2020 Vision Polling Tuesday #4: The Election of Elections Draws to a Close


Nicole Markus and Bella Martin

Welcome to polling Tuesday, a weekly update from the 2020 Vision Election Blog. The election is today, and the polls that indicate which presidential candidate is ahead have changed daily. Here, we’ll take a look at the polls on the last day of voting. 

The Election of Elections

Many have described this election as one of, if not the most, important election in recent history. The national mood remains tense; major cities have boarded up in preparation for possible rioting, last minute attempts to count absentee and mail-in ballots require judges’ rulings and some worry that final election results will not come until later in the week. Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign slogan, “a battle for the soul of the nation,” illustrates just how serious this election remains for the entirety of the country, no matter who they support for president. Early voting numbers skyrocketed before the election, even breaking records in states like Texas. Though polls do offer some indication of how elections will go, the only real polls that count are the exit polls, which American voters will begin to see tonight. Stay tuned for the results of the election of elections. 

Let’s Recap

Last week, the polls added on Oct. 25 showed Biden polling at around 52%, while President Donald Trump trailed behind at around 44%. These polls showed that Biden solidified his lead and showed no significant increase in Trump’s numbers from the past week. The increase in Biden’s numbers could have reflected voters’ sentiments after the third presidential debate on Oct. 22. According to the CNN Instant Poll, 53% of voters who watched the debate believed that Biden won, while 39% believed Trump did. Moreover, the approval from this final presidential debate could have been Trump’s last chance to significantly tighten his hold in the race. 

The Numbers, Nationally

    As of the afternoon on Nov. 3, the final polls between Biden and Trump show the former vice president with a clear lead in the popular vote. Biden currently polls at around 51.2% while Trump polls at around 43.2%. These numbers do not show a drastic change from last week’s numbers, and continue to show Biden in the lead. It remains important to remember that although these are the final polls, they do not reveal the true outcome of the election, since the votes from the Electoral College dictate who becomes president. 

A Summary of the Polls 

    In all of the national polls conducted by FiveThirtyEight, Biden has maintained a lead over Trump. In the beginning of October, Biden polled in the low 50% range while Trump polled in the low 40% range. As more numbers were counted and polls were conducted, Trump began to gain a lead on Biden. Moreover, on Thursday, Oct. 15, Biden and Trump held separate town hall meetings on television networks ABC and NBC, respectively. In the aftermath of these town halls, Trump’s polls increased to around 44% while Biden stayed at around 50%. This increase may have reflected the result of Trump’s performance at his town hall meeting or could have reflected more Republicans rallying around him. Later on, on Oct. 22, Biden and Trump faced off in the third presidential debate. After the debate, in the polls conducted on Oct. 25, Biden’s polls slightly increased to around 52% while Trump’s stayed the same. The increase in Biden’s numbers could possibly have reflected voter sentiment after the debate, as 53% of voters who watched the debate believed that Biden won, according to the CNN Instant Poll.  

Farewell, For Now

The Panther has loved bringing you the weekly polls. As the election draws to a close today, Polling Tuesday will also slow down, until the 2022 midterms. No matter who one supports in today’s election, we hope following our weekly polling updates brought clarity in a rather confusing and difficult time. Look out for possible future election coverage in the coming weeks until January’s inauguration ceremony.