By Philip Clement
Americans are voting today in a presidential election that will determine the fate of the United States for the next four years as incumbent Donald Trump is up against former Vice President Joe Biden in a tight race.
Most polls show Democratic candidate Biden ahead of Republican Trump who disputes the polling results.
One interesting factor aboabout the United States apex election is that although Americans do the voting, they do not really get to select the next president.
Technically, the president and vice-president are selected by a group of electors, collectively known as the Electoral College.
Usually, when electorates go to the polls, they are really voting for the Electoral College, which then elects the president and vicepresident.
Consequently, winning the democratic popular vote in the U.S. does not determine who is president. Winning the Electoral College does.
The Electoral College is made up of temporarily selected state representatives known as electors. In total, there are 538 members of the Electoral College, representing the 50 states and the nation’s capital, Washington, District of Columbia (D.C.).
The winner of the elections must win at least 270 votes.
The constitution of the United States mandates that the number of the electors equals the number of congressional delegations, that is, the total number of senators and house of representatives.
A 1961 constitutional amendment further increased the number of electors to include representation from D.C., which has no members of congress.
The total number of electors is broken down to represent the congress as follows: Whilst each state has exactly two senators, the number of House of Representatives depends on the number of congressional districts.
This can be varied. For example, while states like New York and Florida both have 27 representatives, others like Alaska and Delaware each have one. California has the highest number of representatives with 53 members.
Consequently, individual states determine how members of the Electoral College vote. Majority of states follow a winner-takes-all approach.
That is whoever gets the majority votes in the general elections in each state automatically wins all Electoral College votes in that state.
For example, if Donald Trump wins majority votes in Florida, he may be presumed to have won 29 Electoral College votes. Fourty-eight states follow this rule.
It would be recalled that in 2016, although Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, beating Donald Trump by about 3 million votes, she lost the elections because President Trump won 304 Electoral College votes to her 227.
Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that Joe Biden J holds a clear advantage over President Trump across four of the most important presidential swing states.
According to the report, the lead is triggered by the support of voters who did not participate in the 2016 election and who now appear to be turning out in large numbers to cast their ballots, mainly for the Democrat.
Biden is said to be leading in the Northern battlegrounds of Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, as well as in the Sun Belt states of Florida and Arizona, according to a poll of likely voters conducted by The New York Times and Siena College.
His strength is most pronounced in Wisconsin, where he has an outright majority of the vote and leads Mr. Trump by 11 points, 52 percent to 41 percent.
Mr. Biden’s performance across the electoral map appears to put him in a stronger position heading into Election Day than any presidential candidate since at least 2008, when in the midst of a global economic crisis Barack Obama captured the White House with 365 Electoral College votes and Mr. Biden at his side.
READ ALSO: The world will never recover If Trump wins again – Biden
Mr. Trump’s apparent weakness in many of the country’s largest electoral prizes leaves him with a narrow path to the 270 Electoral College votes required to claim victory, short of a major upset or a systemic error in opinion polling surpassing even the missteps preceding the 2016 election.
Should Mr. Biden’s lead hold in three of the four states tested in the survey, it would almost certainly be enough to win, and if he were to carry Florida, he would most likely need to flip just one more large state that Mr. Trump won in 2016 to clinch the presidency.
However, the world is watching closely to see where the tide will swing in the race to the White House
Read the Source post on Daily Times Nigeria.