Just five days before the US 2020 elections, an astounding 80 million Americans have already voted by mail and in-person voting. That would seem to be well over half of the expected record-breaking electorate. By the morning of November 3rd, it is likely that approximately 60% of Americans will have already cast their votes for President, Congress, and state offices.
So that my CGA students will have a sense of the dynamic of the evening, I have prepared an Election Night Clock that tracks likely developments as states close their polls across the night, starting a 6 pm and carrying through until polls close in Alaska at 1 a.m. The clock utilizes the most recent and reliable state polling detail, merged with the likely speed of reporting the vote based on whether states had processed and counted millions of absentee ballots before election day. The below chart suggests what to expect each hour of Election Night, noting the deep red and deep blue states that almost certainly can be called within minutes of poll closing. It also suggests that three critical battleground states that process and count their ballots well in advance of election day, will be able to be declared within hours of each closing -- Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina closing their polls in the 7:30-8:00 time window.
It may be a long night. But maybe not…
Election Night Clock
This chart uses the latest polling data in states with the time each state closes its polls on election night (Eastern Standard Time), factoring in whether mail and/or in-person voting have been processed before Election Day so that state results will likely be projected quickly. The chart provides a running count of which candidates will be leading in predictable electoral college states where results are likely called at 6:00 pm, 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:00 pm, 10:00 pm, 11:00 pm and later for Alaska and Hawaii. The chart suggests that we well may have an outcome before midnight on Election Night.