Ben Borgers

Election Night Recap

What did you use to follow the election returns? (TV station, website, etc)

I watched the CNN live stream, followed the electoral map and election needles on The New York Times, and followed a bit of FiveThirtyEight’s live blog.

What time did you start to focus on the returns?

Around 7:00 p.m.

What results did you see that you were surprised by?

I was expecting Biden to flip Florida, but it became clear fairly early in the night that the polling for Florida over-counted votes for Biden.

What was the Electoral Vote count before you went to bed?

Biden: 205 / Trump: 112

What important Senate races had been decided before you went to bed?

What are your biggest takeaways from the election results? Analyze what you’ve seen thus far in the election returns.

Going into election day, polls showed a fairly clean sweep for Biden. That didn’t happen at all, and I think a lot of Biden supporters got put on edge. At the same time, it plays into Trump’s saying that the polls are rigged against him and were wrong all along.

The batched counting of mail-in / election-day ballots also plays into Trump’s narrative that mail-in voting is fraudulent. He can claim that he was winning in some states, and then the mail-in ballots swung the state over to Biden, which is “obviously” a sign of foul play.

Trump claiming that he had won the election in the early hours of November 4th is concerning. It’s a sign that he isn’t willing to be patient and reasonable with the results of this historically different election.

What did you wish the media covering had done differently? What did you like in their coverage?

CNN seemed to be able to run non-stop coverage despite very little happening. You’d see a Key Race Alert every couple minutes, only to tell you that four more races were too close to call.

However, I really liked John King’s “Magic Wall” on CNN where he could show the county-by-county comparisons between 2016 and 2020. I felt that it gave a lot more context for viewers who wouldn’t have possibly been able to keep track of the results’ significance on their own.

What time did you go to bed?

11:00 p.m.

I decided it would be better for my stress levels to go to bed and see what the situation is in the morning.

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