The 2020 election has seen the highest turnout since 1900. Joe Biden has won more than 74 million votes so far, the most ever for a US presidential candidate. Donald Trump has drawn more than 70 million, the second-highest tally in history.
DonaldTrump had falsely declared himself the winner of the election when vote counting was unfinished. He has since alleged irregularities in counting, but has not presented any evidence of election fraud.
The Trump campaign has filed a barrage of lawsuits in various states and on November 6, as Joe Biden appeared on the cusp of victory, said: “This election is not over.”
The election was fought as coronavirus cases and deaths continued to rise across the United States, with President Trump arguing a Biden presidency would result in lockdowns and economic gloom. Joe Biden accused Donald Trump of failing to impose sufficient measures to control the spread of Covid-19.
Joe Biden is now set to return to the White House, where he served for eight years as President Barack Obama’s deputy.
At the age of 78, Joe Biden will be the oldest president in American history.
Usually the losing candidate concedes but Donald Trump has vowed to contest the election results on several fronts.
Responding to the Pennsylvania results, the Trump campaign put out a statement saying: “This election is not over. The false projection of Joe Biden as the winner is based on results in four states that are far from final.”
A recount will be held in Georgia, where the margins are tight, and Donald Trump wants the same in Wisconsin. He has also vowed to take legal action to the Supreme Court, alleging voting fraud without evidence.
If the election result is challenged, it would require legal teams to challenge this in the state courts. State judges would then need to uphold the challenge and order a recount, and Supreme Court justices could then be asked to overturn a ruling.
Meanwhile, votes in some states are continuing to be counted and results are never official until final certification, which occurs in each state in the weeks following the election.
This must be done before 538 electors from the Electoral College – which officially decides who wins the election – meet in their state capitals to vote on December 14.
The electors’ votes usually mirror the popular vote in each state. However, in some states this is not a formal requirement.
The new president is officially sworn into office on January 20 after a transition period to give them time to appoint cabinet ministers and make plans.
The handover of power takes place at a ceremony known as the inauguration, which is held on the steps of the Capitol building in Washington DC.
After the ceremony, the new president makes their way to the White House to begin their four-year term in office.
Joe Biden ran for the White House twice before.
In 1988, he withdrew from the race after he admitted to plagiarizing a speech by the then leader of the British Labor Party, Neil Kinnock.
In 2008, he tried again to get the Democratic nomination before dropping out and joining Barack Obama’s ticket.
Joe Biden’s eight years as vice-president allowed him to lay claim to much of Barrack Obama’s legacy, including passage of the Affordable Care Act, known as ObamaCare.
Joe Biden has pulled ahead of Donald Trump in Pennsylvania, a key state in the presidential race, results data show.
The Democratic candidate is leading by more than 13,000 votes, with 98% counted. If Joe Biden takes the state, he will win the election.
Earlier, Joe Biden edged ahead of his Republican rival in Georgia, another key battleground state, where a recount will now be held.
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign said: “This election is not over.”
Trump campaign lawyer Matt Morgan claimed without evidence that ballots in Georgia were “improperly harvested” and that in Pennsylvania election observers were not given “meaningful access” to counting, despite a judge’s order allowing them further access on November 5.
In a statement later, President Trump said: “From the beginning we have said that all legal ballots must be counted and all illegal ballots should not be counted, yet we have met resistance to this basic principle by Democrats at every turn.
“We will pursue this process through every aspect of the law to guarantee that the American people have confidence in our government. I will never give up fighting for you and our nation.”
A senior Trump administration official has told CBS News President Trump does not plan to concede in the event of a victory declaration by Joe Biden.
There are reports from the Biden campaign in Delaware that he will make a primetime address to the nation on Friday evening local time. This is believed to be dependent on the race being called by then.
Joe Biden currently has 253 Electoral College votes, while Donald Trump has 214. To win the White House, a candidate needs 270.
Some news organizations have a higher tally for Mr Biden, having projected a win for the Democrat in Arizona.
Pennsylvania, where Joe Biden was born, has 20 Electoral College votes. If the Democrat wins it, he will secure the victory with 273 votes.
Election officials there said the count could take several days.
Pennsylvania has always been a major political battleground. The state voted Democrat in six consecutive races before it swung to Donald Trump in 2016.
In Georgia, Joe Biden is currently leading with more than 1,500 votes, with 99% of the ballots counted. Georgia’s secretary of state said there would be a recount because the margin was so small.
Georgia is a traditionally Republican state and has not been won by a Democrat in a presidential race since 1992.
President Trump’s team says legal challenges and recounts in some states will favor them.
Bob Bauer, a Biden campaign lawyer, says the lawsuits are legally “meritless” and designed “to message falsely about what’s taking place in the electoral process”.
The vote is also currently too close to call in Nevada and North Carolina.
A win in just Pennsylvania, or two of the other four remaining states would be enough to confirm Joe Biden as president-elect.
Donald Trump, meanwhile, would need to win Pennsylvania and three of the remaining four states.
He has cut the Democratic candidate’s lead in Arizona (11 electoral votes) to less than 44,000 votes, with 93% counted.
He also had a lead of more than 76,000 in North Carolina (15 electoral votes), with 96% of votes tallied.
In Nevada, Joe Biden has an edge of more than 20,000 over Donald Trump. The state has six votes under the electoral college system. An election official there said the results from more than 51,000 postal ballots would be updated on November 6.
President Trump has made unsubstantiated claims of election fraud.
Speaking from the White House on November 5, the president said: “If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes they can try to steal the election from us.”
Beyond allegations of irregularities, the Trump campaign has not presented any evidence.
President Trump added: “We were winning in all the key locations, by a lot actually, and then our numbers started getting miraculously whittled away in secret.”
He actively discouraged his supporters from voting by mail, while Joe Biden urged his voters to do so, and it is these postal ballots that are now being tallied in the key states.
Election analysts also say President Trump’s claims of Democratic electoral corruption are undermined by the better-than-expected performance of his fellow Republicans in congressional races across the map.
The US is voting in one of the most divisive presidential elections in decades, pitting incumbent Republican Donald Trump against his Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
The first polls opened from 05:00 EST in Vermont.
Nearly 100 million Americans have already cast their ballots in early voting, putting the US on course for its highest turnout in a century.
Both rivals spent the final hours of the race rallying in key swing states.
National polls give a firm lead to Joe Biden, but it is a closer race in the states that could decide the outcome.
Among the first states to begin election-day voting on November 3 are the key battlegrounds of North Carolina and Ohio, followed half an hour later by Florida, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin. Arizona will follow.
To be elected president, a candidate must win at least 270 votes in what is called the electoral college. Each state gets a certain number of votes partly based on its population and there are a total of 538 up for grabs.
This system explains why it is possible for a candidate to win the most votes nationally – like Hillary Clinton did in 2016 – but still lose the election.
The coronavirus pandemic has hung over the election campaign, with the epidemic in the country worsening over the final weeks of the race. The US has recorded more cases and more deaths than anywhere else in the world, and fear of infection has contributed to an unprecedented surge in early and postal voting.
As the nation counts down the hours to the vote, there are fears that pockets of post-election violence could break out.
A new “non-scalable” fence has been put up around the White House in Washington DC. Businesses in the nation’s capital and also in New York City have been seen boarding up their premises due to concerns about unrest.
On November 2, President Trump sprinted through four more battleground states.
In North Carolina, the president told supporters that “next year will be the greatest economic year in the history of our country”. Economists however warn the damage inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic – the biggest decline in the US economy in more than 80 years – could still take years to overcome.
After North Carolina, Donald Trump headed to Scranton, Pennsylvania, the city where his opponent lived until he was 10. At a rally there he reminded his supporters that he won the state in 2016, despite polls suggesting he would lose.
Joe Biden also went to Pennsylvania where he was joined by singer Lady Gaga at a rally in Pittsburgh. Musician John Legend addressed voters with vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris.
In Ohio, Joe Biden repeated the core message of his campaign, telling voters that the race was about the soul of America. He said it was time for President Trump to “pack his bags”, saying “we’re done with the tweets, the anger, the hate, the failure, the irresponsibility”.
On November 2, Donald Trump also held rallies in Traverse City, Michigan, and Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kenosha was rocked by violent protests in August after the police shooting of a black man.
In Traverse City the president asked for the votes of black Americans.
He travelled to Grand Rapids, Michigan for his last rally, the same city where he held the final event of the 2016 election race.
In the last hours of the campaign, Twitter and Facebook labelled a post by President Trump as “misleading”, after he claimed that postal ballots in the key state of Pennsylvania could lead to rampant fraud. They also added a link to a website explaining why mail-in votes were safe.
It came after the Supreme Court allowed Pennsylvania to count postal ballots received three days after the election.
President Trump and his campaign have indicated they will sue to block the move.
Legal fights over ballots have also been unfolding in Minnesota, North Carolina and Texas.
When will we get a result?
It can take several days for every vote to be counted after any presidential election, but it is usually pretty clear who the winner is by the early hours of the following morning.
Donald Trump’s comments came after Anthony Fauci, head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the Washington Post that the US is “in for a whole lot of hurt” in the coming months.
“All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors,” he told the newspaper.
Joe Biden was “taking it seriously from a public health perspective”, while President Trump had a different perspective and was focusing on “the economy and reopening the country”, he added.
White House spokesman Judd Deere said on November 1 that Dr. Fauci’s comments were “unacceptable”, saying that the expert chose “to criticize the President in the media and make his political leanings known by praising the President’s opponent”.
Joe Biden meanwhile headed to Pennsylvania, place of his birth and another key state in the election. President Trump narrowly won there in 2016 but polls suggest Joe Biden is slightly ahead this year.
At a rally in Philadelphia the former vice-president addressed the city’s black community, vowing to address “systemic racism” in the US and attacking the president’s handling of the pandemic – something which has disproportionately affected African Americans.
He said: “It’s almost criminal the way he’s handled it.
“It’s a mass casualty event in the black community and it’s totally unnecessary.”
Earlier in the day Joe Biden also courted Latino voters with a tweet in Spanish, speaking of the separation of migrant families at the border and his response to Hurricane Maria after it hit Puerto Rico.
He tweeted: “President Trump has attacked the dignity of Latino families time and again…This will end when I am president.”
Joe Biden also addressed a report by news site Axios which says the president will declare victory on Tuesday night if it looks as if he is ahead.
“The president’s not going to steal this election,” he told reporters.
Joe Biden also criticized President Trump for encouraging his supporters after some forced a Biden campaign bus to stop on a Texas highway, something the FBI has now confirmed it is investigating.
Donald Trump tweeted on November 1 that in his opinion, “these patriots did nothing wrong.”
The president denied the Axios report, but told journalists before his North Carolina rally that counting ballots after Election Day was a “terrible thing”.
“I don’t think it’s fair that we have to wait for a long period of time after the election,” he said.
Joe Biden’s campaign said he and his running mate Kamala Harris would “fan out” to “all four corners” of Pennsylvania on November 2, joined by their partners and Lady Gaga and John Legend.
On November 1, Kamala Harris campaigned in Georgia, another state which President Trump won in 2016 but which the Democratic Party is trying to win this year.
President Donald Trump and his Democratic White House challenger Joe Biden have held dueling rallies in the critical election state of Florida.
Joe Biden told supporters: “You hold the power. If Florida goes blue [Democratic], it’s over.”
Celebrating soaring economic figures, President Trump said of his rival: “He’s going to lock you down.”
With just five days to go until Election Day, Joe Biden has a solid lead nationally in opinion polls.
However, his advantage looks less assured in the battleground states, such as Florida, that will decide who ultimately wins the White House.
More than 81 million people have already voted, 52 million of them by mail, setting the US on course for its highest electoral turnout rate in more than a century.
On October 29, at a rally in Tampa, President Trump reveled in a new federal projection that the US economy had expanded at an unprecedented 33.1% annual rate in the most recent quarter, following a record 31% contraction in the previous three months during the coronavirus crash.
Florida is a must-win for President Trump and a key opinion poll average shows him just 1.4 points behind Joe Biden, which amounts to a statistical dead heat.
At a 100-minute outdoor rally, President Trump told thousands of people, many of them crowded together without masks: “Joe Biden’s plan is to deliver punishing [coronavirus] lockdowns. He’s going to lock you down.”
“Look, we were compared to Europe,” noted the president.
“‘Germany is doing so well, France is doing so well, everyone’s doing so well.’ No, they’re not doing well.”
While emphasizing Europeans were allies, he continued: “They’re spiking up big, they’re shutting down, they’re locking down.
“I disagree with that because we’re never going to lock down again. We locked down, we understood the disease and now we’re open for business.”
The president was introduced by First Lady Melania Trump, making a rare appearance on the campaign trail. Her biggest applause line came when she said: “We are a country of hope, not a country of fear or weakness, and we have a leader who shows us that every single day.”
Donald Trump had been due to hit another key state, North Carolina, on October 29, but canceled that event in Fayetteville because of foul weather from Tropical Storm Zeta in the area.
The storm reportedly disrupted early voting in another election battleground, Georgia, sparking power cuts in some precincts and toppling trees that blocked off mobile polling sites.
President Trump – who began this month in hospital with coronavirus – is visiting 10 states in the last week of the campaign and will host 11 rallies in the final two days, a campaign official said.
He is hoping that media coverage of his rallies will compensate for his chronic deficit in ad spending as a result of his now-limited campaign coffers.
In Florida alone, according to data from ad tracking firm Kantar/CMAG, Joe Biden and his allies are outspending Donald Trump by more than three to one.
In a potential boost for President Trump, on October 29 he won a rare thumbs-up from an African American celebrity, rapper Lil Wayne, who appeared to endorse him.
Lil Wayne tweeted: “Just had a great meeting with @realdonaldtrump@potus besides what he’s done so far with criminal reform, the platinum plan is going to give the community real ownership. He listened to what we had to say today and assured he will and can get it done.”
Reports indicate that registered Democrats have so far outvoted registered Republicans – casting more than double the number of ballots. And of these early voting Democrats, women and black Americans are voting in particularly high numbers. Some are motivated by dislike for President Donald Trump, while others have been energized by racial justice protests throughout the summer following the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.
However, this early advantage does not mean that Democrats can already claim victory. Republicans, who claim postal voting is vulnerable to fraud, say Democrats may win the early vote, but that Republicans will show up in large numbers on Election Day.
According to a 2017 study by the Brennan Center for Justice, the rate of voting fraud overall in the US is between 0.00004% and 0.0009%.
The enormous numbers of voters have led to long queues, with some people waiting for up to 11 hours for an opportunity to vote.
Younger people, who historically have been difficult to get to the polls, appear to be turning out in larger numbers this year. The youth vote may be the highest it’s been since 2008 for the election of Barack Obama – the US’s first black president.
A recent survey by Axios found that four in ten university students said they planned to protest if President Trump wins. Six in ten said they would shame friends who could vote but choose not to.
By contrast, only 3% of surveyed students said they would protest if Joe Biden was elected.
Vice-presidential contenders Kamala Harris and Mike Pence have clashed over the coronavirus pandemic in their only debate ahead of next month’s election.
Democrat Kamala Harris called President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic “the greatest failure of any presidential administration” in history.
Republican VP Mike Pence said the Democratic Party’s pandemic plan amounted to “plagiarism”.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden leads President Trump with 26 days to go to the vote.
Opinion polls indicate President Trump is trailing by single digits in a handful of battleground states that will decide who wins.
Vice-presidents have tie-breaking power in the Senate and are required to step in if a president is unable to perform their duties. Their day-to-day responsibilities vary with each administration, but they typically serve as top advisers and some take on specific policy portfolios.
October 7 meeting was a civil debate between two smooth communicators compared to last week’s belligerent showdown between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, which degenerated into insults and name-calling.
Mike Pence did not interrupt as much as the president last week, but when he did, Kamala Harris interjected: “Mr. Vice-President, I’m speaking, I’m speaking.”
The viral moment on October 7 was a fly landing on Mike Pence’s head and remaining there for some two minutes.
The 90-minute TV debate at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City was marked by disagreements over the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic.
The 55-year-old California senator accused VP Mike Pence and the president of deliberately misleading Americans about the lethality of coronavirus.
“They knew, and they covered it up,” she said, adding that they had “forfeited their right to re-election”.
Mike Pence accused the Biden-Harris campaign of copying the White House’s pandemic strategy, alluding to a blunder that ended Joe Biden’s 1987 run for the presidency when he plagiarized a speech by then-British Labour leader Neil Kinnock.
Kamala Harris was asked by the moderator whether she would take an approved Covid-19 vaccine distributed ahead of the election.
She said she would not take a jab touted by President Trump without the say-so of medical professionals.
Mike Pence, who heads the White House coronavirus task force, retorted: “The fact that you continue to undermine public confidence in a vaccine if the vaccine emerges during the Trump administration I think is unconscionable.”
The Plexiglas barriers separating the two debaters seated 12ft apart were a vivid reminder of the pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 Americans.
President Trump – who is himself recovering from the virus – returned to the White House on October 5 after three nights in hospital, with his opinion poll numbers drooping.
On October 7, the president declared that catching the disease was a “blessing from God” that exposed to him to experimental treatments he vowed would become free for all Americans.
The virus, meanwhile, has spread through the West Wing of the White House and infected figures inside the president’s re-election campaign.
ABC News reported that an internal government memo, dated October 7, said “34 White House staffers and other contacts” had been infected in recent days.
President Donald Trump and Joe Biden have fiercely clashed in the first of the three White House debates.
The Republican president frequently interrupted, prompting the Democratic candidate to tell him to “shut up” as the two fought over the pandemic, healthcare and the economy.
Donald Trump was challenged over white supremacist support and refused to condemn a specific far-right group.
Opinion polls suggest Joe Biden has a steady single-digit lead over President Trump.
However, with 35 days until Election Day, surveys from several important states show a closer contest.
Polls also suggest one in ten Americans have yet to make up their mind how to vote. But analysts said the September 29 debate – the first of three – probably would not make much difference.
Overall, the 90-minute debate in Cleveland, Ohio, was light on serious policy discussion. Both candidates talked over each other but President Trump cut in some 73 times, according to a count by CBS News.
The tenor became clear early on as the two candidates sparred over healthcare. Hectoring from Donald Trump saw Joe Biden call the president a “clown”.
As they moved on to the Supreme Court, the rancor continued, with Joe Biden refusing to answer when asked if he would try to expand the number of judges.
“Will you shut up, man?” Joe Biden snapped at President Trump, later adding: “Keep yapping, man.”
President Trump responded: “The people understand, Joe. Forty-seven years [in politics], you’ve done nothing. They understand.”
Speaking on the final night of the Republican convention, President Donald Trump has warned Joe Biden will “demolish” the American dream if he wins the White House in November.
The president depicted his Democratic challenger as “the destroyer of American greatness”.
Donald Trump said the Democrats would unleash “violent anarchists” upon US cities.
Joe Biden has a steady single-digit lead in opinion polls over President Trump with 68 days until voters return their verdict.
The end of the RNC heralds a 10-week sprint to Election Day, and the coming campaign is widely expected to be one of the ugliest in living memory.
On August 27, President Trump asked voters for another four years in office, vowing to dispel the coronavirus pandemic that has ravaged the US economy and quell civil strife ignited by police killings of African Americans.
He accepted the GOP’s re-nomination from the South Lawn of the White House.
Donald Trump said: “This election will decide whether we save the American dream, or whether we allow a socialist agenda to demolish our cherished destiny.”
He added: “Your vote will decide whether we protect law-abiding Americans, or whether we give free rein to violent anarchists, agitators and criminals who threaten our citizens.”
His reference to the sometimes violent racial justice protests that have swept the nation in recent months came as hundreds of Black Lives Matter demonstrators gathered outside the White House gates.
Some of their shouts and car horns could be heard on the South Lawn despite new fencing being erected this week along the White House perimeter to keep protesters at a distance.
President Trump said the Democrats at their party convention last week had disparaged America as a place of racial, social and economic injustice.
He said: “So tonight,I ask you a very simple question – how can the Democrat party ask to lead our country when it spends so much time tearing down our country?
“In the left’s backward view, they do not see America as the most free, just and exceptional nation on earth. Instead, they see a wicked nation that must be punished for its sins.”
In a blistering attack on his opponent’s decades-long political life, Donald Trump continued: “Joe Biden spent his entire career outsourcing the dreams of American workers, offshoring their jobs, opening their borders and sending their sons and daughters to fight in endless foreign wars.”
While President Trump portrayed his challenger as “a Trojan horse for socialism”, Joe Biden’s lengthy record as a political moderate was a hindrance for him as he competed to capture his party’s nomination.
Donald Trump mentioned Joe Biden more than 40 times; the Democrat did not once name Donald Trump in his speech last week, though criticism of the president permeated Joe Biden’s remarks.
Kamala Harris – the child of immigrants from India and Jamaica – pledged that she and Joe Biden would revive a country fractured by the coronavirus pandemic and racial tension.
“There is no vaccine for racism,” she said.
“We’ve got to do the work.”
She continued: “Donald Trump’s failure has cost lives and livelihoods.”
“Right now, we have a president who turns our tragedies into political weapons,” Kamala Harris added.
President Trump swiftly hit back, tweeting about Kamala Harris’ previous attack on Joe Biden over his record on race issues, while they were both rivals for the Democratic White House nomination.
He tweeted: “BUT DIDN’T SHE CALL HIM A RACIST??? DIDN’T SHE SAY HE WAS INCOMPETENT???”
The moment came during a live TV debate last year, though Kamala Harris prefaced those remarks by telling Joe Biden: “I do not believe you are a racist.”
Also on August 19, former President Barack Obama launched his most withering direct attack yet on Donald Trump, accusing his Republican successor of treating the White House like “one more reality show”.
Joe Biden has been officially crowned as the Democratic presidential candidate at the party’s convention.
He was endorsed by two Democratic former presidents, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Republican.
Bill Clinton said President Donald Trump had brought “chaos” to the Oval Office.
President Trump trails Joe Biden in opinion polls ahead of November’s election.
Joe Biden, the former vice-president under President Barack Obama, became the Democratic Party’s nominee on Tuesday night in a pre-recorded roll call vote from delegates in all 50 states.
This is Joe Biden’s third White House bid, having formerly run in 1988 and 2008. The 77-year-old’s campaign appeared to be in danger of collapse back in February this year.
On the second night of the party convention on August 18, with the theme “leadership matters,” Bill Clinton delivered the key address.
“Donald Trump says we’re leading the world,” Bill Clinton said in his five-minute message pre-recorded from his home in Chappaqua, New York.
“Well, we are the only major industrial economy to have its unemployment rate triple.
“At a time like this, the Oval Office should be a command centre. Instead, it’s a storm centre. There’s only chaos.”
Following addresses from former First Lady Michelle Obama and Senator Bernie Sanders on August 17, the next day’s speeches aimed to persuade voters the Democratic party is the best suited to repair problems at home and abroad.
Colin Powell said Joe Biden shared “the values I learned growing up in the south Bronx and serving in uniform”.
The decorated four-star general said he supported him for president because “we need to restore those values to the White House”.
In June, Colin Powell – who served under President George W Bush and has appeared at multiple Republican conventions in previous years – called President Trump a liar and endorsed Joe Biden.
Colin Powell joins several Republicans who have endorsed Joe Biden, including former Ohio Governor John Kasich during the first night of the convention.
Cindy McCain, the widow of Republican Senator John McCain, also spoke about the friendship between her late husband and Joe Biden, though she stopped short of a formal endorsement.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the convention virtually to assail President Trump’s leadership.
He said: “When this president goes overseas, it isn’t a goodwill mission, it’s a blooper reel.
“He breaks up with our allies and writes love letters to dictators. America deserves a president who is looked up to, not laughed at.”
The freshly minted Democratic nominee’s wife, Jill Biden, potentially the next first lady, delivered the night’s headline address, standing in an empty classroom at the Delaware high school where she taught English in the 1990s.
Urging everyone to vote for her husband, who joined her, Jill Biden said: “The burdens we carry are heavy, and we need someone with strong shoulders.
“I know that if we entrust this nation to Joe, he will do for your family what he did for ours: bring us together and make us whole.”
The DNC is largely virtual, amid the coronavirus pandemic, and it is unclear whether a format of pre-recorded speeches and no live audience will generate the same levels of enthusiasm as the traditional party gatherings. Next week’s Republican convention will also be mostly online.
The opening night drew 28% fewer viewers than in 2016, according to ratings from Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company. Democrats said an additional 10 million watched online, which if confirmed would put its audience at slightly above levels that year.
Louis DeJoy, a former Republican donor, also said overtime pay would continue to be approved to ensure deliveries arrive on time.
He said in a statement: “To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded.”
The development comes as the row over the politicization of the most popular US government agency has become a top issue in the 2020 presidential campaign.
Over the weekend, former President Barack Obama – in what was regarded as his most high-profile criticism of President Donald Trump to date – accused his successor of trying to “actively kneecap” the postal service.
Defenders of the changes said they were necessary to help the USPS get out of financial debt. Its budget shortfall has risen to $160 billion amid a decade-long decline in mail volume.
However, Mark Dimondstein, the president of the American Postal Workers Union which represents more than 200,000 postal employees, told Fox News on August 18 that the changes “are truly slowing down mail, the customers see it… the postal workers see it – mail is getting all backed up”.
On August 19, Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, cheered the postmaster’s volte-face, telling reporters: “They felt the heat and that’s what we were trying to do, make it too hot to handle.”
On August 16, Nancy Pelosi had recalled the House from a recess in order to investigate the USPS policies.
Louis DeJoy, a major political donor who was appointed by President Trump to lead the USPS in May, is due to testify to a Republican-led Senate committee on August 21, and then to a Democrat-led House committee on August 24.
Last week, President Trump said he rejected a funding boost for the USPS to shore up a predicted influx mail-in voting, claiming without evidence that it would lead to voter fraud and help Democrats.
He has also suggested delaying the election, which he does not have the power to do, to stop postal ballots leading to “inaccurate and fraudulent” results.
Voting by mail is not new to the US. According to Reuters, approximately one in every four voters cast ballots by mail in 2016.
Critics say people could vote more than once via absentee ballots and then again in person, though numerous nationwide and state-level studies over the years have found no evidence of widespread fraud.
However, these are rare incidents, and the rate of voting fraud overall in the US is between 0.00004% and 0.0009%, a 2017 study by the Brennan Center for Justice said.
Joe Biden’s campaign team has issued a scathing response after President Donald Trump amplified a conspiracy theory about Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris.
President Trump said he had “heard” that Kamala Harris – a US-born citizen whose parents were immigrants – “doesn’t qualify” to serve as vice-president.
The fringe theory has been dismissed by constitutional experts.
The Biden campaign called the comments “abhorrent” and “pathetic”.
They noted that President Trump spent years promoting a false “birther” theory that ex-President Barack Obama was not born in the US.
On August 11, Kamala Harris, a senator from California, became the first black woman and the first Asian-American to be named as a running mate on a main-party presidential ticket.
A Biden campaign spokesman said in an email: “Donald Trump was the national leader of the grotesque, racist birther movement with respect to President Obama and has sought to fuel racism and tear our nation apart on every single day of his presidency.
“So it’s unsurprising, but no less abhorrent, that as Trump makes a fool of himself straining to distract the American people from the horrific toll of his failed coronavirus response that his campaign and their allies would resort to wretched, demonstrably false lies in their pathetic desperation.”
Kamala Harris was born to a Jamaican father and Indian mother in Oakland, California, on October 20, 1964. As such, she is eligible to serve as president or vice-president.
Constitutional scholars have dismissed the fringe legal theory that President Trump was referring to.
To be vice-president or president, Kamala Harris “has to be a natural-born citizen, at least 35 years old, and a resident in the United States for at least 14 years”, Juliet Sorensen, a law professor at Northwestern University, told the Associated Press.
“She is. That’s really the end of the inquiry.”
Anyone born in the US and subject to its jurisdiction is a natural born citizen, regardless of the citizenship of their parents, says the Cornell Legal Information Institute.
After a conservative law professor questioned Kamala Harris’ eligibility based on her parents’ immigration status at the time of her birth, President Trump was asked about the argument at a press conference on August 13.
President Trump said: “I just heard it today that she doesn’t meet the requirements and by the way the lawyer that wrote that piece is a very highly qualified, very talented lawyer.
“I have no idea if that’s right. I would have assumed the Democrats would have checked that out before she gets chosen to run for vice-president.
“But that’s a very serious, you’re saying that, they’re saying that she doesn’t qualify because she wasn’t born in this country.”
The reporter replied there was no question that Kamala Harris was born in the US, simply that her parents might not have been permanent US residents at the time.
Kamala Harris has been named as Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s running mate.
The California senator of Indian-Jamaican heritage is the first black woman and South Asian American in the role.
Once a rival for the top job, Kamala Harris had long been considered the front-runner for the vice-president.
The former California attorney general has been urging police reform amid nationwide anti-racism protests.
Joe Biden will face President Donald Trump in the election on November 3.
After August 11 announcement, Kamala Harris tweeted that Joe Biden “can unify the American people because he’s spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he’ll build an America that lives up to our ideals”.
“I’m honored to join him as our party’s nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief.”
On August 12, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will deliver remarks in Wilmington, Delaware, on “working together to restore the soul of the nation and fight for working families to move the country forward”, the Biden campaign said.
At a White House news conference on August 11, President Donald Trump, a Republican, said he was pleased with Joe Biden’s choice, adding that Kamala Harris did “very, very poorly” in her effort to become the Democratic nominee.
Kamala Harris will take part in a debate with President Trump’s running mate, Vice-President Mike Pence, on October 7 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
In last year’s race to be the Democratic nominee, Kamala Harris showed herself to be a forceful speaker, launching blistering attacks on Donald Trump.
The role of a vice-presidential running mate isn’t always clearly defined.
One of the traditional roles is to go on the offensive in exposing the opposition’s weaknesses, while the presidential nominee focuses on communicating the party’s message.
Constitutionally, the vice-president steps in to the top job should the president die or leave office during his or her term.
Joe Biden will turn 78 in November, meaning should he be elected he will be the oldest US president in history (Ronald Reagan was 77 when he left office).
His age means Joe Biden’s vice-presidential choice may come under extra scrutiny.
Kamala Harris, 55, dropped out of the presidential race in December after failing to make headway in her bid to win the Democratic nomination.
She repeatedly clashed with Joe Biden during the primary election debates, most notably criticizing his praise for the “civil” working relationship he had with former senators who favored racial segregation.
Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California, to two immigrant parents: an Indian-born mother and Jamaican-born father.
She went on to attend Howard University, one of the nation’s preeminent historically black colleges and universities. She has described her time there as among the most formative experiences of her life.
Kamala Harris says she’s always been comfortable with her identity and simply describes herself as “an American”.
Only two other women have been nominated as vice-presidential candidates for a major party – Sarah Palin by the Republican party in 2008 and Geraldine Ferraro by the Democrats in 1984. Neither were on the winning ticket.
A woman of color has never been appointed to a presidential ticket by either of the two main American political parties. No woman has won the US presidency either.
Joe Biden tweeted that he had “the great honor” to name Kamala Harris as his number two.
He described her as “a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants”.
Joe Biden pledged in March to name a woman on the ticket. He had faced mounting calls to pick a black woman in recent months as the nation has been convulsed by social unrest over police brutality against African Americans, a key voting bloc for the Democratic Party.
Kanye West has officially launched his White House 2020 campaign, with an unorthodox rally in Charleston, South Carolina.
The 43-year-old rapper is running as a candidate for his self-styled “Birthday Party”.
At the event, Kanye West seemed to make policy decisions off-the-cuff and made several rants, including on abortion and on abolitionist Harriet Tubman.
Fans have questioned whether his last-minute bid for the White House is actually a promotional stunt.
The Charleston rally did little to clarify whether Kanye West’s run is genuine. But a now-deleted tweet sent from Kanye West’s account on July 18, appearing to show the song list for a new album, added to the speculation.
The event, held at a wedding and conference hall in the city, was said to be open to registered guests only – but Kanye West’s campaign website had no function for people to register or RSVP.
Kanye West appeared with “2020” shaved into the back of his head and wearing a protective security vest, and addressed the gathered crowd without a microphone.
There were no audience microphones either, leading the rapper to repeatedly tell the crowd to be silent so he could hear the questions being asked.
At one point Kanye West began crying when talking about abortion, saying that his parents almost aborted him: “There would have been no Kanye West, because my dad was too busy.”
He added: “I almost killed my daughter… even if my wife [Kim Kardashian West] were to divorce me after this speech, she brought North into the world, even when I didn’t want to.”
However, the rapper then added that he believes abortion should remain legal, but there should be financial support for struggling new mothers – suggesting that “everybody that has a baby gets a million dollars”.
“The only thing that can free us is by obeying the rules that were given to us for a promised land,” Kanye West said.
“Abortion should be legal because guess what? The law is not by God anyway, so what is legality?”
At another moment, Kanye West gave an impromptu monologue about 19th century abolitionist Harriet Tubman.
He said: “Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves, she just had the slaves go work for other white people.”
Harriet Tubman was born into slavery, but managed to escape a Maryland plantation in 1849, at the age of 27. She then returned to the South to rescue other slaves on the network of routes and safe houses known as “underground railroad”, risking her own life to lead people to freedom.
Kanye West also became tearful when talking about his late mother, who died in 2007 from complications during cosmetic surgery.
The speech has been met with anger by some – mostly sparked by the rapper’s comments about Harriet Tubman – but also with concern over Kanye West’s welfare.
Kanye West, who announced his candidacy on 4th of July, has already missed the deadline to qualify for the ballot in several states. He needs to collect enough signatures to appear on the ballot in a number of others.
Last week, he qualified to appear on Oklahoma’s presidential ballot, the first state where he met the requirements before the deadline.
In order to appear on South Carolina’s ballot, Kanye West needs to collect 10,000 signatures by noon local time on July 20.
President Donald Trump has decided to postpone his first post-coronavirus lockdown election rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, so it does not fall on Juneteenth, the holiday commemorating the end of US slavery.
He tweeted that the June 19 rally would be held a day later out of respect for Juneteenth.
The choice of date had drawn criticism amid nationwide anti-racism protests.
The location was also controversial, as Tulsa saw one of the worst massacres of black people in US history in 1921.
Up to 300 people died when a white mob attacked the prosperous black neighborhood of Greenwood, known as the “Black Wall Street”, with guns and explosives. About 1,000 businesses and homes were also destroyed.
Juneteenth is not a federal holiday, but is widely celebrated by African Americans.
It celebrates the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation to enslaved African Americans in Texas.
Texas was the last state of the Confederacy – the slaveholding southern states that seceded, triggering the Civil War – to receive the proclamation, on June 19, 1865, months after the end of the war.
President Trump initially defended the timing of his rally, telling Fox News: “Think about it as a celebration. My rally is a celebration. In the history of politics, I think I can say there’s never been any group or any person that’s had rallies like I do.”
However, critics accused the president of disrespecting the date and the significance of Tulsa to US history.
Explaining the decision to move his rally, President Trump tweeted: “Many of my African American friends and supporters have reached out to suggest that we consider changing the date out of respect for this Holiday, and in observance of this important occasion and all that it represents. I have therefore decided to move our rally to Saturday, June 20th, in order to honor their requests…”
The “Make America Great Again” rally in Tulsa will be Donald Trump’s first campaign event since March 2, when the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to mass gatherings.
President Trump is seeking re-election in November 2020, but polls show him lagging behind his Democratic rival, Joe Biden.
Campaign rallies are seen as a key method of energizing his base, and Oklahoma is traditionally a Republican-voting state.
The event will proceed against a backdrop of ongoing protests against racial inequality and police brutality, triggered by the death of African American man George Floyd on May 25. George Floyd, who was unarmed, died in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota after a policeman knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.
The rally is being held in a 19,000-seat indoor arena, and concerns have been raised about the potential risks.
Oklahoma has one of the US lowest infection rates, and businesses are reopening – but the state’s Governor Kevin Stitt has urged residents to keep social distancing and to “minimize time spent in crowded environments”.
People buying tickets for the Tulsa rally online have to click on a waiver confirming that they “voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to Covid-19” and will not hold the president’s campaign responsible for “any illness or injury”.
President Trump has announced he plans to hold further events in Florida, Texas, North Carolina and Arizona.
One of President Donald Trump’s tweets has been given a fact-check label by Twitter for the first time.
President Trump tweeted, without providing evidence: “There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent.”
Twitter put a warning label in the president’s post and linked to a page that described the claims as “unsubstantiated”.
On May 27, President Trump threatened to “strongly regulate” or even “close down” social media platforms.
He tweeted to his 80 million followers that Republicans felt the platforms “totally silence conservatives” and that he would not allow this to happen. In an earlier tweet, the president said that Twitter was “completely stifling free speech”.
Later on May 27 President Trump said that Twitter “has now shown everything we have been saying about them… is correct” and vowed “big action to follow”.
It is unclear what regulatory steps the president could take without new laws passed by Congress. The White House has yet to offer further details.
For years, Twitter has faced criticism for not acting on Donald Trump’s controversial tweets, which include personal attacks on political rivals and debunked conspiracy theories.
This month Twitter introduced a new policy on misleading information amid the coronavirus pandemic.
However, President Trump’s recent posts promoting a conspiracy theory about the death of political aide Lori Klausutis, blaming a high-profile critic, have not received the same treatment.
The notification on President Trump’s tweet shows a blue exclamation mark and a link suggesting readers “get the facts about mail-in ballots”.
The link directs users to a page on which the president’s claims are described as “unsubstantiated”, citing reporting by CNN, the Washington Post and others.
Tara Reade said she had received a death threat after Biden supporters accused her without evidence of being a Russian agent.
She continued: “His surrogates have been saying really horrible things about me and to me on social media.
“He hasn’t himself, but there is a measure of hypocrisy with the campaign saying it’s been safe – it’s not been safe.
“All of my social media has been hacked, all of my personal information has been dragged through.”
Joe Biden campaign communications director Kate Bedingfield said in a statement after the interview aired that Tara Reade’s story contained “inconsistencies”.
“Women must receive the benefit of the doubt,” said the statement.
“They must be able to come forward and share their stories without fear of retribution or harm – and we all have a responsibility to ensure that.
“At the same time, we can never sacrifice the truth. And the truth is that these allegations are false and that the material that has been presented to back them up, under scrutiny, keeps proving their falsity.”
Joe Biden, who is the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, broke his silence on the matter a week ago, appearing on a morning TV show to brand the allegations “false”.
A court document from 1996 shows Tara Reade’s ex-husband describing “a problem she was having at work regarding harassment, in US Senator Joe Biden’s office”, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported.
“It was obvious that this event had a very traumatic effect on [Reade], and that she is still sensitive and effected [sic] by it today,” wrote Theodore Dronen, Tara Reade’s then-husband, in a legal memo during their divorce battle.
The file obtained by the California newspaper appears to be the only document from the time that might describe Tara Reade’s allegation.
Tara Reade’s brother, a former neighbor and a former colleague have all said they heard her describe the accusation against her boss after the alleged incident. Her mother appears to have called a CNN show about the claim back in 1993.
High-powered Manhattan lawyer Douglas Wigdor said in a statement that he is representing Tara Reade. He has also represented alleged assault victims of jailed Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
The Vermont senator described Donald Trump as “the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country”.
He said: “Today I am asking all Americans – I’m asking every Democrat, I’m asking every independent, I’m asking a lot of Republicans – to come together in this campaign to support your candidacy which I endorse.
“It’s imperative that all of us work together.”
Joe Biden, 77, said he was “deeply grateful” for the endorsement and said he needed Bernie Sanders not just for the campaign, but to govern.
He said: “You’ve put the interests of this nation and the need to beat Donald Trump above all else. As you say – ‘Not me, us’.”
Addressing Bernie Sanders’ supporters, Joe Biden added: “I see you, I hear you, I understand the urgency of what it is that we have to get done in this country, and I hope you’ll join us.”
The former vice-president said he and Bernie Sanders were setting up policy working groups to address issues including climate change, health care and college fees.
It emerged shortly afterwards that Joe Biden had beaten Bernie Sanders in last week’s Wisconsin’s Democratic presidential primary – held amid controversy because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Bernie Sanders, a self-described “Democratic socialist”, ended his presidential campaign last week, telling supporters he could see no feasible path to get enough votes to win the nomination.
The senator became an early front-runner, popular with younger voters, and made healthcare and income inequalities key election issues.
However, he slipped behind Joe Biden in recent weeks.
Bernie Sanders, an Independent, had sought the Democratic presidential nomination before, losing out in 2016 to Hillary Clinton.
Bernie Sanders has decided to suspend his presidential campaign, clearing the way for former Vice-President Joe Biden to become the Democratic Party’s nominee.
The 78-year-old Vermont senator told supporters on April 8 he saw no feasible path to get enough votes to win the nomination.
An early front-runner, Bernie Sanders found success with young voters, but slipped behind Joe Biden in recent weeks.
Bernie Sanders helped make healthcare and income inequalities key election issues.
Among the most left-leaning candidates during this year’s election cycle, Bernie Sanders, a self-described “Democratic socialist”, campaigned on policies including healthcare for all, free public college, raising taxes on the wealthy and increasing minimum wage.
Bernie Sanders, an Independent, had sought the Democratic presidential nomination before, losing out in 2016 to Hillary Clinton.
In both elections, he found favor with young voters who embraced his calls for a political “revolution”.
Bernie Sanders won endorsements from a number of celebrities, including Cardi B, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, Mark Ruffalo and Dick Van Dyke.
He cemented his front-runner status at the start of the 2020 Democratic primary election season with wins in New Hampshire and Nevada, but his momentum lagged in later days.
Bernie Sanders failed to win key African-American voters across the southern states, who largely went for Joe Biden.
In recent weeks, Bernie Sanders had been hosting campaign events through online live streams due to health concerns from the Covid-19 outbreak.
Joe Biden, 77, is now expected to be crowned the Democratic presidential nominee at the party’s convention in August. He will then face off against President Donald Trump during the November general election.
Bernie Sanders told supporters in a live stream that the decision to end his campaign was “very difficult and painful”, and acknowledged some of his supporters would have wished him to fight until the last state contest.
He said: “If I believed we had a feasible path to the nomination, I would certainly continue.”
Bernie Sanders added that the campaign has “transformed American consciousness as to what kind of nation we can become and have taken this country a major step forward in the never-ending struggle for economic justice, social justice, racial justice and environmental justice”.
He noted that across the country, his campaign received “a significant majority of the votes…from people not only 30 years or younger, but 50 years or younger”.
“The future of this country is with our ideas.”
Bernie Sanders also congratulated Joe Biden, and said that he will work with him to “move our progressive ideas forward”.
He added that he will still be on ballots in states that have yet to vote in the Democratic primary elections, in order to gather delegates and influence the party’s general election platform at the convention.
“Together, standing united, we will go forward to defeat Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history.”
With Elizabeth Warren’s departure, a Democratic race that began with a
record high of female candidates is now effectively left to two male
front-runners, who praised her and her campaign.
Asked how she made the decision to drop out, Elizabeth Warren said she
returned to the issues that anchored her campaign – the vast costs of student
loan debt, healthcare, and childcare that plague millions of Americans.
The former Harvard law professor was vaulted into the political arena more
than a decade ago as she pushed for tougher regulation of the financial sector
after the 2008 economic collapse.
In 2010, Elizabeth Warren helped the Obama White House set up the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau, a Wall Street watchdog agency she championed.
Two years later, Elizabeth Warren rode that momentum to a seat in the Senate for Massachusetts.
Exit polls across the board suggested Joe Biden attracted large majorities
of African-American voters, a crucial bloc for the Democratic Party.
Joe Biden, 77, also appears to have won among the type of suburban voters
who pollsters say have been turning away from the current president.
If Bernie Sanders, 78, does win California, as the Associated Press news
agency projects, he will pick up the lion’s share of the whopping 415 delegates
that the Golden State sends to the party convention.
The left-wing senator also won his home state of Vermont, along with
Colorado and Utah.
Bernie Sanders had been heavily favored to win Texas, but it was finally
claimed by Joe Biden.
In a victory speech, Bernie Sanders lambasted President Trump, but also took
a shot at Joe Biden.
He said: “We’re taking on the political
“You cannot beat Trump with the
same-old, same-old kind of politics.”
The next primaries take place on March 0 in Michigan, Washington state, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri and North Dakota, with 352 delegates available.
The presidential nominees will be chosen through a series of primaries and
caucuses in every state and territory that began in Iowa on February 3 and ends
in Puerto Rico in early June.
Short of a big shock, the Republican nominee will be Donald Trump. Even
though technically he has two challengers, he is so popular among Republicans,
he has a clear run ahead of him. With that in mind, the Democratic primaries
are the only ones worth watching.
one: The start line
A whole year before the primaries,
the first candidates emerged from hibernation. Over the year, others woke up
and eventually 28 people announced they were running to become the Democratic
nominee for president.
But dwindling funds, luke-warm or
(ice-cold) public reaction and campaign infighting have, to varying degrees,
led to 16 candidates pulling out of the race.
At the start of primary season, 11
people remained in the running. In theory, any one of them could become the
nominee. In reality, only a few have a chance.
two: The Iowa caucuses
The first event of the primary
season isn’t a primary at all – it’s a series of caucuses, in Iowa. These took
place on February 3, in somewhat chaotic fashion.
What are caucuses?
A caucus involves people attending a
meeting – maybe for a few hours – before they vote on their preferred
candidate, perhaps via a head count or a show of hands. Those meetings might be
in just a few select locations – you can’t just turn up at a polling station.
If any candidate gets under 15% of
the vote in any caucus, their supporters then get to pick a second choice from
among the candidates who did get more than 15%, or they can just choose
to sit out the second vote.
Why Iowa caucuses matter?
A win there for any candidate can
help give them momentum and propel them to victory in the primaries.
Why is Iowa first in the primary
calendar? You can blame Jimmy Carter, sort of. Iowa became first in 1972, for
various technical electoral reasons too boring to go into here. But when Carter
ran for president in 1976, his team realized they could grab the momentum by
campaigning early in Iowa. He won there, then surprisingly won the presidency,
and Iowa’s fate was sealed.
Why Iowa caucuses don’t matter?
Iowa doesn’t represent the entire US
– it’s largely white, so the way people vote there is very, very different than
in other states.
The sate’s record on picking the
eventual nominees is a bit rubbish too, at least when it comes to Republicans –
when there’s an open Republican race, Iowa hasn’t opted for the eventual
nominee since 2000. Such names as Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Ted Cruz
have won there in recent years.
Step three: The New Hampshire primary
Eight days after Iowa on February 11, is the first primary, in New
Hampshire. The tiny north-eastern state of only 1.3 million people will once
again become an unlikely hotbed of political activity.
What is a primary?
Unlike a caucus, where voters are expected to turn up at a few limited
locations at certain times and stick around for a while, primary voters can
just turn up at a polling booth and vote in secret. Then leave.
How does a primary work?
The more votes a candidate gets in a caucus or primary, the more
“delegates” they are awarded, and all candidates will be hoping to
win an unbeatable majority of delegates.
The number of delegates differs in each state, and is decided by a
convoluted series of criteria. In California’s primary, for example, there are
415 Democratic delegates up for grabs this year. In New Hampshire, there are
This year is a bit different. Any candidate would need to get at least 15%
of the vote in any primary or caucus to be awarded delegates. There are still
11 candidates in the running – an unusually large number – so there’s a risk
the vote share will be spread out and some of the candidates may struggle to
After New Hampshire, we could get a clear picture of who is struggling, but
whoever has claimed the most delegates at this stage is still far from
guaranteed to be the nominee.
Even those who are struggling may not drop out right after New Hampshire,
because there is so much at stake on…
Step four: Super Tuesday
A few other states vote in between New Hampshire and the end of February,
but this is when things really start to warm up: Super Tuesday, on March 3.
What is Super Tuesday?
It is the big date in the primary calendar, when 16 states,
territories or groups vote for their preferred candidate in primaries or
caucuses. A third of all the delegates available in the entire primary season
are up for grabs on Super Tuesday. By the end of the day it could be much
clearer who the Democratic candidate will be.
The two states with the most delegates are voting on Super Tuesday
– California (with 415 Democratic delegates) and Texas (228). California is
voting three months earlier than in 2016, making Super Tuesday even more super
California and Texas are two states with very diverse populations, so we may
see them going for very different candidates than those chosen in Iowa and New
Step five: The rest of the race
After hectic Super Tuesday, everyone gets to cool down for a week, before
another busy day on March 10, when six states vote, with 352 delegates
After that, the primary season still has three months left to run, and at
the end, the role of those delegates will become clear…
Step six: The conventions
Donald Trump will almost certainly be sworn in as the Republican nominee at
the party convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, between August 24 and 27.
The Democrats will confirm their candidate at their own convention between July
13 and 16 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
What happens in a convention?
Here’s where those delegates come in.
Let’s say that during primary season, candidate A wins 10 delegates. During
the convention, those 10 delegates would vote for candidate A to become the
Democratic nominee. (Any party member can apply to be a delegate – they tend to
be party activists or local political leaders.)
All through the Democratic primaries, there are 3,979 delegates
available. If any one candidate wins more than 50% of those delegates during
primary season (that’s 1,990 delegates), then they become the
nominee in a vote at the convention.
But if we get to the Democratic convention and no-one has more than 50% of
the delegates, it becomes what’s known as a “contested” or
“brokered” convention. This could well happen this year. There are so
many candidates that no one frontrunner emerges in the primaries, and they
split the delegates between them. In that circumstance, a second vote
In that second vote, all the 3,979 delegates would vote again, except this
time they would be joined by an estimated 771 “superdelegates”.
These are senior party officials past and present (former president Bill
Clinton is one, as is current Vermont senator and presidential contender Bernie
Sanders), and they’re free to vote for whomever they wish.
If a candidate wins 50% or more in that vote – 2,376 delegates – then they
become the nominee.
This is all thanks to a rule change in 2020: last time around, the
superdelegates voted at the start of the convention, with the delegates. But
many had pledged their support to Hillary Clinton even before the convention,
leading her rival Bernie Sanders to suggest the deck was stacked against him.
Bernie Sanders is the one who campaigned for the change – and it may benefit
him in 2020.
Step seven: The presidency
After inching past Iowa, negotiated New Hampshire, survived Super Tuesday and come through the convention, there is only one step left for the nominee: the presidential election, on November 3.
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