Us election 2020

Trump 2024! He definitely lost – but he’s not finished yet

Donald Trump’s increasingly outrageous attempts to contest the results of the US presidential election were given their absurd symbol early on with what one commentator called The Four Seasons Total Landscaping fiasco.  A week ago, with the decisive votes being counted in the last, critical states in the election, with Trump making a forlorn attempt to persuade Americans he had been cheated out of victory, someone on the campaign blundered. They were supposed to book the Four Seasons in Philadelphia for a press conference by the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. Instead, they booked Four Seasons Total Landscaping, a gardening company in an industrial area of north-east Philly, somewhere out

Who cares whether Trump accepts that Biden won?

Three days after statisticians called the 2020 US presidential election for Joe Biden, the loser of that contest continues to sulk in the White House like a spoiled eight-year-old kid and is brooding about the result. Trump’s campaign may still be holding meetings and convincing themselves that the race isn’t over – Trump’s political advisers are reportedly discussing a series of television ads and rallies to sow doubt about Biden’s victory – but back on planet earth, the math is the math: whether or not you liked the result, Biden will be the 46th president of the United States. Even some of Trump’s own family members, including his wife, Melania,

Joe Biden should prepare for gridlock

The Democratic Party was anticipating a blue wave this fall, a victory of such magnitude that Republicans would be spending the next two years fighting amongst themselves rather than controlling the purse strings. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House of Representatives, was so confident of this blue wave scenario that she sent a memo to her Democratic colleagues outlining a list of bold policy proposals that unified Democratic government in Washington could achieve in the first several months. At the top of that list: a new coronavirus relief package and defending – and building on – the Affordable Care Act. Pelosi, however, got ahead of her skis.

How the ‘diploma divide’ helps explain the US election result

If the US election was a television drama, the drum-roll end credits of the penultimate episode played this week and we are now waiting for the denouement. Only, there was never supposed to be a cliffhanger. An exhausted nation should have chosen boredom. Biden was meant to have been the clear victor and the political clock reset to a pre-2016 normality. But, in a plot twist that is by now so familiar we have no excuse for not anticipating it, opinion polls and commentators alike called it wrong. It’s not just in the US. All around the world, elections have become more difficult to predict. Traditional party loyalties have been

Trump is right not to concede

I am happy to see that President Trump is acting on the maxim of the month: Don’t concede if you didn’t lose. Any other GOP president would be on the defensive now. ‘Yes, there was voter fraud, but, but, but…’ That dangerous conjunction is a fledging concession just waiting to spread its wings and fly. Donald Trump does not trade in concessions. It’s one of the things about him that infuriates people. It’s also one of the reasons he is so effective. He abhors clutter. He seizes upon the main issue – there’s too much illegal immigration, our trade practices are unfair to American workers, the deep state has created

Biden wins Wisconsin and Michigan — is his victory imminent?

The 2020 election results have been rolling in. Joe Biden has won California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Washington DC. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming have been called for the President. CNN called Wisconsin for Biden on Wednesday. The Trump campaign is set to demand a recount of the state, citing ‘reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results.’ CNN

A fractious America weakens the global order

The countries that formerly composed the Soviet Union states are predominantly divided into three camps: those still strongly affiliated with Russia; those who have already ascended to EU and Nato membership; and the unfortunate remainder that strive to join the West, but which continue to struggle with domestic setbacks and a lack of resolve from Washington and Brussels. Since the fall of the USSR, countries like Georgia and Ukraine have seen the USA as the embodiment of democracy, with its liberty and freedoms standing as the antithesis of Communist darkness, which dominated both countries for a century. Indeed, former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili’s love for America was so deep that

Matthew Lynn

Pollsters should shut up shop after this election disaster

High Street chains are closing all the time. The restaurant chains are shutting their doors. The gyms are going out of business and it doesn’t look as if all the airlines will survive. There have been lots of different industries that have been wiped out this year. But now we can add one more to the list: the polling companies. It remains to be seen who won the US Presidential election. Donald Trump and Joe Biden may fight it out for a few more days yet. But it is absolutely clear who lost. The people who are paid plenty of money to talk to voters and work out what they

Mark Galeotti

The Kremlin relishes this American carnage

For the supposed information operations masterminds who can bend American politics to their will, the Russians seem no better at predicting the outcome of the elections than the rest of us. But they are still going to make the best of the current uncertainty. When Donald Trump was elected in 2016, the nationalist showman-politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky opened champagne, toasting ‘a new domestic and foreign policy in the US’ and ‘a speedy improvement of US-Russia relations.’ The foreign policy professionals, though, were scrambling, caught off guard. They had treated Trump as one of a number of weapons to launch against the presumed next president, Hillary Clinton. They never expected him actually to

Nick Tyrone

Boris Johnson is the big winner in this presidential election

The US presidential election currently sits on a knife’s edge. It could go either way, and if you were in Trump’s camp right now, you might be justified in feeling optimistic. It wasn’t supposed to be this way – the polls yesterday had Biden up nine points nationally, and ahead in almost every major battleground state. But it could have real repercussions for British politics. When the dust settles – regardless of whether Biden or Trump is declared the eventual winner – this result should be very good news for Boris Johnson. Not because of Brexit or US-UK relations, but because of something much more basic and long term. First of

Dominic Green

Win or lose, Donald Trump has remade American politics

It’s not over till the senile guy talks gibberish. It might not be over for days. The election may shift to the courts, to be contested like history’s most important parking ticket. Regardless of who wins — and the true professionals of prediction, the bookmakers, now have Donald Trump odds-on — Donald Trump has already done the impossible. He has won the moral high ground. Since 2016, the Democrats and most of the media have told us that Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton was an electoral and moral aberration. That Trump was not Hugh Hefner, but ‘Drumpf’ the white supremacist. That the voters, chastened by four years under the orange


Watch: Trump calls election a ‘fraud on the American people’

President Trump came out fighting after his Democratic challenger Joe Biden told supporters he believed he was ‘on track to win’ the US election. Giving a speech inside the White House, Donald Trump said he believed results to be a ‘fraud on the American people’ and stated ‘we will be going to the US Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop’. He told supporters, ‘we were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election,’ adding: ‘this is an embarrassment to our country.’ In response, Biden’s campaign manager said: ‘The president’s statement tonight about trying to shut down the counting of duly cast ballots was outrageous, unprecedented, and incorrect. It was

Trump’s Latino outreach has paid off – big time

While many swing states still hang in the balance, it’s Florida that has shifted decisively to Donald Trump. As I hinted on Monday, it was Trump’s surge among the Latino vote in Miami that delivered him the state. The margins are quite astonishing – while Miami-Dade, the state’s most populous county, saw a Clinton win of 30 points in 2016, Biden has clung on by just 7 points. In heavily Cuban precincts, the President snagged over 80 per cent of the vote, up from around 55 per cent last time. Indeed, despite Trump’s big win in the Sunshine State (and three points is big for Florida), non-Latino voters actually swung

America gets the divided election result it deserves

The 2020 US presidential race was an ugly, ferocious dogfight. So it only makes sense for the contest to end the same way it started. Americans went to bed unsure who their next president was going to be. At the time of writing, Donald Trump and Joe Biden are neck-and-neck (223-212 in favour of Biden in the Electoral College tally) in most of the battleground states that will determine who emerges victorious and who will be forced into an early retirement. Trump did what he needed to do in Florida, winning by approximately three points in the perennial swing-state to keep his re-election prospects alive. It appears Trump will also

Lame-duck Trump has plenty of time to cause trouble

Making political predictions can be about as foolhardy as walking into a Las Vegas casino and predicting success at the blackjack table – better to pipe down, be humble, and watch how the action develops. But if there is one thing we can bet our money on, it’s that a defeated Donald Trump (assuming, of course, he will be defeated tonight) will still have quite a lot of time to enact policies and make history before vacating the Oval Office. There is a popular assumption that U.S. presidents who will return to normal life in late January are lame-ducks twiddling their thumbs for the remainder of their terms. History, however, demonstrates

Ten states to watch on election night

Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory stunned the world. It also uprooted the electoral map: Trump won narrow victories in states which had voted Democratic for decades. This year, many forecasters have been keen to stress the unpredictability of an election that may well redefine that map again. Holding an election in a pandemic makes predictions tough: while most Republican voters are still happy to vote in person, most Democrats have cast absentee or early ballots – which may be counted at different times or rejected at different rates. It’s also unpredictable because the Trump era has shattered many usual voting habits, with many blue-collar working-class communities now solidly Republican –

Kate Andrews

The good and bad news for Trump about the US economy

With voting day finally here, what can the state of the US economy tell us about tonight’s result? While the United States has been hit hard by Covid-19, the country’s economy is showing signs of improvement – and the latest stats could be good news for Donald Trump in his bid to defy the odds and win re-election. GDP figures for the third quarter of 2020 (published last week) show a spectacular rebound for annualised GDP: 33.1 per cent between July and September. This amounts to a 7.4 per cent increase from the previous quarter, the fastest growth the US has seen in its post-war history. According to Capital Economics, the recovery can be

Matthew Lynn

Trump is flawed but he got one thing right

By tomorrow morning, he should be back on one of his golf courses. Or prepping for a new series of the Apprentice. Or quite possibly spending more time with his lawyers. Either way, if the polls and bookmakers are to be trusted, Donald Trump will be the first sitting president to be ejected from office since George Bush Senior, way back in 1992. In truth, he won’t be much missed. His bullying, narcissistic manner demeaned the office. His estranged relationship with the truth made him an unreliable ally. And his lack of empathy made him a poor leader at a time of crisis. But in one respect at least he

Trump won’t admit it, but he’s in trouble

President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden were supposed to debate in front of the American public last night. The debate, however, was called off after Trump refused to do it via video link. So instead, Americans were treated to two different town-halls on two different U.S. television networks. While Trump was talking about conspiracy theories on NBC, Biden was talking policy on ABC. The former was part-absurd, part-therapy session. The latter was boring and frankly what you would think a typical presidential town-hall would look like. Trump won’t admit it, but he’s in trouble. As the coronavirus count gets higher, his poll numbers are getting lower and