Democratic nominee Joe Biden secured the 2020 election victory last Saturday after crucial wins in the battleground states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania sparking celebrations in many of the nation’s biggest cities.
After four days of watching election coverage awaiting results, major news outlets CNN, NBC and FOX were able to call the election last Saturday morning after Biden surged ahead in Pennsylvania. Just two days prior, Wisconsin and Michigan —two states that President Trump had won in 2016 — flipped blue for Biden.
These conclusions come after days of counting mail-in ballots and provisional ballots in all of the major battleground states. On election night, Trump led by large enough margins that he declared victory that night. However, millions of mail-in ballots had not been counted, and election officials noted that there would not be a clear winner for days.
Political analysts for the New York Times noted that many of the mail-in ballots would be in Biden’s favor due to many of his supporters not wanting to vote in person to avoid the risks COVID-19 presented. Trump also denounced mail-in ballots as fraudulent and urged his supporters to vote in person, despite having no evidence to back up his claim.
After the election was called on Saturday, Americans were very divided in their reactions. Many Trump supporters back up Trump’s claim that ballots counted after election day are illegal, and some of his supporters are protesting at key ballot counting stations around the country. Trump has no plans in the near future to concede, and he is pursuing legal action in many battleground states on the basis of fraud.
Biden supporters took to the streets on Saturday to celebrate Biden’s victory over Trump. In New York, celebratory honking, singing and dancing were loud enough for some residents to hear from their windows. In D.C., hundreds of people flocked to the White House with signs and flags to celebrate, and many other cities including Atlanta, Detroit and Philadelphia held similar events in triumph.
Even in Buffalo, many residents took to the streets in the Elmwood village near Bidwell Park to dance and sing to songs like “Born in the USA” and “Party in the USA” as cars passed by and honked their horns in support.
One attendee of the Buffalo celebrations was Canisius sophomore Caitlin Gatt who said, “The energy in Elmwood on Saturday was something I’ve never experienced before. Everyone was so happy and there was a sense of togetherness and unity among everyone.”
Another attendee, Canisius sophomore Hannah Fischer, noted that being around like-minded people made her feel more connected to Buffalo, and she enjoyed observing people celebrating the end of Trump’s presidency with her neighbors.
Saturday was very emotional for many people who felt as if it was the end of four years filled with fear and hatred. Many people in Buffalo hugged each other and cried happy tears as they waved LGBTQ+ and “Black Lives Matter” flags.
Fischer summed it up by saying, “It seemed like many Americans felt a huge weight of fear lift off of their shoulders for the first time in four years. Everywhere you looked, people were smiling and cheering and beeping their horns, almost like a universal rush of happiness and waves of calmness had come over the whole city.”