For most Indian readers (and a majority worldwide) who may not know this, a candidate for the U.S. presidential election is not declared as victorious based on counting of “all” votes in the 50 states and the federal District of Columbia (Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital).
The victor becomes the President-elect when the loser concedes defeat via a “‘concession speech’.
Why is a state declared in favour of one candidate? It is because the USA does not choose its President based on popular votes (in the case of the current elections, the 149+ million people who have voted). Rather, the President is chosen based on 538 ‘Electoral College‘ votes. A candidate needs 270 to win.
These are state-wise allocations based on the population, so the largest state California has 55 Electoral College votes the second largest Texas has 38, the 3rd and 4th largest Florida and New York have 29 each, while smaller states like Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming, as well as the District of Columbia have 3 each.
If a candidate has a majority in any state when; either: (1) all or very close to all (assume 99.8%) of the popular votes in that state have been counted; or (2) when it becomes obvious that the pending uncounted votes are not going to change the outcome; TV networks declare that state in favour of the victor. One big example of this is that USA’s largest state—California—has been declared very early in favour of Biden by all networks even though only ~66% of votes have been counted, as Biden has 65.1% of the votes counted so far, compared to Trump’s 33%.
As all TV networks or news organisations want to outdo each other, they are always in a hurry to declare states in favour of one candidate or the other. In the current case, Arizona (11 Electoral College votes) was declared in favour of Joe Biden (Democratic Party or ‘Democrats‘) by some networks more than 24 hours ago, whereas others have still not declared it. As Arizona has counted ~90% and Biden has a lead of 47,058 votes, it is highly unlikely that Donald Trump (Republican Party or ‘Republicans‘) can catch up.
Based on this, Biden has 264 Electoral College votes and Trump has 214. What about the balance 60?
In Pennsylvania (20 EC votes) where ~98% of the votes have been counted, Biden is leading by 5,587 votes. Trump was leading by over 500,000 votes not that long back but Biden has stolen the state from him (Trump won in 2016), just as he has stolen Michigan, Arizona and Wisconsin. I predict a Biden win here.
In Georgia (16 EC votes) where ~99% of the votes have been counted, though Biden is leading by a very thin margin of just 1,097 votes, Trump is unlikely to catch up as he was leading the state with a high margin until yesterday and Biden has overtaken him. I therefore predict that Georgia will also go to Biden.
In North Carolina (15 EC votes) where ~95% of the votes have been counted, Trump is leading by ~76,700 votes, and I predict that Trump will win this state.
In Nevada (6 EC votes) where ~89% of the votes have been counted, Biden is leading by 11,438 votes, and Trump is unlikely to catch up as most of the pending votes are from urban areas (predominantly Las Vegas) where Biden is winning with substantial margins. I predict that Nevada will also go to Biden.
In Alaska (3 EC votes) though only ~56% of the votes have been counted so far, Trump has a 63.3% vote share vs. Biden’s 33.3%. I’m surprised the state has not been called in favour of Trump already. He will definitely win this state.
Yes, I’m taking the liberty of calling the election before the American networks do. I’m pretty sure of one thing—if the Covid19 pandemic not struck, Trump would have won these elections by a huge margin.
This will be the first time since George H.W. Bush (Bush Sr.) in 1992 when a sitting President has lost an election.
Of course, Trump will only leave The White House ‘officially’ on 20 January 2021, when President-elect Biden will get ‘inaugurated‘ and become the 46th POTUS (President of the United States). In the interim 75-odd days, Biden is expected to announce his ‘transition team’ and his ‘cabinet’ appointments.
On 20 Jan, at 78 years 2 months, Biden will be the oldest President in history on Inauguration Day. He will beat current record-holder Trump by a huge margin of 7 yrs. 7 months. Biden is a 6-term (36 years) United States Senator and a 2-term Vice President (under President Obama). He has been in American national politics for almost 48 years. Are American voters crazy to elect such an old man?
India elected Narendra Modi when he was 63.8 yrs. old; Russia chose Putin at 47.7 yrs.; Japan elected Shinzo Abe when he was just 52 (current PM Yoshihide Suga took over at 71.9 yrs. but this was because Abe resigned due to bad health); Germany elected Angela Merkel when she was just 51.4 yrs.; UK‘s Boris Johnson became PM at 55.1 yrs.; France elected Emmanuel Macron at 39.5 yrs.; Italy elected Giuseppe Conte at 53.10 yrs.; Brazil elected Jair Bolsonaro at 53.9 yrs.
It is very unlikely that he will seek a second term at the age of 82. Thus, in November 2024, we may see the then-60-year-old Kamala Devi Harris (whose mother was from Tamil Nadu) as the first woman to become POTUS. Harris is American-born, a prerequisite to contest the presidential elections. She is a first-term United States Senator from California since Jan 2017. Prior to this, she was Attorney General of California for 6 years (the first woman elected to the post); and prior to that she was District Attorney of San Francisco for 7 years.
Will Ivanka Trump contest against Kamala Harris in 2024? If not for any other reason but to avenge her father’s defeat. Maybe she will, as many people close to her say she has developed a big political ambition after having spend nearly 4 years at The White House as an advisor to President Trump.
More importantly, daddy Donald will want her to contest for sure. He even wanted her to be his running mate (VP candidate) in 2016.