After months of campaign stops, policy proposals and debates, Election Day is finally upon us. Harker Aquila is launching our Election Day coverage tomorrow with regular live updates and community reactions starting at 4:30 p.m. as polls begin closing on the East Coast and results start coming in. Check in with this package to stay informed tonight as incumbent President Donald Trump battles former Vice President Joe Biden in this historic presidential election.
Democrative nominee Biden has been consistently leading six to 11 percentage points since June and currently stands at an 8.4 percent polling lead against Trump. His lead continues to hold out in critical Rust Belt states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania (+4.7 percentage points) that voted for Trump in 2016. Pennsylvania, with 20 electoral votes, is a crucial state for both candidates to win if they want to clinch the election.
Trump approaches the night with shaky positions in several battleground states like North Carolina and Florida as well as other historically solid Republican states like Arizona, Texas and Georgia.
Despite an ongoing pandemic that has infected over nine million Americans, voter turnout has already surpassed numbers in 2016. Compared to the 138 million votes cast in 2016, over 100 million votes have already been cast, with turnout possibly reaching 150 to 160 million by the end of today, according to AP News. Statistically, more than one out of four votes were cast either by new or infrequent voters.
With Republicans currently outnumbering Democrats 53 to 45 in the Senate, Democrats need a net gain of at least four Senate seats to flip the chamber. Some key Senate states include Susan Collins (R-M.E.) v. Sarah Gideon in Maine, Cory Gardner (R-C.O.) v. John Hickenlooper in Colorado, Martha McSally (R-A.Z.) v. Mark Kelly in Arizona and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) v. Cal Cunningham in North Carolina. In terms of the House, the Democratic Party already holds a substantial majority and could even expand its majority with tonight’s election.
Critical battleground states that will greatly influence the outcome of tonight’s election include Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. These eight states account for 127 electoral votes and represent important votes for both candidates. Trump is looking to maximize support among rural voters in these states, while Biden is hoping to energize African-American and Latino voters in the big cities.
Locally, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D) is running against Rishi Kumar (D) for California’s 18th congressional district. Eshoo is highly favored to win the election with more than a 40 percent lead, according to polling data from FiveThirtyEight.
The 2020 election has been plagued by endless crises and scandals, from the impeachment trial and coronavirus pandemic to this summer’s protests and a reconfiguration of the Supreme Court. The added delays of mail-in voting will affect when official election results can be confirmed, which has already led to a number of legal battles that are bound to continue into the coming weeks.
Although we might not know who our next president will be tonight, the United States needs its voters all the more to truly embrace the historical democratic processes of this nation. We urge our readers to follow us along with our live coverage tonight and to continue to be informed, civically engaged citizens.