Whatever your political persuasion, one emotion many Americans may be feeling as this campaign season comes to a close is relief. Here are some of the stand-out moments in a presidential contest that will go down in history, regardless of the outcome.
June 2019: Democratic debates
Election Day was a distant prospect when the crowded field of Democratic candidates gathered for a debate. U.S. Senator Kamala Harris made an impact with a poignant attack on Joe Biden.
“There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools. And she was bussed to school every day. And that little girl was me,” Harris said.
Feb. 2020: Biden wins South Carolina
In February, Biden won the South Carolina primary—a victory that breathed new life into his faltering campaign and led him to the nomination.
March 2020: COVID-19 sweeps the United States
In March, as the coronavirus was exploding across the United States, President Donald Trump made a historic announcement, declaring the virus a national emergency. We also heard from infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, who would become one of the most famous men in America in the months to come.
Trump made headlines the following month with what became known as his “bleach speech.”
“I see that disinfectant knocks it out in a minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection?” Trump said. He later insisted he was being sarcastic.
May-June 2020: Widespread protests over the death of George Floyd
Following weeks of protests after the death of George Floyd, Trump took heat after law enforcement cleared peaceful protesters from in D.C. so he could stage a photo op at St. John’s Church.
Aug. 2020: Biden taps Kamala Harris as running mate
In August, Biden made it official that Kamala Harris would be his running mate. The Democratic National Convention later that month was the first-ever virtual convention.
Of all the big names who spoke, few made more of an impact than 13-year-old Brayden Harrington, who talked about Biden helped him with his stutter.
“I’m just a regular kid and in a short amount of time, Joe Biden made me more confident about something that has bothered me my whole life,” he said.
Sept. 2020: First Trump-Biden debate
Insults and interruptions marked the first Trump-Biden debate in September, descending into chaos and confusion.
Oct. 2020: Trump gets COVID-19
News that the president and first lady had tested positive for COVID-19 swept the world by storm. Trump recovered quickly, and the live coverage of his return to the White House from the hospital provided some of the signature images of 2020.
Now, on Nov. 3, it all comes down to the voters. With more than 100 million people voting early, it’s predicted that the total turnout will break the record set in 2016, when nearly 139 million people voted.