By: Ally Bernstein-Naples
With twenty electoral votes, the state of Pennsylvania is poised to play a crucial role in the 2020 presidential election between incumbent President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. Pennsylvania has voted Democrat in every election since 1992. The Democrats’ over two-decade-long winning streak in Pennsylvania was impeded in 2016 when Republican Donald Trump won the state by less than a point. The Democrats’ loss in Pennsylvania represents a broader pattern of eroding Democratic support experienced in the region in 2016. While Biden maintains strong leads in the other competitive rust belt states (Michigan and Wisconsin) he is only leading by an average of 5 points in Pennsylvania. It is probable that if Biden loses any of the three rust belt states it will likely be Pennsylvania, that which possesses the most electoral votes of the region. A win in Pennsylvania is essential to both Biden’s and Trump’s paths to 270 electoral votes.
Demographically, Pennsylvania’s election is defined by white non-college working-class men, suburban white women, Black metropolitan votes, and surprisingly, a small constituency of Latinx voters. Although Trump won both suburban white women and white working-class men in 2016 his support with both demographics has shown some erosion, more noticeably among white women, in 2020. For the latter two demographics, it is more an issue of turn-out than preference. Both demographics heavily favor a Joe Biden presidency, however, extraordinarily low turn out among black people in Pennsylvania, contributed to a Trump presidency in 2016. In other words, if Black Democrats had turned out in the same numbers they had for Obama (assuming they would vote Democrat), Hillary Clinton would have won the election. In terms of the general election, if Biden loses Pennsylvania, a state in which he maintains a slight lead, he would have to win one of the states considered a toss-up between the two candidates in order to secure an overall victory. Considering this, a win in Pennsylvania is Donald Trump’s clearest path to victory. Quite evidently, Pennsylvania will play a significant role in the 2020 election, however, it is unlikely that we will have conclusive results in Pennsylvania on election day. On November 1st, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State announced that all mail-in ballots received until November 6th should be counted. Additionally, Pennsylvania protocol stipulates that counties not start counting mail-in ballots until 7 am on election day.
Stick with the Conard Courant for more updates on the progression of Pennsylvania on election day.
[6:35PM] Reports of armed "constables" at multiple polling places in central Pennsylvania (AP)
[11:10] PA Sec. of State said not to expect results until probably Friday
[11:46 AM] Joe Biden Projected to Win