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Election Night: Key states to watch & record-shattering voter turnout

Jon Lieber, Managing Director for the United States at the Eurasia Group, shares his perspective on a special US election edition of US Politics In 60 Seconds:

So, we're about five days out from the election right now.

And the story of this week has been the remarkably steady polling lead for Joe Biden that he's had for months now. The other big story is the turnout, massive amounts of turnout. 100% of the 2016 vote already cast in Texas. 60% nationwide votes already cast. We are headed for record shattering turnout, could be around 155 million Americans voting.

On election night, what are we watching for?


First thing we're watching for is, does Trump win Florida? If he loses Florida, Florida counts quickly, we may know the results late in the night on Tuesday. If Trump loses Florida, then he really doesn't have a path. If he wins Florida, the next state we're going to be looking at is Pennsylvania. Right now, he's down by six votes, six points there. But if he has a lot of turnout for rural White voters, which is his base, it's possible he can turnout a victory. You also have the Supreme Court indicating that they're willing to re-look at Pennsylvania's election laws, even after the deadline because a state court in Pennsylvania said that votes in the mail that are received up to three days after election night could still be counted.

The Supreme Court may overturn that ruling. Another state to watch, Arizona. A Biden win there would be the end of the road for Donald Trump. They also count relatively quickly. They'll be finishing by 10:00 PM Eastern time when they start reporting. A lot of experience with vote by mail. Another thing to watch on Tuesday night is going to be the Senate results. A Biden presidency is effectively going to be stopped in its tracks if Republicans continue to hold the Senate.

So, it's really important for Democrats that they win, if they want to achieve anything next year. So, states that we're watching, Arizona, Colorado likely to flip to Democrats. And then they need two of Maine, North Carolina, Montana, and Iowa, all of which are very, very close races right now. Probably they pick up votes in Maine, seats in Maine, North Carolina and Iowa. And that will be enough for the majority.

The other big question is, do we know on Tuesday or how long after that day do we have to wait until we find out?

That's a real wild card. Florida, Arizona count quickly, like I said. Pennsylvania counts pretty slow. If there's a protracted battle and it comes down to Pennsylvania, you're going to see a lot of legal wrangling over those last few votes. However, Biden's lead there is pretty big right now. Six points in the polling averages, which makes it less likely you have a disputed outcome.

Wales, early 19th century: During breaks from his law studies, William Robert Grove indulges in his passion for science to become an inventor. On his honeymoon in Europe, he learns about the new energy source everyone's talking about: electricity. After learning that electricity allows water to be broken down into its two components, hydrogen and oxygen, his intuition leads him to an idea that ends up making him a pioneer of sustainable energy production.

Watch the story of William Robert Grove in Eni's MINDS series, where we travel through time seeking scientists.

El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele is an unusual politician. The 39-year old political outsider boasts of his political triumphs on TikTok, dons a suave casual uniform (backwards-facing cap; leather jacket; tieless ), and refuses to abide by Supreme Court rulings.

Bukele also enjoys one of the world's highest approval ratings, and that's what helped his New Ideas party clinch a decisive victory in legislative elections on February 28, securing a close to two-third's supermajority (75 percent of the vote had been counted at the time of this writing).

His triumph will resonate far beyond the borders of El Salvador, Central America's smallest country, home to 6.5 million people. Now that Bukele has consolidated power in a big way, here are a few key developments to keep an eye on.

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Now that millions of high-priority Americans have been vaccinated, many people in low-risk groups are starting to ask the same question: when's my turn? Dr. Anthony Fauci, America's top infectious diseases expert, has an answer, but probably not the one they're hoping for: "It probably won't be until May or June before we can at least start to get the normal non-prioritized person vaccinated." On GZERO World, Dr. Fauci also addresses another burning question: why aren't schools reopening faster? And while Dr. Fauci acknowledges that reopening schools must be a top priority, he has no quick fixes there, either. In fact, that's kind of a theme of the interview.

Watch the GZERO World episode: Dr. Fauci's Pandemic Prognosis

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

I thought I would talk today, I haven't spoken much about former President Trump since he's no longer president and I intend to continue that practice. But given this weekend and the big speech at CPAC and the fact that in the straw poll, Trump won and won by a long margin. I mean, DeSantis came in number two, but he's the Governor of Florida, CPAC was in Orlando, so that's a home court bias. In reality, it's Trump's party. And I think given all of that, it's worth spending a little bit of time reflecting on what that means, how I think about these things.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here, and as we head into the weekend, a Quick Take on, well, the first bombing campaign of the new Biden administration. You kind of knew it was going to happen. Against some Iranian-backed militias in Syria, looks like a couple of dozen, perhaps more killed, and some militia-connected military facilities destroyed. I think there are a few ways to look at this, maybe three different lenses.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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Biden strikes Syria. Now what?

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