Trump or Biden? America elects its president in an atmosphere of tension and division

Tens of millions of American voters are flocking to the polls Tuesday to choose between President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden in a historic presidential election in the United States amid a sharp split.

The Republican president assured that he had a good feeling about his chances of winning. "We have a very good feeling," Trump told Fox News during a phone interview.

Trump appeared to try to assuage fears that he might declare his victory before the official results are released in various states. When asked when he will announce his victory, he said, "Only when we have achieved victory."

The 74-year-old Republican candidate had occupied the platforms and intensified his electoral movements in recent days, betting on the enthusiasm of his supporters, who are witnessing a maximum mobilization due to an unprecedented election campaign, in order to register as surprisingly as they did in 2016.

Biden (77 years), who has been winning in opinion polls for months, is counting on the revulsion that his opponent stirs up among a large portion of the electorate, in order to enter the White House as president after he served as vice president under Barack Obama.

"I have a feeling that we're headed for a big win," he said Monday night in Pittsburgh, where he campaigned 18 months ago.

After visiting a church in Wilmington, his stronghold in Delaware, he visited the cemetery of his family members on Tuesday morning before heading back to Pennsylvania, which could be decided by the ballot.

Donald Trump went to the Republican campaign headquarters in Arlington in his last public appearance in a campaign overshadowed by the Covid-19 pandemic that has killed more than 230,000 people in the United States.

Despite the temperature dropping to nearly zero, New Yorkers patiently queued to cast their ballots, with polling stations open at 6:00 pm (11:00 GMT). "Wait, for four years, I want to get rid of this nightmare," said a man in his 50s, who preferred not to be named.

On the other hand, Lin Genothe, 60, hopes for a Republican "extension". On Monday, she confirmed at Trump's campaign rally in Pennsylvania that she had never seen such "enthusiasm" for a president.

As some cities prepare for the possibility of violent excesses, the United States reflects the image of a country divided into two opposing camps, cut off from communication between them.

For months, Donald Trump signaled the danger of a "radical left" coming to power, bent on turning the world's largest economy into "Venezuela on a large scale." "If they win, our country will change forever," he told Fox News on Tuesday.

Democrats, led by Joe Biden and Barack Obama, are intensifying their warnings of the consequences that could be devastating for democratic institutions if Trump wins a second term.

The two candidates for the elections are on opposite sides.

On the one hand, the Republican candidate, a billionaire from New York and a former real estate mogul, moved from presenting a reality TV show to storm the political fray with a populist message based on "America first" and still insists that he is "an outsider" to politics even though he spent four years in the White House.

On the other hand, the Democratic candidate, Biden, a veteran of politics, comes from the middle class. He has spent 36 years in the Senate and eight years as an Obama deputy, promising to soften the nation's wounds if he wins "the battle for the soul of the United States."

Biden, the moderate, imposed himself in his party primaries with the simple message of defeating Donald Trump, whom he called "the worst president" in US history. Throughout the election campaign, the ballot made a referendum on the Republican president's management of the Covid-19 epidemic.

This health crisis haunted the president, who had always sought to reduce its importance, leading to his infection with the virus and his admission to hospital in early October. He then came out to say, "I am cured and have immunity."

It is expected that participation will be very high, with around 100 million voters casting their votes early, that is, more than 70% of the total number of voters in 2016.

The Democrats had encouraged early voting because of the pandemic. It remains to be seen whether the Republicans, who tend to vote on Election Day, will accept the polls.

This record accumulation of votes in the mail, which may continue to appear in some states for several days after Tuesday, may complicate the vote counting processes or even delay the announcement of the winner if the results are very close.

Donald Trump warned, "Once the election is over, our lawyers will be ready." Trump had refused to pledge to accept the election result, in the unprecedented behavior of an outgoing president.

In order to win, the candidate must obtain the majority of the votes cast by the electorate, which is 270 out of 538, which are awarded proportionally at the state level.

All eyes will be on Tuesday evening Florida, one of the key election states. Without winning this state, which he won in 2016, the mission would be nearly impossible for Donald Trump to stay in the White House.

On the other hand, if he wins in Florida, where the competition is very fierce with Biden in the polls, attention will shift to Pennsylvania, the Democratic candidate's birthplace. Opinion polls show a lead for the former vice president, but close to the margin of error.


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