It looks as if the Race for the White House will go down to the wire. At this point, here’s 5 things we know about what has been revealed by the U.S Election 2020 so far.
1. The polls were wrong about Trump – again
Win or lose, this is no landslide for Biden. Most of the polls pointed to a massive win for the Democrats in the Presidential race, and they were embarrassingly wrong.
Polls from CNN, the New York Times, MSNBC, and many others predicted a landslide victory for Biden, with many giving him a double-digit lead to win. Biden was meant to take Florida handily, but the count showed a 51.3% victory for Trump – with some polls underestimating his support by more than 9%.
As the Economist wrote this morning: “Polls suggested Joe Biden would win the White House in a knockout. Instead, he got a dogfight.”
Polls, with some few exceptions such as Trafalgar, overestimated Biden support everywhere. The media’s favourite pollster, Nate Silver, declared days before the election that “the race is not tightening if you use any sort of robust methodology or look at the better polling.” That statement will surely come back to haunt him. But he is not alone: the results of the election so far are seriously calling into question the credibility of many polls and pollsters.
2. Trump’s support increased amongst hispanic and black voters
Despite the media’s relentless portrayal of Trump as a racist, the sitting President substantially increased his vote among Black and Hispanic voters in this election.
Donald Trump won 12% of the Black vote, which is the highest share for a Republican candidate in the past 20 years, @NBCNews Exit Poll shows.
The last Republican to win 12% of the Black vote was Bob Dole in 1996. https://t.co/Z8kqymOHJ6
— NBCBLK (@NBCBLK) November 4, 2020
In fact, an NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters suggests that Trump won 12 % of the Black vote, which they say is the highest share for a Republican candidate in the past 20 years.
NBC also notes that Trump also increased his support from Hispanic voters, which at 32% is the highest achieved for a Republican candidate since George W. Bush in 2004 when he won 44% .
3. It’s still the economy, stupid
It’s the famous phrase from Bill Clinton’s strategist, James Carville, that still holds true for most elections. It may also explain the growth in support for Trump for voters of colour.
An exit poll by Edison Research showed that a third of US voters said the economy as the issue that mattered the most to them when deciding their choice for president.
Covid-19 was the most important issue for 20% of voters, despite lockdowns and deaths from the virus. Racial inequality was also important for two out of 10 voters, and voters also cited crime and safety and healthcare policy as priorities.
But the economy still trumped all else as the issue which most exercises voters.
4. The turnout was the highest in a century
The New York Times says the US election turnout is likely to reach 67%, the highest in over a century.
Voters were certainly energised by the campaign, turning out to support their candidate in droves.
JUST IN: US election turnout likely to reach 67%, the highest in over a century.
Via The New York Times pic.twitter.com/UjyIyl26dH
— Political Polls (@PpollingNumbers) November 3, 2020
How that will all break down is currently too close to call.
5. 50% of the American electorate despise the media and political elites
Most of the American media and the political elites have hated Trump for five long years, refusing to accept his Presidency and openly showing their contempt for his supporters.
From CNN and MSMBC to vacuous Hollywood celebrities, and more seriously, to Big Tech whose behaviour has amounted to election interference, the elites could not countenance anyone voting for Trump.
It looks like almost 50% of voters have shown that they won’t be bullied. The contempt now goes both ways, and that’s a development that will resonate long after the Election 2020 result is called.
That Irish media have also disgraced themselves in their partisan and sneering coverage of US politics. Today there are many Irish journalists tweeting that is “atrocious” that “so many millions” voted or Trump. There’s a deeply undemocratic and elitist tone to most of these statements, and more than a smidgeon of fear that the time is coming closer to home when they can no longer tell people how to think or how to vote.