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Tuesday 28th November 2023 / 15 Jamadilawal 1445

US election 2020: Who will rule the country?

In the world’s oldest democracy, the United States, Americans vote on Tuesday (today) to elect their 46th president, Joe Biden, or re-elect the 45th, Donald J. Trump.

While almost 94 million people have already voted, political analysts are still reluctant to say who will win. Predictions vary from a clean sweep for Biden, a Democrat, to a clear triumph for the incumbent, a Republican.

Election procedure

According to Article Two of the United States Constitution, for a person to serve as president, the person must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, at least 35-years old and a United States resident for at least 14-years.

Candidates for the presidency typically seek the nomination of one of the different political parties of the country. Each party develops a method (such as a primary election) to select the candidate the party deems best suited to run for the position.

The primary elections are frequently indirect elections where people cast ballots for a slate of party delegates pledged to a meticulous candidate.

The election in November 2020

The general election in November 2020 (today) is also an indirect election, in which voters cast ballots for a slate of members of the Electoral College; these electors then directly elect the president and vice president.

If no candidate receives the minimum 270 electoral votes needed to win the election, the United States House of Representatives will elect the president from the three candidates who received the most electoral votes, and the United States Senate will select the vice president from the candidates who received the two highest totals.

The election will occur simultaneously alongside elections for the House of Representatives, Senate, and various state and local-level elections.

Demographic trends

The age group of what will then be people in the 18-to-45-year-old bracket is expected to represent just fewer than 40 percent of the United States’ eligible voters in 2020. It is expected that more than 30 percent of eligible American voters will be nonwhite.

A bipartisan report predicts that changes in voter demographics since the 2016 election could impact the results of the 2020 election. African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and other ethnic minorities, as well as whites with a college degree, are expected to all increase their percentage of national eligible voters by 2020, while whites without a college degree will decrease.

The Hispanic likely voter population has increased by approximately 600,000 since the 2016 election. Generation Z, those born after 1996, will more than double to 10% of the eligible voters.

It is possible Trump could win the Electoral College while still losing the popular vote, possibly by an even larger margin than in 2016.

Voting by mail

Voting by mail has become an increasingly common practice in the United States, with 25 percent of voters countrywide mailing their ballots in 2016 and 2018.

The COVID-19 epidemic in 2020 has been indicated to cause a large amplify in mail voting because of the possible danger of congregating at polling places.

For the 2020 election, a state-by-state analysis concluded that 76% of Americans are eligible to vote by mail in 2020, a record number.

The analysts expect that 80 million ballots could be cast by mail in 2020—more than double the number in 2016.

However, the Postal Service sent a letter to manifold states in July 2020, warning that the service would not be able to meet the state’s deadlines for requesting and casting last-minute absentee ballots.

Trump critical of voting by mail

President Trump has been very critical of voting by mail, often making allegations of massive voter fraud. In August 2020, a federal judge ordered Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party to produce evidence of such fraud in Pennsylvania.

In October 2020, when nearly 50,000 voters in Franklin County, Ohio received incorrect absentee ballots in the mail, Trump claimed that a rigged election was happening in the state.

Key issues of the election

Key issues of the election include the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, which has left more than 236,997 Americans dead while 9,567,543 people became infected with the virus.

Protests in reaction to the police killing of George Floyd and other African Americans,  the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett; and the future of the Affordable Care Act, with Biden arguing for protecting and expanding the scope of the legislation, and Trump pushing for its repeal.

Trump secured the Republican nomination without any serious opposition alongside incumbent vice president Pence. Former vice president Joe Biden secured the Democratic nomination over his closest rival, Senator Bernie Sanders, in a competitive primary that featured the largest field of presidential candidates for any political party in the modern era of American politics.

What do Americans want from a president?

Elections are always about where Americans want to steer the country. That’s especially true this year as the United States confronts numerous crises and is choosing between two candidates with very different visions for the future.

Trump has downplayed the COVID-19 pandemic and panned governors — virtually all Democrats — who have imposed limitations suggested thwarting the spread of the virus. Mr. Trump has bucked public health SOPs by holding his signature campaign rallies featuring crowds of supporters — often unmasked — packed shoulder to shoulder.

Biden has said he’d heed the advice of scientists. He’s pledged to work with state and local officials across the country to push mask mandates and has called on Congress to pass a sweeping response package.

The candidates also hold distinctly different views on everything from climate change to taxes to racial injustice.

Statistics of Washington think tank

Statistics released by a Washington think tank, Pew Research Centre, indicate that once again independent voters and the so-called swing states will play a decisive role in electing the next president. Out of 50, there are about 10 states that are neither solidly Republicans nor Democrats.

Pew’s statistics show that around a third of registered voters — 34 percent — are independents, while 33pc are Democrats and 29pc are Republicans. And 49pc of all registered voters either identify as Democrats or lean to the party, while 44pc identify as Republicans or lean to the party.

Non-Hispanic White Americans make up the largest share of registered voters, at 69pc of the total. Hispanic and Black registered voters each account for 11pc of the total, while those from other racial or ethnic backgrounds account for the remainder 8pc.

White voters account for a diminished share of registered voters than in the past, declining from 85pc in 1996 to 69pc ahead of this year’s election.

The results so far appear to indicate Biden’s victory, but there are still several voters left to vote in the run-up to the presidential election.



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