The Election 2020 Chronicles, Volume 15: Today’s the Day (and Maybe the Next Several Days)

In the last several elections I’ve live blogged the results of the Presidential campaign. Alas, four years ago I got so depressed the prospect of the Trump election that I gave up around 8:00 PM and went to bed. Today’s election may not be decided tonight given the large number of absentee ballots. I’ll stay up as long as I can. I get my information from a number of different venues. In the last few months I’ve been following Nate Silver’s Five Thirty Eight blog. He gives Vice President Biden an 89% chance of winning, but four years ago he gave Hillary Clinton a 71% chance of winning so we’ll see. I also follow 270 To Win. In terms of the media I follow CNN, NBC and National Public Radio. Fasten your seatbelts.

3PM West Coast, 6PM East Coast, 11PM GMT As of now, no polls have closed and we don’t have any projections. As in previous years there are states that are safe for President Trump and states that are safe for Vice President Biden, and there are states that are considered “swing states.” Victory will be decided by who wins those states. I’m currently looking at three states that Secretary Clinton was expected to win in 2016: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin. They all went to Mr. Trump and swung the election. Additionally there are states that are normally swing states: Florida and Ohio. Mr. Trump won both of them. Vice President Biden hopes to win most of these states and also hopes to flip Georgia, North Carolina, and Arizona. Next post when I get more news. Some polls close in a few hours.

5PM West Coast, 8PM East Coast, 1AM GMT Polls closed in Georgia, Kentucky, Vermont, Indiana, South Carolina, Virginia an hour ago. North Carolina, West Virginia and Ohio closed 30 minutes ago. Now the polls close in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington D.C., Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. As of now, NPR has projected Kentucky and West Virginia for President Trump and Vermont and Virginia for Vice President Biden. No surprise, but most races are too close to call and I expect that won’t change for several hours, and perhaps not even tonight. I keep going back and forth from NPR and NBC and there are differences, but as for now I’m sticking with NPR (who is following the Associated Press).

6PM West Coast, 9PM East Coast, 2AM GMT Polls continue to close and several states continue to be too close to call. Here’s what NPR (who reports from the AP) are calling:

Republican States:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Democratic States:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington D.C.

There are no surprises, but some of the “leaning states” give me hope for the rest of the night. My biggest surprise? As I write this, Texas is reporting 63% of the vote is in and Vice President Biden is leading by a very small margin. If he wins Texas, it’s game over for President Trump.

8PM Pacific, 11PM Eastern, 4AM GMT The more I hear, the less I can predict. As I write this Vice President Biden is ahead in the AP forecast, 209 electoral votes to 112 for President Trump. Clearly some of these predictions are based on past voting patterns and that causes some concerns. The path to 270 electoral votes twists through several close states. One of the reasons we likely won’t have a declared winner tonight lies in the fact that several states will need a day or two to count absentee or mail in ballots. President Trump has spent months attempting to claim that these votes are invalid but he’s wrong. It’s hard to know how much longer I should stay awake and keep watching.

9PM Pacific, 12AM Eastern, 05AM GMT This election appears to be closer than we had hoped. President Trump has spent weeks claiming that absentee votes are fraudulent. They aren’t. But in the COVID world many of us chose not to vote in person. And since Democrats are more likely to listen to science we were more likely to vote by mail We can only hope that these ballots will count and Trump and his minions will not successfully use the courts to invalidate them.