21 NOVEMBER 2020

The world was watching the recent election of the ‘leader of the free world’. There was much at stake. It had been a chaotic 2020:  impeachment trial of the President, selection of Joe Biden as the Democrat candidate and the outbreak of COVID. The battle between the Democrats and Republicans was toxic, full of vitriol and division.

Today’s U3APP seminar was for aficionados of American elections, but aren’t we all now?

John Pilbrow, PHD candidate and specialist in American election patterns gave us what Marcel Colman the facilitator referred to as a forensic account of how the various American states voted in the recent election.

He began by claiming that there has never been an election like this, nor has any former President refused to concede defeat despite the numbers.

John then went on to analyse the data comparing how States voted in 2016 and 2020 and  discussed the importance of the states that flipped to the Democrats and possible future states progressively moving into the Democrat camp. He confirmed that more Americans voted than ever before. Urban areas favoured the Democrats, rural the Republicans. African American women massively favoured Joe Biden whilst the Cuban origin Latino community favoured Donald Trump. Joe Biden won the popular vote and significantly, the votes in the Electoral College.

It is not yet over, and more is to come. As John pointed out Donald Trump still commands a fanatical base of support. The USA is strongly divided along party lines. The concept of bipartisan agreement seems to be far from any reality, the votes in the Senate are unclear and in the House the Democrats have lost votes, even the media is  divided – ‘fake news”?

Overall, John provided as Marcel Colman said- “ A brilliant forensic dissection of the issues”

John Pilbrow is a PhD candidate in the School of Social Sciences at Monash. He specialises in United States politics, with a focus on presidential elections and trends, and the rhetoric and discourse conveyed by political leaders. Primarily, his research combines political science and history to explain past and present attitudes among voters and office seekers in the United States. John’s PhD is centred upon electoral trends in US presidential elections and how voting differs within and among the 50 states. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and Bachelor of Economics, both from Monash University.

To view the recording of the seminar, click HERE.

Report by Pam Caven

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