This Last Week Before the Election- How it Has Affected Us and The Presidential Campaign

Julia Kess

Democratic, Republican, and third-party voters may seem stuck in their ways. We have come to think of these political parties as the dividing factor of us vs. them. Normally, a bit of this is true. Some people vote for their party without even looking at the other candidates as options. This upcoming election has shaken all of that, for better or worse.

Voters barely switch parties, but recently, a good amount of registered voters in both parties have switched. About 9% who affiliated with the Republican Party or leaned Republican in September 2018 now identify as Democrats or lean Democratic. An identical share of voters, 9%, who two years ago identified as Democrats or leaned Democratic now align with the GOP, according to the statistics from the Pew Research Center.

Now we are in the last few weeks before the election which means everything a candidate and their campaign team does matters more than ever. A big deal right now in particular, is poll narrowing or poll expansion. Currently, Biden leads Trump 52% to 43% on average in the national polls according to NPR News. That puts Biden in front to win the popular vote. However, Hilary Clinton in 2016 won the popular vote as well, by 3 million votes. The presidential race is won in the states most Electoral College votes, and there, it is more set. There are, however, a few swing states such as Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. These are the states with the most electoral points to win and so they are where the candidates are spending most of their time campaigning. The campaigns have spent a large portion of advertisement and media funds in six big states: Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Wisconsin. 

These steps in a campaign matter and impact voting greatly. In the past week or so, Biden has visited Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Georgia. At the beginning of this cycle, Georgia was seen as a reach for Biden. Now, because of the time and effort he has spent, he has a chance and it could go either way according to NPR News.

Annabelle Alton

There has also been a great rise in early voting which has been breaking records all over the country. So far, according to the Cable News Network (CNN), as of this Wednesday, over 75 million people have already voted and there are still about 5 days to go before the election. Texas specifically, has seen a huge increase; over 7.2 million people have voted early, which also happens to be about 80% of the total votes in 2016. 

Third-party voters are the real make or break of this election. Along with Trump and Biden, this year’s presidential candidates include Libertarian Party candidate Jo Jorgensen and Green Party candidate, Howie Hawkins according to The Candor. At the Democratic National Convention, former first lady Michelle Obama said that voting for third-party candidates means wasting your vote. “This is not the time to withhold our votes in protest or play games with candidates who have no chance of winning,” she said. A poll from 2016 stated that “a quarter said they would have chosen Clinton, 14 percent said Trump and 61 percent said they would not have voted.” 

Not taking advantage of one’s vote is like throwing away your voice. Voting determines the future of our country and the politicians we are represented by. Don’t we owe it to ourselves and our fellow Americans to vote for people whom we want to represent us and who have a chance to represent us?