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Trump and Biden in tight race as some swing states remain undecided


  4 Novembre      17        Monde (400),

   

Washington, Nov. 4, (dpa/GNA) – US President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden remain locked in a tight race as Americans, and much of the world, await the election results from a handful of key swing states.
Both candidates are seeking at least 270 out 538 Electoral College votes awarded by the states, with Biden holding a narrow lead of 238 votes to Trump’s 213, according to Fox News, as Biden dominated liberal strongholds along the east and west coasts.
Hopes among Democrats that election night would see a swift and crushing victory for Biden have quickly evaporated. Despite a pandemic that has killed more than 230,000 Americans, an embattled US economy, and chaotic foreign policy, Trump’s pugilistic governing style and « Make America Great Again » slogan has found favour with large swaths of the country.
Speaking shortly after midnight (0500 GMT), Biden said he is confident that he will win the election, but says results may take some time, urging people to be « patient » and « keep the faith. »
« We believe we are on track to win this election. We feel good about where we are, » he added. He has said to expect no more statements before Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Trump took to Twitter to claim his opponents are trying to « steal the election, » though he offered no proof, and says he will shortly make a speech. Twitter restricted access to the post, saying parts or all of the message are disputed.
« We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed! » Trump write on Twitter, after a period of several hours of silence on social media.
« I will be making a statement tonight. A big WIN! » he said in a second tweet.
While results remain unclear in much of the country, Trump is performing strongly in all of the battleground states and appears to be outperforming public opinion polls that pegged him as the underdog.
Much of the election – and the future of US for the next four years – remains in the hands of undecided swing states – mainly the northern states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
All of those three states – part of the US « Rust Belt, » which was once reliably Democratic – flipped to Republicans in the 2016 presidential election, boosted by Trump’s popularity among blue collar workers who sympathized with his protectionist trade policies and nationalist rhetoric.
The states remain too close to call, with around 60 to 70 per cent of the expected vote counted in each state.
The results in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are being especially watched, since local laws prevented a flood of mail-in ballots from being counted until Election Day, meaning a projected winner could take days.
Meanwhile, Trump is projected to win Florida, Ohio and Texas, all states that Democrats sought to flip. He is also favoured to win in Georgia and North Carolina. Iowa and has also been called for Trump.
Arizona, a Republican legacy state, is leaning towards Biden, with 75 per cent of the expected vote counted, giving the former vice president his only clear lead among swing states.
In some cases, like Trump’s 2016 victory, a candidate can win the Electoral College without winning the popular vote. Biden has a roughly 1-per-cent popular vote lead, with more than 54.4 million votes in his favour.
Worries have increased that Trump may declare victory even as states are struggling to count a flood of mail-in ballots, which are expected to favour Biden. There is no law mandating that a winner be declared on Election Day. Some states are allowing ballots to be received even after polls close.
With Biden consistently leading in the polls, including in crucial swing states, Trump, a Republican, came into the race fighting to hold on to the White House after a turbulent four years in office.
Voters across all states are also casting ballots on a range of other issues, including for 35 Senate seats, the entire House of Representatives, numerous state and local offices and a slew of referendums on issues from tax policy to drug laws.
Democrats are expected to hold control of the House of Representatives, while they seek to wrest control of the Senate after six years of Republican control.
Democrats needs a net gain of three seats to win the upper chamber.
There is an expectation that some states or counties may see their elections end up in court.
Already, the US Postal Service failed to meet a deadline imposed by a federal judge to conduct physical sweeps of mail-processing facilities in several battleground states to ensure no mail-in ballots were left unsent.
Both Trump and Biden have prepared platoons of lawyers to fight for the side.
For many voters, the key issues in the election are the pandemic, the economy and health care, along with more specific areas such as gun rights and control, the environment, and abortion.
Trump is running as a conservative, while Biden has embraced some progressive ideas, but has mainly pitched a wide tent, trying to build a broad coalition.

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