Today is an important day across the Atlantic Ocean as the American public (well, those who have not already voted) go to the polls in the US presidential election.
More than 90 million Americans have already registered to vote in the race between Republican nominee Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden, with more than 136 million expected to vote in 2016.
While opinion polls consistently point to a biden victory, Trump hopes to retain the key states he won when he defeated Hillary Clinton for the presidency four years ago.
TheJournal.ie Our team will be with you this evening as we bring you the latest updates, statistics and analysis from the US presidential election.
Millions of people vote in 50 states, but who is the real winner will go down to the results in a small number of states.
Each state has been allocated several electoral college votes. In almost all cases, if you win the state, you will win all those electoral college votes.
Trump at a rally in Georgia on Sunday
Source: Brain Anderson AP / PA Images
Trump or Biden need 270 votes to win the election.
Elections are decided by states that change frequently between Republicans and Democrats.
There are two states, in particular, where all eyes are focused – Florida and Pennsylvania.
Florida has 29 electoral college votes and Pennsylvania has 20 votes.
Based on current predictions, Trump certainly thinks he must win Florida if he has any chance of retaining the presidency.
On the eve of election night 2016, the news of Trump’s victory in Florida began to beat Hillary in all major states.
Among them, those 49 electoral college votes will go to the White House, but Biden could lose Florida to regain the Blue Wall – Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Other important places to visit are Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina, Arizona and Georgia.
It should be noted that the way all these states are calculated may not give the most accurate picture on election night.
The vote count varies from state to state, so mail-in ballots that Biden is expected to favor will not result in an initial count. This can happen in people like Pennsylvania.
Axios reported on Sunday that Trump had told loyalists that he would declare victory if he felt he was “ahead” in all the major swing states, although not all votes had yet been counted.
It should be noted that Trump denied that he would do this, and told reporters over the weekend that “it is a terrible thing” that “we do not know the results of the election night.”
Nationally, Joe Biden has been a regular supporter of Donald Trump for months.
According to the voting average FiveThirtyEight.comBiden has a 52 percent lead to 8.5 points to Trump’s 43.5 percent.
However, this national lead will be considered very small on election day. As mentioned above, these are the critical swing states in which elections are determined.
In 2016, Hillary Clinton received more votes than Trump, but the latter won in the major states needed to win the election.
Source: Shutterstock / Dimitrios carmitros
Biden is ahead in many of these states, but Trump has made some gains and, of course, the vote is wrong.
Here’s how voting in those swing states is currently moving into Election Day:
- Florida (29 Electoral College votes) – Biden (48.8%), Trump (46.6%)
- Pennsylvania (20) – Biden (50.2%), Trump (45.1%)
- Michigan (16) – Biden (51.2%), Trump (43.0%)
- Iowa (6) – Trump (47.4%), Biden (45.8%)
- Ohio (18) – Trump (47.4%), Biden (47.2%)
- Wisconsin (10) – Biden (51.9%), Trump (44%)
- North Carolina (15) – Biden (48.7%), Trump (46.8%)
- Arizona (11) – Biden (48.8%), Trump (45.8%)
- Georgia (16) – Biden (48.1%), Trump (47.2%)
If these polls are correct, Biden could easily win the election. If Trump takes over Florida and six of the remaining eight states on the list above, that is the way to his success.
The first important thing to note is how often the vote ends in the individual states.
Many states, including Florida, Pennsylvania and Michigan, are voting between 1 and 2 a.m. Irish time.
As mentioned, different states have different methods of counting postal ballots, so you can see the sharp difference when you start to see the preliminary results from the states.
With Arizona, the mail-in ballots sent are already being processed, so Florida is a must see in the early morning.
Wisconsin and Pennsylvania will not start counting mail-items until election day, so it may take some time – perhaps even days – to produce results. The flood of such mail-ins due to the Kovid-19 pandemic brings an unprecedented situation, so it is difficult to be sure about the timing here.
It is important not to be fooled into thinking of a state – or even an entire race – that goes a particular way based on early heights – especially in states that are slow to count their mail-in ballots.
Contrary to the national exit polls we see in elections here and in the UK, networks and newsletters in the US believe they are the winner.
Source: Andrew Hornick / PA Images
They do this by using state-of-the-art models to estimate who wins based on all available data. When enough data is available, an outlet will announce a winner in that state.
For example, in 2016, the Associated Press called Pennsylvania for Trump at 6.30am Irish time, which meant he was going to pass the required 270 election votes.
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Given the uncertainty, the networks may be conservative in the calling states and the race as a whole – unless it is already clear that this is a landslide.
What happens next
It may take us days – or even weeks – to figure out a winner. But by tomorrow morning we can be victorious.
The election of a U.S. president during an epidemic – which includes all complications – is not parallel to life memory.
Unlike living memory, this is a presidential race – unlike 2016 – we have four years to figure out what a Donald Trump presidency is like.
As Trump has repeatedly questioned the validity of mail-in ballots, there is a possibility of controversy if the result does not go through.
This is a Absolutely unprecedented situation That would put the U.S. in a constitutional crisis and cause significant internal unrest.
Whatever happens, it is clear that a few days and weeks of turmoil are ahead in the United States.
After months of lead up, the day is finally here.
The whole world is staring.
Are you planning to stay late Tuesday to see the results? TheJournal.ie will be doing live blogging all night to keep you up to date on all the happenings. Our team of reporters and columnists will break down what the results mean (what happens next) before dawn on Wednesday.