Even with checks and balances, four years of executive power can change the country – perhaps even the course of history – considerably. As a result, every presidential election, from FDR’s near-sweep of Republican Alf Randolph in 1936 to the Supreme Court’s ruling in 2000’s Bush v. Gore nail-biter, matters a great deal and is, indeed, historic. This one feels especially important, too, set against the backdrop of COVID-19, a crucial Supreme Court nomination and a fiercely divided electorate.
On the left, we have the oldest presidential candidate ever, at 77 years old. And on the right, we have the oldest president ever, a 74-year-old real-estate mogul and former reality TV star whose brash, off-the-cuff style has captivated the country, though not always in a good way.
However it shakes out, this crazy campaign is finally coming to an end. So, as we wait for November 3 and wonder what the future has in store for our country, our wallets and our kids’ futures, it’s worth reminding ourselves what Election Day is all about, both this year and in general. In the interest of helping people perform their civic duty (and have some fun while doing it), we put together a collection of the most interesting and informative Election Day factoids we could find. You can check them our below, followed by our Ask the Experts Q&A on everything from voter-turnout strategies to what each candidate’s presidency would mean for the economy. Happy (and safe) voting!
- 56%: Of voters say the main reason they support Biden is that he is not Trump (compared to 19% of voters who say the opposite).
- $5.2M: Income earned by Joe Biden from speeches (with an average speaking fee of $128K).
- +$3.7T: Projected change in Real GDP during the first four years of a Biden presidency (+$2.8T for Trump).
- 15 States: Have new laws that could make it more difficult to vote this year (in addition to 35 states with voter ID requirements).
- 12 States: Have expanded absentee/mail voting eligibility this year.
- 67%: Of Americans say it is likely that the pandemic will disrupt the presidential election; nearly half of Americans expect to have difficulties casting a ballot.
- 79%: Registered voters say the economy is very important to their vote in 2020, followed by health care (68%), Supreme Court appointments (64%) and the coronavirus outbreak (62%).
For a deeper look at the significance of Election Day, this year and throughout history, we posed the following questions to a group of experts in the fields of political science, public policy and economics. You can check out their bios and responses below.
- Should all states implement same day voter registration? What are the potential barriers to widespread adoption of this practice?
- How common is voter fraud in the United States? What impact does it have on state and federal elections?
- What is the most fair and equitable way to draw voting district boundaries? Should it be left to elected officials or a nonpartisan panel?
- Are mail-in ballots a good thing or a bad thing?
- How do you think COVID-19 will impact this year’s election?
- What positive impact would a Trump presidency have on your wallet? How about a Biden presidency?