Look Out for 2 Different Kinds of 'Mirages' Tonight

Blue and red mirages expected, leading to misleading early results for both candidates
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2020 11:25 AM CST
Look Out for 2 Different Kinds of 'Mirages' Tonight
Poll worker Carl Singletary Jr., right, hands a voter 'I Voted' card at the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Center in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The weird circumstances of the 2020 vote has led to warnings about a "red mirage" for a while now. The idea is that President Trump might appear to have a large lead early in some states, but only because in-person votes are expected to skew toward him. When mail ballots are counted later, they're expected to skew toward Joe Biden. But as multiple outlets are warning, mirages of the red and blue variety might emerge Tuesday night. The reason is because some states allowed the counting of mail ballots to be done early, and those Biden-heavy numbers might be reported before the Trump-heavy in-person votes, explains Reuters. The bottom line: "Be patient," advises a state official in North Carolina.

Both Reuters and NBC News offer guidelines on which key states might have which kind of mirage. The details:

  • Blue mirages: Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Iowa, and Ohio might look deceptively strong for Biden early because they allowed the early processing of mail ballots.
  • Red mirages: Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin could look deceptively strong for Trump early because the processing of mail ballots could not start until Election Day. In fact, it could take days to count all the mail ballots.
(More Election 2020 stories.)

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