How is the race in the USA determined?

2020 US election: Fate choice in the US: will Biden really win the race?

Tonight the Americans will choose the man who will reside in the White House for the next four years. You have a choice between Democratic challenger Joe Biden and Republican incumbent Donald Trump. In addition, the House of Representatives will be completely re-elected and a third of the senatorial seats will be voted on.

The central question, however, is who will be the US president in the next four years. There are countless opinion polls, most of which clearly indicate that Biden will win the race. After the vast majority of polls were wrong four years ago and the Democrat Hillary Clinton was declared the winner in advance, the opinion polls are cautious this time - one could also say inhibited. The reason is obvious: the experts do not want to embarrass themselves to the bone again, in 2016 the huge prediction industry was ridiculed.

This is about the live blog for the 2020 US election

In any case, the demoskop Sam Wang has been warned, who said in 2016 that he would "eat a bug" if Trump wins the race. The renowned statistician from Princeton University had to - gambling debts are debts of honor - follow the announcement with deeds and, rather displeased, eat an insect in front of the cameras.

Some imponderables

This time one is warned and emphasized that the matter was by no means over for Biden. The latest result is that he is ahead with 52 to 43 percent. In 2016, Clinton was only 47 to 44 percent in the lead. Even so, survey institutes and analysts are rushing to emphasize that the surveys depict probabilities, not facts. The statistics website Fivethirtyeight gives Trump an 11 percent chance of winning, calculated on the basis of a highly complicated model - not without adding that this apparently low value can be threatening.

In addition, the Democrats have an interest in portraying the race as open. After all, they depend on getting as many supporters as possible to the polls.

Indeed, there is no way the challengers can sit back and relax. The already record-breaking voter turnout indicates Biden's success, but the US electoral system means that a candidate can be defeated even if he has a majority of votes. That happened to Hillary Clinton four years ago. The fact is that a small number of states, the "swing states", decide who wins the election. In addition, Trump voters do not want to openly declare themselves in some cases. In addition, there is concern that Trump has brought an army of lawyers into position in order to be able to immediately challenge irregularities in the course of the election.

After all: the well-known US historian Allan Lichtman - he is considered an oracle - has correctly predicted all election results since 1984. This time he thinks a Biden win is almost certain. But only almost.

Apart from that, the Congress will be elected today, here the forecasts promise an exciting race for supremacy in the Senate. The House of Representatives is and will probably remain democratic.

Without a majority in both chambers of congress, a president can make little lasting domestic political change. If Biden wins the race for the White House and the Republican majority in the Senate falls at the same time, the Democrats could rule largely undisturbed for two years.

Statistics website Fivethirtyeight sees a 74 percent chance that the Senate will have a Democratic majority leader in the future. So the uncertainty is considerable. 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate are up for grabs, the Democrats should - depending on how the presidential election ends - win three or four seats. Because in the event of a tie 50:50, the Vice President decides on the outcome of a vote.

Voting is predominantly in more republican states - one of the reasons why it should not be easy for the Democrats. Even if they only have to defend twelve seats, but the Republicans have to defend 23 seats.

Ben Sasse, Republican Senator from Nebraska, is no friend of Donald Trump and, not least for this reason, warns of a crushing defeat for the Republicans. Trump's policies could result in "a Republican Senate bloodbath," he says. However, the six-year term of office gives the respective incumbent a big head start over the challengers. Anyone who has already had several terms in office can confidently start the race. A fact that speaks against Sasse's grim prognosis.

Nevertheless, Republican heavyweights now have to fight for their seat in the Senate - like the veteran Lindsey Graham. The former Trump opponent from South Carolina has become the obedient assistant to the president. As chairman of the judiciary committee, he has an important role in keeping adversity away from Trump. His Democratic challenger, the African American Jaime Harrison, is on his neck.

Future of the "Gig Economy"

The Republicans have their only realistic chance of an additional senatorial post in the ultra-conservative southern state of Alabama, which only got a Democratic senator through a "political industrial accident". In 2017, Doug Jones prevailed against Republican Roy Moore, who had made abuse allegations politically intolerable. Now Jones is well behind his challenger, ex-football coach Tommy Tuberville, in the polls.

In all of this, it is easy to forget that today's election day is not just about the future US President and Congress, but also about numerous legislative initiatives in the individual states. For example, in some states the right to abortion, the legalization of marijuana and the permitted consumption of "magic mushrooms" are up for a vote.

In California, Proposition 22 deals with the rights of workers and thus with the core of the “gig economy”. Vehicle service providers Uber and Lyft don't want to hire their drivers. Because then they would have the right to certain social benefits such as unemployment insurance and minimum wage, continued payment of wages in the event of illness and the right to compensation in the event of accidents at work.

A law that came into effect in California on January 1st regulates exactly who must be employed and who is considered a self-employed entrepreneur. The corporations Uber and Lyft argue that employment is too expensive for them and that it would ruin their business model.

With 190 million US dollars (161 million euros) the corporations are running a campaign "YES 22" - "Yes to 22". In addition to the transport service providers Uber and Lyft, the companies DoorDash, Instacart and Postmates, all of which provide delivery and collection services on an app basis, also support the initiative. This makes it the most expensive legislative initiative campaign in California's history. Opponents of the bill, mainly the trade unions, had only $ 16 million available for their campaign, reports the Los Angeles Times newspaper.

The fronts sometimes go right through the Democratic Party: there are convinced democrats who are positive about the demands of the corporations.