While millions of Americans have already cast their ballot, either early in-person voting or sending in a mail-in ballot, tomorrow, November 3, is Election Day. Incumbent Donald Trump lags considerably in national polls behind opponent Joe Biden, though Trump expects a big Election Day turnout could be the deciding factor.
Many electoral map models show Biden’s chances of winning as being considerable. There is little chance that Trump will win the popular vote, though it is possible he could still win in the Electoral College.
This is because the distribution of Trump voters is advantageous in a system that allocates votes by state. Trump’s support has been shown by national polls to be primarily concentrated in rural areas, and Trump is most popular among white voters without college educations.
Pundits often describe each election as “the most important in American history,” but in some rare cases elections actually do carry outsized importance. The 2020 election may be one such example.
The country is sharply divided along partisan lines, with Trump’s supporters largely believing the president’s claims that the only way he can lose is if Democrats engage in voter fraud. Donald Trump has been one of the most norm-shattering presidents since Andrew Jackson, regularly flaunting the rules of decorum that have constrained past presidents.
Moreover, Donald Trump became one of only a handful of presidents to be impeached in 2019. Following a conspiracy involving his attempt to coerce a political favor from the president of Ukraine in exchange for an audience with the US, Trump found himself at the center of a political firestorm. While the House voted to impeach the president, the Republican-controlled Senate voted to not remove the president from office.
The election could prove to be a referendum on Trump’s first term. His handling of crises like the coronavirus pandemic, racial injustice protests, and the looming financial devastation from the pandemic has drawn sharp criticism.
Meanwhile, Democrats fear that the numerous conservative judges and Supreme Court justices appointed by Trump could work to undermine legislation passed by former president Barrack Obama, such as the Affordable Care Act.
This anxiety seems to have translated to a surge of new voters registering in 2020. Early voting has shown an historic turnout among young voters, a heartening sign for Democrats, who have performed better in elections where there is high youth enthusiasm.
Of course, nothing is certain until the votes are tallied. The incumbent still has a chance to win, and Trump’s supporters are expected to show up in their greatest numbers on Election Day. The ultimate test of many years of partisan divide is now upon us.