Election 2020: Final Call
This has been a year unlike any other, and I’m sure one that most Americans would like to forget 2020. Tomorrow millions of voters will join the millions of other voters who have already cast their ballots and voted for future direction of government.
The turnout thus far for the election has been historic, which in my opinion will cause the polls to be slightly off, mainly in favor of Democratic candidates.
According to the U.S. Election Project, as of Sunday, November 1st, at 8:37 PM ET, 93,297,208 Americans had already voted, which represents 67.7% of the 2016 vote total.
In Virginia, according to the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP), there have been over 2.7 million early voters which represents 68.6% of the 2016 total vote. VPAP has done a great job with data analysis for Virginia.
One thing to look for is the turnout among 18- to 30-year-olds. Already in Texas there is record turnout among this younger voting group.
Other states are seeing the same and this massive turnout could be a big difference in a lot of races. Additionally, it could cause chaos with polls since it’s hard to see them as a “likely voter.” This would benefit Biden and Democrats.
Now to Election 2020 and the final call.
Virginia: The VA GOP Shellacking Continues
President: Biden wins Virginia by 11.5%. Many have laughed at me for saying Biden wins by double digits, but recent polling and the FiveThirtyEight poll average puts it in this ballpark. Virginians largely don’t like Trump and the results will prove it.
U.S. Senate: Warner wins by 18.5%. Daniel Gade is a nice guy, but well over-matched with the popular Warner who will outperform Biden. I would not be surprised if Warner wins by even more.
VA 02: Luria wins by 2.5%. After watching two debates it’s clear that both campaigns have thrown the kitchen sink at the other. The scandal from the 2018 campaign will continue to haunt Taylor, and with the anti-GOP trend in Virginia, Luria wins again.
VA 05: Webb wins by 1.5%. Next to Corey Stewart’s 2018 Senate campaign, Bob Good has been the worst candidate in recent Virginia history. Webb has been sharp, impressive, and wins.
VA 07: Spanberger wins by 3%. She has run a great campaign and Nick Freitas has run a much better campaign than Dave Brat did 2 years ago. However, Spanberger will run up large margins in Chesterfield and Henrico which Freitas will be unable to overcome elsewhere. Finally, this ad on autism was brutal against Freitas and resonated with moderate and women voters in the district.
President: Biden Blows out Trump
Biden will win decisively. The question is by how many total votes and total electoral votes. States that haven’t voted for a Democrat in decades will back Biden. Georgia and even Texas will be in the Biden column once all the votes are cast. Nationally Biden will win with between 8-10%.
The son of Scranton will easily take back Pennsylvania and make it blue. The Keystone State will be the key to a big night for Biden as he wins by at least 5%.
The three closest states in this year’s election will be Texas, Iowa, and Ohio. After all the counting Biden wins Texas and Arizona, and Trump wins Ohio.
Texas will flip blue this year. With the surge in voter turnout it looks like this will be the year that Democrats have been waiting for demographics to change in their favor. Also, I expect a recent Texas GOP lawsuit where they are calling for officials to “reject all curbside voting applications submitted by any person requesting to vote curbside during either Early Voting or Election Day Voting in Harris County” to backfire and further motivate Democrats who haven’t already done so to show up and vote against Trump. On Sunday the all Republican Texas Supreme Court ruled against the lawsuit, but nonetheless the damage has been done. The margin will be close.
In Iowa I’ve thought for weeks that Biden would win. But recently Ann Selzer who is a political pollster for the Des Moines Register came out with Trump winning in her last poll. She is widely respected and she may be seeing something that I haven’t. Trump wins by a narrow margin.
Georgia’s impressive early vote totals and the close 2018 race for governor lead me to think that it will turn blue and make former President Jimmy Carter happy. Ever since the 2018 race for governor the former Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams, who was the Georgia House Minority leader from 2011 to 2017, has done a lot of voter engagement and outreach. That effort will be the difference maker this election.
In Arizona Biden will get a lift from the endorsement of Cindy McCain, wife of the late Senator John McCain, and former Republican Senator Jeff Flake. Biden will win Arizona and turn it blue for the first time since 1996 and only the second time since 1948.
In the Tarheel State of North Carolina the Republicans were hoping to keep it red by having the Republican National Convention in Charlotte this year, but with Covid had to cancel most of the event. Popular Democratic Governor Roy Cooper is a lock for reelection and will help Biden win the state.
As much as I think Biden has a chance to win Ohio, Trump keeps this state in the GOP column. The total will be close but Trump edges out Biden.
Finally, to the late Tim Russert’s favorite state of the 2000 race: Florida, Florida, Florida. Biden will defeat Trump in his now home state and send Trump to Mar-a-Lago.
Senate: Democrats Take Control
The three most difficult races to call this cycle are the races in Montana, South Carolina, and Iowa.
In Montana Republican Senator Steve Daines is seeking his second term and is in a close campaign against Democratic Governor Steve Bullock. This will be a close race, but Bullock eeks out the win.
In Iowa, I think Republican Senator Joni Ernst, wins by less than 1% over her Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield. Had you asked me two weeks ago I would have this reversed, but the respected Des Moines Register came out with their final poll which put Ernst up 4%. That was enough to make me think that Ernst wins in a nail biter.
In South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham falls to the former South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Jaime Harrison. Graham recently has been on Fox News pleading for money to support his campaign. Graham said (video) at a campaign event on Saturday, “I want every young woman to know there’s a place for you in America if you are pro-life, if you embrace your religion, and you follow a traditional family structure — that you can go anywhere, young lady,” which will further motivate turnout against him. Harrison has run a near perfect campaign and for the first time in history a state will be represented by two African-American Senators at the same time.
Moving north to North Carolina, Republican Senator Thom Tillis is facing a tough reelection from Democrat Cal Cunningham, a United States Army Reservist and former North Carolina state senator. Cunningham, a married father of two, was thought to be on a clear path to winning, but recently was caught in a sexting scandal amid allegations of an extramarital relationship. In the end Cunningham overcomes this scandal and like Biden rides the coattails of Gov. Cooper to squeak out a narrow victory.
Both Georgia races will go into overtime as both races fall short of the 50% threshold for winning per Georgia law … Democrat Jon Osoff gets to 49.5% in his race to unseat Senator David Perdue. Osoff perhaps had the most epic debate moment of any debate in the 2020 election when he went after Perdue for being a crook. In the special election it will be Reverend Raphael Warnock (D) vs Senator Kelly Loeffler in the Georgia special election runoff.
In Arizona current Republican Senator Martha McSally, who was appointed to fill the seat of the late Senator John McCain, is facing a tough race against former astronaut Mark Kelly, who is married to former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Kelly wins this race with over 50% of the vote.
Republican Susan Collins in Maine will go down in defeat to Democrat Sara Gideon. Once this race is called the GOP will no longer have any Senator north of Pennsylvania, where once there were many. This will be a data point to further show how much a decline the GOP is in.
Two surprises of the night could be in Mississippi and Alaska. Both I feel Republicans will win; however, would not be surprised if there is a different outcome.
In Mississippi, incumbent Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith could fall to her Democratic challenger, former Congressman Mike Espy, who is African-American and hoping for a large African-American turnout which could help him pull off a shocker upset.
In Alaska, incumbent Republican Senator Dan Sullivan is facing challenger Al Gross, an independent running with the Democratic nomination. Gross has put on an impressive campaign and had outside resources come in that could tip the seat.
House: Democrats Expand Majority
Entering election night Democrats hold a 232-197 advantage over Republicans with one Libertarian. After all the votes are counted, the Blue majority in Congress will expand to at least 240 seats. A high water mark for Democrats is 245; a bad election night for them would be below 235.
- Party switcher New Jersey Republican Jeff Van Drew (NJ-2) loses to Democrat Amy Kennedy
- In North Carolina’s 9th District, Republican incumbent Dan Bishop loses to Cynthia Wallace.
When will we know? Sooner than you think.
— Matt Walton: Make your voice heard, VOTE (@Matt4VA) October 30, 2020
Decisions are made by those who show up, so please make sure that you show up and make your voice heard by voting.
Finally, on Election Day I am often reminded of this brave event from September 11th. In between the crumpling of the two towers in New York there was a brave group of people that were aboard another hijacked airplane, United Flight 93.
Much like the democracy America enjoys, the people on Flight 93 operated under the same principle when they made the most important vote of their lives. According to one phone call, they voted on whether to rush the terrorists and attempt to retake the plane. Yes, in the midst of the hell that they were experiencing, they did something that most Americans don’t do — they voted.