The US election campaign, with less than one day to go

·2 min read
Joe Biden (right) is leading in the polls nationally with less than one day to go before Election Day, but Donald Trump is barnstorming swing states in hopes of another upset
Joe Biden (right) is leading in the polls nationally with less than one day to go before Election Day, but Donald Trump is barnstorming swing states in hopes of another upset

The final countdown has begun, and Donald Trump -- on a spree through key swing states -- is chasing his Democratic rival Joe Biden, still leading in the polls. 

Here are highlights from the last day of the US presidential campaign.

- Home stretch -

After a barnstorming weekend the president is showing no signs of slowing down Monday, hours before the opening of the polls.

The 74-year-old Republican billionaire, who has obviously recovered well from his bout with Covid-19, is holding five rallies in four key states: North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, then Michigan again to finish. 

Biden, meanwhile, coasted to a first stop in Cleveland, Ohio, before concentrating on Pennsylvania, where several events are on his agenda, including a drive-in rally in Pittsburgh alongside pop megastar Lady Gaga.

The Democratic candidate has said he will be back in his home state of Pennsylvania on Election Day on Tuesday.   

- Latest polls -

According to the RealClearPolitics poll average, Biden is polling at 51 percent compared to Trump's 44.3 percent nationally, giving the former vice president a 6.7 point lead.

It's an advantage that has remained largely stable in recent months, and more than twice the lead held by Hillary Clinton on the eve of the election four years ago.

But, as anxious Democrats know, national popularity does not always translate to election victory under America's Electoral College system -- that can come down to the swing states.

Biden is also ahead there, the latest polls show: in Michigan he is ahead by 5.1 points; in Wisconsin by 6.6 points, and in Pennsylvania by 4.3 points.

The pair remain neck and neck in Florida, Arizona and North Carolina.

- Surging early turnout -

More than 97 million American voters have already voted early, whether by mail or in person.

The first to do so on Election Day itself will be in two New Hampshire villages, Dixville Notch and Millsfield, starting at midnight.

Electoral laws in this small northeastern state allow municipalities with fewer than 100 residents to open their polling stations at midnight and to close them when all registered voters have fulfilled their civic duty. 

Most polling stations on the East Coast will open at 6:00 am or 7:00 am (1100 or 1200 GMT) on Tuesday.  

sdu/seb/st/ft