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US presidential election result is on a knife-edge

US presidential election result is on a knife-edge

  • Currently Biden is on 238 electoral college votes and Trump on 213 with 270 needed to win.
Joe Biden, September 2020

The US presidential election is still too close to call and it may take days before a final result is clear.

Currently former Vice President Joe Biden is on 238 electoral college votes and appears to have a wider path to the White House, with 270 needed to win.

However President Donald Trump could still emerge victorious. He already has 213 electoral college votes and still retains a route to a second term.

What is clear is that reality has again confounded the pollsters’ predictions.

Trump outperformed expectations, particularly by winning the key swing state of Florida. Meanwhile his success in Ohio and Texas also closed doors to Biden.

However, Biden has also achieved some big wins. In particular his victory in Arizona means he still has several routes open to the White House.

All attention is now on Georgia, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan and – more than any – Pennsylvania. These are the key states that will decide the victor. In particular, the fact that Pennsylvania has to count postal ballots may delay the final result by several days.

At the moment, Biden’s chances are better than Trump. But the president is already vowing to take the battle to the Supreme Court and has even called on the authorities to stop counting legitimate ballots in Pennsylvania.

If the election ends up at the court, a final victor may not emerge for even longer.

Rainbow wave

Meanwhile, LGBT+ people do have something to celebrate, despite many still fearing Trump could win a second term.

A 2020 rainbow wave has delivered victories for out candidates in Congress and in state senate and legislature races. 

In particular, trans politicians and gay candidates of color have made history.

Foremost among them, is Sarah McBride in Delaware. She has become the first openly trans state senator in US history. When sworn in, she will become the nation’s highest-ranking, openly trans, elected official.

Likewise Richie Torres will become the first Afro-Latino gay man and Mondaire Jones, the first black gay man, elected to Congress. Both will represent New York districts in the US House of Representatives.

The victories are some compensation on a night when, although the Democrats have retained control of the US House of Representatives, it is not yet clear if they or the Republicans will control the Senate.

Vital LGBT+ issues failed to spark national debate

Polling before election day indicated that the vast majority of LGBT+ voters supported Joe Biden and the Democrats.

And, while the polls have proved inaccurate again, they suggested as many as 76% of LGBT+ Americans would vote Biden with just 17% choosing Trump.

For many the choice seems clear cut.

Trump and his administration have launched at least 175 attacks on the LGBT+ community since they came to office almost four years ago.

Meanwhile Biden has promised to prioritize advancing LGBT+ rights – taking action in his first 100 days in office.

However, LGBT+ campaigners have been frustrated that, despite these stark differences, the community’s future achieved little air-time during the election campaign.

LGBT+ rights weren’t raised in the presidential debates. But for many LGBT+ Americans, the issues continue to impact their lives – over half report experiencing anti-LGBTQ discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO of LGBT+ organization GLAAD, urged that all votes are counted before declaring a victor:

‘We continue to call on the news media to resist the urge and any pressure from campaigns to project a winner to rush the outcome in the race for president and control of the US Senate until all votes are counted.

‘Americans have done their part in showing up to vote early, or mailing in ballots, or voting in person during this unprecedented time. They deserve the assurance that all votes will be counted accurately and all voices will be heard.’