In the days and weeks after the stress-inducing 2020 presidential election, University of Colorado Boulder student political organizations were disappointed by the outcome, but for very different reasons. The election resulted in a win by President-elect Joe Biden, although the Trump Administration has yet to concede defeat. According to the Associated Press, Biden won 306 Electoral College votes while Trump trailed behind with 232.
“Considering how big of a failure the Trump presidency was, I’m kind of afraid because of how close a margin [the election] was,” Shay Mannik of the group Buffs for Progress said. He noted that the results were “as good as we could’ve hoped for.”
“I’m just really glad that Trump’s out,” Mannik said.
More conservative students, like CU College Republicans president Joey Fratino had a different reaction. “Even though Trump lost, I was very happy with the election results,” Fratino said.
Fratino said he had faith in the polling, and expected President Trump to lose by a larger margin, bringing down the Republicans in the Senate and the house as well. While the Democrats still hold a lead in the house, the Republican Party gained eight seats. The senate race is still yet to be officially called with two runoff elections occurring in Georgia, which will determine if Republicans will hold the Senate or if there will not be a clear majority.
Despite his positive thoughts on the election results, members of the CU College Republicans group are still disappointed about Trump’s loss, according to Fratino. With the election being over two weeks ago, people are looking to President Trump’s response.
“He’s Trump. He’s not going to admit he loses. I don’t expect him ever to concede,” Fratino said.
Even with the lack of a concession, Fratino believes that there will be a seamless transition of power, stating that Trump will find a way to gracefully leave office without ever officially conceding. On November 23, Fratino was proven right when it was confirmed by CNN that the Trump administration is proceeding with a transition of power, though a concession speech has yet to be made.
Fratino does have one thing in common with members of Buffs for Progress: disappointment in the way the current president is handling his election loss. Prior to the confirmation by CNN, both Fratino and Mannik voiced their disappointments.
“Every day that he lets this drag on or if he keeps saying the election is rigged, it’s just going to be embarrassing,” Fratino said.
Mannik too is frustrated by Trump’s refusal to concede. “He’s not acknowledging the results of a fair election so I think it’s kind of more sad than anything,” Mannik said.
The two groups had different reactions to how they thought President-elect Biden might govern. While Republican students like Fratino feel that Biden will bring an overly progressive agenda to the White House, more left-leaning students like Mannik believe that Biden’s policies will be too moderate.
Buffs for Progress was initially created in support of former Democratic presidential nominee Bernie Sanders, who is known for being much more progressive than Biden. Mannik said he and those in his group are “cautiously optimistic” about Biden, but said that the left will have to push Biden towards more progressive policies.
Fratino and the Republicans on the other hand are looking for a more moderate presidency from Biden. Fratino said that he and others are hoping that Biden won’t govern by “trying to appease the progressive wing and the democratic party.”
Mannik made it clear that although the election is over, Buffs for Progress still has work to do. He said the group is going to be focusing on pressure campaigns against CU for the rest of the year, with goals of reducing tuition and implementing police reform on campus. For the rest of this semester, the group is planning to participate in phone banking and texting for the Georgia Senate runoff.
Mannik said that “there is a lot of complacency with left-leaning people at this point” now that the election is over, and is expecting a smaller turnout of Buffs for Progress members to participate in events.
Fratino on the other hand is sure that the CU College Republicans will have a higher turnout after the inauguration. He thinks that more people are going to want to be engaged because “they’ll see their values under attack.” Fratino mentions that his group will become more like a club, discussing Biden’s policies and finding “ways to fight back against that”.
With disappointments coming from both sides of the party, Fratino summarized the election by stating, “both parties are losers in this election. The winners are the moderates”.