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Analysis: Some Americans are just tuning into the election now. Here's the news they really need

October 21, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

A woman casts her ballot at Tippecanoe Library on the first day of in-person early voting for the November 3, 2020 elections in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on October 20, 2020. - Early voting kicked off October 20, 2020 in Wisconsin, a state fought over by President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden as their contentious White House race enters its final 14-day stretch. (Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI / AFP) (Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

With the 2020 election well underway and less than two weeks until the votes are counted, this reminder is simple but essential: Reporters need to remember that some Americans are plugging in to this election for the first time.

New York (CNN Business)With the 2020 election well underway and less than two weeks until the votes are counted, this reminder for reporters is simple but essential: Some Americans are plugging in to this election for the first time.

There are great examples of this already: CNN's Election 101 website and podcast; NBC's "Plan Your Vote" guide; the Washington Post's "how to vote in your state" feature.

The filmmakers at "Frontline" are out with the latest edition of their election season series "The Choice," with what they call "investigative biographies" of President Trump and Joe Biden.

Stories need to emphasize why this election season is unique and why it could take longer to know the results, due to the rise in mail-in ballots.

Election interest is rising

Pew Research Center's latest survey of American adults finds that "interest in the 2020 election has increased over the last month. " Notably, "for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak began in earnest," people are now following the election as closely as the pandemic.

Also: "Interest in election news is high among both Trump and Biden supporters.

About half of registered voters who support Trump (49%) and Biden (53%) say they are following election news very closely. " Some other key findings:

-- "Americans plan to follow election returns closely and most are confident their news sources will make the right call. "

-- "Most Americans say the news sources they turn to most have covered the election well. "

"The real divide in America is between political junkies and everyone else. "

"The gap between those who follow politics closely and those who don't" is critical to understand.

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