Political analysis: McCain, Lewis prove possible key to presidential election

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Mark Chrissan

Late Arizona Senator John McCain and late Georgia Congressman John Lewis had a major impact on the 2020 election. Even with their recent passing, they are partially responsible for Arizona and Georgia going blue. With the flip of these two states, it was proved to current president Donald Trump that his words have consequences.

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As the election process raged on, presidential-elect Joe Biden received two surprise state victories that helped him to pull ahead in majority votes. According to the polls, Biden took the lead in Arizona and Georgia, which are two states that President Donald Trump won in 2016. What changed in the past four years to allow Biden to flip the former red states?

Not what, but who.

The late Senator John McCain and the late Congressman John Lewis proved to be key to winning the election. This proved once and for all that words have consequences, and it’s almost impossible to win an election by spewing hate. 

Do you think that Trump's rhetoric about John McCain and John Lewis impacted the election?

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Even with urging from his campaign managers, Trump often refused to campaign in Arizona. He resisted because he didn’t like spending the night on the road. Trump won the state in 2016 with over a 90,000 vote margin, and most polls predicted the state to stay red this year, but Biden won the state with a lead of nearly 100,000 votes. So what was the key to winning this state? It very well might have been Senator John McCain.

Although McCain passed away in August 2018, his legacy is still felt throughout the Grand Canyon state. McCain won the state senate race in 2016 against Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick with more than 300,000 votes. He was beloved by his state and often called a hero for his service in the military. But McCain and Trump have a rough history, dating back two decades.

When Trump considered running for president in 2000, he criticized McCain’s service in war and mocked the fact that he was captured as a prisoner of war. Throughout his career, Trump often spoke about McCain and his work on policies such as immigration, the Affordable Care Act, and ObamaCare. Even after his death, Trump continued to bash McCain’s name and criticize his war service. It makes sense that Arizona has gone blue this year. The state is making a statement in retracting their support for the 45th president of the United States. Trump can call fraud on the voting, but sooner or later he must recognize that there are consequences for his words. 

Another state Trump won in 2016, Georgia, is also going blue for 2020. But this time it is because of another political leader, member of the House of Representatives for Georgia’s 5th congressional district, John Lewis.

Late Thursday night, officials in Clayton County worked to count all of the absentee ballots, and when they finished, Biden had pulled ahead of Trump. So what is significant about Clayton County? It was represented by John Lewis for three decades, and before he died of cancer complications this summer, Lewis endorsed Biden for president.

Lewis is another political leader praised for his work. Lewis spent a majority of his career fighting racial injustice, even writing multiple books, landing him on the New York Times bestseller list. Trump was hurt by the fact Lewis didn’t attend his inauguration, claiming “nobody has done more for Black Americans than I have,” Trump said. “He should have come. I think he made a big mistake.”

Not only did President Trump have to run against Joe Biden, but it also appears he ran against the ghosts of political foes past — and lost. Charles Dickens could not write it any better.

The flips of these states didn’t just secure Biden a win, they proved to all politicians that their words have consequences. You cannot scrutinize two major leaders of swing states and still expect them to lean in your favor. This is a major loss for Donald Trump and his supporters. The country is more divided than ever, but let us not be hateful toward one another.

We have an opportunity here to usher in a new era of love, hope, and acceptance. On the 100 year anniversary of women gaining the right to vote, we have our first woman vice president-elect, and a woman of color nonetheless. This moment marks a new era for America. I hope these results show others that neither hate nor fighting is the key to winning. It is love.