2020 Presidential Election Voter Turnout


Maverick Mendoza

EFFECT OF A POLARIZING TRUMP PRESIDENCY The 2020 Presidential Election is predicted to have one of the largest voter turnouts in over a century. While many signs are indicating how big the voter base will be, it is difficult to predict who will benefit from such a large amount of voters.

Benny Po, Staff Writer

Strategists‌ ‌and‌ ‌statistical‌ ‌experts‌ ‌alike—such‌ ‌as‌ ‌Michael‌ ‌McDonald,‌ ‌a‌ ‌University‌ ‌of‌ ‌Florida‌ ‌political‌ ‌scientist‌ ‌who‌ ‌specializes‌ ‌in‌ ‌voting‌ ‌behavior—are‌ ‌expecting‌ the ‌‌2020‌ ‌presidential‌ ‌election‌ ‌to‌ ‌have‌ ‌one‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌largest‌ ‌voter‌ ‌turnouts‌ ‌in‌ ‌over‌ ‌a‌ ‌century.‌ ‌The‌ ‌much‌ ‌anticipated‌ ‌2020‌ ‌the presidential‌ ‌election‌ ‌has‌ ‌garnered‌ ‌a‌ ‌great‌ ‌amount‌ ‌of‌ ‌interest‌ ‌from‌ ‌Democrats‌ ‌and‌ ‌Republicans‌ ‌alike,‌ ‌and‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌debate‌ ‌following‌ ‌up‌ ‌one‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌most‌ ‌polarizing‌ ‌terms‌ ‌in‌ ‌American‌ ‌history,‌ ‌it is ‌no‌ ‌surprise‌ that ‌the‌ ‌2020‌ ‌election‌ ‌is‌ ‌already‌ ‌projected‌ ‌to‌ ‌have‌ ‌one‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌largest‌ ‌voter‌ ‌turnouts‌ ‌in‌ ‌American‌ ‌history.‌ ‌

Furthermore,‌ ‌signs‌ ‌that‌ ‌more‌ ‌and‌ ‌more‌ ‌Americans‌ ‌are‌ ‌getting‌ ‌involved‌ the‌ ‌political‌ ‌state‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌country‌ ‌has ‌become ‌more‌ ‌prevalent‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌months‌ ‌leading‌ ‌up‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌election.‌ ‌The‌ ‌number‌ ‌of‌ ‌small‌ ‌political‌ ‌donors,‌ ‌rise‌ ‌in‌ ‌viewership‌ ‌in‌ ‌cable‌ ‌news‌ ‌and‌ ‌growing‌ ‌amount‌ ‌of‌ ‌participation‌ ‌in‌ ‌polls‌ ‌and‌ ‌case‌ ‌studies‌ ‌are‌ ‌all‌ ‌pointing‌ ‌towards‌ ‌an‌ ‌unprecedented‌ ‌voter‌ ‌turnout.‌ ‌According‌ ‌the‌ ‌Atlantic,‌ ‌experts‌ ‌are‌ ‌predicting‌ ‌that‌ ‌as‌ ‌much‌ ‌as‌ ‌two‌ ‌thirds‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌eligible‌ ‌voter‌ ‌base‌ ‌may‌ ‌participate,‌ ‌projecting‌ ‌a‌ ‌total‌ ‌number‌ ‌of‌ ‌about‌ ‌156‌ ‌million‌ ‌voters.‌ ‌ ‌

‌But‌ ‌the‌ ‌biggest‌ ‌hint‌ ‌that‌ ‌the‌ ‌upcoming‌ ‌election‌ ‌will‌ ‌have‌ ‌record-setting‌ ‌voter‌ ‌participation ‌ ‌is‌ ‌the‌ ‌fact‌ ‌that‌ ‌it‌ ‌has‌ ‌already‌ ‌happened‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌2018‌ ‌midterm‌ ‌elections.‌ ‌After‌ ‌a‌ ‌surprisingly‌ ‌enthusiastic‌ ‌turnout‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌2018‌ ‌midterms,‌ ‌the‌ ‌expected‌ ‌turnout‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌upcoming‌ ‌election‌ ‌has‌ ‌more‌ ‌than‌ ‌just‌ ‌pure‌ ‌speculation‌ ‌supporting‌ ‌the‌ ‌prediction.‌ ‌In‌ ‌fact,‌ ‌according‌ ‌to‌ ‌statistics‌ ‌from‌ ‌an‌ ‌article‌ ‌written‌ ‌by‌ ‌Brownstein‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌‌Atlantic,‌ ‌a‌ ‌record-shattering‌ ‌“120‌ ‌million‌ ‌people‌ ‌voted,‌ ‌about‌ ‌35‌ ‌million‌ ‌more‌ ‌than‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌previous‌ ‌midterm,‌ ‌in‌ ‌2014,‌ ‌with‌ ‌51‌ ‌percent‌ ‌of‌ ‌eligible‌ ‌voters‌ ‌participating—a‌ ‌huge‌ ‌increase‌ ‌over‌ ‌the‌ ‌previous‌ ‌three‌ ‌midterms.‌” Voter‌ ‌eligibility,‌ ‌new‌ ‌candidates‌ ‌and‌ ‌polarization‌ ‌about‌ ‌the‌ ‌effectiveness‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌current‌ presidency‌ ‌will‌ ‌all‌ ‌play‌ ‌major‌‌ roles‌ ‌in‌ ‌determining‌ ‌exactly‌ ‌how‌ ‌massive‌ ‌voter‌ ‌turnout‌ ‌will‌ ‌be.‌ ‌Most‌ ‌experts‌ ‌are‌ ‌already‌ ‌calling‌ ‌the‌ ‌upcoming‌ ‌election‌ ‌a‌ ‌“surge‌ ‌election,” similar‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌2008‌ ‌election,‌ ‌but‌ ‌with‌ ‌more‌ ‌demographics‌ ‌that‌ ‌usually‌ ‌tend‌ ‌to‌ ‌avoid‌ ‌the‌ ‌polls,‌ ‌expected‌ ‌to‌ ‌surpass‌ ‌usual‌ ‌turnout‌ ‌rates.‌ ‌ ‌

‌One‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌demographics‌ ‌that‌ ‌will‌ ‌undoubtedly‌ ‌play‌ ‌a‌ ‌crucial‌ ‌role‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌election ‌is‌ ‌the‌ ‌number‌ ‌of‌ ‌students‌ ‌that‌ ‌are‌ ‌eligible‌ ‌to‌ ‌vote.‌ ‌In‌ ‌fact,‌ ‌many‌ ‌high‌ ‌school‌ ‌students‌ ‌at‌ ‌Issaquah‌ ‌High‌ ‌School‌ ‌are‌ ‌tuning‌ ‌into‌ ‌the‌ ‌election.‌ ‌While‌ ‌some‌ ‌students‌ ‌such‌ ‌as‌ ‌sophomore‌ ‌Eric‌ ‌Feng‌ ‌have‌ ‌not‌ ‌been‌ ‌actively‌ ‌keeping‌ ‌up‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌election‌ ‌or‌ ‌its‌ ‌candidates,‌ ‌he‌ ‌still‌ ‌has‌ ‌“been‌ ‌hearing‌ ‌about‌ ‌it‌ ‌here‌ ‌and‌ ‌there‌ ‌on‌ ‌social‌ ‌media.”‌ ‌Furthermore,‌ ‌many‌ ‌high‌ ‌school‌ ‌students-including‌ ‌a‌ ‌fraction‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌senior‌ ‌class‌ ‌at‌ ‌Issaquah‌ ‌High‌ ‌School-will‌ ‌be‌ ‌able‌ ‌to‌ ‌vote‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌2020‌ ‌presidential‌ ‌election.‌ ‌

Senior Claire‌ ‌Tylutki‌ ‌stated‌ ‌that‌ ‌her ‌“…interest‌ ‌in‌ ‌politics‌ ‌have‌ ‌definitely‌ ‌grown‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌past‌ ‌three‌ ‌years‌ ‌over‌ ‌the‌ ‌Trump‌ ‌presidency,”‌ though senior Parth Achwal admits that “…classes and social media have played a larger role than the Trump presidency itself.” ‌Although‌ ‌according‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌Associated‌ ‌Press‌,‌ ‌“‌…the‌ ‌history‌ ‌of‌ ‌young‌ ‌voters‌ ‌suggests‌ ‌it’s‌ ‌a‌ ‌flawed‌ ‌strategy‌—‌18-‌ ‌to‌ ‌29-year-olds‌ ‌have‌ ‌far‌ ‌lower‌ ‌turnout‌ ‌rates‌ ‌than‌ ‌their‌ ‌older‌ ‌counterparts,”‌ most‌ ‌experts‌ ‌predict‌ ‌that‌ ‌college‌ ‌campus‌ ‌visits‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌a‌ ‌major‌ ‌strategy‌ ‌for‌ ‌many‌ ‌candidates.‌

But‌ ‌the‌ ‌question‌ ‌most‌ ‌Americans‌ ‌have‌ ‌is‌ ‌not‌ ‌how‌ ‌many‌ ‌people‌ ‌are‌ ‌predicted‌ ‌to‌ ‌show‌ ‌up,‌ ‌but‌ ‌how‌ ‌this‌ ‌increased‌ ‌voter‌ ‌base‌ ‌will‌ ‌affect‌ ‌the‌ ‌chances‌ ‌of‌ ‌their‌ ‌respective‌ ‌parties.‌ ‌The‌ ‌answer‌ ‌to‌ ‌this‌ ‌question‌ ‌is‌ ‌still‌ ‌unclear,‌ ‌as‌ ‌the‌ ‌vital‌ ‌swing‌ ‌states‌ ‌such‌ ‌as‌ ‌‌Colorado,‌ ‌Florida,‌ ‌Iowa,‌ ‌Michigan,‌ ‌Minnesota,‌ ‌Ohio,‌ ‌Nevada,‌ ‌New‌ ‌Hampshire,‌ ‌North‌ ‌Carolina,‌ ‌Pennsylvania,‌ ‌Virginia,‌ ‌and‌ ‌Wisconsin that‌ ‌determined‌ ‌the‌ ‌outcome‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌2016‌ ‌election‌, have remained‌ ‌relatively‌ ‌neutral,‌ ‌and‌ ‌will‌ ‌once‌ ‌again‌ ‌prove‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌the‌ ‌deciding‌ ‌factor‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌2020‌ ‌election,‌ ‌as‌ ‌well‌ ‌as‌ ‌the‌ ‌major‌ ‌concentration‌ ‌of‌ ‌increased‌ ‌voter‌ ‌turnout.‌ ‌‌The‌ ‌Wall‌ ‌Street‌ ‌Journal‌‌ ‌estimates‌ ‌that‌ ‌“Much‌ ‌depends‌ ‌on‌ ‌whether‌ ‌voter‌ ‌mobilization‌ ‌crosses‌ ‌party‌ ‌lines‌ ‌or‌ ‌remains‌ ‌asymmetrical‌ ‌as‌ ‌in‌ ‌2018,‌ ‌when‌ ‌Democratic‌ ‌turnout‌ ‌was‌ ‌much‌ ‌higher‌ ‌than‌ ‌Republican.”‌ ‌Many‌ ‌other‌ ‌small‌ ‌factors‌ ‌may‌ ‌alter‌ ‌the‌ ‌results‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌election,‌ ‌such‌ ‌as‌ ‌the‌ ‌sheer‌ ‌amount‌ ‌of‌ ‌Democratic‌ ‌candidates‌ ‌compared‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌number‌ ‌of‌ ‌Republican‌ ‌candidates.‌ ‌While‌ ‌it‌ ‌is‌ ‌usually‌ ‌normal‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌opposing‌ ‌party‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌current‌ ‌presidency‌ ‌to‌ ‌have‌ ‌more‌ ‌candidates,‌ ‌twenty‌ ‌Democratic‌ ‌candidates‌ ‌compared‌ ‌to‌ ‌four‌ ‌Republican‌ ‌is‌ ‌almost‌ ‌unheard‌ ‌of.‌ ‌Although‌ ‌some‌ ‌like‌ freshman‌ ‌Arabshahi‌ ‌Ava‌ ‌believes‌ ‌that‌ ‌“more‌ ‌candidates‌ ‌will‌ ‌give‌ ‌the‌ ‌Democrats‌ ‌a‌ ‌greater‌ ‌chance‌ ‌to‌ ‌beat‌ ‌Trump,”‌ ‌many‌ ‌Democrats‌ ‌fear‌ ‌that‌ ‌this‌ ‌may‌ ‌be‌ ‌more‌ ‌detrimental‌ ‌than‌ ‌helpful‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌success‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌party.‌ ‌

The‌ ‌Associated‌ ‌Press‌‌ ‌writes‌ ‌that‌ ‌“With‌ ‌so‌ ‌many‌ ‌Democratic‌ ‌candidates‌ ‌competing,‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌fragmented‌ ‌vote‌ ‌a‌ ‌distinct‌ ‌possibility,‌ ‌many‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌2020‌ ‌hopefuls‌ ‌are‌ ‌hoping‌ ‌to‌ ‌turn‌ ‌dissatisfaction‌ ‌with‌ ‌Trump‌ ‌on‌ ‌Iowa’s‌ ‌campuses‌ ‌into‌ ‌votes‌ ‌on‌ ‌caucus‌ ‌night‌ ‌when‌ ‌small‌ ‌margins‌ ‌might‌ ‌mean‌ ‌the‌ ‌difference‌ ‌between‌ ‌going‌ ‌on‌ ‌to‌ ‌New‌ ‌Hampshire‌ ‌or‌ ‌getting‌ ‌out‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌race.”‌ ‌ ‌The‌ ‌upcoming‌ ‌debates‌ ‌will‌ ‌showcase‌ ‌many‌ ‌topics‌ ‌and‌ ‌problems‌ ‌that‌ ‌Americans‌ ‌want‌ ‌addressed,‌ ‌ranging‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌economy,‌ ‌racial‌ ‌inequality,‌ ‌police‌ ‌brutality,‌ ‌gun‌ ‌rights,‌ ‌international‌ ‌affairs,‌ ‌healthcare‌ ‌and‌ ‌numerous‌ ‌other‌ ‌issues‌ ‌plaguing‌ ‌the‌ ‌American‌ ‌public.‌ ‌‌Politico‌ ‌Magazine‌‌ ‌reports‌ ‌that‌ ‌“crumbling‌ ‌public‌ ‌education‌ ‌and‌ ‌rising‌ ‌health‌ ‌care…”‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌important‌ ‌issues‌ ‌that‌ ‌candidates‌ ‌will‌ ‌definitely‌ ‌be‌ ‌preparing‌ ‌to‌ ‌talk‌ ‌about‌ ‌and‌ ‌propose‌ ‌solutions‌ ‌to.‌ ‌Conversely,‌ ‌‌The‌ ‌Wall‌ ‌Street‌ ‌Journal‌‌ ‌argues‌ ‌that‌ ‌“‌despite‌ ‌the‌ ‌rise‌ ‌of‌ ‌cultural‌ ‌issues,‌ ‌the‌ ‌economy‌ ‌will‌ ‌matter.‌ ‌In‌ ‌every‌ ‌election‌ ‌since‌ ‌1980‌ ‌except‌ ‌1992,‌ ‌an‌ ‌increase‌ ‌in‌ ‌economic‌ ‌growth‌ ‌between‌ ‌the‌ ‌third‌ ‌and‌ ‌fourth‌ ‌year‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌president’s‌ ‌term‌ ‌has‌ ‌been‌ ‌followed‌ ‌by‌ ‌victory‌ ‌for‌ ‌his‌ ‌party,‌ ‌while‌ ‌a‌ ‌decrease‌ ‌was‌ ‌followed‌ ‌by‌ ‌defeat.”‌ ‌Many‌ ‌Americans,‌ ‌including‌ ‌junior‌ ‌Josh‌ ‌Geisser‌ ‌who‌ ‌believes‌ ‌that‌ ‌“the‌ ‌economy‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌the‌ ‌issue‌ ‌that‌ ‌the‌ ‌majority‌ ‌of‌ ‌Americans‌ ‌want‌ ‌addressed,”‌ ‌also‌ ‌agree‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌sentiment‌ ‌that‌ ‌the‌ ‌economy‌ ‌is‌ ‌in‌ ‌need‌ ‌of‌ ‌major‌ ‌reforms‌ ‌and‌ ‌improvements.‌ ‌

Regardless‌ ‌of‌ ‌the result,‌ ‌the‌ ‌2020‌ ‌presidential‌ ‌election‌ ‌will‌ ‌undoubtedly‌ ‌be‌ ‌an exciting election‌ ‌that‌ ‌is‌ ‌sure‌ ‌to‌ ‌reinvigorate‌ ‌the‌ ‌American‌ ‌interest‌ ‌in‌ ‌politics.‌ ‌For‌ ‌both‌ ‌parties,‌ ‌the‌ ‌stakes‌ ‌have‌ ‌never‌ ‌been‌ ‌more dire,‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌cost‌ ‌of‌ ‌losing‌ ‌will‌ ‌surely‌ ‌be‌ ‌very‌ high‌ ‌for‌ ‌either‌ ‌side.‌ ‌