Thursday, November 26, 2020

Fuzzy race was exciting

The political pundits were left guessing throughout Election Day as the story of the next president unfolded.

The political buzz on campus was much of the same. The typical student voter pressed a sticker with an American Flag against his or her chest that read “I voted,” asking, “I wonder who will win?” to a friend exiting another booth.

Everyone played a game of picking favorites, guessing states and wondering if his or her vote made a difference. Battleground states had become war zones leaving both Republican and Democratic parties vying for every electoral vote.

If anyone learned anything about American politics Tuesday night, they were taught by the Electoral College, which early on sided with Vice President Al Gore while Texas Gov. George W. Bush grabbed a majority of states.

It was a game of political tennis with little love and lots of fault in predicting key states that only added to a see-saw presidential contest.

Bush had made an early surge as he grabbed every state straight south of North Dakota - states the Texas governor was guaranteed.

Gore started closing the gap by picking New York, Michigan, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

Geographically it was what analysts had been predicting - Bush would be strong in the South, the Plain states and much of the West. Gore would be the favorite in the Northeast-the rest was a guess.

Battleground states like Michigan and Ohio would go different ways, keeping the contest impossible to predict early on.

Deemed the closest presidential contest since President John F. Kennedy triumphed over President Richard Nixon in 1960, Tuesday’s presidential battle was exciting. It was American politics at its best. The founding fathers created a country that could hold an election with an American theme intact. Americans have always been in love with a close race, grassroots politics and candidates fighting for votes down to the last minute before precincts started closing their doors.

Earn the respect of the people by working for their votes and they’ll respond with their support. Gore grabbed Michigan only after practically spending every other day in October in the state - Bush took Ohio.

As the final chapter is written and candidates rest from a grueling electoral process, a story will tell that hard work pays off for candidates and not for political strategists - as politics sometimes can be fair game.

Kevin Hardy, State News opinion editor, can be reached at hardykev@msu.edu.

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