‘US election too close to call’

As vote counting continues in the United States (US) presidential election there is no clear winner yet as the race is looking tight for both candidates.

So far the results which are in, show President Donald Trump was not totally rejected by the American public while the former vice president – Joe Biden also did not receive a resounding endorsement.

However, Biden has a slight lead with 238 electoral votes while Trump trails with 213 electoral votes but the result could go either way as counting continues in some of the key battleground states.

“We don’t have a clear answer yet and each presidential candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win. At this moment Biden has 238 and Trump 213. The race in the important battleground states is very close yet from initial polls, people expected more empathy for the former vice president but both candidates are tied,” said renowned public opinion pollster, author, and founder of Zogby Strategies, John Zogby in a election day analysis briefing with global journalists covering the US elections virtually on the election analysis Wednesday.

Zogby said the scenario playing out was not shocking after all, as over 150 million people had voted but Biden needed three of the battleground states to win while Trump needed four of five states to emerge victorious.

“Biden has to win Wisconsin, he has a slight lead trending in favour which has 10 electoral votes, Michigan is also trending with 18 electoral votes and Nevada, which has six electoral votes. If he wins, Biden will have 34 electoral votes taking him to 272 electoral college votes,” said the professional pollster.

“Trump needs four out of five states from Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania which has 20 electoral college votes and is now trending for him but counting is not finished. He must win North Carolina where he has a slight lead and has 15 electoral votes. Georgia same thing with 16 electoral votes.”

Zogby said there were still over a million votes to be counted especially in Pennsylvania so it was too close to call who could win.

“If you look at the votes President Trump was leading and Pennsylvania stopped counting last night at 11pm. As for the absentee voting and mail in voting these were in favour of Biden,” he said.

The professional pollster explained that Biden had won the popular vote Biden, with 50 to 58 percent votes, almost a three percentage point win

“Hillary Clinton won the popular vote with two and a half percentage points in 2016,” he 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, Zogby said.

“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.”

Exit polls revealed the number one reason why Trump did better 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.

Zogby said the pre-election polls conducted wrong party sampling and clearly oversampled the Democrats.

“No matter who wins, does not have a strong mandate, either Biden or Trump will directly face half of the 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,” noted the pollster.

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