By: John Stracco
The 2020 Presidential election is literally tomorrow. Wow, four years has gone by fast, it feels like just yesterday we were dealing the exact same thing, and that 2024 is tomorrow. Nevertheless this election will go down as one of the most consequential in American History, not only happening during a pandemic and an economic crisis, but during one of the most divided times our country has been in our lives.
Predicting the election is like one of weird logic puzzles where you have fit different shapes together to make a whole one but it's really just impossible. The whirlwind of American politics is essentially a brain teaser and today it is going to try to be untangled into 50 seperate states each with different electoral voters and few that may very well be the driving force in the decision on the Presidential race as well as down the ballot in Senate and House elections.
To start, it's easy to assign states that will be won easily by each candidate based on past electoral trends and just common knowledge in the world of American politics. Biden will win the states of Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois, Maine (and its first congressional district), Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware (his home state), Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. Trump would win Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Nebraska (and its 1st and 3rd congressional districts), Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia. After this Biden leads comfortably 212 to 108.
Now for states that are most likely going to each candidate. This means a certain candidate has a solid lead and their party has a past history of winning seats there. These states include Nevada, Minnesota, and New Hampshire for Biden, even though some say Trump may have a shot here. For Trump these states would be Iowa, Indiana, Alaska, Montana, Texas, Nebraska's Second Congressional District, and Maine’s second congressional district.
Now time for the fun part: the swing states, where a deep dive needs to be taken to understand who is going to win.
Arizona may very well be the fastest changing state in the union, just four years ago it was a republican stronghold and now Arizona may very well have two democratic Senators, and award it’s 11 electoral votes to Joe Biden. (Hint: they will). Will an influx of people moving into the state (mostly from solid blue California) and a high Latino population, Arizona really could swing either way, but seems to tilt towards Biden in this contest. Young people, who are more likely to vote blue, may also play a crucial role in a Biden victory, and with the legalization of marijuana on the ballot, voter turnout among young people may make the difference in the Grand Canyon State.
It is really hard to think Wisconsin went to Trump in 2016, but polls show Biden up to 9 points ahead in the state and he should really have an easy time pulling off a victory here. But then again, you never know. Trump has pulled off some wild victories before.
It is easy to debate putting Trump here because of the unpopularity of Michigan’s Democratic governor, but Biden is performing strongly in a key upper midwest state that may prove crucial to a Biden victory.
Ohio went for Trump in 2016 and the polls suggest the same results despite Biden’s valiant efforts in the Buckeye State. A changing demographic in the north should give not only Trump, but Republicans, the advantage for years to come.
Many think the race will be decided in Pennsylvania and really the answer to that is yes and no. No in the sense that the election will really be decided in the south and west as a shifting demographic leads to growth in population and the economy in traditional republican strongholds. The answer, however, is yes in the sense if Trump holds onto these states then Biden will absolutely need it to reach 270. In reality, Biden just needs to win either North Carolina, Georgia, or Florida to reach 270, and if he can do that then Pennsylvania could be considered more of a back pocket state for Biden.
North Carolina: Biden
This may be risky, but the Tar Heel State is leaning towards Aviator Joe. Traditionally a Red Stronghold NC went for Obama-Biden in 2008, but Trump easily won it in 2016 by 3%+. However that was then, and this is now. Arizona is proof enough that a lot can change and Hillary was disliked so many North Carolinians chose to vote third party. If Biden can win back votes Clinton lost he will “fly” out of North Carolina with a win.
Let’s be real, this is the most 50/50 state in the election. It could seriously go either way, but for the sake of electoral trends and recent elections, it’ll go to Trump. Georgia, like Arizona, is changing fast and it could be solid Blue by 2024. In the 2018 governor's race, Stacey Abrams came oh-so-close to defeating Republican Brian Kemp, and many say that the Dems have a major shot at winning BOTH of the state's Senate elections. Time will tell in the Peach State as it is truly a testament to the changes this country has seen over the last 4 years.
OH BOY, yep it is Florida, the mother-load of swing state electoral votes and possibly the most continuously controversial state in the union. Let's put it this way, if Trump loses Florida there is almost no way he makes it to 270 and that's putting it lightly. However, a Trump victory in Florida is dependent on two important groups, Seniors and Hispanics. In a pandemic where 200,000 were killed under the supervision of Trump, it is no debate over whether the retirement capital of the world will have a say. With many being immune-compromised or concerned about healthcare in general, the elederly may make a surprise and cash in their ticket to the Biden train. Trump contested the Hispanic vote in 2016 and will attempt to do so again, and if he can, he will find it a lot easier to win the sunshine state.
Overall with all these predictions going down, Biden would win with a 304-234 margin and become America’s 46th President. Buckle up America, because the next week is going to be a bumpy ride!