President Donald Trump and Biden have used the last hours of the presidential race to make final pitches to voters in battleground states. Biden toured Ohio and Pennsylvania while Trump in a hectic hurry hit Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. National polls show Biden holding a steady lead over Trump ahead of Tuesday’s election. But the margin is slimer in the handful of swing stats that could go either way. Over 98mn people have already casted votes in early voting to put country on course in a record-breaking turnout. In the United Sates election, popular votes decide state-level battles rather than an overall single outcome.
In order to get elected, a contestant must win a minimum 270 electoral college votes out of 538 up for grabs while each state offers a certain number of votes based on its population. This system is the reason why Hillary Clinton didn’t clinch the victory despite securing most votes nationally. Tuesday votes comes under the shadows of COVID-19 pandemic. The country has registered more cases and more deaths than any other country across the globe recording over 81,000 new cases on Sunday.
Fauci’s Feud with Trump administration
Earlier on Saturday, in his interview with the Washington Post, top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that “all the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors.”
“You could not possibly be positioned more poorly,” he said.
The remarks prompted the administration to issue a reprimand to the White House aide on coronavirus with Spokesman Judd Deere calling the comments as “unacceptable and breaking with all norms”.
“As a member of the [US Coronavirus] Task Force, Dr. Fauci has a duty to express concerns or push for a change in strategy, but he’s not done that, instead choosing to criticize the president in the media and make his political leanings known by praising the president’s opponent,” he added in a statement.
Fauci’s opinions published by Post clearly annoyed Trump administration who accused top scientist of ‘playing politics’ and making irresponsible statements to suggest his approval of the Biden as a President and unofficially declare his support for Democrats.
As the nation sets out for voting day, there are fears that episodes of post-election violence could occur. Businesses in Washington DC and NYC preempting any such unrest are boarding up their shops and centers.
Where do the two candidates stand on the final campaign day?
After a tiring schedule of rallies in six states on Sunday, Trump raced through four more swing states on Monday. Addressing his camp, in North Carolina, the Republican said that “next year will be the greatest economic year in the history of our country”. The rally was due to held on Thursday but was suspended for a couple of days in the wake of Hurricane Zeta.
He boasted of numbers that he says “nobody even through possible”.
US economy saw a staggering 33% growth in 3rd financial quarter of 2020 redeeming itself form a record 31% shrinking in the second quarter. However, economists fear that the damage done by COVID-19 could take years to overcome.
After a trip to North Carolina, Trump moved to Scranton Pennsylvania where he reminded everyone that he conquered Pennsylvania in 2016 despite all odds suggesting that he would not.
Biden, who spent his childhood in Scranton, Pennsylvania until the age of 10, joined by pop star Lady Gaga also headed to the state to appear at a rally in Pittsburgh. Singer and Musician John Legend appeared on stage to address Democratic supporters alongside Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris.
At a concluding stop in Ohio, Biden repeated the gist of his campaign as he courted the voters. The former vice-president said that the race was about the soul of America. He said it was time for Trump to “pack his bags”, saying “we are done with the tweets, the anger, the hate, the failure, the responsibility”.
The race in Ohio is toe to toe this year. Trump in 2016 clinched the victory by eight points and is currently ahead of Biden with 0.2% lead, a poll by RealClearPolitics suggest. The Republican also appeared in rallies in Traverse City, MI and Kenosha, WI. Kenosha went for violent protests and social unrest after the police shot an African American in August. His last scheduled rally of the campaign is due to be held in Grand Rapids, MI before midnight.
The two candidates shot fires at each other on Sunday highlighting the key campaign themes including racial unrest and coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The Republican and his camp have stated that they will go to court over the potentially pivotal state of Pennsylvania’s decision to receive mail-in ballots three days after the election day. The US Supreme Court approved the lower court decision that granted the extended deadline however, several conservative justices hinted they might review the ruling of the lower court. Trump on Monday in a tweet called the high court decision “a very dangerous one”.
“It will allow rampant and unchecked cheating and will undermine our entire systems of laws. It will also induce violence in the streets. Something must be done!” Twitter added a warning flag with President’s tweet saying it might contain “misleading” information.
The legal state of postal ballots has also been challenged in Minnesota, North Carolina and Texas. The former VP has already expressed that he would not allow his Republican rival to steal the election. Trump is due to thrown an election night party inside the WH with around 400 attendees invited.
On the other side, 10,000 demonstrators on election night are expected to reach Black Lives Matter Plaza and a park not far from the WH according to CBS News. Biden and his running mater Harris will observe the election night returns in the former’s hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.
When will the results be available?
A COVID-19 hit election is not like the regular elections when the winner is pretty much determined in the early hours of the following morning. With the introduction of postal ballots, different stats have different ruled on courting the mail-in ballots reaching their systems. Unlike previous elections, large gaps are expected between the issuance of results with some states taking weeks to report the complete results. President Donald Trump has criticized the ballot-count after election day as a “terrible thing”. While his Democratic challenger has vowed to stop Republican from rigging the polls.