The Final Election Preview

Alex Whipkey, Editor

For over a year, I have been periodically covering the progress of the election. Having covered most other aspects of it, and with most people’s votes already locked in, it is now time to look ahead at the polls and speculation over what will happen on and after November 3.


Trump is currently trailing Biden by 10 points in the national polls, which all but guarantees that Biden will win the popular vote. However, as we saw in 2016, that ultimately does not mean much. What will really matter is who wins battleground states to get to the all-important 270 votes in the Electoral College.


Georgia, Iowa, and Ohio are the three most uncertain states this year, with FiveThirtyEight predicting close to a 50-50 chance for each candidate to win. With 16, 6, and 18 electoral votes respectively, these three states could potentially be enough to make the difference. Other states which could plausibly be won by either candidate include Texas, North Carolina, Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.


The same series of FiveThirtyEight predictions heavily favors Biden to win the election, with only 12 in 100 of their simulations ending in a Trump victory. For many, the question is not who will win, but what will happen after the results are in.


The president has repeatedly voiced concerns about voter fraud via mail-in ballot, a voting method which is especially prevalent this year due to COVID-19. Democrats are concerned that he is encouraging his supporters not to accept the election results if he loses. For their part, some Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, have also encouraged Biden to be skeptical of his own defeat, if it happens.


With this year’s tense political climate, there is concern over what supporters of either candidate will do if they lose. Die-hard Trump supporters will undoubtedly take to the streets if they lose, and many will be armed. This is especially likely if Trump chooses to call the election results illegitimate, which would be cause for outrage and demonstrations from his supporter base. Conversely, should Trump lose, it is likely that we will see a return to the urban violence from earlier this summer, except that this time Trump will essentially have been given a casus belli against rioters.


This is mere speculation, though. Hopefully, whoever loses will do their duty and accept the election results, carrying on the American tradition of a peaceful transfer of power.