UK students voice reactions to Biden presidency


Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to Amy McGrath supporters during the rally on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, at Bath County High School in Owingsville, Kentucky. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Lauren Campbell

Joe Biden was elected the 46th president of the United States on Saturday, Nov. 7, surpassing 270 electoral college votes as he flipped Pennsylvania. UK students have voiced their reaction to his win and predicted the outlook of a Biden presidency.

Junior psychology major and Independent voter, Lizzie Butts, was relieved when she found out the election results.

“My reaction to Biden winning was honestly relief. These last few years with Trump have been so stressful, especially this past year, and I was really hoping Biden would win this time around,” Butts said.

But not all students experienced that relief. Rebecca Hendryx, a freshman kinesiology major and Trump supporter, was surprised by the result of the election and felt people out of emotion and should have been more educated before casting their ballot.

“I was surprised about the results of the election. I think that a lot of people voted out of emotion and disliking Donald Trump versus voting educated and thinking about the future, especially college students and young adults,” Hendryx said.

Although not all the data is in yet, this election showed high voter turnout, especially among younger voters like college students who are more likely to vote Democrat. 

Nathan Cox, a junior political science major, also supported Trump, but is willing to give Biden a chance.

“When I went to bed on Tuesday, President Trump had strong leads in many swing states. When I woke up, Biden had taken the lead. Through the preceding days, I really didn’t know how I felt about the possibility of a Biden administration, and as the days wore on, and the race was finally called on Saturday, I figured it out. I saw people celebrating in street, regardless of how I felt about President Trump, the election of a new president pleased the masses. As processes are finalized I will reaffirm my support for the president regardless of who it is,” Cox said.

Donald Trump won Kentucky handily; according to the AP, Trump received 62.13% of votes in Kentucky, which was the first state to be called in favor of the outgoing president.

Students on both sides agree that Trump will not accept the results of the election without a fight.

Hendryx believes voting fraud was the reason Biden won the election, and that the election results should be taken to the SCOTUS before the inauguration.

“I don’t think Trump will accept the results and I respect it. He’s going to continue to fight for our country and what’s best for the people. I don’t think he should accept it just yet. I know him and his legal team want a recount and want to take this election to the Supreme Court which is smart, and I’ll be the first person to admit I was wrong if the voting fraud is proven innocent. If Biden was fairly and truly elected to be the new leader of this country then I’ll accept it and move on with life for now,” Hendryx said.

Butts does not believe there was voting fraud and that Trump needs to accept the result.

“I don’t think he will accept the results, but I think he should. I think it’s just the fact that last time when he won, he got berated by the media and everyone else for winning, and now it’s like, ‘Welp, Biden won. Accept the facts, Trump.’ I mean, I’d be upset too, but I think he’ll definitely take things to an extreme,” Butts said.

Zachary Ball, a junior human communications major, agrees with Butts, but thinks Trump will do everything he can to flip the results.

“I think he will do everything he can to double check the results but the margins are a bit too massive for anything to switch. He should accept it. As it’s been said around the country, ‘democracy always works.’ The decision took longer to get the right one and the change in administration hopefully can be smooth and without conflict,” said Ball.

As for the outlook under a Biden administration, students are divided on what they will look like.

Brandon Sarrett, a junior architecture major, worries about Biden’s economic policies and a big government.

“I am worried about Biden’s economic policies, returning to norm post-COVID and don’t want to see more fields, such as healthcare, become government controlled,” Sarrett said.

Hendryx worries it will be harder for small business to operate and young people to find jobs.

“There’s a lot of small businesses that won’t be able to stay running. It will be harder for young people to find jobs if the minimum wage increases and company’s cannot afford to pay a ridiculously high pay roll for a minimum wage job. If Biden goes through with what he has stood by his whole election, I fear for our economy,” Hendryx said.

Ball and Butts view the future of the Biden administration to be more positive.

“My hope is that this new presidency will lead to less division and less bad mouthing of anyone. Other than that it’s too early to say what other things can be effective. I’m very proud of this nation in going out and voting. It’s a so amazing to have a problem of needing more time to count all the votes. But this isn’t something to just praise snd go back to how it was before… It needs to be this high of a voter turnout every year,” Ball said.

Butts believes a Biden presidency will be better for the American people.

“I think this presidency will be like a breath of fresh air for a lot of people. Under Trump, everything has felt tense. I think under Biden, we’ll still have hard times, but I think people will be able to breathe easier with him in office,” Butts said.

She is also excited about having a woman vice president.

“I’m very excited with Kamala Harris being the first female vice president. I may not agree with her on everything, but it’s exciting that history is being made by having our first female VP in office,” Butts said.