Is Trump going to win?
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US election 2020 culminates today, concluding an unusual year with familiar in-person voting. Millions of people have already turned out to cast their ballots by post, but the last leg will require people to gather amid a rampant pandemic. Political pundits expect massive turnout here as well, bolstering forecasts of a landslide victory for Joe Biden.
Is Trump going to win?
The last year has proven unforgiving for incumbent US president Donald Trump, who has presided over the most deadly pandemic in recent history.
His cavalier attitude to the virus and reluctance to impose long-term national restrictions caused his early advantage in the polls to crumble, and Mr Biden has since cemented a spectacular lead.
Mr Trump now faces seemingly insurmountable odds, but the race isn’t as cut-and-dry as it may initially seem.
Anyone following the polls this year may feel the race is over, but a lot can change in 24 hours.
Political analysts have given Mr Trump’s challenger a lead in the mid-to-high single figures, at times spilling into the low doubles.
But they have also warned people not to discount the President just yet, as he still has a 10 percent chance of winning.
Nate Silver, an American statistician and editor-in-chief of poll aggregators FiveThirtyEight, revealed a “fine line” has materialised between a Biden landslide and close-call Election Day.
Writing in his last update before the final vote, he reiterated the site’s prediction Mr Biden would win the presidency, and also a previous assertion a 10 percent shot at victory “need to be taken seriously”.
Mr Silver said one polling error could shift the race from a favourable Biden win to “interesting”.
While this doesn’t necessarily indicate a win for Mr Trump, it could end up giving the President an unforeseen edge.
A situation which could help him overcome Mr Biden’s lead is high Republican turnout, which analysts have already uncovered in swing-state Florida.
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But even that won’t necessarily work in Mr Trump’s favour, as his former voters have also turned against him.
Several high-profile Republicans have endorsed the President’s rival, citing disaffection with his conduct over the last four years.
Ranks in the party have shrunk over the last year, with fewer Americans prepared to say they identified as or leaned Republican.
A Gallup poll found a red lead of 47 percent to Democrats’ 45 percent in January this year.
But now, Democrats have taken over and extended the Republican lead to 49 percent, while Republicans stagnate at 45 percent.
Mr Biden has drawn more support from their ranks than Mr Trump has drawn from Republicans.
The Pew Research Centre found six percent of Republicans would vote for Mr Biden, compared to just three percent of Democrats for Mr Trump.
The results show a potentially fatal choice made by Mr Trump to consolidate his conservative voter base rather than broaden his appeal across the aisle.
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