US election: Trump and Biden’s final touch before the results
US President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden have spent the final hours of the White House race delivering their closing pitch to voters in critical states.
While the two presidential candidates may have the same goal, to lead the country for the next four years, the final messages they delivered could not have been more different.
From Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Trump spoke of potential “violence” and “cheating like you have never seen” if ballot-counting takes several days.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate, was in the city of Pittsburgh calling for calm.
“We’re done with the chaos, we’re done with the tweets, the anger, the hate, the failure, the irresponsibility,” the former vice president said.
National polls suggest a firm lead for Mr. Biden in Tuesday’s election.
But his lead is narrower in the handful of states that could decide the result, as voters decide state-level contests rather than an overall single national one.
Joe Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris has signed off for the night on Twitter, urging voters to get a good night’s sleep.
“Take a breath,” she said. “We got this.”
Take a breath. Set your alarm. Try to get a good night’s rest.
We got this. pic.twitter.com/cJOFd81rW4
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) November 3, 2020
Almost 100 million US citizens have already cast their ballot via a postal vote, much to the chagrin of Trump, who believes it may harm his chances of victory.
To be elected president, a candidate must win at least 270 votes in what is called the electoral college. Each US state gets a certain number of votes partly based on its population and there are a total of 538 up for grabs.
This system explains why it is possible for a candidate to win the most votes nationally – like Hillary Clinton did in 2016 – but still lose the election.
“A vote for Biden is a vote for lockdown”
Tuesday’s vote comes amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The US has recorded more cases and more deaths than any other country worldwide, reporting more than 81,000 new infections on Sunday alone.
The two candidates have a vast difference in the way they deal with the virus.
Trump refuses a lockdown claiming that it would harm the economy and that Coronavirus will be over soon.
Trump told his supporters: “A vote for Biden is a vote for lockdown, misery, and layoffs.”
On the other side, Biden accused Trump of doing nothing to fight the pandemic, and of falsely claiming that it would be over soon. “You say people are learning to live with it, people are learning to die with it,” Biden said of Trump’s assessment of the pandemic in the US.
He also laid the blame for the 220,000-plus American deaths as a consequence of the pandemic at Mr. Trump’s door.
“Anyone who’s responsible for that many deaths should not remain president of the United States of America,” he said.
Whether a definitive winner emerges in the coming days remains to be seen, with many predicting a lengthy battle in the law courts to decide who becomes the next president of the United States.