It’s now been two days since Americans cast their vote in the 2020 presidential election. We still don’t have a declared winner—and might not for up to several more days, but there are some firm things we can say about the state of play right now:
- The blue and red mirages were very real: For months, election experts warned of blue and red “mirages” after the polls closed. These referred to early false leads by a particular candidate in certain states. In the hours after polls closed, there were blue mirages in Ohio and Florida, making it look like Biden was leading Trump there when just the opposite turned out to be true. Yesterday morning, on the other hand, there were red mirages in Michigan and Wisconsin, making it look like Trump would take those states—instead, Biden did.
- Biden got more votes than any presidential candidate in the history of America: When it comes to the popular vote, at the time of this writing Trump has 68,360,149 votes while Biden has 71,962,752 votes. Not only has Biden handily beaten Trump in the popular vote, he’s also beaten every presidential candidate of any party in the history of America in the popular vote. No presidential candidate has ever received more votes than Biden. While that’s an epic thing to boast about, it doesn’t mean Biden will win the presidency as America does not use a popular vote system for electing the president.
- The 2020 voter turnout is likely to be the highest in more than a century: The Washington Post says the turnout for the 2020 election is expected to reach 66.1% (of eligible voters). That would mean the 2020 voter turnout beat 1960’s turnout of 63.8%, making it the highest voter turnout since 1900, when 73.7% of eligible voters turned out.
- All eyes are on Nevada and Georgia: Those are two states hardly anyone would have guessed the election would hinge on just two days ago. But now either could determine the winner. The AP predicts Joe Biden has 264 electoral votes at the time of this writing. If he ends up winning Nevada, where he is leading now, that state’s six electoral votes will bring Biden to 270—and thus the White House. Georgia could also deliver the White House for Biden. Yesterday morning Trump was leading by over half a million votes there. As of the time of this writing Thursday morning, Trump’s lead is down to fewer than 19,000 votes—with almost a hundred thousand left to be counted—mostly mail-in ballots from Democratic-leaning areas.
Only one certainty can be gleaned from these facts right now: There’s no clear winner yet. However, Biden’s math has greatly improved over the past 24 hours, wiping away the red mirage Trump had yesterday morning. Biden’s late-in-the-day comeback can primarily be attributed to the fact that mail-in votes in many of the states that are still too early to call did not begin being counted until polls closed on Tuesday—and thus still are counting those mail-in ballots. Mail-in voters have historically been more likely to be Democratic voters than Republican voters.