Home News US presidential election 2020: Your top Googled questions, answered

US presidential election 2020: Your top Googled questions, answered

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donald trump and joe biden
Trump vs Biden – who will win? (Picture: AP; Getty)

The 2020 US presidential election is nearly upon us, marking one of the country’s most historic and significant votes.

The vote, which is taking place in the middle of an unprecedented global pandemic, will see the country elect its oldest-ever president, regardless of the result.

Furthermore, if Trump wins, he will be the first impeached president to win re-election.

Naturally, people have a lot of questions about this year’s election – from how to vote, to who is currently the favourite to win?

We answer your most asked questions from the last week, according to Google.

When is the US presidential election?

The US presidential election is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

The date remains unaffected, despite worries it could be postponed due to President Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis.

A US election has never been delayed before.

Voting booths in polling place
This year’s election will take place on November 3 (Picture: Getty)

Who are the 2020 presidential candidates?

Joe Biden, 77, is running as the Democrat candidate, while Donald Trump, 74, is running as the Republican candidate.

Their respective running partners and vice presidential candidates are Kamala Harris (Democrat) and Mike Pence (Republican).

Biden has run for president twice before – once in 1988, and then again alongside President Barack Obama in 2007.

He entered the race in January 2007, but dropped out one year later after coming fifth place. He was later elected to be Obama’s vice presidential running mate.

Donald Trump has served as president since 2016.

Prospective presidential candidates must be at at least 35 years old, be a US citizen from birth, and must have lived in the country for at least 14 years.

US-VOTE-BIDEN
Biden is the 2020 Democratic candidate (Picture: Jim Watson / AFP via Getty)

How do I vote in the US election?

Just how you cast your vote in the US election will vary, depending on where you live, and your preferred method of voting.

In some states, most votes are cast by mail, while in others, nearly all are cast in person, at polling places.

If you choose to vote in person, you’ll need to locate your local polling station and bring ID.

Owing to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, states have made it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year.

Once again, the rules vary from state to state – some will require an excuse for a mail vote, while others may not.

Deadlines also vary across states.

Asian voter voting in polling place
It is expected more people will vote absentee by mail this year (Picture: Getty)

Find out everything you need to know on USA.gov.

To vote in US elections you must be:

  • A US citizen
  • Meet your state’s residency requirements
  • Be 18 years old on or before election day
  • Be registered to vote by your state’s voter registration deadline. This will vary from state to state.

North Dakota does not require voter registration

How do I vote in the US election from the UK?

If you’re a US citizen based in the UK, you should register on the FVAP website which also has information to help you determine your state of voting residence – even if you have never lived in the States.

The ballot is sent electronically, and in most states, you can also submit it online.

If you are unable to do this, you can mail your ballot or drop it at the US Embassy. However, these options will all take longer, so would be risky at this stage.

How does the US election work?

Americans don’t vote directly for their president, instead, each of the 50 states and the District of Colombia cast their ballots for representatives, known as electors.

These electors act as representatives for their preferred party, and once they have been selected, they have their own election to pick the president and vice president.

Generally, states award all their electoral college votes to whoever won the poll of ordinary voters in the state.

Under this system – the electoral college – each state is awarded a number of vote based on its population. So California, with a population of 38 million, is worth 55 votes. Texas, with 25 million inhabitants, is worth 38 votes. Florida – a key battleground state – is worth 29.

States with a smaller population, like Delaware, Montana, Alaska or, Washington DC, are worth just 3 votes.

Candidates must win each state individually.

In total, there are 538 electoral college votes so an absolute majority of 270 or more is needed to win.

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Who is favourite to win the US election 2020?

As always, it’s impossible to know who will win the election at this stage, however, Biden is currently the favourite candidate if we look at the current bookies’ odds, and national polls.

Bookies favourite to the win the US election

According to Oddschecker, Biden’s odds are currently at 4/9 meaning his chances of winning sits at 69.2%.

Trump’s odds are 21/10, giving him a predicted 32.3% chance of winning.

These numbers shift daily, but Biden has held a clear lead in recent predictions.

Who is leading the presidential polls for 2020?

US election polls are in a constant state of flux and results vary from poll to poll, however, Biden is currently leading – but with a small margin.

Here are the latest national polls, correct at time of writing:

Real Clear Politics – Biden 51%, Trump 42%
BBC – Biden 52%, Trump 42%
Ipsos – Biden 51%, Trump 41%
IBD/TIPP – Biden 48.7%, Trump 43.5%

Trump told supporters he would not ‘feel so good’ if he lost to Biden.

Speaking in Macon, Georgia, he said: ‘Running against the worst candidate in the history of American politics puts pressure on me. Could you imagine if I lose? My whole life, what am I going to do?

‘I’m going to say, I lost to the worst candidate in the history of politics. I’m not going to feel so good. Maybe I’ll have to leave the country, I don’t know.’

trump speaking at a us election rally
Trump said he would not ‘feel so good’ if he lost (Picture: EPA/Erik S. Lessler)

Will Trump win the 2020 election?

One of the most Googled queries as of late is whether or not Trump could win the 2020 presidential race.

Could he be in with a chance?

While recent polls indicate Biden has a steady lead over the current president, both in national polls and swing state surveys, a similar pattern was seen at this point in 2016 when Hilary Clinton was predicted to win the race.

Of course, the polls were wrong and Trump walked away victorious.

However, the Clinton campaign wasn’t helped by the FBI’s investigation into her use of a private email server while security of state, just 11 days before the election.

Not to mention, the polls underestimated Trump’s popularity in several key Midwestern states, such as Wisconsin, believing they were safe Republican areas.

Nothing is truly certain until the final results come in on November 3.

When do we find out who wins the election 2020 – when will results be released?

Owing to the sheer size of the US and differing time zones and ways of voting, it’s hard to accurately predict when the final results will roll in.

The result is normally called on the night of election day, with victories declared in each state when it is believed one candidate has an unbeatable lead.

The same tactic is used to call the final result – a winner is declared when one candidate has won an unbeatable number of states.

However, this is not the final result – only a prediction.

In 2016, Donald Trump was declared the winner at around 2:30 ET (7:30 am UK) when his win in Wisconsin put him over the 270 electoral votes he needed.

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However, this year’s shift to mail voting means the results could come in later, which in turn means there might not be a result on election night.

Mail ballots can take longer to count and in some states, they can even be accepted after election day, as long as they are postmarked from before November 3.

Things could be complicated further in 2020 as Trump has refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election.

When asked if he can commit to it, he told a White House news conference: ‘Well, we’ll have to see what happens.’

The US President again evaded the question during this week’s town hall.

He told NBC moderator, Savannah Guthrie: ‘They talk about “Will you accept a peaceful transfer?”And the answer is yes, I will – but I want it to be an honest election, and so does everybody else.’

More: US news

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Your top Googled questions about the US election, answered.

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What are the swing states in the 2020 election?

The swing states – also known as ‘battleground states’ are pivotal in determining the final result.

These are states where both parties have similar levels of support, and the margin between candidates is often small.

These have been reconfigured since the 2016 election, when some typically blue states, such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan went red.

Here are the 2020 swing states, defined by Real Clear Politics:

Arizona
North Carolina
Florida
Michigan
Pennsylvania
Wisconsin

How often is a general election held in the US?

US elections are held every four years.

If Trump wins, it would be his second – and maximum – term, although he has constantly joked about serving a third.

In America, presidents are only allowed to serve two terms, though Franklin D Roosevelt did serve for longer during the Second World War.

MORE: Trump threatens to leave US if he loses election as he trails behind in polls

MORE: Donald Trump loses in the ratings battle against Joe Biden

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