Race to the White House: On Final Day of US Presidential Elections, All Eyes on Swing States

Nov 03, 2020 03:56 PM IST

After days of wait, the final day to the crucial US Presidential elections is finally here and all eyes are on the swing states.

Incumbent Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden have spent the last few days of campaign putting in all the effort in these swing states. That’s because swing states more often than not decide the fate of the candidate.

Last time, for instance, Trump had won Michigan, North Carolina, Arizona, and Wisconsin 2016. But a victory in the swing state of Florida with 29 electoral votes finally ensured Trump reached the White House. This time, Pennsylvania with 20 electoral votes is being considered equally important.

What are swing states?

These refer to some nine odd states that can vote either way – can turn red (Republican) or blue (Democrat). This time, the state of Texas which has traditionally voted red is also being touted as a battleground or toss–up state. In case Texas changes colour, it will the first time since 1976 when Jimmy Carter managed to pull it off.

So, how is an entire state categorized blue or red? That’s because the American Presidential voting is based on the electoral college and winner takes all system. This means an American voter can actually chooses a lector who in turn forms part of the electoral college that determines who wins or loses.

What is the electoral college?

The electoral college comprises 538 votes and the magic number for entry to the White House is at least 270 votes. In a particular state, the one with the highest votes takes all the electoral votes of the state.

So, even though Hillary Clinton had 3 million more popular votes she fell short of the crucial 270 figure.

As the critical Tuesday arrives, many believe that Republican supporters will step out today to cast their ballot in person as Donald Trump has been discrediting the mail-in system. Most early voters are also considered Democrats.

In other news

Meanwhile, there’s another important election in India’s neighbourhood in Mynamar. This will be the second general election after the end of military rule in 2011 and is scheduled to be held on 8th November. India’s foreign secretary Harsh Shringla and army chief Gen MM Naravane had visited the country a couple of weeks ago. The visit was considered crucial as the LAC stand-off with the neighbour China continues.

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