As President Trump polarized the Republican party with claims of voter fraud over the weekend, President-elect Joe Biden sent the opposite message to the country—calling for bipartisan unity in his victory speech. These unfolding narratives are indicative of larger political trends to come in the next four years, says Costas Panagopoulos, head of the department of political science at Northeastern.
“Biden and Harris have a lot of work to do to unite the country,” he says. “And the GOP will have to do some soul searching. If it’s no longer going to be the Trump party, what will it be?”
By Monday, Trump had not conceded the election. Most Republican federal elected officials remained silent or encouraged the president to pursue legal challenges to the results—a signal of the hold Trump has on a large portion of the GOP electorate.“Trump might not be the president anymore, but he’s not going away. He has a sizable following and will be influential politically even when he’s not in office,” Panagopoulos says. “The question for the Republican party now is whether they’ll make concessions to him or reclaim their party without him.”