The age of social media has brought about a democratization of political discussion, with everyone from political experts to celebrities to the average Joe posting opinions on the 2020 election on social media.
We followed the discourse closely to identify common topics and embedded tweets in this article to illustrate the type of posts being made. The resulting image is an image of insecurity, strong emotion, and dueling narrative as the future of the United States and its democratic process takes shape.
Please note: The embedded tweets are displayed unchanged in order to get an overview of the actual opinions on social media. Their contents should not be taken as fact, and they do not represent the views of the author or Medical Daily.
This year’s election was a catalyst for a lot of intense emotions, but satisfaction was not common. Even if a user’s preferred candidate wins, the situation is just too tense and too fast. Nobody knows what’s next. The result is an emotional roller coaster ride between ups and downs as people struggle to deal with changing numbers of votes and results that contradict their expectations.
Absolutely where I am. I was expecting not to know the results now. I expected the final results to be close. I haven’t really thought about what tight election results basically mean, however, and that part has blinded me hard
– _Dan Tagliarina_ (@ProfTags) November 4, 2020
While many people have gone all-in after the election cycle, others are looking for ways to pass the time until the final results arrive. Common pastimes include watching movies or leaving the screen to cook or do some crafts.
And of course there are the memes. Breaking the tension with humor and pop culture references is the internet’s reflexive response to … well, pretty much anything. That’s a shape that definitely didn’t break the choice.
I’m looking at the news cycle for the next 48 to 72 hours. pic.twitter.com/Nldcc4PE3H
– Frank Pallotta (@frankpallotta) November 2, 2020
What happened in the elections?
Months of political polls predicted a landslide victory for Joe Biden. The reality was very different: many state races were very close and often ended within a few percentage points.
I don’t know about it, but apparently people only lied to her about voting intentions. And their polls are * far * over-relied upon by the media as far too much importance is attached to them. Time to stop giving them so much airtime.
– mars_stu (@mars_stu) November 4, 2020
Two of my family members, who were Trump supporters in 2016 and 2020, deliberately lied to pollers when they were contacted. And I know people / friends who have hidden their support for Trump. How do polls explain Trump’s secret voters?
– Karen Foshay (@ Karenfoshay) November 4, 2020
Anecdotal reports suggest that Trump supporters deliberately lied to avoid public shame and mislead the media. However, as is often the case with this election, this phenomenon is not a fixed fact. The Washington Post denies the idea that Republicans lied to pollsters en masse, suggesting instead that different states had different degrees of accuracy. Many social media users and analysts counter that later surveys were largely correct. So the explanation isn’t so much a lie as it is a shift in survey responses over time.
This whole article is based on nonsense. Trump is ready to lose about 5% in the referendum, as many of the latest polls said (see link below). No evidence anyone lied to pollsters https://t.co/Cs0q0vXA9Y
– YOU’RE FIRED!!! (@cincinnato) November 4, 2020
The war against the truth
“Fake news” has been with us since the 2016 elections, but false and misleading information still dominates the polls. Conspiracies like QAnon have gained widespread popularity, and distrust of the political establishment and the news media has turned into tales of disinformation campaigns and allegations of outright fraud by a ruling elite.
The ruling class only lied to the nation for a year about the polls, statistics, and percentages. You lied about Trump for four years. So, no, we are not going to accept the fact that we now have to trust corrupt political machines of the democratic blue city to be honest in the vote.
– Matthew J. Peterson (@docMJP) November 4, 2020
Fraud and oppression
The two specters of electoral fraud and voter suppression have haunted the 2020 elections from the start and are currently fueling some of the most heated dialogues.
They hate red states so much, but refuse to acknowledge the gerrymandering and suppression of voters who keep us red. Democratic voters out here are not stupid or backward-looking. We are in the trenches, we are your comrades. Don’t ignore the work. https://t.co/mEo8zGWyng
– Leah Johnson (@byleahjohnson) November 4, 2020
The idea that mail-in-voting is a cover for fraud is widespread in conservative circles. A handful of stories suggest that there was some level of wrongdoing, but there hasn’t been large-scale research or sufficiently widespread examples to prove a trend.
# Election2020 still, there would be at least 1 vote in 100,000 from Trump or Independent. It’s crazy to think that all mail is for Biden since there are disabled Republicans and Independents. The Dems don’t even try to hide their betrayal anymore
– Loretta C (@ RettaL222) November 4, 2020
Nevada releases results early this morning. They will be calling for Biden because then AP and FNC will be able to call all election for Biden (based on their early call from AZ). This is the coup. Unacceptable.
– Erielle Davidson (@politicalelle) November 4, 2020
On the flip side, many Democrats strongly believe that the U.S. Postal Service has been sabotaged to disqualify mail-in votes and skew the election results. Louis DeJoy is the USPS Postmaster General.
They knew exactly what they were doing. DeJoy was a henchman appointed to destroy the mail-in poll. They didn’t hide what they were doing, and although Trump & DeJoy had been ordered to appear in court, they managed to withhold postal ballot papers. https://t.co/GkRhLfbLBY
– The Muck Rake (@soMUCHmuck) November 4, 2020
Down for the count
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, mail-in voting has played an important role. How and when ballot papers should be counted was particularly controversial.
How is it that every time they count mail-in ballots they are so devastating in terms of percentage and destructiveness?
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2020
Arguments and protests pepper social media sites and have even taken to the streets.
Again, the GOP caused this delay and they are now turning around and claiming that the fact that it takes longer to count votes is suspect. https://t.co/ou3MEo8JcI
– igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) November 4, 2020
#BREAKING: Large, lively crowd of “Stop the Count” protesters attempting to crowd into the TCF hall in #Detroit where the ballots are being counted.
You are being blocked by guards at the door.
Pizza boxes are pushed against the window to block the view. It’s tense. @NBCNews pic.twitter.com/zFhzd88skX
– Steve Patterson (@PattersonNBC) November 4, 2020
Take them home
The chaotic discussion about the election is not going to end anytime soon. The ballot count continues and the tension will stay high for days if not weeks. Take a look at our Election Day stress tips to improve your mental state as the country is waiting for the final results with nothing like patience.
Sean Marsala is a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based health journalist. He loves technology, usually reads, surfs the internet, and explores virtual worlds.