Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are going head to head in one of the most talked about US presidential election in recent history.
Americans will go to the polls to pick their new Commander in Chief on November 8 and The Sun is on hand to give you all the latest odds and polls ahead of the biggest political event of the year.
How close is the race?
Over the last years, The Donald closed the gap on Hillary remarkably, going from rank outsider for the Republican nomination to almost neck and neck as polling day neared.
Yet the real estate mogul’s chances seemed slim after the emergence of a series of controversial comments and allegations of sexual misconduct led to his rival opening a nine-point lead in mid-October.
However, Clinton’s prospects have been rocked by a disastrous week that saw the FBI announce that it was relaunching its investigation into the Democrat’s email use.
The consequences have been huge. One ABC/Washington Post poll, which had Trump 12 points behind just a week ago, incredibly now shows him AHEAD by a single point.
But another, from the New York Times/NBC, gives Hillary a three-point advantage.
Indeed, an up-to-date poll tracker shows there is now very little between them: the former First Lady is at 47 per cent overall, with Trump just behind on 45.6 per cent.
Clinton is still considered the favourite by most bookies – Sun Bets currently offers odds of 2/5 on her entering the White House, with the Donald at 794.
But the experts didn’t see Brexit coming, so her lead in these fields by no means guarantees her the keys back the old gaff she used to share with hubby Bill.
There is much speculation that like the EU referendum in the UK the pollsters and bookies could be in for a surprise.
Much like the “shy Tories” who gifted the last General Election to David Cameron, and the quiet Brexiteers who won the EU referendum for Leave, some quarters think “shy Trumpers” could hand victory to The Donald.
How does the election work?
The US Presidential election system works in a very different way to the system of other countries.
Who wins isn’t reflected by how many MP’s a party gets or even necessarily the candidate with the greatest share of the popular vote.
Each of the 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, where Washington is located, has a number of votes in the Electoral College to award to a candidate.
The number of votes is based on the number of members of congress the state has which is in proportion to the population of the state.
All states bar Maine and Nebraska give their votes on a winner takes all basis according to which candidate received the most number of votes in that state.
This means that it is important to win the states with a large population such as California, New York, Texas and Florida.
Last election showed this up perfectly when Obama got 53 per cent of the total votes cast in the election but a whopping 68% of the electoral college votes by taking these key states.
Trump and Clinton will be in a race to 270 Electoral College votes with the first candidate to hit that number taking up residence in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The key to taking the Presidency is winning the so called “swing states”.
These are states which regularly switch their vote between the Republican and Democratic parties, much like marginal constituencies in the UK.
Ohio is the best example of a swing state as it has gone the way of the winning candidate in every election since 1964 when Lyndon B. Johnson remained president having succeeded JFK after his assassination the year before.
As a measure of how tight this election is, pollsters are currently unable to pin down which way the midwestern state is likely to go but given its predominantly white population it is a must win state for Trump.
Why is it so close?
Put simply, the polls are so close because both candidates are so unpopular.
Trump’s combative style of debate and provocative polices alienate almost as many as they win over according to pollsters. The controversies that have repeatedly surfaced during his campaign, such as the infamous “Trump tapes”, have also distanced him from key groups of voters.
Clinton has long been considered untrustworthy by the vast majority of Americans and is viewed as the embodiment of the “establishment”, having been First Lady, a Senator and Secretary of State. Polls show that the latest email scandal has rocked her already shaky presidential campaign.
We in all likelihood won’t now the outcome until well into the day on November 9 but one thing is for certain: this most controversial and unpredictable presidential race looks set to go right down to the wire.
© THE SUN