economic security and control of their own healthcare.

Immigration: Watson says she believes in “a pathway to citizenship” for immigrants. She supports the DREAM Act, an act that protects immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. Watson say she doesn’t want to neglect border security; however, she believes the real job of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is to keep Americans safe, not to punish immigrants who are innocent.

Gun Laws: Watson says she respects the 2nd Amendment, but supports restrictions on assault weapons. Specifically, she wants to close loopholes that allow citizens to get their hands on guns more easily, such as the ability to conduct private sales of guns without a background checks. She opposes a bill that would require states to recognize concealed carry permits from other states. She wants more protection for the partners of domestic abusers, as federal law protects the spouses of the abusers but not the partners.

Health Care: Watson supports the Medicare for All Act of 2017 and plans to defend the Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood. She says Planned Parenthood provides good care for both genders and that it can be lifesaving. On her campaign website she stated: “That’s why I support Planned Parenthood. It’s why I will oppose any effort to defund it, which would take lifesaving healthcare away from women in our district and across America.” In addition, she wants to work with both parties to accomplish good healthcare.

Climate Change: According to Watson, “climate change is the greatest threat to future generations” and “there is no time to waste.” Watson supports a carbon tax on greenhouse gas emissions, which would help companies develop a clean energy future. Doing this would raise over a billion dollars to develop green technology and infrastructure. She believes this will create good paying clean energy jobs for Southern Indiana residents.

 

By Greta Reel

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Candidate Profile: Trey Hollingsworth

Trey Hollingsworth is the local Republican candidate for Indiana’s ninth district. Hollingsworth is running for re-election. He has represented Indiana in Congress since 2017.

According to his campaign website, Hollingsworth’s main goal is to see all Americans have the opportunity to succeed and direct the future of their families, which he believes should be free from government interference.

In addition, Hollingsworth has taken a stand on term limits. According to Hollingsworth, who has already served one two-year term in Congress, “Public service should not be a career path. I promise you that I will serve no more than eight years as your Representative.”

Here are his views on some of the issues facing Congress:

The Economy: Hollingsworth’s website says he has a “strong belief in the productivity of the American worker, the ingenuity of American companies, and the durability of the American economy.” As a result, it says, “Trey knows American manufacturing can compete anywhere in the world if only we get government out of the way.” He also notes, “I believe there is a big difference between people in the private sector earning a living and politicians living off our earnings. In my opinion, you shouldn’t ask for the right to spend our tax dollars until you have had to honestly earn them from outside government.”

Immigration: His views regarding immigration have never been directly stated, but according to his voting records he has voted no on bills that would ensure temporary legal status for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. DACA is an immigration policy that allows some people brought to the United States illegally as children to delay deportation and potentially become eligible for citizenship. He also approves the appropriations for a southern border wall to be built.

Gun Laws: Hollingsworth does not support gun control legislation. He is the author of the POLICE Act, which enables law enforcement officers to remain armed in public federal buildings with low-level security.

Women’s Rights: Hollingsworth’s views on women’s rights have never been directly stated, but when his wife was pregnant with their first child he made his views on abortion clear: “I am 100 percent pro-life, but now that my wife and I are expecting our first child, the sanctity of life means even more,” he said at the time.

Health Care: Hollingsworth does not support the 2010 Affordable Care Act and has voted to repeal it. “We are determined to provide relief to the millions of families facing tough choices as a direct result of Obamacare, and we hope that you’ll work with us to achieve our goal of more affordable, accessible health care that offers you and your family better options,” he says.

 

By Sophie Rousseau