US election at a standstill: Biden gains edge but tight races still give Trump hope

The world waits with bated breath to know who will be the next US president after election produces cliffhanger result

Democratic challenger Joe Biden has gained an edge but vote counting continuous
Democratic challenger Joe Biden has gained an edge but vote counting continuous

Updated at 8:45 pm Wednesday

The American election has produced no winner yet but Democratic challenger Joe Biden has gained an edge over Republican President Donald Trump.

Both are locked in tight races in several battleground states across the country but the counting of mail-in ballots in key areas has given Biden an edge in the battleground state of Michigan.

With counting still underway, the final result will depend on the outcome in the northern states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and the mid-western states of Nevada and Arizona.

Reports are stating that Presidential candidate Joe Biden has won the state of Wisconsin.

Flipping the key battleground of Wisconsin could prove vital for Biden, but under Wisconsin law a recount can be requested if the margin between the leading candidates is less than 1 percent, and the Trump campaign manager, Bill Stepien said even before the race was called the campaign would “immediately do so.”

The American election remains locked in dead heat although Biden has gained an edge
The American election remains locked in dead heat although Biden has gained an edge

Sitting president Donald Trump had won the state back in 2016.

The cliff hanger election is causing tension in a country deeply split on economic and racial issues. Malta’s representative to the UN in New York, Vanessa Frazier, said in a One TV interview early on Wednesday that shops in the city had shuttered up and boarded ground floor windows in anticipation of protests after the result is out.

By 6:30pm on Wednesday (CET), Trump had secured North Carolina and Georgia and was leading in Pennsylvania. However, Biden had taken the upperhand in Michigan and Wisconsin. Biden also enjoyed leads in Arizona and Nevada.

Biden can win the election if he holds on to all four states in which he is ahead. However, the Trump camp is still hopeful that it can win Pennsylvania and one other state from Michigan, Wisconsin and Nevada, to ensure a second mandate in the White House.

Biden's comeback in the northern states was partially the result of a surge from mail-in ballots that were counted late. In Pennsylvania and North Carolina, mail ballots posted before election day that arrive afterwards are still counted, which could drag the process for a couple more days.

American voters had to choose between incumbent President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden
American voters had to choose between incumbent President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden

Margins in Wisconsin, Michigan and Nevada remain tight.

Biden picked up the first battleground state of the night, New Hampshire, a small prize that Trump tried to steal from Democrats. Biden carried California, the nation's biggest electoral haul, Virginia and other predictable victories including Colorado and Virginia, two former battlegrounds that have become Democratic strongholds.

Trump's wins included Kansas, North Dakota and other conservative bastions in middle America.

Americans made their choices as the nation faced a confluence of historic crises with each candidate declaring the other fundamentally unfit to navigate the challenges.

Daily life has been upended by the coronavirus, which has killed more than 232,000 Americans and cost millions of jobs.

Millions of voters braved their worries about the virus - and some long lines - to turn out in person, joining 102 million fellow Americans who voted days or weeks earlier, a record number that represented 73% of the total vote in the 2016 presidential election.

In his first comments of the night, Biden urged his supporters to stay the course, expressing confidence that he will carry Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

Trump, on the other hand, claimed he will be winning big but still cast doubt on the counting of mail-in ballots, threatening to take the matter all the way to the Supreme Court.

The President has upped in the ante over the past hours accusing election commissions in the different states of "finding Joe Biden votes everywhere". 

More in World