Less than 1 week to go! The final stretch is here and Political Joe brigs us his latest analysis on what's going on within the US election battleground states, both party expectations and of course the betting markets status. Don't forget to subscribe so you can stay updated to the latest updates in this exciting end of campaign.
Vote Early and Vote Often!
The excitement is most definitely building as we finally reach election week. In a campaign which has seen more twists and turns than an award-winning crime novel, we finally have two horses and one race. Affectionately known as ‘Silly Season’ in some media circles, this is the point in the campaign where all significant material events such as the debates are behind us and we are now collectively playing a waiting game.
However, in keeping with 2020 tradition of somewhat unexpected surprises, there is one significant ‘material event’ that has been ongoing for several weeks and will play a huge part in who comes out on top next Tuesday – Early Voting. There is record levels of early voting being reported across the country, with trends indicating 2016 turnout in some districts could well be surpassed before election day itself!
As with much of the information available to us in advance of an actual count it can cut both ways. It’s difficult to ascertain whether Democrats or Republicans will be more favoured by the times we find ourselves in.
Republicans have recently reported a huge surge in voter registrations. One would suggest these reports are a significant positive for President Trump but not necessarily. The Democratic Nomination process which ultimately provided us with Joe Biden, unlike the Republican Nomination, was a hotly contested race. This would have seen many new Democratic voting registrations frontloaded months ago when that base was initially engaged. Similarly, the early voting trends in favour of Democrats must be viewed in the context that Republican Trump supporters are far more likely to vote in person on polling day.
While national polling indicates Joe Biden could well win big next week, there are some key early voting trends in battleground states that are worth keeping an eye on. Approximately 60% of Democrats have indicated they plan to cast their vote early. On the flip side, 73% of Republican are holding out to polling day. This naturally gives rise to the Democrats needing to head into polling day with a considerable lead.
Pennsylvania (4/9 (69%) Democrat, William Hill) is one such state where Democrats appear to be at the run rate they require in early voting. They have cast approximately 80% of the one million votes to date and would believe they head into polling day with an advantage. In Florida, where early voting has been a staple for years, Democrats have only cast 57% of the reported early votes to date. That’s a long way short of the 70% they would be aiming for, and one of the reasons why President Trump is now favoured in the state once again, 4/5 (55%) Paddy Power, William Hill & Betfair.
A strong ground game for the Democrats has historically been their play. They have been known to get votes out from college campuses, nursing homes and beyond. Transporting many likely voters in convoy to make the process as frictionless as possible. That’s something which can’t be done nowadays due to the impact of the pandemic and it will be intriguing to see how that restricts their numbers.
This Political Joe knows for a fact that the Republicans and President Trump will win polling day by a considerable margin, while the Democrats might not be able to legally vote early and vote often, they wouldn’t mind being able. We might find ourselves in ‘Silly Season’, but nobody is sitting about laughing.