Pilot staff contributed to Tuesday night’s live election coverage by Principia College’s Political Science and Mass Communication Departments, with support from Media Services. Watch the replay here:
The Principia Pilot continues to update this post with insights and student reactions to the election news.
Nov. 4 – Updated at 2:00 pm – By Rachel McLeod-Warrick
With Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan still counting ballots, students are waiting for the results and reflecting on the impact of this election.
“I feel stressed and confused about the election,” says freshman Lauren Arens. “It feels like I don’t completely understand what’s going on or what might happen in the next few days. This is my first election to be a part of and so I feel like I have a responsibility to understand and be involved with this election.”
As the delay in announcing a winner drags on, the ramifications also begin to become more real for Arens.
“I do believe this is the most important election that I’ve been alive for,” she says. “I think that the future of our country is at stake and people understand that this year. This election has had the most turnout, whether that’s through mail or in person. I think everyone is starting to understand the importance of this election.”
Nov. 3 – Updated at 11:55 pm – By Rachel McLeod-Warrick
Principia students are feeling weight of the election as the ballots come in, while also putting tonight’s race in perspective.
“I’m not doing well. I’m very stressed out because so much is on the line in this election,” says junior Katie Wood. “I have a huge take home test that’s due tomorrow and I don’t think I will be able to finish it in time because I’m not in a good metal state.”
Wood recognizes the importance of this election on issues that she cares deeply about.
“Climate change is getting really bad and we are near hitting a point of no return,” she says. “We need a president that is ready to take action. I live in Colorado where wildfires have been getting worse and worse every year and they are only going to get worse with climate change. We also need a president that is going to take action with the pandemic.”
Junior Cole Heinbaugh is taking another perspective by taking a bigger picture view of this election in compared to previous ones.
“I wouldn’t say this is the most important election I have been alive for,” he says. “I think all elections are important, but I don’t see this one as more important than the previous ones.”
More important to Heinbaugh right now is what comes after the election results are called.
“I am feeling a little anxious because of all the animosity that will occur no matter who wins,” he says. For now, he is trying to stay focused on things within his control.
Nov. 3 – Updated at 11:00 pm – By Olivia Denson
There are many different approaches that citizens are taking tonight with the closing of polls and election results being called. People are staying off of social media and avoiding news sources with the goal of evading the stress of election night. Others are fully immersed and paying diligent attention to election developments. And still others find themselves in the middle of this involvement spectrum.
The full scope of intentness is apparent on the Principia College campus with students deeply involved with the Prin At The Polls Zoom live stream providing updates on presidential and congressional races for the Principia community, while others are going about their usual Tuesday business.
Current election results remain up in the air with Biden just barely in the lead with 56 million votes and Trump is tailing right behind at 54 million votes.
To deal with the uncertainty the election presents tonight, junior Kiki Holmes has found it crucial to recognize and affirm who truly governs. “I find extreme comfort in acknowledging that God is always governing and no matter what the results of the elections reflect, we can always turn to that idea,” she says.
Holmes focuses on how much comfort there is in recognizing the constant found in spirituality. Principians have the unique opportunity to approach daily life through a Christian Science lens and Holmes says that this perspective, which many Principia community members share, can bring a calm and sure sense of governance.
Nov. 3 – Updated at 9:50 pm – By Emme Schaefer
Senior Dean Colarossi has been monitoring the election closely, and eagerly anticipating this night. Both Colarossi and Junior Tyler Williams have the website 270towin.com up on their computers. On this site, you can create your own map, labeling each state either red or blue. These two Lowrey house members having been checking the results of the election with their own predictions. As the night progresses, they have been updating their interactive maps.
“It’s going pretty well; some things are as expected others are not as expected,” says Colarossi. “The election is not a touchy topic with my friends or family – it’s actually the preferred topic right now. I’m not terribly concerned about the results. I’m just watching and observing. Trump is currently ahead in Florida which surprised me because there was such a strong tilt democratic, according to the polls. It’s hard to get a sense of things here on campus due to the restrictions that prevent us from gathering with others. I’m from California, and if my home state goes red, I will be pleasantly surprised.”
Williams, who is from Northern California is excited to see what the polls say.
“I’m feeling pretty confident that Trump will win,” he says. “The Republicans will most likely have the Senate again, and maybe the House [of Representatives]. So, if Biden tries to pull anything outrageous, they’ll have that check on him. It would surprise me if New Hampshire went to Trump, same with Pennsylvania. At home in California, I’ve seen a lot of Trump rallies and flags, which is surprising because the Bay Area is really blue. My parents know that I’m conservative and that I will be happy if Trump wins, but they might not be as happy. Anything is on the table – even Trump said that he could win California, so we will see what happens. When the results of the election are announced I hope that the campus doesn’t react the way that my high school did the next day, which was not half-class.”
Nov. 3 – Updated at 8:45 pm – By Olivia Denson
Principia College students have spent today anxiously awaiting the closing of the voting polls and commencement of the presidential election results. Tonight’s athletic practices were cancelled to allow for athletes to join their peers in engaging with the election. Junior and men’s basketball player Clark Davidson is eagerly awaiting the results while doing homework and watching the live results and commentary.
Davidson says that what matters most in this election, “is the acceptance of the vote”. He says he feels “nervous about the uncertainties that tonight will bring”.
At this point in the night it is too early to call which candidate will win each state or who will ultimately come out victorious. Currently the race is close with Trump leading with 21 million votes and Biden with 20 million votes cast.
Davidson is also asking himself the question that has been plaguing the minds of many Americans today: “Will the current political polarity pull the nation apart and ultimately create a state of immense violence?”.
Davidson is anxious about the violence that has been expected to follow the results, as cities establish preventative measures including boarding up their storefront windows, in order to protect from the nationwide expectation of violence. He’s reflecting on the 2016 election, and how immediately following the election results establishing Donald Trump as the president of the United States, there was a question of validity from his opponents. There has been speculation that there will be a similar response following tonight’s election.