24 hrs and counting, US election result still awaited. Anyone can win | 11 things to know

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Once again, it appears that opinion polls and pundits have failed to read the pulse of the American voters, as contrary to their predictions, the 2020 US presidential election has gone to the wire. Donald Trump proved them wrong in 2016 as well.

It has been more than 24 hours since polling ended in the US and counting of votes began, but there is still no clarity on whether President Donald Trump will get another four years in office or his Democratic rival Joe Biden will unseat him.

At present, the US presidential election hangs in the balance with both sides having a fair chance of winning it.

Most opinion polls conducted in the run-up to the US elections gave Joe Biden a clear lead ahead of Donald Trump. But, if results declared so far are to be believed, the ground reality in the US is something else.

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At 4.45 PM EST, according to Reuters, Joe Biden had secured 243 electoral votes while Donald Trump's tally stood at 214. To win the presidential election, a candidate has to secure 272 electoral votes.

While Joe Biden currently has a lead, but the worry for him is that he is trailing in key states likes Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Here are 11 things that you must know about the 2020 US elections:

1) The battle for White House is now being fought in a handful of key and decisive states. But what is keeping hopes of the two sides alive is that both of them still have multiple routes to reach the White House as votes are still being counted.

2) Neither of the candidates have conceded defeat so far and both, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, made statements exhuming confidence that they are winning the election.

Addressing his supporters, Joe Biden asked them to remain patient and said he feels "good about where we are". "We believe we are on track to win this election," he said, adding that people must keep faith. In his brief speech, Joe Biden also expressed hopes that the millions of mail-in votes that are yet to be counted will go in favour of the Democrats.

We feel good about where we are. We believe we are on track to win this election.

— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 4, 2020

On the other hand, President Donald Trump sought to claim victory even though counting in several key states is still on. He once again insinuated the voting process, especially the mail-in votes that the Democrats are banking on.

"We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!," he tweeted, without providing any evidence for his allegations. In another tweet he said the election is a "big WIN!".

We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2020

3) Apart from the victory claim, Donald Trump also made a brief statement at the White House, saying his lawyers would be taking his case to the US Supreme Court, without specifying what they would claim.

"We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election," Trump said, in an extraordinary attack on the electoral process by a sitting president, Reuters reported.

"This is a major fraud on our nation. We want the law to be used in a proper manner. So we'll be going to the US Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop," Trump said without providing any evidence to back up his claim of electoral fraud.

4) Voting concluded as scheduled on Tuesday night. This time, a large number of people have voted by mail because of the coronavirus pandemic. This has made the counting process much longer than usual.

5) Biden won Wisconsin, which has 10 electoral votes. Meanwhile, Michigan and Pennsylvania, the key states where counting is still on, are being closely watched. In 2016, they sent Donald Trump to the White House. At the time of updating this report, the results in the two states remained too close to call.

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6) The other key states that are still in contention are Georgia and North Carolina, having 16 and 15 electoral votes, respectively. Donald Trump is leading in both of them at present. In case Joe Biden manages to win either of the states, it will narrow Trump's chances considerably.

7) In Nevada, which has six electoral votes, Joe Biden holds a thin lead. However, according to Reuters, officials have said counting will not resume there until Thursday.

8) What seems to have strengthened Joe Biden's chances so far is his victory in Arizona, as declared by the Associated Press and Fox News, which has opened multiple routes for him to reach the magical figure of 272 electoral votes.

According to Reuters, if he holds onto Nevada, Joe Biden could secure the presidency by winning the Midwestern states of Wisconsin and Michigan, where he held large leads in polls before Election Day. If this happens, a loss in Pennsylvania won't matter.

9) On the other hand, Donald Trump's most likely path to reach White House once again goes through Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes). If he wins it, he would secure re-election given that he also holds onto his lead in Georgia and North Carolina along with winning at least one Midwestern state.

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10) Joe Biden's hopes of a decisive early victory were dashed when Donald Trump won the battlegrounds of Florida, Ohio and Texas.

11) Meanwhile, even the counting process is on and it may take some more days before all mail-in votes are counted, there are clear signs that a stiff and long legal battle awaits between the Republicans and the Democrats if the result is too close.

People not just in the United States, but even elsewhere in the world are closely following the trends and results of the US elections.

While the result of the 2020 US presidential election may not be clear as yet, what is amply clear is the fact that the next US president will be inheriting and leading a nation that has been battered by a pandemic, killing more than 231,000 people and leaving millions out of job.

Besides the president of the United States, this election will also decide which party controls the US Congress for the next two years.

At present, the Democratic drive to win control of the Senate appears to fall short. Democrats have picked up only one Republican-held seat while six other races remain undecided - Alaska, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina and two in Georgia.

(With inputs from Reuters and the Associated Press.)

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