WASHINGTON (AP) – After a campaign marked by brutality and fear, the Americans on Tuesday decided between President Donald Trump and Democratic Joe Biden, choosing a leader to direct a nation is being crushed by a pandemic that has killed more than 230,000 people, costing them millions of dollars. jobs and reshape everyday life.
Nearly 100 million Americans voted early and now it takes election day to get the job done, end a campaign reshaped by coronavirus and defined by the tensions over who can tackle it. the best. Each candidate claimed the other was fundamentally unsuitable to lead a country that was grappling with COVID-19 and faced with fundamental questions of racial equity and economic equity.
Biden entered Election Day with many paths leading to victory while Trump, playing catch-up in some battlefield states, has a narrower, but still viable path to win 270 Electoral College votes. Control of the Senate is also at stake: Democrats need to win three seats if Biden takes over the White House to gain full control of Washington for the first time in a decade. The house is expected to remain under Democratic control.
Voters disregarded the long lines and threats of the virus to vote as they choose between two completely different visions of America over the next four years. The record-setting early vote – and the legal controversy over how it would be counted – has raised unsupported allegations of fraud from Trump, who declined to guarantee that he would respect the election results.
Fighting to the end for every vote, Biden traveled to Philadelphia and his hometown of Scranton on Tuesday as part of a voting effort that ended before waiting for the election results in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. His executive partner, Sen. Kamala Harris, was visiting Detroit, a heavy black city on the Michigan battlefield. Both husband and wife also passed away when the Democrats achieved a clear victory.
Trump, after his favorite online morning appearance, Fox News, planned to visit his campaign headquarters in Virginia. He invited hundreds of supporters to an election night party in the East Room of the White House.
The fierce struggle campaign made voters on both sides eager to continue.
“I just wanted it to be done,” said Starlet Holden, a 26-year-old medical officer from Queens, New York, who planned to vote for Biden but told multiple people on both sides of the campaign.
On their final day of the campaign, Trump and Biden made a big break on the mechanics of the vote itself when visiting the most disputed battlefield, Pennsylvania.
The President has threatened legal action to block counting of votes received after Election Day. If the counting of the votes in Pennsylvania took a few days, as allowed, Trump declared without proof that “cheating could happen like you’ve never seen it.”
In fact, about 20 states allow the count of votes received after Election Day – up to nine days and longer in some states. The lawsuits only focused on a few places where states made the changes largely due to the coronavirus.
Biden told voters in Pennsylvania that the country’s structure was at stake and suggested his own election as the toughest rebuke possible against a president he said had spent “four the year separates us at all directions.
“Tomorrow is the start of a new day. Tomorrow we can end a president who has left hardworking Americans left in the cold! “Biden said in Pittsburgh.” If you elect me as president, I will act to heal the country. “
Trump argued, at one stop in Wisconsin, that Biden was “not what our country needed”. He added: “This is not – yes, it’s about me, I guess, when you think about it.”
For Trump, the election was seen as a ruling of his four years in power, a term in which he bent Washington to his own will, challenged beliefs in its institutions and changed views. America globally. In a country divided by race and caste, he often acts as an insurgent against the government he leads, brings down its scientists and bureaucracy and fights. media.
The country has been preparing for what’s to come – and an outcome may not be known for days.
A new anti-scale fence has been erected around the White House. And in metropolitan areas from New York to Denver to Minneapolis, workers started their businesses out of fear that the vote would lead to unrest that erupted earlier this year amid protests over Race inequality.
Just a short walk from the White House, from block to block, shops were covered with windows and doors. Some just opened the front door, hoping to attract a little bit of business.
Both candidates vote early, but First Lady Melania Trump will vote on Tuesday near Mar-a-Lago, the couple’s estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
The contenders crossed the battlefield states on Monday, with Biden also pushing into Ohio, a state once deemed safe for Trump. The President, for his part, packed five rallies, Air Force One appeared in the sky as he drew crowds in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and then returned to Michigan again. .
His finale lasted past midnight in Grand Rapids, where he also staged his final rally in 2016. It marked the end of an era in American politics, part is identified by the large and exciting gatherings that the president continues to hold despite warnings from his government’s public health experts to avoid crowds during the pandemic.
The next president will inherit an anxious country reeling from a century-long health crisis that shut schools and businesses down and that is getting worse as the weather turns. cold.
Trump in Grand Rapids asserts once again that the country is “turning around” on the virus. But Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House anti-virus task force, has broken up with the president and joined a choir of scientists in the Trump administration who are alarmed by the spike. current infections.
“We are entering the most disturbing and deadliest phase of this pandemic,” Birx wrote in a memorandum sent to top government officials. She added that the country has not taken the necessary “balance” measures to slow the spread of the virus. One recipient confirmed the content originally reported on Monday by The Washington Post.
The pandemic overshadowed the campaign, largely a referendum on Trump’s handling of the virus.
In Concord, New Hampshire, 70-year-old Linda Eastman said she was voting for Trump, saying: “Maybe he’s not perfect with the coronavirus, but I think he did the best he could with what he did. there is. “
At Virginia Beach, it was a vote for Biden from 54-year-old Gabriella Cochrane, who said she thought the former vice president would “surround herself with the brightest and best” to fight the pandemic.
The challenge of tallying a record-setting early vote added another layer of uncertainty to an election marked by suspicions fueled by an incumbent, who was constantly sticking around in the elections. probe.
Trump, in Pennsylvania, who did not participate in the state process for counting votes coming after Election Day, vowed “we will join our attorneys” as soon as the polls are over. He tweeted – with no evidence – that “street violence” could follow the Supreme Court’s decision to extend the counting of votes until after Tuesday.
Trump dedicated himself to voters as an outsider whom he first introduced to voters four years ago, asserting he was still not a politician. Considering himself the last barrier to protecting American lifestyles under the siege of extremist forces, he has repeatedly tried to portray Biden, who is seen as a moderate Democrat, as a public tools of the extreme left.
Biden, for his part, has chosen Trump as an incompetent leader in times of crisis, trying to connect what he sees as the president’s failure to stop viruses and other problems with life. everyday of Americans.
Jaffe reports from Pittsburgh. Miller reports from Grand Rapids, Mich. Associated Press writers Will Weissert in Washington and Bill Barrow in Atlanta contributed to this report.