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To win the US election, a candidate must secure at least 270 votes from the 538-large electoral college, whose members are voted in by the American public. Donald Trump and Joe Biden will tonight find out if they’ve managed to convince enough voters to win them the White House for the next four years. But how are the candidates faring in the swing states? Experts are now predicting it could be closer than first thought.
Who is leading in swing states?
There are eight swing states where the 2020 election could be won or lost:
- North Carolina
History has proved the importance of so-called swing states.
In 2016, Mr Trump beat his then-Democratic rival Hillary Clinton after winning North Carolina, Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Arizona.
Since 1964, the candidate who has won Florida has always been elected President, apart from in 1992.
Recent polls have shown Mr Biden holds a competitive edge over his Republican counterpart in all of swing states at the moment.
In the US election, voters decide state-level contests rather than by popular vote.
Each state gets a certain number of votes partly based on its population and the in total 538 people make up the electoral college.
In 2016, Mrs Clinton won the popular vote overwhelmingly but lost the election.
According to Betfair Exchange state betting odds, Mr Biden and Mr Trump are “in for a tight race tonight”.
Spokesman Darren Hughes said: “Projected electoral college votes based on the betting odds suggest Mr Biden will win 290 EC votes to Trump’s 248, but with so many states going neck and neck, this could change in a heartbeat.
“It’s likely that we are in for a long night, and possibly long week, or even month, before a final result can be called.
“What is clear, however, is that according to the betting markets at least, Mr Trump’s camp have much more reason to be positive this morning than they had even 24 hours ago.”
He added: “One of the most important swing-states up for grabs is Florida, a state that Mr Trump must hold from his 2016 victory to have any chance of retaining the White House.
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“There is good news here for him as the odds have firmly swung in his favour.
“North Carolina is also being closely contested on the east coast.
“Mr Trump must win here if he wants another four years in office, and things are looking positive for him here.
“Having flip-flopped with the Democrats all summer, with both parties being the favourite at various times to win the state, Biden’s odds improved sharply in early October to 4/5 (55 percent), in what was a hammer blow to Mr Trump.”
The most important state, however, is Pennsylvania, according to Mr Hughes, who says “Mr Trump has to win this blue-collar state to win the election”.
He said: “Although Mr Biden can just about absorb a loss here, a loss here narrows his path to the White House, particularly when the potential knock-on effects to its neighbours, Ohio and Michigan, are taken into account; the three states very often align in how they vote.
“Mr Biden has been the strong favourite here for most of the year, but things are beginning to turn- his 4/9 (69 percent) odds from July have long since disappeared, and in the last 24 hours, his odds have worsened to 4/6 (60 percent), while Mr Trump has come in to 6/4 (40 percent).
“Mr Trump is now polling within the margin of error, and the way this state votes will undoubtedly impact heavily on the final result.”
US election 2020 swing states
Odds from Betfair Exchange
- Arizona – GOP 21/20, Dems 20/21
- Florida – GOP 4/6, Dems 6/4
- Georgia – GOP 8/11, Dems 11/8
- Michigan – GOP 7/2, Dems 2/7
- Minnesota – GOP 7/2, Dems 2/7
- North Carolina – GOP 4/5, Dems 5/4
- Pennsylvania – GOP 4/6, Dems 6/4
- Wisconsin – GOP 3/1, Dems 1/3
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