Election 2020: Unpacking What We Know and Living In A State of Uncertainty

Stephen Henderson speaks with political journalists Zach Gorchow and Farai Chideya about the slow trickle of election results in Michigan and nationally.

This is exactly what we were told to expect. The polls closed last night, yet millions of votes still need to be tallied and Michigan is one of several key states counting ballots that will decide who the next president is. Although it’s easy to jump to conclusions at this point, it’s important to be patient and wait for every vote to be counted.

Listen: Political journalists weigh in on what we do and don’t know as election results continue to trickle out.


Zach Gorchow is the Executive Editor and Publisher of Gongwer news service in Lansing. Gorchow says that he thinks “the question is, does the movement toward people voting absentee, is that a permanent condition? Or two years from now, four years from now… do people say, ‘you know I like going to the polls for voting?'”

He also notes that the Democratic goal of sweeping Michigan died out by last night, although Biden could squeeze out a victory when counting votes in the state concludes. On the topic of polls, Gorchow says: “I feel like I’m screaming into the void about the polling-media-political-consultant-complex… Polls seem incapable of accounting for turnout surges and what the actual electorate is going to look like. It’s been the case for several years.”

Farai Chideya is a journalist, author, and host of the new radio show and podcast Our Body Politic. Chideya looks at the race and this moment in America more critically. She says that “a lot of people are just getting fatigued about how lived experience doesn’t get reflected through media… Wouldn’t it have been great if we would have really woken up to the lessons of 2016?”

Looking at how factors like race fit into this election, Chideya points out that “if 2020 isn’t a wake-up call to what I call ‘establishment whiteness,’ I don’t know what will [wake us up].” 

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