United States President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden spent the last few hours of Monday delivering closing appeals for votes in states crucial for their victory, reported BBC.
Biden campaigned in Ohio and Pennsylvania, as Trump visited Michigan, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The American national polls suggest a firm lead for Biden in Tuesday’s election. However, the lead is narrow in the few states that could decide the results.
Over 98 million people have already voted, with reportedly the highest turnout in a century, according to BBC. In the US election, the electorate decides state-level contests instead of an overall national one.
A candidate must win at least 270 votes in the electoral college to be elected the US president. Each American state gets a few votes partly based on its population and there are a total of 538. This system may also lead a candidate to win more votes nationally but still lose the election – something that happened with Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Meanwhile, there are fears of post-election violence. Business in Washington DC, and New York were seen boarding up over concerns about demonstrations.
“It appears likely that around 100 million early votes will be cast by the time Tuesday morning reports are processed,” Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida, Michael P McDonald said. He also leads the US Election Project, which tracks early voting.
At least three states, Texas, Montana, and Hawaii, have already gone beyond their 2016 turnout, reported PTI. Meanwhile, North Carolina, Georgia, New Mexico, Nevada and Tennessee have recorded early voting that has gone beyond 90% of the 2016 turnout.
Trump has campaigned in the deciding states of North Carolina, Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Vice President Mike Pence has also held over 40 rallies in the last three days of the election.
Biden, his vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris, and former President Barack Obama have also made several public appearances in the last few days. A day before the election, Biden was in Ohio, and Obama campaigned in Florida. Meanwhile, Harris was in Pennsylvania, reported PTI.
Going by the trends, The New York Times said that if the polls are right, Biden could achieve the most decisive victory in a presidential run in over 30 years, going over Bill Clinton’s win in 1996.
“President Trump needs a very large polling error to have a hope of winning the White House,” the report said. “Joe Biden would win even if polls were off by as much as they were in 2016.”
Meanwhile, hours before voting, Biden told supporters in Ohio: “It’s time for Donald Trump to pack his bags and go home. We’re done with the chaos! We’re done with the tweets, the anger, the hate, the failure, the irresponsibility.”
Trump told a crowd in North Carolina that he has been watching the “fake polls”, reported AFP. He added: “We’re going to win anyway”.