US voters get to choose a new administration today
Today is polling day in the United States where voters will elect a new President, Vice-President, 435 seats in the House of Representatives (lower house) and 34 of the 100 seats in the Senate (upper house).
The election campaign has been one of the most vitriolic in U.S. history and neither of the major candidates has been received with any great enthusiasm. The battle today is between the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and the Republican candidate Donald Trump. The most recent polls suggest that Hillary Clinton is on 47.2% of the vote and Donald Trump is on 43.2%.
The winning candidate needs 270 of the 538 Electoral College votes and the latest predictions are that Hillary Clinton could take as many as 322 of those compared with 216 for Donald Trump. In early voting 42,223,452 people have voted and Hillary Clinton appears to have benefitted most from these votes. There are around 130 million voters that could vote in this election if the 2012 election is reflected.
Many states will vote the way they always have, but there are six key swing states which could decide the election, these are Florida, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Because the United States is spread across six time zones it is the eastern states that will start voting first with Hawaii in the far west being the last to vote. With all the key states in the east it should be possible to get a good idea of the final outcome fairly early on.
Nearly all media coverage is about the two main candidates, but we shouldn’t forget that there are a further 21 candidates standing in various states.
For the general election, in the Senate the Democrats need to win an additional four seats to take control of the upper house today. In the House of Representatives the Democrats need an additional 30 seats. Currently 247 of the 435 seats in the lower house are in Republican hands with 188 seats for the Democrats.
Inauguration day for the new president will be on 20th January 2017. Incumbent President Barak Obama has served the maximum two terms in office and is not eligible to stand again.