By Ava Dunwoody | Staff Writer
The Democratic Party is hoping for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to win the election, but their ideal outcome goes beyond that. Whether Texas will go Blue this election and who will make up the majority of the senate are questions Democrats want to be answered in their favor.
Plano senior Madison Bearden is a Democrat who voted last weekend. She said she is hopeful Biden will win and wants to see more progressive policies kick in. According to the latest RealClearPolitics polls, Biden is winning by a 6.8 point average at 50.7 versus Trump’s 43.9.
“The main thing for me is just getting Trump out of office right now,” Bearden said. “There are a lot of issues facing 2020 that are really scary.”
Bearden said the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and the Black Lives Matter movement are at the forefront of the election. Even though she said she doesn’t fully trust the polls, Bearden said she is hopeful that they are indicating what will actually happen when the election results are finalized.
San Antonio sophomore Alice Shelly is Vice President of Baylor College Democrats and said in addition to the presidency, she hopes the party gains seats in the senate. Right now, the 116th Senate has a Republican majority of 53 seats.
The House of Representatives currently has a Democratic majority with 235 seats to 199. Shelly said since the Supreme Court now has an overwhelming Republican majority of six to three seats, she hopes the Senate goes Democratic and Biden nominates a Democratic Supreme Court Justice to create more balance in government.
Bearden hopes the election will go one step further and declare Texas as a blue state. She said a lot of young people are starting to become of voting age and talking about politics, so she thinks there is a good chance it might happen this election.
Shreveport, La., sophomore Veronica Penales is president of the College Democrats of Baylor and a student government senator. She said the biggest reason so many Democrats are hoping for Biden to win this election is a desire for change.
“I genuinely think that after four years of Donald Trump and seeing his divisive rhetoric and the amount that he has given a platform, something needs to change,” Penales said. “Having this election go to the Democrats would definitely change that.”
Shelly said a lot of her decisions to vote for Biden were based on COVID-19 and how the two candidates would approach handling it. With case numbers rising again, she said Trump has not handled the virus in a scientific or professional manner.
“With the second wave coming and rising as we speak, the numbers are rising as much as they were at the beginning of the virus,” Shelly said. “We are going to need a leader in office that takes it seriously and takes precautions to save lives over businesses.”
Bearden said in addition to COVID-19, there are so many other important issues like minimum wage, healthcare reform, gun reform, and the environment impacted by the ballot.
“I think it’s really important that in order to dig ourselves out of this hole that we’ve found ourselves in 2020, we elect the Democratic leaders on the ballot,” Bearden said.
Shelly said she is confident that Biden will win the presidential election and the lack of leadership Trump has exhibited will sway moderate voters to Biden. She said the Democratic Party would be shocked if Biden lost, but the same goes for Trump supporters, she said.
“Both sides are demonstrating a general sense of confidence, and [with] whoever gets elected, there’s going to be an upset either way,” Shelly said. “It’s going to be a mess. I think it’s going to go back and forth a lot this week and with both sides being confident, that makes it messy.”
Bearden said she hopes that if Biden wins, Americans will be able to find a middle ground that will keep everyone safe. She thinks Biden will be a more unifying leader than Trump and said even if Republicans don’t like Biden, he will elicit more peace in America than Trump.
With this peace, Shelly said Biden will be able to move the country past COVID-19 and deal with other relevant issues.
“Because COVID is at the forefront of everything right now because Trump hasn’t handled it well, issues such as environmental justice, reproductive justice, and healthcare reform have been put on the backburner,” Shelly said. “If Biden is elected and can handle COVID in a decent manner, then we can move on to the issues that are part of the movement and are part of the Democratic Party.”