Udayavni Special

Biden, Trump appear edging towards photo-finish in crucial US presidential election


PTI, Nov 4, 2020, 12:39 PM IST

Washington/New York: Democratic candidate Joe Biden has taken a lead over Republican Donald Trump in the closely-fought US presidential election, though the incumbent president is fast catching up, according to projections by leading American media outlets.

As per Fox News, Biden has 238 of the 538 electoral college seats, while Trump has 213. On the other hand, CNN has projected 220 electoral college votes to Biden and 213 to Trump.

The New York Times reported that Biden has earned 223 electoral college votes and Trump 212. The winner needs at least 270 electoral college votes.

As per the latest report, Trump was leading in the key battleground states of Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. Biden was leading in Arizona and Minneapolis.

The Biden campaign tried to downplay its electoral performance in Florida, which has 29 electoral college votes.

“We said Florida was going to be close and… it is! We also said we didn’t have to win it, and that remains true,” the campaign said in a statement, reiterating that it has multiple paths to victory.

In a surprise, Trump was leading by seven percentage points in Virginia, which was considered to be a Democratic bastion.

Biden won New Jersey and New York in a tight race with President Trump also registering early wins in key states.

Biden got 2.2 million votes in New York while Trump got 1.2 million.

The former vice president won in Democratic-leaning states of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Vermont and Virginia, while President Trump was posting expected victories in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wyoming, Indiana and South Carolina, The New York Times said.

People across America were closely watching the 2020 presidential election, which saw a record number of over 100 million early voting due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The usually bustling and crowded Times Square wore an almost deserted look on the election night, as the coronavirus pandemic forced many to stay indoors.

A far cry from the election night of 2016, when supporters of the Democratic and Republican parties as well as media from around the world had converged in Times Square, the popular New York City destination was uncrowded and several stores were boarded up and shut.

A small group of people, wearing masks, were seen standing near billboards that displayed the election results. However, the energy and atmosphere seemed subdued. Only a handful of stores in and around Times Square were open and a majority of them were closed and boarded up as businesses took precautionary measures amid fears of a possible unrest and violence on the election night.

The NYT also reported that among the biggest states too early to call was Texas, with 38 electoral college votes up for grab.

“The most intense attention was on the swing state of Florida and its 29 electoral college votes,” the report said, adding that Trump was overperforming his 2016 vote totals in the populous Miami-Dade county, with 526,000-plus votes so far counted in 2020 compared with about 334,000 total four years ago — an enormous improvement.

Nate Silver from the iconic FiveThirtyEight.com, which had earlier reported a big win for Biden, by late night said that Trump now is in a better position to win the election.

“Trump’s in a better position than he was at the start of the night. Biden”s not going to win in a landslide. But there”s still not a ton we know outside of Florida, and the data we do have is fairly mixed and not necessarily suggestive of as large a polling error elsewhere,” it said.

The counting of votes in the crucial US presidential election began on Tuesday night.

The next occupant to the White House needs to win 270 of the 538 electoral college votes.

As results from key battleground states just started trickling in, experts say that Biden has multiple paths to victory, with Trump having very little room to maneuver.

President Trump, who is seeking his re-election for the second consecutive term, in a tweet expressed confidence on the results.

“WE ARE LOOKING REALLY GOOD ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. THANK YOU!” Trump tweeted.

He was watching the election results from the White House. He has invited some 250 select guests for an event in the East room of the White House.

“Stay in line, folks,” tweeted Biden, “Stay in line” said his running mate senator Kamala Harris, who is of Indian-origin.

According to experts, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania hold key to the election results. Trump needs to win all three of them, while Biden can earn the presidency with win in any one of these states.

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