Four Years On
Four years ago today, those of us in Europe awoke to news that Donald Trump had won the US presidency. Despite polls and “smart money” suggesting Hilary Clinton would win, Trump unexpectedly took the crown thanks to a late surge in support. Four years on and today, Trump has not won the presidency again, but he also hasn’t lost it either.
Biden Ahead At Latest Count
The latest voter count shows that Biden is currently ahead with 238 of the 270 electoral college votes needed to win, while Trump is trailing at 213. While Biden is on course to win at this point Trump could still snatch victory from the jaws of defeat if he wins the majority of remaining states. Notably, if Biden does win at this point, given Trump’s victory in key swing states such as Florida and Texas, the “Blue Sweep” which many had predicted for Biden will not come to pass. Put simply, if Biden does take the presidency here, he will do so with a divided government as Republicans will retain the Senate.
Trump Declares Victory
In usual Trump style the president was seen declaring a pre-mature victory just hours ago, even though votes are still being counted. Speaking from the White House, Trump has been accused of undermining the voting process (and therefore democracy) by accusing the Democrats of fraud and claiming that he will launch a Supreme court challenge if they are found to win.
Mail In Ballots Still Being Counted
Given the large number of mail in ballots this year as a result of COVID-19, the remaining voter counting could take up to several days. Trump had outlined his opposition to mail in ballots during the final weeks of his campaign, claiming that they are vulnerable to fraud. Trump has also been angered by news that some states will allow for postal votes that arrive up to three days after the polls closed, so long as the ballots are dated prior to the polls closing.
Biden Strikes Optimistic Tone
Biden delivered a more tempered message to his support base. The democrat candidate said "I'm here to tell you tonight we believe we're on track to win this election. We knew because of the unprecedented early vote and mail in vote, it was going to take a while and we'd have to be patient...and it ain't over till every vote is counted.” In stark contrast to the message delivered by Trump, Biden said: "We could know the results as early as tomorrow morning, but it may take a little longer.
"It's not my place or Donald Trump's place to decide the outcome of this election. That's down to the American people."