US elections: Biden has 89 percent chance of beating Trump, poll projects

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With five days to go before the US presidential election, one of the country’s most reputable polling websites said Thursday that Democratic nominee Joe Biden had an 89 percent chance of beating incumbent President Donald Trump.

Battleground states that could tip the balance in either direction are predicted to be won by Biden, FiveThirtyEight has projected.

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With 538 votes in the Electoral College - the body that votes for the US president - the winning candidate must garner 270 to declare victory.

States such as Nebraska, Wyoming, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Alabama, Kentucky and several others in the Midwest appear to be a lock for Trump.

A map of the Electoral College votes for each state and the projected outcomes. (270TOWIN)
A map of the Electoral College votes for each state and the projected outcomes. (270TOWIN)

Texas, which is allocated 38 electoral votes, was marked as a win by Trump in the FiveThirtyEight polls.

But Ohio, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan were marked as likely wins for Biden and the Democratic Party. Those six states account for 114 electoral votes.

Nevertheless, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday showed Trump moving into a near tie with Biden in Florida, with 49 percent saying they would vote for Biden and 47 percent for the president. The poll used only surveyed close 1,000 people.

Trump and Biden held separate rallies in Florida on Thursday in a bid to gather as many last-minute voters as possible.

California and New York are almost guaranteed locks for Biden, where 84 electoral votes are split between the two coastal states.

Trump’s planned campaign rally in North Carolina was postponed on Thursday evening due to heavy winds and an incoming hurricane. But he said he was returning on Monday.

On Friday, Trump is expected to campaign in front of supporters in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

In all, he plans to visit ten states in the last days of the campaign and will host 11 rallies in the final 48 hours, a campaign official said.

Biden and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, are expected to split visits to Texas, Georgia and Arizona in the run-up to next Tuesday.

Almost all opinion polls, including FiveThirtyEight, wrongly predicted that Trump would lose to Hillary Clinton in 2016. The popular vote was correctly projected, but the Electoral College votes were not.

Trump and the Republican Party will hope for a repeat of the 2016 scenario where the so-called “Silent Majority” flock to the polls and give the incumbent another four years at the White House.

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- With Reuters

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