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The Day(s) After: Election 2020

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(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

From left, Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Harris, President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden on stage together, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Wilmington, Del.

The president - and many of his supporters - say the election isn't over, but a majority of Americans say yes—his presidency is over. 

While the majority of American voters cast a ballot for Joe Biden as president, there was not a blue wave that swept Democrats into offices up and down the ticket. 

The Senate, at this point, is still in the hands of the Republicans, and in the House, Democrats are ahead but they lost four seats and Republicans gained five.

Steve Sebelius is the politics and government editor for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He said it is tough to draw conclusions because the electorate is not one monolith but a collection of people with different perspectives and priorities.

But there is one thing that stands out from this election, he said, the country is far from united.

Support comes from

"It just shows an electorate that is still very divided," he said, "People who might say look, 'In Sparks, I like Jill Dickman even if I don't like Donald Trump. In Las Vegas, I like Richard McArthur. I want him back in the Assembly even I don't necessarily like Donald Trump."

Former Republican and then Independent State Senator Patricia Farley believes people just became tired of the reality TV aspect of President Trump. She said watching a reality TV show once a week is one thing, but the constant drama from the administration became overwhelming for some people.

As far as the down-ticket races, Farley noted there are more registered Democrats than Republicans in Nevada but the non-partisan voters made the difference.

"It looks to me that they swung more right and I think that was more of a message that potentially the Democratic platform here in our state was moving too far left," she said.

Laura Martin is the executive director of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada. She believes the president's loss in Nevada, and around the country, is due in large part to the endless negativity.

"He is somebody who seemed to find joy in absolutely nothing and even now is taking to Twitter and wherever else he can be heard and just complaining about everything," Martin said, "I think people are just exhausted. We're tired of being in our houses. We're tired of not being able to see our families and we're just tired of the negativity and bombast from the president."

Martin also noted Nevada's economy has been hit hard by the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, and many people blamed President Trump's handling of the pandemic for the problems. 

Overall, former Republican State Senator Warren Hardy said the election showed just how far to the extremes members of both parties have moved. 

"I think President-elect Biden is going to have to navigate that," Hardy said, "If I've learned anything from his career, he's kind of a moderate guy who has done really well at reaching out to the other side. It will be interesting to see if he does that."

While some Republican leaders have congratulated President-elect Biden, others are still calling for an investigation into allegations of voter fraud.

Hardy said the vote in Nevada is fair, and the results will be accurate; however, he believes allegations need to be thoroughly investigated.

"Just like we need to calm down and let the vote count... but we also need to allow for those who think there were irregularities to have their voice heard as well," he said, "And if there is nothing to those claims, then it will bear itself out."

Sebelius said it is actually a lot more difficult than many people think to hack into voting machines. He noted that they work independently and are not connected to the internet.

As for any other allegation of voter fraud, Sebelius said the evidence so far has not passed the muster of any court of law.

"I would note that each and every time either a conservative group, the Republican Party, the Trump campaign or a combination of those have gone to court where instead of just making allegations you actually have to prove allegations... they have been turned away by state and federal judges," he said.

Sebelius said it is foolish to believe voter fraud never happens but it is also foolish to believe that is on such a widespread scale that it impacts the election.

People with concerns about irregularities point to the change, seemingly overnight, from President Trump ahead in battleground states to Biden ahead.

Sebelius said most pundits had predicted that because more Democrats had mailed in their ballots while more Republicans stood in line to vote on Election Day.

Since machine ballots are faster to count, those were counted first and mail-in ballots, which more likely favored Biden, were counted second.

While most of the last week has been focused on the very serious question of who will be the next president of the United States. The seemingly slow pace of Nevada's counting process has become a favorite topic for memes.

Natalie Pennington is an assistant professor in communication studies at UNLV. She specializes in social media.

She defined a meme as a humorous image, video or text that people share around the internet. They spread rapidly around social media and just as quickly disappear.

"On that top-level, memes are funny. They're entertaining. That's part of what makes them viral content and they get re-tweeted and reshared," she said, "But there is also that lower level of - okay, what's underneath this? And that's really pointing to the frustration about how slow it was."

Pennington said typically the country knows who won the election on Election Night but this year was different. 

Guests

Patricia Farley, former state senator; Warren Hardy, former state senator; Steve Sebelius, politics and government editor, Las Vegas Review-Journal; Laura MartinExecutive Director, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada; Natalie Pennington, assistant professor, UNLV communication studies

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