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- Joined in 2008
Tuesday November 3rd 2020, the 1st polls close at midnight tonight UK time. The new president is officially sworn into office on 20 January 2021.
Democrat Joe Biden and Kamala Harris
Republican (Incumbent) Donald Trump and Mike Pence
Details of the election -
Both candidates compete to win electoral college votes.
Each state gets a certain number of electoral college votes partly based on its population and there are a total of 538 up for grabs, so the winner is the candidate that wins 270 or more.
This means voters decide state-level contests rather than the national one, which is why it’s possible for a candidate to win the most votes nationally - like Hillary Clinton did in 2016 - but still be defeated by the electoral college.
All but two states have a winner-takes-all rule, so whichever candidate wins the highest number of votes is awarded all of the state’s electoral college votes.
Most states lean heavily towards one party or the other, so the focus is usually on a dozen or so states where either of them could win. These are known as the battleground states.
Is the election just about who is president?
No. All of the attention will be on Trump v Biden, but voters will also be choosing new members of Congress when they fill in their ballots.
Democrats already have control of the House so they will be looking to keep hold of that while also gaining control of the Senate.
If they had a majority in both chambers they would be able to block or delay President Trump’s plans if he were to be re-elected.
All 435 seats in the House are up for election this year, while 33 Senate seats are also up for grabs.
When will we find out the result?
It can take several days for every vote to be counted, but it’s usually pretty clear who the winner is by the early hours of the following morning.
In 2016, Donald Trump took to the stage in New York at about 3am to give his victory speech in front of a crowd of jubilant supporters.
But don’t set your alarm clocks just yet. Officials are already warning that we may have to wait longer - possibly days, even weeks - for the result this year because of the expected surge in postal ballots.
The last time the result wasn’t clear within a few hours was in 2000, when the winner wasn’t confirmed until a Supreme Court ruling was made a month later.
The first polls to close will did at 7pm EST (12am GMT), and all polling stations closed by 1am ET on November 3 (6am GMT on November 4).
Battleground States (State|Number of Votes|Polls closing time in GMT|Rating| Average Polling numbers from 538|Who won this State) -
Georgia | 16 | Polls close: 12am | Rating in presidential contest: Toss-up | Biden +1.0 | TBA
Nevada | 6 | Biden
Pennsylvania | 20 | Polls close: 1am | Rating in presidential contest: Leans Democratic | Biden +5.1 | Biden
Arizona | 11 | Polls close: 2am | Rating in presidential contest: Leaning Democratic | Biden +3.1 | Biden
Florida | 29 | Polls close: 12am | Rating in presidential contest: Toss-up | Biden +2.2 | Trump.
North Carolina | 15 | Polls close: 12.30am (now delayed to 1.15am) | Rating in presidential contest: Toss-up | Biden +1.9 | TBA
Michigan | 16 | Polls close: 1am | Rating in presidential contest: Leans Democratic | Biden +8.2 | Biden
Texas | 38 | Polls close: 1am | Rating in presidential contest: Leans Republican | Trump +1.1 | Trump
Wisconsin | 10 | Polls close: 2am | Rating in presidential contest: Leans Democratic | Biden +7.9 | Biden
Minnesota | 10 | Polls close: 2am | Rating in presidential contest: Leans Democratic | Biden +9.2 | Biden
Predict the president 2020: Will Trump or Biden win the US election? You decide - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-us-2020-54286528
Real Clear Politics National Polling - https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epoll ... -6247.html
FiveThirtyEight National Polling - https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/po ... /national/
35 Senate seats are also up for grabs. Republicans currently have a 53-47 Majority, if it ends in a tie the Vice-President will cast their vote. Seven Republican Senators are defending seats classed as toss-ups: in Maine, Iowa, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Montana two in Georgia. Only one Democratic incumbent, in Alabama, looks especially vulnerable.
FiveThirtyEight Senate Polling - https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/senate/
The five Senate races to watch - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-us-2020-54504585
US Senate elections: the key races that will determine power in Washington - https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/202 ... washington
All of the chamber’s 435 seats are up for Grabs. Democrats currently have a 232-198 majority. Of the 44 races considered competitive, 27 currently have a Republican incumbent, 16 have a Democratic incumbent and one has an independent.
US House elections: Competitive races unlikely to flip majority - https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/ ... p-majority