If you woke up this morning with a sense of impending doom and existential dread, you’re not alone. The last several months have felt like a lifetime, and the stakes of an election have never felt higher. With that kind of pressure riding on a moment that — anticlimactically —probably won’t end tonight, no wonder we all feel worn out.
Election fatigue is real — and although we are feeling it, the unprecedented circumstances we currently face are certainly not helping things. This election cycle has felt like a lifetime, and it's not helped by the face that voter disenfranchisement is running rampant. And yes, Trump may very likely try to contest the outcome if it's not in his favor. Speaking to reporters on Sunday evening, Trump said, “I think it’s terrible that we can’t know the results of an election the night of the election...We’re going to go in the night of, as soon as that election’s over, we’re going in with our lawyers.” No wonder we’re exhausted. When was the last time a day went by where Trump didn’t say something deeply questionable, at best, and profoundly inflammatory, at worst?
But all is not lost! Before you succumb to crippling anxiety, endless doomscrolling, and the kind of numbness that only emerges as the result of emotional exhaustion, there are a few things we can remind ourselves of that, dare we say it, sound a little bit hopeful.
You voted! Which means you exercised a very important right.
If you’re one of the nearly 100 million people who voted leading up to Election Day so far, you are exercising your rights and that is something to be proud of. And if you voted on Election Day, you should feel good about overcoming an absolutely unknown fear of lines, machines breaking, and mass voter intimidation. 2020 has reminded us that getting to vote is a right we can never take for granted — it is one of the most important things you can do to make your voice heard. And you did that. Don’t forget it!
You didn’t vote for a president who actively created a fascist police state.
A not-so-small consolation comes from knowing that, while fulfilling your civic duty, you didn’t support a man who has slowly but surely eroded the basic human rights of millions. Remembering that can make colors look brighter, music sound better, and our coffee taste that much bolder, right? Your vote went toward ousting a person who has been accused of sexual assault by over 20 women, accepted Nazi endorsements during his 2020 campaign, and even this morning called himself "perhaps the most innocent man anywhere in the history of the United States."
There are a lot of non-presidential races that you should feel hopeful about.
The highest office in the nation isn’t the only one up for grabs this election cycle. More than 5,800 state lawmaker seats are being decided by voters right now. State legislatures affect our daily lives in a big way, and by the looks of these down ballot elections, there are some groundbreaking races that could change the shades of historically red states like Arizona, Georgia, and Texas, as well as swing states including Iowa, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Michigan. For a number of places, even just flipping a few seats could alter which party holds majority control in that jurisdiction.
Polls and rankings have shifted further into state Democrats’ favor which has huge implications for the future of American politics. The Senate could turn blue for the first time in years. Building on 2018 trends, more women and BIPOC candidates are posing competitive challenges to incumbent lawmakers. Texas, purple for the longest time, is looking like it could turn a light blue as Democrats have been organizing hard in the southwestern state. Even though Texas hasn’t voted for a Democratic president since the 1970s, four congressional seats are open and the races are neck and neck. Some are already predicted to go blue like Maine’s Senate race between Sara Gideon and Susan Collins.
One of the most exciting things to consider is that these down ballot races are happening all over the country. Long-held ideas are being challenged and people are voting in historic, record-breaking numbers.
In case you still need to feel good, here’s what Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been saying today.
Both Biden and Harris are campaigning until the final moments of the election. Dividing their efforts across key swing states, the two running mates are ending the day by meeting up in Wilmington, DE to watch the returns. Biden started his day in his hometown of Scranton, PA before heading to Philadelphia. While in Detroit, MI, Harris encouraged everyone to have faith in the American people. “Listen, the day ain’t over!” Harris said in an optimistic tone. “Right now, I’m here to remind people to vote because the election is still happening. It’s not over.”
Officials from Biden’s campaign expressed confidence in the path to victory, claiming that there are “multiple pathways” to the 270 electoral college votes needed to be elected. During a press call, Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon underscored that Biden can win the necessary number of electoral votes even without the four largest battleground states of Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas, reports USA Today. “We feel very good about Pennsylvania, Florida as well,” said Dillon. And since, currently, Biden leads by five and three percentage points in those states, respectively, so do we.