Live thread: Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa

Update 6:40: Dr. Seb Gorka told us that Democrats have had to make emergency organizing calls in Minnesota to boost turnout here. That may well be why Ellison was trolling Twitter to get voters here out to the polls.

Update 6:29 – Megyn tells us that Joe Trippi is not concerned about the disparity in ground games between Republicans and Democrats. He’s predicting a Biden landslide of 368 EC votes. I have a sneaking suspicion that is more wishcasting than reality, but it’s worth noting. Great talking with Megyn, and be sure to sign up for her podcast!

Update 6:18 – I’ll be talking with Megyn Kelly next on the Hugh Hewitt show!

Update 6:16: Polls will close in these states at 9 pm ET (MI, MN, WI) and 10 pm ET (IA).

Update, 6:15 pm ET: I’m still a bit skeptical about Trump’s ability to win Minnesota, but this looks rather interesting:

There’s nothing improper about this, and it might just be a standard Election Day riff. However, it might be that Democrats don’t like what they see so far in MN, too.

Original post follows …


Welcome to Election Night 2020, when it might be 2021 before we get all the results. Kidding! I’ll be live-blogging developments from four key Upper Midwest states in this election — Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Iowa. We can probably expect final-ish results in two of the four states, Minnesota and Wisconsin, as they will count all ballots from early voting today as well as the live walk-in vote. Michigan and Iowa will take longer, FiveThirtyEight warns, as they will still be receiving early-vote mail-in ballots for the next few days.

If you want to track results, be sure to use our widgets on the main page, courtesy of our friends and partners at Decision Desk HQ! That’s how I will be tracking the action tonight. Open up a few tabs and follow along on all of our live blogging, too.

We won’t just be covering the presidential race, either. Three of these four states have close Senate races, too. Can Jason Lewis and John James score upsets against Democratic incumbents in Minnesota and Michigan? Will Joni Ernst hang on in Iowa?

The RCP average for the Trump-Biden contest in each state suggests a close outcome, which means we might wait for a long while even in the two states projected to produce final outcomes:

  • Iowa: Trump +2.0
  • Michigan: Biden +4.2
  • Minnesota: Biden +4.3
  • Wisconsin: Biden +6.7

Iowa’s big swing among multiple pollsters has all of us wondering whether there’s been a late break for Trump across the country. If you’ve been following the “shy Trump voter” pollsters, they seem more inclined to think so. Robert Cahaly thinks a momentum shift came in the second and final debate, but not so much about oil. Instead, voters might be coalescing behind Trump on COVID-19 policy:

While Cahaly said he expected an October surprise–style scandal could shake the confidence he had in his predictions, nothing in the same vein as the Billy Bush Access Hollywood tapes from 2016 have come up to introduce brand-new vulnerabilities to Trump’s campaign. Instead, the final presidential debate on October 22 emphasized what he said many of the voters he’s spoken with identify as the most important issue heading into the election: the possibility of another economic shutdown.

Trump, who has touted the success of the economy before the coronavirus pandemic necessitated shutdowns across the country this year, has repeatedly said he does not want any more closures. Meanwhile, Biden has indicated he is open to additional shutdowns if they are deemed necessary to stifle the virus’s spread.

“Even [voters] that don’t like Trump, they’re like, ‘I don’t like Trump, but we can’t have another shutdown.’ Because the economy has always trumped—pardon the expression,” Cahaly said. “The economy has always been more important.”

Those voter sentiments didn’t mean they weren’t concerned about the virus, Cahaly said. It just meant that when it came to weighing “acceptable risk versus non-acceptable risk,” voters told him it was an “easy choice” for them to make.

As James Carville famously remarked, “It’s the economy, stupid.” If that’s the case, perhaps we’ll see more voters making that same risk assessment than previously considered. There is at least some indirect data in Wisconsin that suggests that Trump might be driving a new turnout model, too:

As of Monday morning, the day after in-person early voting concluded in Wisconsin, the 12 Democrat counties–Ashland, Bayfield, Dane, Douglas, Eau Claire, Green, Iowa, La Crosse, Menominee, Milwaukee, Portage, and Rock–accounted for a total of 743,829 votes; 39.4 percent of the 1,886,533 cast statewide. In 2016, those 12 counties accounted for 50.4 percent of the statewide early vote (336,533 cast out of 666,846 total early votes).

Dane and Milwaukee Counties–Wisconsin’s most populous and most overwhelmingly Democratic–account for 29.8 percent of the 2020 early vote total, down a full percentage point from the 30.9 percent share of Wisconsin’s early vote in 2016.

This indicates that voters in the 60 counties President Trump won in 2016 en route to winning an upset victory in Wisconsin are dramatically overperforming in the state’s early vote this year. Based on this, L2 Data is projecting that President Trump may well be leading Wisconsin’s early vote.

Significant? We’ll sooon see! (By the way, L2 partnered with me for my research while writing my book Going Red.) We’ll be following all of this carefully in live updates on this post. I will also be on the air tonight with Hugh Hewitt on Salem Radio Network from six pm ET to midnight, covering all of the developments. Tune in on your AM radio dial or sign up for the video stream at The Hughniverse!

Updates will come at the top in reverse chronological order, with the most recent update at the top.

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