A few pointers for tonight’s American fun

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We’ll be maintaining an open thread for discussion of the US Election results tonight. It will open at 11pm tonight.

Here are a few links which may help you get your head round what to expect and when to expect it:

FiveThirtyEight has an excellent guide to the timings of the vote counts. Bear in mind that there are vastly more postal votes than usual this time. So results in some key states will not be available on election night.

Florida, Georgia and North Carolina are the “needle states” singled out by the New York Times as providing good early indicators of the result.

And this article from CNN is very good at outlining “red mirage” and “blue mirage” states. For example, Pennsylvania is a really key state, perhaps the key state, but it doesn’t count the bulk of its postal votes until after election night. So the first votes to be counted will be in-person votes from election day in the rural counties which are likely to favour Trump. So it will look like Trump is winning early on.

Look out for an early and misleading declaration of victory from Donald Trump. The TV networks are planning how to handle that to avoid fomenting possible civil unrest.

This Twitter list contains US polling experts, which may be worth keeping an eye on for informed (but decidedly “wonkish”) analysis.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist and member of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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This entry was posted in LDVUSA.


  • Innocent Bystander 3rd Nov '20 - 12:55pm

    Thank you for your efforts. When will the definitive result be called? Could it be days?

  • I am never afraid to be publicly wrong!

    My forecast is for a “Blue Wave” because I believe that the polling models have underestimated the extent of youth turnout.

    I would not be surprised to see Texas go for Biden.

  • Fun is not the word I’d use but, in the same spirit, look out for ‘fireworks on the 5th of November’…
    Trump may well declare ‘victory’ on the 4th and, if postal votes show a Biden win a day later, ‘Sleepy Joe’ may need a crowbar to get into No.1600..

  • Innocent Bystander

    The definitive result comes on 14th December when the states formally send their votes to Washington.

    Even major TV networks have been known to reverse their declarations of a winner.

  • Innocent Bystander 3rd Nov '20 - 8:23pm

    Thank you. I was thinking of staying up until midnight but I’m not staying up until the 14th of December!

  • Charles Smith 3rd Nov '20 - 8:48pm

    After a campaign marked by rancour and fear, the United States on Tuesday will decide between U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, selecting a leader to steer a nation battered by a surging pandemic that has killed more than 231,000 people, cost millions their jobs and reshaped daily life.
    More than 100 million Americans cast an early vote in the 2020 presidential election ahead of Tuesday’s Election Day, according to the U.S. Elections Project at the University of Florida. Given that a few states, including Texas, had already exceeded their total 2016 vote count, experts were predicting record turnout this year.

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