05:02 GMT02 December 2020
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    The outcome of the US presidential election is on a knife-edge, with Donald Trump and his rival Joe Biden neck and neck in key swing states. Millions of votes remain uncounted and no candidate can credibly claim victory as yet. Dr Binoy Kampmark, a Senior Lecturer at RMIT University shared his views with us on what we know so far.

    Sputnik: What are the biggest surprises so far from these results?

    Dr Binoy Kampmark: Well, I think the biggest surprise, well it shouldn't really be a surprise for anyone who's familiar with the political strategy here with Trump and so forth, is that he's a fighter. And what has happened, of course, is that he has managed to, you know, reappraise his role in those particular swing states, and showing that he's putting up an incredible fight. It was suggested that it might be a close fight but I think the fact of the polls had Biden so far in front, again, suggests that the pollster profession may need to be reappraised yet again.

    Sputnik: So why did the pollsters get it so wrong, once again, when it comes to these US elections?

    Dr Binoy Kampmark: Well, I think a lot of it has to do with the way polling is done just as a particular form. It has been mentioned, for example, that certain polls, obviously have people who have to, you know, express a particular desire to vote for a particular candidate and so on. One of the polls actually is robotic or remote and has individuals not having to confess, as it were, their deep and dark sins to a human being and I think the voting for Trump is one of those big things. I noticed this in 2016 when I received a lot of correspondence as a contributing editor to CounterPunch that many individuals were voting for Trump as a sort of a dirty secret. He was the individual who was lodged away, and they didn't want to say that they were voting for them. And again, we see this pattern, I think people who are voting will have voted for him in circumstances where they would not necessarily have conceded they were so-called silent Trump voters. So there's a lot of this that’s come through with these particular votes, I think.

    A combination picture shows U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaking during the first 2020 presidential campaign debate, held on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., September 29, 2020
    © REUTERS / Brian Snyder
    A combination picture shows U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaking during the first 2020 presidential campaign debate, held on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., September 29, 2020

    Sputnik: Now both Joe Biden and Donald Trump have given speeches on election night. And in Donald Trump's speech, he claimed that there was fraud and he would be taking this to the Supreme Court? What could that be in reference to, regarding the results we have so far?

    Dr Binoy Kampmark: My theory on this is that he didn't like the assessment made of all things and of all organisations by the very network that actually has backed him all the way through; Fox News. Fox News actually has one of the more sharp electoral analyses, this may sound a bit strange to some of your listeners and certainly, I have to say at points  I have been quite struck by the fact that Fox News has a remarkable electoral analysis team that tends to pick it fairly early. And Fox News picked, for example, Arizona going to Biden very early on, and it seemed to agitate Trump, it seemed to sort of suggesting that this is the battle and so on. It's not to say that this was the reason for causing all of this. This has been a strategy from, you know, for Trump from the start. Trump is preparing as it were, for litigation, he’s preparing for any eventuality, in terms of, you know, ballot votes after you know, electoral calls, and so on. What he is doing, of course, is preparing for the eventualities that there will be late counts and that this might be a problem for his tally. Interestingly enough, it may not be a problem for his tally, but he's playing a bit of a gamble here.

    Sputnik: You mentioned there the validity of some votes that have been cast. Will all of the votes be counted in this election or can you imagine some of them being invalidated?

    Dr Binoy Kampmark: Well, this is, of course, the big question in terms of voting, reliability of votes, reliability and counting. There's been a long debate, of course, in terms of petitions to the Supreme Court, in terms of counting votes past a certain point, and have been out of ballots and so on. It's not something that I'm convinced by insofar as you know, Trump will make much go of this. The reality is that one of the cases certainly with Pennsylvania is that the Supreme Court reserved judgement essentially on the point of whether they should count further votes and then enable them to go through, which is one of the reasons why Trump is challenging this, because he hopes that he will get, of course, his new Supreme Court Justice in on the act. But the reality is that when it comes down to it the votes may not in that sense, make much of a difference, but he's essentially banking on the few states that will make the difference and that's why he’s getting so agitated by that.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Tags:
    Joe Biden, Donald Trump, US Election 2020
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