US Elections: Biden overtakes Trump in several key states

US Elections: Biden overtakes Trump in several key states
Credit: Belga

While the United States still does not know who the next US President will be, things are looking better for Joe Biden as he takes the lead in certain key states.

Biden is currently leading in both Michigan and Wisconsin, which, if conclusive could get him 26 electoral votes closer to the 270 required to win the election. Most current projections show Biden with 238 electoral votes to Trump's 213 as of 5:40 PM Belgian time.

Democrats are expecting a clear path to victory by this afternoon, according to Biden’s campaign manager Jen O’Malley, who said that Biden would have a higher total number of votes than any other presidential candidate in history.

In the US elections, people do not vote for the candidates themselves. Instead, the country has an electoral college, and each state elects a number of representatives to the electoral college that corresponds to its number of delegates in Congress. That means that not every state has the same weight in the election.

While many states traditionally lean towards the Democratic candidate (in this case, Joe Biden) or towards the Republican candidate (President Donald Trump), certain states are key to winning the US election.

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Trump, who was quick to declare himself the winner, has taken to Twitter in a tweet that was flagged by the social network, in which he says:

“Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled. Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the “pollsters” got it completely & historically wrong!”

These surprise ballots are actually those arriving by mail, Belga News Agency reports, and they could take several days to be counted in some states. A record number of voters voted by mail this year. Combined with early voters, the number amounted to 99,657,079 according to the US Elections Project database of the University of Florida.

The last time Americans didn’t know the next president the morning after Election Day was in 2000, when George W. Bush faced off against Al Gore, who contested Bush’s win in the key state of Florida. After more than a month, the Supreme Court intervened to end recounts and rule in favor of Bush, who remained president until Barack Obama's election in 2008.

If you find the US electoral system difficult to understand, discover the basics here.

Jason Spinks

The Brussels Times

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