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Election 2020 and the Political Landscape

Here is a quick rundown of the known results from the federal elections on November 3rd.

This year, President and Vice President of the United States, all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, and 35 of 100 U.S. Senate seats were up for election.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have won the presidential election with 306 votes in the Electoral College. With ballots still being counted and finalized, the Biden-Harris ticket has at least a five-million-vote lead in the popular vote.

With some races still too close to call, Democrats have narrowly retained their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. They will have at least 219 seats, one more than the bare minimum for a majority, and Republicans will have at least 203 seats.

In the U.S. Senate, control of the chamber will come down to two runoff elections in Georgia. The Republican will have at least 50 seats and Democrats and the two Independents who caucus with them will have at least 48 seats. Should Democrats win both Senate races in Georgia, the chamber would be tied at 50-50. In this case, Democrats would be declared the majority party thanks to the tie-breaking vote of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

With the recent announcement of the creation of a COVID-19 Task Force, the Biden-Harris transition team has signaled that addressing COVID-19 will be a major priority for their administration. The task force is charged with consulting with state and local health officials on how to best prevent coronavirus spread, reopen schools and businesses, and address the racial disparities that have led to communities of color being hardest hit by the pandemic. Reports also suggest that the Biden Administration will immediately tackle how to best jumpstart the economy and help families, both of whom have been flailing since the onset of the pandemic.

During the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris administration, the nation could also see major changes, if not reversals, in current environmental and climate policies, including rejoining the Paris Climate Accords of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

On November 4, 2020—just one day after Election Day—the United States officially withdrew from the Paris agreement after a three-year withdrawal process. The presidential agenda is also thought to include an extension of the Voting Rights Act, which was severely weakened by the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling in Shelby County v Holder.

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