By David Montenegro
On the night of Tuesday November 3rd, President Donald Trump faced off against former Vice-President Joe Biden in an effort to win the White House. This year’s election campaign is quite unique; in the midst of a global pandemic, candidates adapted to the circumstances, and polling places accommodated for social distancing guidelines. On the campaign trail, President Trump touted his administration’s achievements, making a case for his credibility to hold four more years, while Mr. Biden reached out to voters unsatisfied with the President’s policies. Many issues are at stake for voters on both sides of the political spectrum, making this year’s Presidential election one of the most important in American history.
The Babson Political Association (BPA) hosted a virtual event for over three hours, in which students participated in live discussions about their predictions and reactions as the PBS live stream presented election results. As a freshman representative for the BPA, I decided to ask our members about their overall thoughts on the election and why they feel it’s important.
One member cheered as the name of his senator appeared on a screen with a golden checkmark, declaring him the winner. For this member, it’s important for his “values [to] align with a candidate” that will represent him and thousands of other constituents fairly.
Jack McGauley said that this election will judge many issues involving the economy and the Coronavirus, which overall affects job prospects for college students who will graduate and enter the workforce. He laments over the increasing political polarization, leading to mass social unrest and businesses having to board up to protect themselves from the violence; “It’s really sad” Jack states. “There’s never been an election in which people are expecting a riot or a quasi civil war,” worried Jack.
Ben, a friend of Jack, believes that the “most motivating factor” in the election is the pandemic and how each candidate plans to respond to it. His values need to align with his candidate.
The most common thoughts among students is that the election is an opportunity to elect a candidate that aligns with their views and can change the direction of the country. There are varying degrees of how important the election is for some people, but they wouldn’t miss out on getting their voices heard.
Some members were vocal about their favorite candidates, and there was interesting discourse over a multitude of political issues. However, very few could predict who was going to win the election at this point. Yesterday, one student stated that Biden is favored to win because of polling data. Trump winning Florida would put the race even closer, and his odds would grow significantly as a result.
I showcased my electoral map to the group, predicting Trump would win Florida and Arizona, Biden winning Nevada, Minnesota, and New Hampshire, but there was no indication of who would win the rust belt states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
Although the event ended on a cliffhanger, the BPA met again on November 13th to discuss the election aftermath with Biden becoming the President-elect. Some students looked forward to seeing what a Biden administration will look like, while some remained vigilant over allegations of voter fraud that will be evaluated in the future. The BPA continues to create an environment friendly for interesting and fun political discussions with like-minded Babson students from all backgrounds. The events hosted by the BPA are certainly very relaxing and casual for a busy student body.
We wish students of all backgrounds to step out of their comfort zone and be part of the BPA, where you will meet people of different ideologies who would accept for who you are; we will all receive you with open arms!
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