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‘Election night will be a mirage’: Analysts warn Trump could appear to have won on election night, only for him to lose days later

Data analysis shows Joe Biden win after mail ballots counted

Gino Spocchia
Tuesday 01 September 2020 13:46 BST
Trump claims Democrats will corruptly use mail-in votes to steal 2020 election from him during RNC speech

Data analysts working for the Democratic party have warned that Donald Trump could appear to have won on election night, only for him to lose days later.

Describing a possible scenario for the night of 3 November, Josh Mendelsohn, who heads the Michael Bloomberg-funded data analytics agency Hawkfish, said voters would see a “red mirage” with early results.

The political and technology analyst, speaking to Axios on HBO, explained that the counting of all votes – including mail-in ballots – would likely see a different outcome than those on election night.

“The data is going to show on election night, an incredible victory for Donald Trump. That is likely what to be what we see,” said Mr Mendelsohn.

“When every legitimate vote is counted, and we get to that final day, which will be the Sunday after election day, it will in fact show that what happened on election night was exactly that, a mirage”.

It comes as Hawkfish, who have worked on behalf of the Democratic National Committee and its presidential nominee, Joe Biden, predicts how mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic will change the nature of the 2020 presidential election.

Some 40 per cent of American voters are projected to cast their vote with a mail-in ballot, according to Hawkfish, in what is traditionally a method more associated with Democrat supporters.

That could see Mr Trump holding a projected lead of 408-130 electoral votes on election night, with only 15 per cent of mail votes counted, before that slips away some days later.

Mr Biden, according to Hawkfish analysis, is projected to win with a significant lead of 334-204 electoral college votes, once all mail-ballots are included.

That analysis follows multiple attacks made against mail-voting by the US president, who admitted earlier this year that universal mail-in ballots would ensure that “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again”.

Campaign communications director for Mr Trump, Tim Murtaugh, told Axios in response that “the news media should get out of the business of predicting the future”.

The incumbent has so far trailed his Democratic opponent in almost all nationwide polls, amid multiple crises.

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