Wall Street will be closely observing a few dozen counties on Tuesday night. These include counties from the beach towns of Pinellas, Florida, to the suburbs of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. It will be watching for hints on who will win the U.S. presidential race.
Investment companies are faced with the prospect of a chaotic election complicated by an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots. They have hired political analysts and crunched voting data. This was in an attempt to identify crucial counties and Senate races that might tell them which way the vote is headed.
Home to St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Pinellas, has picked the winner of every presidential election since 1980. That was with the exception of the disputed 2000 vote.
Bucks County in north Philadelphia is viewed as an indicator of suburban enthusiasm for Democratic contender Joe Biden.
By no means, the calculus is definitive or comprehensive. Democrats, more likely to vote earlier than Republicans, for example. Initial outcome from some counties could show a strong Biden lead. Then, they get tempered or reversed as in-person ballots are counted.
Andy Lewin, who works with financial services clients for Washington lobbyist BGR Group said they’re trying to find the signal from the noise. It can seem overwhelming, he said.
Lewin sees Pinellas and Sumter, another county in Florida, as bellwethers for older voters. He said the Republican is unlikely to be re-elected if Biden outperforms Hillary Clinton in 2016 in Pinellas. That, or, if President Donald Trump loses his margin of victory from 2016 in Sumter.
Hillary Clinton was the Democratic candidate in 2016.
Moreover, Lewin said, they are great proxies for investors on where the election is headed.
Florida, Critical to Trump’s Re-election
Some investment strategists singled out Florida as critical to Trump’s re-election. The state’s votes were vital to Trump’s surprise win in 2016. It had 29 Electoral College votes out of a total of 538.
During a recent online forum, Melkman, Ben said, the absolute most important thing to watch on election night is what happens in Florida. Melkman is head of hedge fund firm Light Sky Macro.
Investors are closely monitoring Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas. These states have already begun to process mail-in ballots.
These areas will likely be able to count the majority of their votes by the end of the night. This was according to election experts.