United States Election 2020

Elections in the United States are undoubtedly one of the most significant events in the world. Over the course of this week, these elections have not allowed many of us to sleep properly. It is no wonder that they have been loaded with uncertainty and hesitation. Will Republican Donald Trump continue a second term as president of the United States? Or will former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden come to the presidency?

Trump and Biden ran different campaign strategies but both sides tried constantly discrediting their opponent. In that sense, in the last hours of the campaign both coincided in accusing each other of not being competent to carry out the presidency of the United States. In addition, Trump’s mishandling of the pandemic was one of the strongest arguments Biden handled over the course of his campaign.

This Tuesday, November 3, the elections were held for the Americans to decide if they want to continue having as their representative the current President Donald Trump for four more years, or if on the contrary, they prefer to replace him with former Vice President Joe Biden. Now, even today, November 6, the long days without knowing the final results continue. There is still no certainty about who really is the winner and this scenario has produced countless speculations. At this time on Friday afternoon it is known that Joe Biden has at least 4 million more votes than Donald Trump, however that does not imply that Biden is the winner since in the United States the vote-counting works in a very unique way. In the North American country, the candidate who gets the most votes does not immediately win the presidency: the one that wins is the one who obtains the largest number of delegates to the electoral college, which is made up of 538 members.

The magic number candidates need to reach is 270. Biden is the candidate who is closest to achieving that number: he has 264 electoral votes so far (50.5%). That is to say, he is only 6 representatives away to reach the 270 he needs to achieve the presidential victory. On the other hand, Trump has won 23 states, but he only has 214 electoral votes (47.9%). That is to say, it would still be 56 to reach the 270 it needs. There are still some important states at stake that could give victory to either candidate. Apparently Biden will win in Nevada, while in Alaska, Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania Trump is leading. Of those states Alaska has 3 votes, Georgia 16, North Carolina 15, and Pennsylvania 20.

This Wednesday, Trump made a complaint about alleged electoral fraud and threatened to appeal to the Supreme Court to stop the vote counting. The chaotic debates and an unsympathetic campaign had already tarnished the global views on the democratic system of the United States this year, but the image of the American leader openly seeking to delegitimize the votes of the elections still came as a shock to many people all over the world.

According to CNN Trump’s comments were met with horror in many countries, and with joy in others.  Many United States critics were happy with this scenario since Washington has been accused of being hypocrites regarding respect for democratic rights. Also, some analysts agree that with all this Trump is seeking to increase the disorder and confusion of the elections until they are inconclusive.

CNN also reported that German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said the United States was facing a “very explosive situation” and that there is a possibility of a political crisis in the country. She said that this election has not been decided and that the votes are still being counted, but that the battle for the legitimacy of the result, however, has begun.”

In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson declined to comment on the elections. However, the former Foreign Minister and Conservative Party lawmaker Jeremy Hunt told the BBC that a great discussion about the process would put a smile on the faces of people like President Putin and President Xi, who will look at their own people and say: ‘Aren’t you glad we didn’t have any of this mess?’, and that that would be an absolute disaster. This whole scenario is actually ironic since, for decades, the United States has presented itself as a kind of arbiter of the democratic process throughout the world. It has done so, for instance, by sending observers to the polls, by supporting the democratic opposition, and by criticizing countries for manipulating or undermining elections. After how things have been in this election, a deterioration of the democratic image of the United States in some parts of the world is likely possible.

Furthermore, the counting of the votes, especially those carried out by mail, will not allow the result to be known until days – even weeks – after the day of the vote. Joe Biden has had more calm reactions, and what he has done is ask the population for patience until the final announcement of the results. Something very interesting to take into account is that the number of people who voted in these elections has been unprecedented in the history of the United States.

In short, the 2020 US electoral contest has been full of suspense. Without a doubt, these presidential elections have been extremely tied. Several policy experts believe that Biden is only a few hours away from being enacted as the winner of the elections, and at this point, it is highly unlikely that Trump will manage to overcome the current scenario. However, things are constantly changing. Obviously, the results at the moment show Biden as the candidate with the best chance of winning, but nothing is said yet and it would be a mistake to underestimate Trump.  Also, it should be taken into account that the pollsters who predicted Biden defeating Trump with a very broad advantage have in fact been completely wrong.

As the results of the US presidential election progress, President Donald Trump and former Vice-President Joe Biden continue to battle to see who will take control of the White House in the next few years. With very few key states still at stake, little time is left before we find out the final outcome of this electoral battle.

Desirée Viteri Almeida
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