With the vote finishing tonight, we gathered together 5 of the key things to think about as a Brit looking across the pond at it.
It is a Two Party System
The biggest difference to think about is US have only two major parties to vote for – Democrats and Republicans. UK, tends to have a Labour or Conservative government but we get the chance to add Greens, SNPs, Lib Dems and other parties to the mix – to make our voice heard.
Imagine if you only had Labour or Conservative to vote for – then sometimes a 3rd Independent candidate who is from the Monster Raving Loony Party.
They have less choice and some have said this election is picking the lesser of two evils.
They vote for their Leader and Other Stuff too
The UK election is where the House of Commons is elected by the public, we do not pick the leader. The winning party or coalition pick their leader – Americans pick their leader with their vote.
Americans will also be voting (where possible) for who will be going into their Congress and the Senate ( The two chambers that governs the US – similar to our Commons and Lords). When they are up for re-election are somewhat different to a President however several seats will be up this year too.
This is important to think about too as Obama a Democrat President had an issue when trying to make decision at the mid point of his run as President. He had a Democrat majority in the Senate (51 to 47 in 9th May 2011) but a Republican majority in the House of Representatives (241 to 192 in 9th May 2011). It mean a harsh second term of office but he battled though.
So it is best to keep an eye on everything for the next few weeks as results comes through. We hopefully will know the President by the end of tonight (9am tomorrow our time).
Points Mean Results
To win the Presidential election they have to collect enough Electoral Votes from each of the states. Each State will get the public to vote for a winner and will put all their points into one candidate. To win they have to reach the total of 270 or more, in 2016 Donald Trump beat Hilary Clinton 306 to 232 votes.
Each State is valued differently due to their populations and the total votes adds up to 538.
Key Battle States
Each State’s vote total will to their favourite candidate. Key states are California, Texas, Florida and New York. California has 55 votes with Texas 38, Florida 29 and New York 29. If the candidate were just to get those it would be 151 votes – already more than half way to the target of 270 votes to win.
For example in 2016, 52.2% of Texas voters voted for Trump (43.2% voted Hilary) – that meant that Trump got the full 38 electoral votes from Texas.
It Might Not End Tonight
There are ways for this election to not finish tonight which can be long winded and hard to explain. In very basic terms, either candidate can say that they do not agree with the results and as long as they can somewhat prove it – this will halt the result.
So Trump might turn around and say the election is rigged and then say he will not leave office. But hopefully that will not happen.
What will happen will happen. The polls (predictions) are currently favouring Biden by allot but that is not certain yet until all the votes are tallied.