US Election Day: Trump admits losing 'is never easy' and no speeches prepared

3 November 2020, 07:06 | Updated: 3 November 2020, 21:56

Donald Trump and Joe Biden spent their last day campaigning
Donald Trump and Joe Biden spent their last day campaigning. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Donald Trump has admitted losing "is never easy" for him as the race for the White House hits fever pitch.

The current US President, seeking a second term in office, said he was "not thinking about a concession speech or acceptance speech yet" but appeared to repeat his threat of legal action if he loses in swing states.

Meanwhile, his Democrat challenger Joe Biden struck a confident tone as he tweeted simply "let's make history".

The pair have spent the final hours of the race for the White House delivering their closing pitch to US voters in critical states as tens of millions cast their votes.

On the final day of campaigning, Mr Biden campaigned in Pennsylvania and Ohio, as Mr Trump toured the swing states of Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Both campaigns insist they have a pathway to victory, though Mr Biden's options for winning the required 270 Electoral College votes are more plentiful.

Republican Mr Trump is banking on a surge of enthusiasm from his most loyal supporters in addition to potential legal manoeuvres.

National polls suggest a firm lead for Mr Biden in Tuesday's election.

But Mr Trump has narrowed Mr Biden's lead in the handful of states that could decide the result.

Nearly 99 million people have already cast their ballots in early voting, putting the country on course for its highest turnout in a century.

US election polls with one day to go: Biden maintains eight-point lead

It comes as Mr Trump warned of "violence in the streets" ahead of results day, with staff from the Department of Justice being dispatched to 18 states to try to curb voter suppression or intimidation.

Businesses in downtown Washington DC have been boarded up as supporters from both camps gathered this evening amid fears of unrest.

"You can't have these things delayed for many days and maybe weeks, you can't do that," he said on Tuesday.

"The whole world is waiting, this country is waiting but the whole world is waiting."A lot of shenanigans, a lot of bad things happen with ballots when you say, 'oh, let's devote days and days."

He added: "I'm not thinking about concession speech or acceptance speech yet. Hopefully, we'll be only doing one of those two.

"And you know, winning is easy, losing is never easy - not for me, it's not."

Mr Trump also hit out at a Supreme Court decision to allow mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania to be counted up to three days after the election.

He said it was "VERY dangerous", adding: "It will allow rampant and unchecked cheating and will undermine our entire systems of laws. It will also induce violence in the streets. Something must be done!"

Read more: Trump criticises FBI over Biden battle bus investigation

Read more: Which are the key swing states?

Twitter quickly flagged the tweet with a message saying: "Some or all of the content shared in this tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process."

Mr Biden, for his part, said: "I'm not going to respond to anything he has to say. I'm hoping for a straightforward, peaceful election with a lot of people showing up."

"We're done with the chaos, we're done with the tweets, the anger, the hate, the failure, the irresponsibility," said Mr Biden, whose campaign has focused on increasing turnout by black voters, who could prove the difference in several battleground states.

The incumbent spent the last day of campaigning for the presidential election delivering an incendiary but unsupported allegation the poll is rigged.

Joe Biden also hit swing states on Monday, placing an emphasis on the Covid-19 pandemic which has led to the deaths of 230,000 Americans.

Both candidates offer vastly differing visions for the country as it confronts the virus, the starkest economic contraction since the Great Depression and a population divided on cultural and racial issues.

Both Mr Trump and Mr Biden differed sharply on Monday on the voting process itself while campaigning in the most fiercely contested battleground of Pennsylvania.

The president threatened legal action to stop counting beyond Election Day in the state.

Read more: What is the electoral college and how does it work?

Read more: Trump and Biden clash over Covid, race and foreign funds

If Pennsylvania ballot counting takes several days, as is allowed, Mr Trump alleged that "cheating can happen like you have never seen".

Mr Biden, earlier in Pittsburgh, delivered a voting rights message to a mostly black audience, declaring that Mr Trump believes "only wealthy folks should vote" and describing Covid-19 as a "mass casualty event for Black Americans".

Focusing on the pandemic, Mr Biden said: "The first step to beating the virus is beating Donald Trump".

He promised he would retain the nation's leading infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, whom the president has talked of firing.

Mr Trump, meanwhile, made only passing mention of what his aides believe are his signature accomplishments - the nation's economic rebound, the recent installation of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett - in favour of a torrent of grievance and combativeness.

He angrily decried the media's coverage of the campaign while complaining that he also was being treated unfairly by, in no particular order, China, the Electoral College system and rock singer Jon Bon Jovi.

"I have been under siege illegally for three-and-a-half years. I wonder what it would be like if we didn't have all of this horrible stuff. We'd have a very, very calm situation," said Mr Trump at an evening rally in Michigan.

"People see that we fight and I'm fighting for you. I'm fighting to survive. You have to survive."

Later in Wisconsin, he stopped himself short in mid-sentence: "This isn't about ... yeah, it is about me, I guess, when you think about it."

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