With outcomes nonetheless being counted in a number of states Wednesday, threats of lawsuits and a few suggesting it may very well be days and even weeks earlier than the presidential race is resolved, election night time 2020 was removed from decisive – a minimum of on the nationwide stage. However just a few issues did emerge as sure, CU Boulder political scientists say.

The as soon as crimson Centennial State is trying decidedly blue, passing progressive measures like a paid household medical depart plan that’s distinctive within the nation and tilting the CU Board of Regents to the left for the primary time in many years.

And irrespective of who wins the presidential election, U.S. voters have some therapeutic to do.

We requested Kenneth Bickers, chair of the Division of Political Science, and Celeste Montoya, an affiliate professor of girls and gender research, for his or her tackle the election because it stood on Wednesday afternoon.

Their interviews have been edited for brevity and readability:

2020 has been framed as a ‘historic election.’ What’s historic about it?

Montoya: What’s notable about this election is that we’re in the course of a world pandemic, at a time of excessive polarization, amid mass mobilization round inequality. The election is seen as a mandate on these points – on whether or not or not the federal government coverage response to COVID or differing approaches to race, immigration, gender and LGBTQ points has been acceptable. Who wins has big coverage implications. That isn’t all the time the case.

Bickers: I’d not name 2020 a historic election. I’d say 2016 was the historic one. It represented a significant break from regular politics with the nomination of Donald Trump as a nontraditional Republican candidate, and it posed a selection between an outside-the-box disrupter and a really conventional candidate, Hillary Clinton. 2020 is about voters deciding whether or not they made the appropriate or flawed choice in 2016. Clearly, the nation is split on that.

How uncommon is it for us to not know who the president is but?

Bickers: In some methods that is extra harking back to life earlier than the web and fashionable applied sciences. It was commonplace till the Nineteen Fifties or Nineteen Sixties for elections to take some days earlier than we knew the end result. How typically will we see contested elections? It’s unusual, however not completely unprecedented.  In 1960, it was a probably contested election between Nixon and JFK however Nixon selected to concede and never put the nation via that. And there are others: 1876, 1824, 1800. How will this one go? If it may be resolved the place Pennsylvania just isn’t the pivotal state then we may know the end result sooner. But when Pennsylvania lives as much as its namesake, and is the keystone state, it will likely be very very similar to 2000 with Bush vs. Gore and that takes time. It may very well be fairly painful.

Montoya: It’s a bit uncommon nevertheless it shouldn’t be. If we’re actually targeted on inclusion and ensuring that democratic processes are in place and each vote is counted, it ought to take time.

What do you make of the Colorado outcomes? Are we a blue state now?

Bickers: There’s a massive story and a small story right here. The massive story is that Colorado is now solidly a blue state. The flipping of the Senate seat from Cory Gardner to John Hickenlooper, the decisive victory by Biden over Trump, the down-ballot races and the CU Regents race all level to that. The small story is that, because of the tax measures that Colorado voters handed, it will be so much much less enjoyable to be a Democrat within the state legislature than it was earlier than final night time’s vote. They may have much less cash of their coffers and it will likely be tougher to get extra.

Montoya: Demographics and political engagement are shifting in Colorado. We’ve a rising millennial inhabitants and a politically engaged Gen Z, each of whom are extra consultant of communities of shade. There may be additionally an rising variety of unbiased voters in Colorado, a few of whom are progressive. How these coalitions all maintain collectively sooner or later will likely be attention-grabbing to see. Each events nonetheless have some work to do to recruit and assist extra numerous candidates and make the delegation extra consultant of what the state appears to be like like.

What stunned you on election night time?

Bickers: Wanting on the entire nation, I had no concept it will be such a status-quo election. I actually thought that both Biden was going to win handily, or the polls could be so flawed that Trump would win handily. As an alternative, when you take a look at the map, there was plenty of stability – even in an election the place we’re being requested to remain the course or not. We’re nonetheless a rustic as divided as we had been in 2016.

Montoya: On the nationwide stage, I used to be not anticipating it to be so shut. In Colorado, there have been additionally some notable outcomes, not all shocking. For the primary time in 40 years there may be going to be a Democratic majority on the Board of Regents, a 5-4 break up. The brand new Household Depart Act can also be historic. This is likely one of the most progressive household depart acts in america and to see it really play out was an enormous shock. Persons are going to be watching Colorado on this one.

Regardless of who wins, some are going to be deeply upset. What recommendation do you might have for individuals whose candidate doesn’t win?

Bickers: In case your individual didn’t win on the nationwide stage, focus your time and vitality in your state or county or metropolis authorities. You may lose at one stage and a win at one other stage concurrently. To me, that is likely one of the strengths of federalism, by which energy is split between the federal, state and native governments. It is likely one of the most essential reduction valves for people who find themselves overly invested in a nationwide consequence and have to nonetheless really feel like they will have an effect on coverage.

Montoya: The truth that individuals, it doesn’t matter what facet they’re on, really feel {that a} loss by their candidate is that this existential menace exhibits one thing is flawed with our system. Our establishments had been set as much as have extra moderated outcomes so that individuals nonetheless felt like they’re being represented irrespective of who was in energy and the place elected officers are chargeable for your entire constituency — not simply those that elected them. That’s not taking place. We have to begin speaking severely each in our establishments and in our society about how we are able to discover widespread floor. Whatever the consequence of this election, there may be plenty of work to be completed to deal with problems with inequity and inclusion.



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