PROVO, Utah — Political analysts across the country are not sure who will win the presidential race on November 3rd. Regardless of who wins, they all think that it will be close.
BYU Political Science Professor Adam Dynes says many states are doing their elections mostly by mail-in ballots for the first time.
“I think the laws on the books [in those states] say they can’t even start processing those mail-in ballots until after all of the polling closes,” Dynes says. “As anyone in Utah has seen in past elections, it can still take a while before you get all the results in, especially in a close election.”
There will also be a lot of votes to count.
“Early voting turnout is very high…That makes it, I think, also hard to predict who is going to turn out, if turnout is higher than normal,” Dynes says.
Fellow BYU Political Science Professor Richard Davis says there are a lot of undecided voters, even this late in the game.
“You’re going to have huge numbers on November 3rd,” Davis says. “The polls are reflecting that uncertainty.”
In 2016, those polls gave Democrat Hillary Clinton a slight edge in several swing states heading into the election. Instead, Republican Donald Trump ended up winning in several of them.
That led many people to question the accuracy of the polls.
However, both Davis and Dynes says the polls were not as inaccurate as most people believe.
All were within the margin of error, and they say it happens a lot in close elections that the candidate who was behind pulls slightly ahead.
Dynes says part of the reason polls can be off is pollsters are trying to figure out just who will show up to vote.
“There’s a bias towards people saying they’re going to vote, even if they actually aren’t because they kinda feel like that’s what they’re supposed to say,” Dynes says.
Dynes and Davis give former Vice President Joe Biden the edge right now but say it’s anyone’s guess who is going to win on November 3rd.
But there is also a possibility lawyers could decide the election.
“The polls are very close in Ohio. They’re close in Wisconsin, they’re close in Iowa, they’re close in North Carolina. So, anyone of those states could potentially be the source of legal action,” Davis says.
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