‘Tight US election race shows no candidate received strong mandate’

The Democrat’s presidential candidate, Joe Biden is confident of victory as he so far leads with 264 electoral college votes and believes he can hit the required 270 to be declared winner of the United States presidential poll.

He has called for national unity and remains confident despite the announcement by Donald Trump’s campaign that it was mounting a legal challenge to stop counting in some key battleground states.

Trump’s team cites insufficient transparency in the process.

The incumbent is trailing by 214 electoral college votes.

However, as counting continued, several battlegrounds remained too close to call. 

According to experts, the tightly contested race shows Trump was not totally rejected by the American public as stated by pre-election polls while the former vice president – also did not receive a ringing endorsement seen by lack of a landmark victory. 

“No matter who wins, does not have strong mandate, either Biden or Trump they will directly face half of people who didn’t vote for them. For the most part, it will be people who can’t stand either candidate and what he stands for,” said John Zogby, a renowned public opinion pollster, author, and founder of Zogby Strategies.

Zogby was speaking virtually  in an election day analysis briefing with global journalists covering the US elections on Wednesday.

The professional pollster said exit polls showed both candidates retained support from their constituencies and the number one reason why Trump received support was the economy.

“Trump received 80 percent of support for rebuilding the economy. People felt he should focus more on rebuilding the economy than treating Covid-19. Number two, people felt they needed a strong leader. Another reason was Trump’s law and order issues,” said Zogby. 

Biden also did well with exit polls showing he received support for dealing with racial inequality, as 20 percent sided with him on the issue.

“Second reason Biden won overwhelmingly was that people felt he was the person to deal with Covid-19 not rebuilding the economy. He also won substantially among voters who said they needed a leader with good judgment to produce national unity,” stated the pollster.

Zogby said there was a total of five percent who made up their minds on who to vote for in the last days leading up to voting. 

Trump gained most of the votes from people who made their last ‘breath taking’ decisions, he added.

“Among that five percent, 51 voted for Trump and 44 percent for Biden. In addition to those who made decisions last week Trump received 63 percent to Biden’s 30 percent.”

Zogby said as expected, both candidates held on to their constituents. 

“From men voters, Biden won 49 percent of their vote to 47 percent for Trump. Biden did much better than Clinton in 2016. Biden won 57 percent of the women’s vote to 42 percent who voted for Trump and Biden outperformed Clinton.

“Among white voters, Trump won 55 percent to 43 percent who voted for Biden. Among Black voters, the turnout for Biden was 87 percent to 11 percent for Trump but Trump did better with an increase of three percentage points more than Clinton in 2016.

“18 percent of black men voted for Trump whose reasons are his criminal justice reform system, less harsh penalties and the Hip Hop factor who supported Trump translated in support from young black men. Some black men did well under the economy,” Zogby said.

The pollster added that among Hispanics, Biden won 67 percent of their vote compared to Trump’s 31 percent. 

“Asians who made up three percent of voters voted 64 percent for Biden to 35 percent for Trump.” 

Biden performed better among young voters and won largely among the 18 to 29 year old age group and his numbers were high like Barack Obama during the 2008 to 2012 polls,” Zogby said.

Trump received an edge from the over 65  years, as he won 51 percent to Biden’s 48 percent.

“White Evangelicals voted 75 percent for Trump while Biden received 24 percent, more than he had over Clinton though. Trump won solidly over the union voters,” Zogby said.

The professional pollster said before Election Day, the voting pattern showed a big blue wave showing a lot of support for the Democrats, as Biden won the early votes by 17 percentage points.

“The Republicans were fearful of casting mail in votes and didn’t take Covid-19 seriously but on Election Day, Trump voters turned out with a 10 percentage points advantage for the red wave. There was a high blue wave before actual voting but the red wave was seen more on Election Day.”

Zogby said since the votes were not fully counted, counting could go on to the end of the week.

“We may not know until at the very least this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It may take longer because some states expect a recount of these ballots so results delivery will take another few days, reinforced by Trump who mentioned a court challenge on these absentee ballots, so what we have is potentially a mess,” stated the pollster.

Zogby argued that whatever happened, “Trump was not repudiated by the public and Biden didn’t receive a ringing endorsement” and this race was a “deadlock or tie.”

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