If one wanted to get super-technical about it, one could argue that the real election day in the U.S. is not Nov. 3, but, rather, Dec. 14. That’s when the electors who comprise the Electoral College meet in their respective states to cast their votes for president and vice president.
While I’ve learned not to assume that the candidate who wins the nation’s popular vote will win the presidency, I’ll admit that I’ve always taken it for granted that the candidate who wins the popular vote in any given state will receive that state’s electoral votes. But this is an extraordinary year, as Clark Merrefield notes in our new explainer on the Electoral College.
«Who electors are becomes relevant during an election season like the current one, in which the president refuses to agree to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses, and during which at least one of his campaign advisers appears to be gaming scenarios to replace electors in politically friendly states — after the Nov. 3 election and contrary to the will of the voters — according to reporting from The Atlantic’s Barton Gellman,» Merrefield writes.
Given that the role of the electors is more than symbolic, it may be useful to know who they are. With that in mind, Journalist’s Resource is compiling the names of nominated electors in the battleground states most likely to decide the 2020 election. We have electors’ names for 11 out of 13 swing states so far — stay tuned for more.
Elsewhere on JR, in the latest installment of his «Election Beat 2020» series, Thomas E. Patterson considers the role of white working-class voters — who were crucial to Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election.
«Trump is likely to get a lower percentage of their vote in 2020, but it could be offset by a yet unmentioned factor — the relatively low voting rate of whites without a college education,» he writes. «Although they outnumber college-educated whites in the United States, their voter turnout rate is significantly lower. Trump has spent his entire presidency pursuing a strategy of inciting his base. If he can get working-class white people to do what they traditionally have not done — turnout in exceptionally high numbers — they could yet again be decisive. It didn’t happen in the 2018 midterms. Although their turnout rose, it rose by much less than that of Democratic leaning groups, including Black and Hispanic people and Asian Americans. More than anything this time, journalists should be looking for indicators of whether working-class whites will show up at the polls in unprecedented numbers.»
I hope you’re all safe and well, readers. We’ll be back next week with more resources to help you cover the 2020 election season.
Yours in knowledge,
Carmen Nobel, program director of Journalist’s Resource