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News, University News

Brown political organizations react to Biden win

Leaders of Brown College Democrats, Republicans reflect on future of respective parties

By and
Senior Staff Writers
Saturday, November 7, 2020
Joe Biden smiling with the flag of USA to his right

Former Vice President Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election Nov. 7. Biden’s victory arrives four days post-Election Day after a close battle for the Oval Office with incumbent President Donald Trump.

After former Vice President Joe Biden was declared the next president of the United States, beating incumbent President Donald Trump, leaders of student groups representing the major parties — Brown College Democrats and Brown College Republicans — reflected on the significance of this election and the future of their respective parties.

Jasmine Powell ’22, president of the Brown College Democrats, said that she is “still processing” Biden’s win.

“This is a win for our democracy, just because of how Donald Trump has tried to erode it,” Powell said. “But we need to continue to stay engaged and continue to fight for our democracy.”

Powell is eager to see president-elect Biden navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, health care and the environment. But passing major legislation will be difficult without control of the Senate, she added. 

At this point, it is unclear which party will have control of the Senate come Inauguration Day — control hinges on two runoff elections in Georgia scheduled for Jan. 5.

“It’s definitely going to be hard” for Democrats to pass legislation, Powell said. “I’m hoping (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell sees the light, but I’m not putting any faith in him.”

Powell noted that though Trump was electorally defeated, his ideas will not be going away. Millions of Americans still support Trump’s agenda, she said.

“We need to continue to fight and to protect the people that we love and the rights that people hold dearly,” Powell said. 

For Jessica McDonald ’21, president of Brown College Republicans, Trump’s loss is disappointing. Brown College Republicans endorsed Trump in 2020 after not doing so in 2016, The Herald previously reported

McDonald said that Trump’s sizable deficit in polls leading up to Election Day lowered her expectations. Additionally, she said, this election is not entirely a wash for Republicans: They are likely to maintain control of the Senate and have gained seats in the House of Representatives.

Even though the race has been called by major news organizations, Trump is currently seeking to undermine the results through action in the courts. While she knows that many of Trump’s claims about election fraud are false, McDonald maintained that some have validity.

“Either way, Biden would end up the winner, but I do think that some of the claims are valid,” she said. McDonald pointed to an error in a Michigan county’s software that prompted officials to manually recount ballots.

Despite the loss for Trump, McDonald sees positives in Republicans’ apparent gains with Black and Latinx voters. She said that the future of the Republican Party lies in a “more palatable” version of Trump.

Republicans “need to throw someone in there who is not going to be as contentious,” she said. “That’s where Trump probably lost most of his appeal.” McDonald added that the COVID-19 pandemic “destroyed the chance that Trump had.”

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