The presidential race has tightened in a key US state, with both candidates focusing their final efforts on a state that could decide the election.
In Pennsylvania, early polls tipped an easy win to the Democratic candidate Joe Biden, but numbers have now suggested a shift to the US President Donald Trump in the key swing state.
Multiple news outlets and political figures are now looking to Pennsylvania – Mr Biden’s home state – as the key state to watch for the outcome of the Presidential election on Tuesday.
Multiple polls are starting to suggest the race has significantly tightened across the state, giving the US President Donald Trump a narrow, but not impossible path to victory.
For Mr Biden to win the election, he needs to take 38 electoral votes on top of what Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 election. Ms Clinton lost Pennsylvania in 2016 by just one percentage point.
RELATED: ‘It’s terrible’: Trump unloads in rant
Recent polls put Mr Biden ahead of Mr Trump by 4.8 per cent in Pennsylvania – with Biden favoured by 50.0 per cent and Mr Trump 45.1 per cent, according to Five Thirty Eight.
That’s tightened one point from a month ago, when Mr Biden led the state by 5.8 per cent.
It’s a slightly rosier picture for the President than the national polls, which put Mr Trump at 43.4 per cent approval to Mr Biden’s 52.0 per cent – giving the Democrat a 8.6 per cent lead. One month ago, Mr Biden was leading Mr Trump 7.4 per cent in the national polls.
Both candidates have focused their attention on the key state in the final run to the election.
Mr Trump held four separate rallies in Pennsylvania on Saturday alone. Mr Biden was also campaigning in Philadelphia on Saturday, and on Monday he held another rally in the city.
The Democrat will hold another in Pittsburgh on the final day before the election, with an appearance by Lady Gaga. Music star John Legend will appear with Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff in Philadelphia.
RELATED: Landslide predicted by US election polls
Reports about Mr Biden’s attitude towards fracking are a concern to Democrats, who have campaigned to try and counter rhetoric from the President that he is seeking to end drilling of oil and gas in the state.
On Monday, Mr Trump shared an article from far right wing publication Breitbart News, with the headline ‘Democrats Growing More Anxious in Pennsylvania’.
“Biden would kill Fracking and our great 2nd Amendment, “ Mr Trump said, “No wonder he’s losing Pennsylvania!”
Recent violence and looting in Pennsylvania has also caused the Democrats concern. The recent police shooting of a black man armed with a knife has led to violent riots and demonstrations, which Mr Trump seized on.
“This is a group that (Biden) supports. He doesn’t want to condemn them,” Mr Trump said.
“You have to condemn them, you have to be strong, you cannot have chaos like that and he will be very, very weak.”
THE RED MIRAGE
In Pennsylvania, politicians have forecast a possible “red mirage” result on election day, confusing the results.
The mirage is the result of an unprecedented amount of mail-in ballots, overwhelmingly favoured by Democrat voters, causing a shift in election results over a period of days.
The process of counting mail-in votes cannot begin until 7am on election day, and in Pennsylvania mail-in votes will continue to be accepted through to the Friday after the election – as long as they’re post marked for before election day, according to Fox News.
A higher percentage of mail-in ballots were requested by Democrats, and reports suggest Republicans are much more likely to vote in person on election day. It’s believed an outsized support for Mr Trump may appear during early stages of the count, before a significant shift towards Mr Biden starts to appear as counting continues.
Early in-person voting ended on Tuesday, a week before the election, which drove the number of mail-in ballots even higher than they may have been.
“I think it’s absolutely true that more Republicans will vote in-person,” Gene DiGirolamo, the Bucks County Commissioner and a Republican said. “If you’re just announcing the results from people who voted at the polls, I think that number is going to show … (more) favour for the President than it will for Biden.”
Chrissy Houlahan, the US Pennsylvania Representative and a Democrat urged people to be patient on election day, saying she doesn’t think it’s likely the state will deliver a clear decision that night.
“I think that this is an, obviously, an election like no other election that we’ve been through … we have to treat this like the halftime in a way that we can’t expect to be sitting with our popcorn and our family watching election results and expect that that evening we will end up with some sort of decision,” she said.
Originally published as Crucial state could decide US election