Key 2020 US Election Dates and Markets to Watch

See a schedule of key dates to watch around the 2020 US election and the potential markets to watch throughout the election!

USA (2)

** Update (9 October 2020): Following President Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis, the second debate has been postponed/cancelled. We will update this article as we hear more about whether there will be any additional Presidential debates before the election. ** 

When is the US election?

All 50 states and Washington DC will head to the polls on Tuesday, 3 November 2020. Citizens will be voting across six different timezones, with final results historically being announced around 11:00pm-12:00am EST (4:00am-5:00am GMT on Wednesday 4 November 2020). However, the share of mail-in votes is likely to exceed the historical average of 20-25% of all ballots given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, so there is a risk that the result is not made official until later in the week (or even later in the month!).

What are the key dates to watch before the election?

Ahead of the election, there are several key debates that may have a big impact on the polls:

  • 29 September: First presidential debate at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • 7 October: Vice presidential debate at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • 15 October: Second presidential debate at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida.
  • 22 October: Third presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.


What are the key dates to watch after the election?

Unlike in previous years, the result may not be clear on Election night – instead, we may be looking at more of an election week or election month before the result is confirmed. Accordingly, the procedural dates after election night may be relevant:

  • 14 December: Members of the Electoral College will cast their official ballots for president. Under the U.S. system, the winner of each state's popular vote earns that state's electoral votes, which are apportioned by population. The candidate who receives a majority of the 538 electoral votes available, or 270, wins the presidency.
  • 6 January 2021: Congress will meet at 1:00pm in Washington to count the electoral votes and declare a winner.
  • 20 January 2021: Inauguration Day. The winner and his running mate will be sworn in as president and vice president at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

What will that mean for markets?

In a year full of unprecedented events, the 2020 presidential election will undoubtedly be another event that looks different than in the past. Traders expecting a clear winner by midnight EST will likely be in for disappointment; according to a recent Axios/Ipsos poll, only about a third (36%) of US adults expect a winner to be announced on election night, with an addition quarter (24%) expecting a formal result within the next day or two. Fully 25% of survey respondents expect the outcome to be unclear for more than a week after election day!

Nonetheless, traders will still try to handicap which candidate is most likely to win based on the outcome of “election night.” While the US stock market will remain closed overnight, index futures, international stocks, commodities markets, and the foreign exchange market will all be open to present trading opportunities.

Be sure to tune in for our full election week coverage, including our constantly-updating live blog on election night for instant analysis of how the results are impacting the markets you’re trading!


More from Election

Disclaimer: The information on this web site is not targeted at the general public of any particular country. It is not intended for distribution to residents in any country where such distribution or use would contravene any local law or regulatory requirement. The information and opinions in this report are for general information use only and are not intended as an offer or solicitation with respect to the purchase or sale of any currency or CFD contract. All opinions and information contained in this report are subject to change without notice. This report has been prepared without regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any particular recipient. Any references to historical price movements or levels is informational based on our analysis and we do not represent or warranty that any such movements or levels are likely to reoccur in the future. While the information contained herein was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, author does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness, nor does author assume any liability for any direct, indirect or consequential loss that may result from the reliance by any person upon any such information or opinions.

Futures, Options on Futures, Foreign Exchange and other leveraged products involves significant risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors. Losses can exceed your deposits. Increasing leverage increases risk. Spot Gold and Silver contracts are not subject to regulation under the U.S. Commodity Exchange Act. Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are not available for US residents. Before deciding to trade forex and commodity futures, you should carefully consider your financial objectives, level of experience and risk appetite. Any opinions, news, research, analyses, prices or other information contained herein is intended as general information about the subject matter covered and is provided with the understanding that we do not provide any investment, legal, or tax advice. You should consult with appropriate counsel or other advisors on all investment, legal, or tax matters. References to Forex.com or GAIN Capital refer to GAIN Capital Holdings Inc. and its subsidiaries. Please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options.