Four years ago, the vast majority of people thought that Hillary Clinton would win. In social networks, specialists, analysts, journalists took it for granted and even bet on the Democrat’s margin.
However, speaking to people living in the United States, other data not well studied, laid dormant. Yes, the polls gave Clinton up to a five-point lead, but most of it was within the margin of error. Besides, the non-response percentage, or the indecisive vote, was as high as 6 percent. Eventually, that became a hidden vote for Trump.
Unlike Mexico, which has a direct electoral system, the U.S. has an indirect system of election. This is how it works: The candidate needs at least 270 of 538 electoral votes to win the Presidency. According to its population, each state is assigned a certain number of electoral votes: as an example, California has 55 electoral votes and Wyoming only 3. To win in the Electoral College (538 votes in total), the candidate must first succeed at the polls, at least in enough states, to collect 270 electoral votes.
Four years ago, the day before the election, Clinton had 216 electoral votes covered, according to the polls, and Trump had 164. Anyone could win because thirteen states were undecided, several with a good number of electoral votes, such as Florida with 29, Pennsylvania with 20, Ohio with 18, Michigan with 16, Georgia with 16, North Carolina with 15, and Arizona with 11.
If Trump had won those seven states (125 votes), he would get 289 electoral votes, and Clinton would get 249. We already know what happened: Clinton won the popular vote with a difference of 2.8 million votes but… lost in the Electoral College (304 to 227).
Well, guess what. Next Tuesday, something similar could happen.
According to Real Clear Politics which makes calculations about the Electoral College, up to Friday, October 30th, Joe Biden would have guaranteed 216 electoral votes, just the same as the ones awarded to Clinton four years ago, two days before the elections! Today, Trump would have 125, that is to say, 39 less than the votes he was awarded in 2016, but now there are 197 undefined electoral votes, 39 more than four years ago. Trump would require 145 of those 197 that would be undecided. Is it difficult? Yes, but it is not impossible.
This is how the numbers are behaving so far:
In Florida, with 29 electoral votes, Biden has a one-point difference in his favor. Statistically, that is nothing, so anyone can win the state.
In Texas, with 38 votes, Trump is up by 2.3 points. That is also within the margin of error. Anything could happen.
In Pennsylvania, with 20 votes, Biden is up by 3.6.
In Ohio, with 18 votes, there is a tie.
In Michigan with 16 votes, Biden is slightly above the margin of error.
In Georgia with 16 votes, Biden is up by less than one point -0.8-
In North Carolina, with 15 votes, Biden is ahead by 1.2 points, once again, within the margin of error.
In Arizona, with 11 votes, there is also a tie.
Since anything could happen, Trump could afford to lose Arizona and win the rest of the swing states and win with 277 electoral votes. Biden would be left with 261 votes.
Currently, the expectation is that Americans who don’t want Trump will vote massively, not only across the country in general but specifically in key states so that Biden can beat him. The current president can’t challenge the election and take the Supreme Court case -what happened in the 2000 election between Bush and Gore- where Trump has a conservative majority.
What will happen? No one knows, so get ready for a stressful Tuesday.
For El Universal newspaper
Juan Pablo Becerra-Acosta M.
Juan Pablo Becerra-Acosta M. has 37 years in the journalistic profession. He has been a reporter, editorialist, columnist, Editor-in-Chief, news conductor and has been awarded five times in different genres such as: column, chronicle, reports, and data journalism.