And the next president is…

The US election saga has been a statistician's dream, and we’re fast asleep.

14th November 2020

As election day was over 10 days ago we thought it would be well and truly over, and we would have to jog everyone’s memory when it came to writing about it.

As it turns out it’s sort of still happening.

President Trump appears to wavering, but he’s not quite ready to fully concede defeat.

Democrat candidate Joe Biden has seemingly crossed the winning threshold of 270 Electoral College. But the Trump camp are still crying foul and hoping the courts back them up.

But we may be seeing the beginning of the end as a coalition of US federal and state officials have said they have no evidence that votes were compromised or altered in last week’s election, rejecting unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud advanced by Trump and many of his supporters.

A statement from cybersecurity experts, has claimed the 3 November election was the most secure in American history, amounting to the most direct repudiation to date of the outgoing president’s efforts to undermine the integrity of the contest.

It echoed repeated assertions election experts and state officials have made over the last week, that the election unfolded smoothly without broad irregularities.

Chris Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said in the statement:

“While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too,“ the statement said. “When you have questions, turn to elections officials as trusted voices as they administer elections.”

Just like the Coronavirus earlier in the year, many people have attempted to explain the US election graphically, with mixed results. We think we can help by adding a little Patently magic to the situation. Here are a few of our favourite charts from around the world, with a little Patently twist added:

Swing states

As with most elections, many areas vote as they always have done historically, so the overall the result is often determined by whoever can pick up the swing voters. This year it appears that Biden has won that battle, picking up five states that voted republican last time around. In contrast, Trump has failed to convince any blue states to flip to red.

Original chart from Edison research/NEP

High turnout

Preliminary figures show the highest turnout since 1900, with 66.4% of eligible voters turning out compared with 60.1% in 2016.

As Biden also leads the national popular vote on 50.8% to Trump’s 47.4% — a lead of over five million votes — this boost in participation means that the president-elect has already received more votes than any candidate in US electoral history — close to 78 million so far, with the count continuing in some states.

Trump has also increased his vote tally compared with 2016 by more than 9 million votes, to over 72 million this year. Despite being projected to lose the election, this figure gives him the second-highest number of votes of any US presidential candidate.

Original chart from Edison research/NEP

key issues

Nationally, more than a third of voters said the economy was the most important issue in deciding who to choose as president, with a further 20% naming racial inequality and 17% saying the coronavirus pandemic.

Original chart from Edison research/NEP

Do you think Biden is over the line, or has Trump got something up his sleeve to add another twist to this election saga? Let us know your thoughts via social media.

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