US presidential election headed into uncertain phase; Trump, Biden fight out in battleground states

Lalit K Jha and Yoshita Singh
·5-min read

Washington, Nov 4 (PTI) The closely-fought US presidential election appeared to be headed into an uncertain phase with Republican incumbent Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden fighting it out in the key battleground states.

When reports last came in, Biden had earned 220 electoral college votes, with Trump following closely with 213 votes.

As per Fox News, Biden has 238 of the 538 electoral college seats, while Trump has 213. On the other hand, CNN has projected 220 electoral college votes to Biden and 213 to Trump.

The New York Times reported that Biden has earned 224 electoral college votes and Trump 213. The winner needs at least 270 electoral college votes.

Officials in Pennsylvania, which many say now holds the key to the White House for both the campaigns, announced in the wee hours of Wednesday that their next update would be only after 9 AM (local time), indicating that the suspense over the election results would continue for at least one more day.

Pennsylvania has 20 crucial electoral college votes.

Major American media outlets are yet to declare their projections for some other key battleground states like Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Georgia and Nevada.

“Race Tightens Between Trump and Biden, Key States Still Counting,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

“It has become clear that most Americans will go to bed without knowing who won the presidency, as vote counting in crucial states including Pennsylvania and Michigan may take days to complete. The results that are in show a nation still divided,” the daily said.

“All eyes on swing states as counting continues in key battlegrounds,” The Washington Post said.

“Election turns into nail-biter that may extend for days,” The NYT reported.

President Trump held several states he won in 2016 that Biden had hoped to flip, but other battlegrounds were too close to call. Democrats gained a Senate seat in Colorado but lost one in Alabama, the daily reported.

“In a briefing for donors on Tuesday night, Biden campaign officials acknowledged underperforming among Cuban-Americans in the Miami area, but saw positive signs with their strength in some suburbs in Ohio that they said could be predictive across the Midwest, according to two people familiar with the matter,” the daily reported.

“Campaign officials signaled that Biden’s team was preparing to wait for votes to be counted in three Northern battlegrounds that Mr Trump carried in 2016 — Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — where it still feels bullish,” The NYT added.

The Biden campaign tried to downplay its electoral performance in Florida, which has 29 electoral college votes.

“We said Florida was going to be close and… it is! We also said we didn’t have to win it, and that remains true,” the campaign said in a statement, reiterating that it has multiple paths to victory.

Biden won New Jersey and New York in a tight race with President Trump also registering early wins in key states.

The former vice president got 2.2 million votes in New York while Trump got 1.2 million.

Biden won in Democratic-leaning states of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Vermont and Virginia, while President Trump was posting expected victories in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wyoming, Indiana and South Carolina, The New York Times said.

People across America were closely watching the 2020 presidential election, which saw a record number of over 100 million early voting due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The usually bustling and crowded Times Square wore an almost deserted look on the election night, as the coronavirus pandemic forced many to stay indoors.

A far cry from the election night of 2016, when supporters of the Democratic and Republican parties as well as media from around the world had converged in Times Square, the popular New York City destination was uncrowded and several stores were boarded up and shut.

A small group of people, wearing masks, were seen standing near billboards that displayed the election results. However, the energy and atmosphere seemed subdued. Only a handful of stores in and around Times Square were open and a majority of them were closed and boarded up as businesses took precautionary measures amid fears of a possible unrest and violence on the election night.

Nate Silver from the iconic FiveThirtyEight.com, which had earlier reported a big win for Biden, by late night said that Trump now is in a better position to win the election.

“Trump's in a better position than he was at the start of the night. Biden's not going to win in a landslide. But there's still not a ton we know outside of Florida, and the data we do have is fairly mixed and not necessarily suggestive of as large a polling error elsewhere,” it said.

As results from key battleground states just started trickling in, experts say that Biden has multiple paths to victory, with Trump having very little room to maneuver.

President Trump, who is seeking his re-election for the second consecutive term, in a tweet expressed confidence on the results.

“WE ARE LOOKING REALLY GOOD ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. THANK YOU!” Trump tweeted.

He was watching the election results from the White House. He has invited some 250 select guests for an event in the East Room of the White House.

“Stay in line, folks,” tweeted Biden, “Stay in line” said his running mate senator Kamala Harris, who is of Indian-origin. PTI LKJ/YAS CPS AKJ CPS