The U.S election – A list of informative pieces

Photo Credit: Mohamed Hassan/ pixabay.com

The U.S. presidential election is less than two weeks away. We are getting overwhelmed by the flood of information in the media and academic community engaging with the election and we thought you might find it hard to navigate through it too. So, we compiled a list of articles, stories and links we find to be most informative:

First, if you wish to always stay up to date on election forecasts, check out the BBC’s election website. It features newest national and state-level polls, explains what they can really tell us about who might win the election and also includes a discussion of how key events such as Trump’s Covid-19 infection or TV debates can affect polling results.

Second, to learn more about the preferences of Latinx voters, which is the largest group of non-white eligible voters in the U.S., follow the Latino Decisions blog. It launched a nine-week tracking poll to survey top priority of vote choice, preferences and whether major events shifted political attitudes of the Latinx electorate.

Third, if you care also for insights into the voting behavior of women in the upcoming election, don’t just buy the statement by commentators assuming that a “women’s vote” exists. Instead, read this contribution by J.M Piscopo, who explains that it’s impossible to summarize half of a country’s population with one political narrative. Instead, she provides insights on how women’s vote has formed presidential politics and why voters’ preferences are also shaped by other identities than gender, e.g. race, class, educational status, and age.

Fourth, a key feature of this election is going to be high proportions of postal votes due to the COVID 19. These developments have sparked debates about whether voting by mail is vulnerable to fraud. In a recent blog post, Priscilla Southwell discusses concerns about any unintended consequences of increased vote by mail for turnout, electoral fraud and vote shares for one of the parties. Highly informative and a great read!

Fifth, this year’s election is not only unprecedented because of the current pandemic, but also because of a record pace of early voting this time around. The U.S. Elections Project by Michael McDonald publishes newest statistics about early voting by state, the factors accounting for the dramatic early voting increase and the possible effects.

Sixth, we are big fans of the New York Times election update, which provides regular news with all you need to know about the upcoming election.

Last but not least, it is always worth to think ahead: For a vision of how the American electoral system could be reformed, e.g. by abolishing the electoral college and/or introducing ranked choice voting, read this symposium on two recent books on the electoral college hosted by Jack M. Balkin. After all, the current electoral system is not set in stone.

Happy reading!

By Sarah C. Dingler and Corinna Kroeber in October 2020

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