Polls in the US election race closed more than 12 hours ago in some states, but by noon the odds are swinging back and forth and an outcome of who will win the White House is far from certain.
So what can we say with some certainty in the US election?
To calm your nerves, here are five take-homes.
It’s going to come down to the Rust Belt states
In the race to 270 Electoral College votes, Biden and Trump are practically neck-and-neck, with voting held up in many states by a backlog of postal and advance votes. Battleground states still to be called include Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada and North Carolina. Biden is currently ahead in Nevada and Wisconsin (just) but would need to flip at the lead of Trump in one of the other states yet to be called in order to ease his path to 270. However, in Michigan the President’s hefty lead is being eroded as the postal votes in Detroit are tallied.
The Democrats have maintained control of the House of Representatives
House leader Nancy Pelosi early in the night claimed victory for the Democrats in maintaining control of the House of Representatives. So, whoever wins the White House race will need bi-partisan support to pass legislation. This been the case since the 2018 mid-term elections.
…but they look unlikely to flip the US Senate
Democrats had high hopes of turning the upper chamber of Congress blue and had the polling leads to give them confidence. The needed to pick up between four and five seats to do this. However, so far they’ve only been declared winners in two races: Arizona and Colorado, they lost competitive races in Iowa and Montana and election races in North Carolina and Maine are undeclared but with Republican candidates in the lead.
Polling was off (again)
Speaking of polling, it’s predictions or snapshots have not yet come to fruition. Nationwide in the RealClearPolitics polling average for the national popular vote had Joe Biden with a 51%-44% lead over President Trump. As of 11am, Biden leads Trump, but only by 2million votes, less than Hillary Clinton’s winning margin – despite Biden outpolling the former Secretary of State versus Trump for most of the year. Statewide polling averages were also off, or within the margin of error, in nearly all battleground states but particularly Florida and Pennsylvania.
Markets are craving certainty, but they aren’t getting it
S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures rose in volatile trading early this morning as investors faced the prospect of a drawn-out and potentially contested US election result after President Donald Trump took the lead in some key states. The knife-edge election and the prospect of an acrimonious legal battle to determine the winner sent S&P e-mini futures tumbling 1.15% earlier, but they recovered to trade up 0.5% by 11am.
Meanwhile 10-year US Treasury yields fall back to 0.79% . Having been at a five-month top of 0.93% before the vote, it was the biggest drop since June.
The US dollar also had a roller coaster session, reversing early losses to be last up 0.7% on a basket of currencies at 93.902
Betting markets, meanwhile, shifted in favour of Trump overnight, before reversing toward Biden this morning after the former Vice President overtook Trump in the battleground state of Wisconsin with an estimated 89% of the vote tallied so far. Trump has 49% and Biden has 49.3% of vote, according to Edison Research.