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The vanishing ‘red mirage’: how Trump’s election week soured

As he took early wins in key states, it seemed the president had defied his critics again. But it wasn’t to last

  • US election results live

For Democrats, the familiar sinking feeling began in the early hours of Wednesday morning when Florida came out for Donald Trump. The state is a critical battleground. Up until that point a Democratic victory in Tuesday’s US presidential election had seemed likely. Joe Biden, the former vice-president, was going to win, the polls said. Probably by a landslide. The only question was the giddy margin.

But the humiliating rout predicted by the pundits wasn’t happening. Trump’s support was holding up remarkably well. This wasn’t just true of diehard fans who had packed into his election rallies in the tumultuous closing days of an extraordinary campaign. Others were backing him as well. This, despite a health pandemic and a divisive presidency like no other.

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