Posted in Behind the News

Understanding the election: Campaign coverage from all 50 states

, by Patrick Maks

AP’s extensive and fact-based coverage of the 2020 presidential election will be as deep as it is broad.

With political reporters based in key states around the country – and reporters on the ground in all 50 U.S. states – AP journalists are taking a hard look at the core issues affecting voters.

AP is exploring whether the pandemic, the economic crisis and the national reckoning over race has changed what people want from their government.

U.S. Political Editor Steven Sloan explains what to expect from AP’s coverage of the 2020 presidential election before, on and after Election Day:

The coronavirus pandemic and racial justice movement are major stories that have impacted this year’s general election. What have been the key takeaways for you and the political reporters you direct?

A big takeaway is the need to connect news from the campaign to the daily lives of Americans. Political reporting can’t just be about who’s up and who’s down. It has to be about the vision the campaigns are articulating and the tangible impact that has on everyday life. With the U.S. confronting so many crises, the urgency of that mission has never been more important.

What can member news organizations and customers expect from AP’s coverage leading up to and on Nov. 3?

Early voters line up to cast their ballots at the South Regional Library in Durham, North Carolina, Oct. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

There’s lots of noise in the final stages of any campaign and that’s especially true in 2020. We’re committed to staying focused on providing accurate, independent coverage with lots of explanatory journalism where necessary. We’re focusing on how voters are voting during a pandemic and how the parties are fighting over access to the ballot. We’ll also step back and explore what this election says about the United States and offer insight into how the eventual winner came out on top.

Anything to highlight about this year’s coverage?

AP’s massive footprint across the U.S. has always been a distinguishing feature but it’s proven vital this year. At moments when travel was nearly impossible, we didn’t miss a beat because we have journalists across the country covering the communities where they live. That’s helped us stay on top of news while also launching in depth projects such as the “America Disrupted” series, which looks at how voters are approaching the election during a period of extraordinary turmoil.

Washington Bureau Chief Julie Pace outlines AP’s coverage of the 2020 U.S. election in this video:

Follow AP’s coverage of the 2020 election.