WASHINGTON, D.C. – Washington D.C. is gripped with fears of violence and civil unrest in the aftermath of Tuesday’s election, with gun sales soaring nationally.
The majority of buildings in Downtown Washington have now been boarded up, with business owners worried about the prospect of riots on election night.
The feeling is widespread across major cities in the US, with a Fox News poll on Friday showing that 75 per cent of Americans were concerned about the prospect of post-election violence and civil unrest.
A YouGov poll said 56 percent of people anticipated “an increase in violence as a result of the election.”
Far-right groups have upped their rhetoric about the potential of taking to the streets on election night, with radical far-left groups also indicating they were ready to continue the rioting seen earlier this year across US cities.
One Washington local told City A.M. at the National Mall that he had been walking around the area, which is home to the Lincoln and Washington monuments, every day because he was “paranoid that on 4 November civil unrest will break loose right here”.
President Donald Trump has stoked tensions by saying that mail-in voting may not be valid and that there will be attempts to rig the election through artificially inflating early voting numbers.
More than 90m people have already voted this year, including around 65m mail-in votes, with the vast majority expected to be for Joe Biden.
There is not expected to be a confirmed result on election night itself as states will have to count mail-in ballots, with the prospect of candidates challenging results in the courts.
Biden leads in the latest Ipsos/Reuters national poll by 51 to 43 per cent, however the picture is closer in many swing states.
The two candidates are on a campaign blitz in the last few days of the campaign, with Trump making five stops in five different states today.
They are the battleground states of Michigan, Iowa, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida – all states Trump won in 2016.
He will also visit Pennsylvania and Wisconsin on Monday.
The President is very much on the defensive as he tries to hold onto a cluster of Midwest and Southern states that delivered him victory in 2016.
Polls show Biden has strong leads in the key states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, however the Trump camp says polling is not showing all his support.
Polls are neck-and-neck in Texas and Florida, while Biden has a small lead in Arizona, North Carolina and Georgia.
The President was given good news last night when a poll by the Des Moine Register, whose polls correctly picked the Trump surge in the Midwest in 2016, gave Trump a seven-point lead in the state.
Biden will travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, today, after spending yesterday campaigning in the Midwest with Barack Obama.
The two candidates have taken vastly different approaches to Covid during the campaign as a third wave hits the country and deaths surprass 230,000.
Trump has ramped up claims that the virus is not as deadly as experts say and has begun mocking people at rallies, like Fox News reporter Laura Ingraham, for wearing masks.
Yesterday, he falsely claimed doctors were inflating Covid death figures to make money.
Speaking at a Michigan rally, Trump said: “Our doctors get more money if someone dies from Covid. You know that, right?
“I mean our doctors are very smart people. So what they do is they say ‘I’m sorry, but everybody dies of Covid’.”
Biden hit back at Trump for his comments later in the afternoon at a drive-in rally in Minnesota.
“The president of the United States is accusing the medical profession of making up Covid deaths so they make more money,” he said.
“Doctors and nurses go to work every day to save lives. They do their jobs.
“Donald Trump should stop attacking them and do his job.”