Will the Teflon Donald come up Trumps again? He saw off Hillary Clinton – and an impeachment… So, as the US goes to polls, and the world holds its breath, we analyse the race for the White House
Donald Trump dashed across the United States yesterday in a last ditch attempt to save his presidency before the nation goes to the polls today.
The President whipped up his supporters at five rallies across four states during a 16-hour blitz that he hopes will land him a second term in office.
Trailing rival Joe Biden in almost every poll, Mr Trump, 74, stormed through key battlegrounds in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin before returning to the White House as the clock inched towards 2am on the US east coast.
Millions of Americans are heading to the polls in the crunch election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden
Donald Trump dashed across the United States yesterday in a last ditch attempt to save his presidency before the nation goes to the polls today
He flew back into Washington to see the White House locked down behind a 10ft fence, erected because of fears of unrest after the most divisive American election of our time.
As soon as the fence went up, it was covered in placards and banners by anti-Trump protesters.
The National Guard is being readied in some states and shops were boarding up their windows in major cities.
In New York’s SoHo neighbourhood designer stores such as Chanel were shuttered amid fears there could be looting alongside protests, whoever wins.
The FBI is especially concerned about far-Right groups such as the Proud Boys, which Mr Trump told to ‘stand by’ during the first presidential debate.
The result could be unclear for days or even weeks thanks to the 60million postal votes cast by those seeking to avoid crowds during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Each one comes inside two envelopes and requires the signature to be checked, lengthening the counting process.
Protesters have gathered outside the White House before counting begins during the crunch election
And it emerged yesterday that another 31million postal votes applied for had yet to be returned. Some states have said they will accept such ballots for up to nine days as long as they are postmarked today.
Mr Trump has bullishly predicted he will declare victory tomorrow morning and warned he will be ‘going in with our lawyers’ to stop late counting that might erode his lead.
Some 33 states will not start counting postal ballots until tomorrow and many are not used to handling such large volumes, fanning the potential for chaos.
Challenger Joe Biden, pictured, with Lady Gaga, right, is currently ahead in the opinion polls
Calling it the ‘most important election we’ve ever had,’ Mr Trump told supporters on his first stop in North Carolina yesterday they should dismiss ‘fake’ election eve polls, claiming: ‘We’re going to win anyway. We are really looking good all over in the real polls.’
The President’s final stand also took in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where Mr Biden was born.
Mr Biden, meanwhile, sent his entire campaign team to concentrate on the neighbouring states of Pennsylvania and Ohio, which he hopes to win from Mr Trump. Addressing a crowd in Cleveland, Ohio, Mr Biden said: ‘Last night Trump said he was going to fire [coronavirus expert] Dr Fauci. Isn’t that wonderful? I’ve got a better idea – elect me and I’m going to hire Dr Fauci. And we’re going to fire Donald Trump! It’s time for Donald Trump to pack his bags and go home. We’re done. We’re done with the chaos.’
Mr Biden’s last event was due to take place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he would do a drive-in rally with Lady Gaga. Enthusiasm appears high on both sides and there has been a record early voting across the country with more than 94million ballots already cast, which is two thirds of the total in 2016.
Mr Trump has bullishly predicted he will declare victory tomorrow morning and warned he will be ‘going in with our lawyers’ to stop late counting that might erode his lead