US Elections 2020
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US election: The Divided States of America

Michal Michelle Divon/New York
Filed on November 5, 2020 | Last updated on November 5, 2020 at 07.33 am

(AFP)

Following an undeniably polarised presidential race, neither side has received the confirmation they were seeking.

Michal Michelle Divon, Reporting from New York

A divided nation is emerging from a long and tense election night. The race that sought to determine who will be the next president, left us with a broader unanswered question as to who America really is.

Following an undeniably polarised presidential race, neither side has received the confirmation they were seeking. Many Democrats were looking for a moral victory which this election did not provide. Republicans, who expected voters to turn out in droves on election day itself, are sitting tight in front of their screens disappointed over the uncertainty of a Trump victory. As of now, Biden appears to be in a narrow lead over Trump, and Republicans seem to be in a better position to take the Senate.

To win the presidency, Trump will need to gain a majority of the votes in Pennsylvania, but his presidential bid won't be secured unless he goes on to win three additional key swing states. Biden's path to victory requires winning both Arizona and Georgia, or he could become president simply by winning back Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The big surprise of the election is perhaps Biden's success in flipping Arizona from Red to Blue. The former Vice-President is the first Democrat to win the state since former President Clinton in 1996.

While Democrats express devastation over the thought of another term with Trump, millions of Republican supporters feel the last four years have been a time when things changed for the better, both socially and economically. For his supporters, Trump represents their preferred conservative social order, a strong economy, and an unapologetically proud America that they feel Democrats are trying to destroy.

For many Democrats who describe this election as a soul-searching moral calling, Trump represents everything they are looking to change. They blame him for the pandemic's mismanagement, for the deepening national divide, for enhancing racial tensions, and for giving a boost to white supremacists.

The vision of America as a nation was put to the test in this election, and while it should have determined by now, whether Trump is the country's friend or foe, it has been made clearer that this election is more about Americans than about Trump, and there is no one America.

As millions of votes continue to be counted, President Trump was quick to allege election fraud

In key swing states, tweeting that his late-night lead in several battleground states had mysteriously vanished in the morning, and that pollsters "got it completely & historically wrong". While Trump's claim for election fraud was widely deemed baseless, his attack on the polls is one that many agree with.

Despite Democratic disappointment from poll inaccuracies that projected a significant blue lead nationally, Joe Biden insisted that he is on the right track to winning the presidency and asked that voters be patient- "It ain't over till every vote is counted," Biden said.

So how did the opinion pollsters get it all wrong again? Many will be questioning this together with the necessity in polling data for future elections. Polls held just before election day gave Joe Biden an average lead of 10 points nationally, and narrower leads in swing states. These predictions of course evaporated on the day itself.

While the race continues to be tight in key battleground states, the scenario of an electoral college tie of 269 to 269 is highly unlikely. Since this is 2020 after all, nothing can be ruled out.

It is important to note that an apparent tie following election night does not mean that there is an actual tie. Electors will meet in each state on Dec. 14 to cast their votes. Some electors, however, could choose to vote for a different candidate then the one they pledged to support or abstain altogether. We saw this in 2016 when Hillary Clinton lost five of her pledged electors, while Donald Trump lost two. These are known as "faithless electors."

In any event, there are still weeks to go before an official presidential announcement is made.

The newly elected Congress will meet on January 6th to formally count the electoral votes and name the president.

Until then, America and everyone watching, needs to take it easy.





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