TUESDAY’S US presidential election has been described as a day of history as the world await Americans to decide who becomes president between Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent in the US reports that Democratic Vice President nominee Sen Tim Kaine said this early Tuesday in Richmond, the state of Virgina in the final campaign trail.
“Today, history will be made that you can be president of the United States of America irrespective of your race or gender. We made history in 2008 when we elected the first ever African-American president. You made it possible.
”That is what today is; today is again a day of history. We need to show what we accept and what we reject as a people,” Kaine said at the midnight rally attended by hundreds of supporters including Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia.
He said about 200 million eligible voters were expected to cast their votes out of which about 41 million people had already voted from the absentee voting.
Kaine said he was supporting Clinton in the election as her vice president because women had always supported men in the U.S. elections, adding that more women had always voted than men since 1964.
According to him, Clinton has motivation and vision, giving instances of how she had supported children and families.
He said that Trump had never supported anybody in history, saying he always put himself first.
“I will give it to Trump. He’s got an issue, he’s got a vision but everything is Donald Trump. Every American presidential candidate has put our country first except Donald Trump; he’s put himself first,” he said.
According to him, however, Clinton respect everybody’s right irrespective of race, religion, gender or social status adding, “because that’s what makes us stronger”.
He accused Trump for his statement in 2001 that Obama was not a citizen of the U.S.
“Why will Trump draw us back hundreds of years on an issue that we fought a war? Once you are born in the U.S., you are a citizen, it does not matter your blood.
“He never apologised. He doesn’t respect the military yet he wants to be the commander in-chief. That’s why we must vote Hillary,” he said.
McAuliffe had earlier said that he recently pardoned 206,000 felons and restored their voting rights, adding, “I don’t just want us to win, I want us to win big”.
The governor said he had known Clinton for 36 years and knew her passion for the people and that “she has fought for us, we are going to fight for her today”.
NAN reports that the last batch of national voter surveys on Monday from Bloomberg and Fox News, showed Clinton entering the election day with a small but not insurmountable lead over Trump.
Currently, the states that are “solid” Republican are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina and South Dakota.
The others are Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming with a total of 157 Electoral College votes while the “lean” Republican states are Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Second Congressional District, Ohio and Utah totaling 47 electoral College votes.
On the other hand, the “solid” Democratic states are California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Minnesota and New Mexico totaling 200 Electoral College votes.
The “lean” Democratic states are Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin with a total of 68 Electoral College votes.
The battleground states, which have 66 Electoral College votes up for grabs are Arizona, Florida, Nevada, Nebraska Second Congressional District, New Hampshire and North Carolina.
NAN reports that U.S. president is elected by Electoral College made up of 538 electors as against popular vote and to be elected president, a candidate must win 51 per cent electoral vote.
Each of the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, has a certain amount of Electoral College votes to award a candidate, based on the number of members of Congress it has.
This is roughly in line with each area’s population and the votes are given on a winner-takes-all basis, except in Maine and Nebraska.
In 2008, President Barack Obama won 53 per cent of the vote but this led to 68 per cent of the Electoral College vote.