The United States has entered the final phase of the 2020 Presidential and Congressional elections. As of November 2, nearly 100 million ballots had already been cast, more than 70% of the total turnout in the 2016 elections. Analysts are predicting that the 2020 election will see the highest turnout in a U.S.general election in a century.
The high number of ballots cast by the electorate so far has shifted the balance of the election. The usual “red” states, such as Georgia and Texas, have now been placed in the “toss-up” column (allowing for the possibility that the two states could vote for either Donald Trump or Joe Biden). The societal shift in some states, with more and more racial diversity and shifting demographics, has also thrown a unique dynamic into the 2020 election. The usual swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania are now joined by others, such as Texas and Georgia — but also Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Wisconsin. These changes in the electoral map have been brought about in part by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as by increased voter participation.
Both candidates have focused their campaigns in several key states. Trump has campaigned in Florida, Michigan, Iowa, Georgia and Florida, while Biden has been campaigning in Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan. According to the New York Times, Biden is leading Trump in many of the key swing states. The President is ahead in Iowa. Both candidates are neck-to-neck in Florida, with Biden leaping ahead.
The increased turnout by the electorate should be viewed as a good sign for American democracy. The American people seem to have fully grasped the consequences of their vote, as well as the consequences of not voting. America now has a clear choice between the “Trumpism” of the last four years, and democracy. It is, as Joe Biden has called it, essentially a battle for the very soul of the nation.
In his book, The Soul of America, Jon Meacham perfectly captures the current situation, with the massive ballots already cast, and the people’s interest in saving American democracy:
“In our finest hours…the soul of the country manifests itself in an inclination to open our arms rather than to clench our fists; to look out rather than to turn inward; to accept rather than to reject. In so doing, America has grown ever stronger, confident that the choice of light over dark is the means by which we pursue progress.”
This is indeed America’s finest hour. The time has come for America to stand up for its democracy.