WORLD Trump, Biden to finish most divisive electoral race


Trump, Biden to finish most divisive electoral race

China Daily

11:01, November 02, 2020

The most divisive US presidential campaign in modern times ends on Tuesday, with voters choosing to reelect Donald Trump or replace him with Democrat Joe Biden.

US President Donald Trump attends a campaign rally at Dubuque Regional Airport in Dubuque, Iowa, US, Nov 1, 2020. (Photo: Agencies)

No incumbent president has lost the White House since George H.W.Bush's loss to Bill Clinton in 1992. Biden has kept an advantage in the race so far, but no one knows for certain how things will turn out on Tuesday.

That's because of the states' decision to allow widespread mail-in balloting for the first time because of the coronavirus pandemic, a move that may result in challenges to millions of ballots that could lead to them being thrown out by state election officials.

Although a winner may quickly be evident on election night in some states, the huge increase in mail voting may push back the release of full results in many key states.

By Friday, more than 85 million people had already voted, according to Michael McDonald, a University of Florida professor who runs the US Elections Project.

That is more than 61 percent of the total votes cast four years ago. Trump has spent months trying to undermine confidence in mail ballots.

Last week, some legal challenges went to the Supreme Court.

The court turned down a request to extend the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots in Wisconsin but allowed extensions to remain in place in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

The court kept in place a requirement that absentee ballots in Alabama bear a witness's signature, but said a suspension of that requirement in Rhode Island was okay.

Both candidates crisscrossed the country over the weekend making their final arguments.

Trump was scheduled to make a seven-state, 14-rally dash through the weekend and Monday. Biden campaigned on Saturday with his former boss, Barack Obama, in the battleground state of Michigan.

Polling averages show Biden holds a national lead over Trump, while his margins in battleground states where the election would be decided are slimmer.

Democrats are expected to hold onto control of the House of Representatives and perhaps take more seats from Republicans, but the battle for the now Republican-controlled Senate is much tighter.

Since being treated and released last month from the hospital for the coronavirus, Trump has campaigned mostly at outdoor rallies where many of those in the crowd wear no face coverings or did not follow social distancing guidelines.

Biden has limited his public appearances to rallies where people either stay in their cars or a long distance from him as he speaks, always with a face covering.

The main issues in the campaign focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recovery, healthcare, systemic racism and climate change.

Biden has focused on Trump's handling of the pandemic, saying he has done nothing to stem the disease that has killed more than 235,000 citizens and infected more than 9 million others.

At various times, however, Trump has declared victory over the coronavirus or maintained the country is "rounding the turn", declaring there would be a vaccine ready in "just a couple of weeks".

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