US Election 2020: Everything you need to know

You can feel the tension mount. In a few hours, we'll be starting to see the tallies for the 2020 US election. Here's everything you need to know. Will you be staying up to watch? 


So much is riding on this election. This change for change, any change, any chance to see the man, and current US president who brought the words "grab 'em by the pussy" into the public domain step off the podium for which he is deeply inexperienced and unsuited. The man who would see children torn away from their parents, who values male, white supremacy over equal rights, or the right to choose.

And that's just the start of it. We've seen four years of divisive politics, of unrest, of large scale protests against racial injustice and violence. Many view this election as a key moment in the future of the United States. While many voters will have already made up their mind about who to vote for – though remember the last election? Ignore the opinion polls until you see the final tally of numbers – both Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden each know that it could go either way – and it'll probably be the closest call of any election.

For Trump who, prior to the pandemic, likely thought he was a shoo-in for another four years (God help us), Covid-19 has altered that. He's made a shambles of it which has been acknowledged around the world (the US numbers have reached record levels) and even some of his most devoted followers may vote for his rival due to that alone.  Reports indicate that Biden is leading in most polls, but that there are also signs of narrowing in some key states. It could go, as we know, either way.

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When does the US election take place?

November 3rd. Coverage starts at 10pm on Sky News (and on every other major news channel) and will continue through the night, for those who want to stay up until the early hours.

How is the winner determined?

The US uses the Electoral College system for determining who becomes president. The candidate with the most votes in a state usually becomes the winner of the Electoral College’s votes for that state (with the exception of Maine and Nebraska, who use a district-by-district allocation). The number of Electoral College votes allocated to each state is calculated by adding the number of senators (each state has two), plus the number of delegates the state has in the House of Representatives (which varies based on population). If no candidate wins an absolute majority of Electoral College votes, the House of Representatives votes to pick a winner.

Which States are the ones to watch?

There are 13 states or electoral districts that are considered a "toss-up" or only slightly leaning toward one presidential candidate or another, which are: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine (2nd District), Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska (2nd District), Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin. These 13 represent a combined 201 electoral votes, so be sure to keep an eye on their results, the numbers are always close and any of them could tip the winning vote needed.

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