World

Excruciatingly close fight in US presidential election

WILMINGTON/WASHINGTON: The excruciatingly close US presidential election hung in the balance yesterday, with a handful of closely contested states set to decide the outcome in the coming hours or even days.

Democratic challenger Joe Biden opened up narrow leads in Wisconsin and Michigan on Wednesday morning (Wednesday night, Singapore time), according to Edison Research, as the two Midwestern battleground states that the Republican president won in 2016 continued to count mail-in ballots.

If he does win Wisconsin, Michigan and Nevada, another state where Mr Biden held a small advantage with votes still left to be tallied, the Democratic challenger would pick up the 270 electoral votes needed in the state-by-state Electoral College to win the White House.

At press time, Mr Biden led 224 to 213 over Mr Trump, according to Edison Research.

But Mr Trump still had a path to victory with the Midwestern states officially undecided.

His most likely route requires him to win Pennsylvania as well as at least one Midwestern battleground and both Southern states of Georgia and North Carolina.

The trio of "blue wall" states that unexpectedly sent Mr Trump to the White House in 2016 - Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin - remained too close to call.

Officials in Nevada said they would not update the count until today.

Georgia and North Carolina were also still in play - Mr Trump held leads in both. A win for Mr Biden in either one would hugely narrow Mr Trump's chances.

Mr Biden's victory in Arizona, which had previously voted for a Democratic presidential candidate only once in 72 years, so far remained the only state to flip from the 2016 results. - REUTERS

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