The US presidential election is too soon, but Joe Biden is currently in a stronger position than Donald Trump.
That didn’t stop President Donald Trump from prematurely claiming that he won what he foresaw before the election.
Here’s why a Trump victory isn’t a reality just yet, and why a whole lot has to go its way for it to get over the line.
To win the presidency, Trump or Biden must win a majority of the vote on the electoral college. The key number for victory is 270.
Each of these votes is represented as a single hexagon on this card.
Each state is given a number of votes based loosely on the population. The largest state, California, has 55, while the smallest states like North Dakota have a minimum of three.
Most states give their votes to the winner of the national referendum.
First, let’s update the map with the “safe” states of Trump and Biden, who reliably vote for either Republican or Democratic every four years and which will have it again in 2020.
Biden is immediately in the lead. But there are still many votes to be won in the battlefield states.
An early victory for Trump in the south
The Biden campaign’s hopes for a quick win were dashed early on when Trump captured the perennial swing state of Florida by a bigger margin than in 2016 and defied 2020 primary polls.
In Miami-Dade, the largest county in the state and one of the most democratic, Biden beat Hillary Clinton’s 2016 score by about 10 points.
While the Democrats won about as many votes in the county as they did last time, the Republicans won hundreds of thousands more.
But Florida appears to be an outlier in terms of campaigning in the south.
Donald Trump won Georgia 5 percent and North Carolina more than 3.5 percent in 2016.
You’re both too close to call right now.
Trump has falsely claimed Georgia won, but while he has a small lead in the count, the remaining ballots are in areas that voted heavily for Joe Biden.
A damaged aqueduct initially delayed the count in democratic Atlanta, but when the votes came in, Donald Trump’s lead shrank.
Regardless of whether he can hold out, the final margin should be less than 1 percent. So expect one of the parties to ask for a recount.
Trump is ahead in North Carolina too, but the state will continue to accept mail-in ballots favoring Biden for several days, which still makes the outcome uncertain.
If the momentum to Biden is enough to turn any of these conditions around, Trump’s path to victory becomes significantly more difficult
It is not just these two states that have seen the president turn away.
Trump won Texas, a Republican heartland, and won his 38 votes easily – but by a smaller margin than his nearly 10 percent win over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
And as we travel further west, we come to the first of Joe Biden’s likely pickups – Arizona.
The state has not voted for a Democrat since Bill Clinton’s 1996 victory, but Joe Biden is currently preferred to flip the state as the votes were massive before election day. Fox News, AP and ABC analyst Antony Green have all declared a victory for the Democrats despite other US networks holding back.
Biden’s lead, which was massive at the beginning, will be reduced by Donald Trump. Whether he can somehow scratch it back remains to be seen.
However, in neighboring Nevada, a state that voted for Clinton in 2016 that the Trump team targeted during the campaign, Biden is just ahead of him. There are only a few postal ballots left to count.
Nobody is calling the state yet, but if Biden manages to hold on, it would give him a cushion in the region where the elections are likely to be decided like in 2016 – the Midwestern states, the turned against Hillary Clinton.
Will the rust belt tip over again?
So the race in the south is currently in a stalemate. Biden may have flipped Arizona and it’s too close to call Georgia and North Carolina.
This means the road to victory is being planned through the Midwest, where Trump narrowly defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Iowa and Ohio, both viewed as flaws at different stages of the campaign, have posted healthy margins for Republicans.
Meanwhile, Minnesota, which voted 1.5 points for the Democrat in 2016, has done the same again this year, albeit in far greater numbers, as has New Hampshire.
The state of Nebraska voted for Trump, but is one of two states that give the statewide winner two votes and the winner from each of its congressional districts one vote.
After Trump’s election in 2016, one of those boroughs, home to the bluer city of Omaha, moved to Biden.
So if Trump manages to hold out in the southern states of Georgia and North Carolina, the race will be reduced to three states – Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
They all voted democratically for decades – until they switched to Trump in the last election.
It only takes Biden two of these three Midwestern states to scratch the line, assuming he sticks to Nevada and Arizona.
At the start of the count, Donald Trump led in all three states. This was unsurprising as mail-in ballots were largely counted last and broadly favored Biden due to polarized responses to the coronavirus pandemic.
And so, in Wisconsin, Biden was able to take a slim lead as the postal vote was counted.
According to Meagan Wolfe, director of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, Joe Biden has just over 20,000 votes ahead of him, much like Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016.
When the mail-in votes were counted in Michigan, the Democrats were able to fill the gap and take the lead.
Michigan will take ballots for a few days after Election Day, so it’s not clear how big that lead will be.
But it looks like a solid win for Joe Biden – and if he also holds Nevada and Arizona wins, those two states will be enough to get him across the line.
But even if he loses one or both of the Sun Belt states, Joe Biden only has to turn back Pennsylvania to gain an insurmountable lead in the elections.
Despite Donald Trump’s massive lead, Biden wins the returned postal ballot papers by a large margin.
If the current trend continues, Biden is on track for a comfortable head start in Pennsylvania.
Does Donald Trump have a way to win?
With the way the Pennsylvania census goes, things look challenging.
To remain president, he must win every single remaining state and regain Biden’s leadership in Nevada or Arizona.
Biden, on the other hand, only has to win Pennsylvania. The important thing is that he might even do this before the close races in Arizona, Nevada and Georgia take place.
The U.S. faces a tense few days as votes continue to be counted and legal challenges mount. It is important to remember, however, that it is not Donald Trump or news organizations like ABC who declare the winner, but the official electoral bodies for each state.
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