Vote counting is underway and early results are trickling in as polls closed in the US elections Tuesday.
Democrat Joe Biden is projected to win 14 states, plus Washington DC. Those states are Vermont, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Illinois, California, Oregon, Washington state, and Washington DC.
President Donald Trump is projected to win 18 states. Those are Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Tennessee, West Virginia, Arkansas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alabama, South Carolina, Louisiana, Nebraska and Nebraska 3rd District, Utah, Missouri, Kansas, Wymong, Ohio and Mississippi.
It is too early to project who won in several other key states – Georgia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and North Carolina.
Both Florida and Pennsylvania are considered must-wins for Trump if he is to be re-elected to a second term in office.
Trump has used Florida as the backdrop to resuscitate his languishing campaign after becoming infected with the coronavirus in October. He’s concentrated particularly in Republican strongholds in the rural reaches of his adopted home state.
Former Vice President Biden has questioned the president’s handling of the coronavirus, his rush to appoint a new justice on the US Supreme Court and how he has addressed the social unrest spawned by high-profile police shootings of Black people.
An exit poll suggests four out of 10 voters nationally think the coronavirus response is “going very badly” but identifies the economy as the top issue.
National opinion polls gave a firm lead to Biden, but pointed to a closer race in the handful of states that are likely to decide the outcome.
Control of Congress is also at stake. As well as the White House, Republicans are vying to hang on to a Senate majority.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has won a seventh term in Kentucky, defeating Democrat Amy McGrath. McConnell is the chief ally of President Donald Trump in Congress and the longest-serving Republican Senate leader in history.
The winner of the presidential election – who may not be determined for days – will lead a nation strained by a pandemic that has killed more than 231,000 people and left millions more jobless, racial tensions and political polarization that has only worsened during the election campaign.
Rita Osakwe/Agency Reports