Were the pollsters all wrong? Again? How? Do we just not understand America? Does America not understand America? Has the media bias against Trump there eclipsed all rational thought around his actual support and the breadth of his base? 60 million Americans voted for Trump last time round, this time that number was even higher. Yes more people turned out to vote, but he still has 60-plus million Americans supporting him.. and that's after 4 years of his presidency, that's not even a punt on a newcomer, that's real support.
What a mess though this whole thing is. I feel for Americans, what an anxious and stressful time they've had, and continue to have. And this could go on for weeks yet. A president claiming victory before the votes are in, accusing the process of being rigged... calling it a fraud... meanwhile Biden also claiming he's on track to victory. Both claiming swing states that haven't even finished counting yet.
Trump off to the Supreme Court... it just doesn't feel democratic does it?
It makes you grateful for the integrity of the system we have - the simplicity of it.
American elections are always more complex anyway and even voting is an exercise in patience and willpower... which is historically one of the reasons so few American's do.
But not this time round. They voted in their droves... and it's some of those early votes that now have a question mark hanging over them - will they all get counted or not?
A listener from Pennsylvania said on this station earlier this morning that he had not voted in 30 years, he was neither Democrat nor Republican, and he didn't particularly like Joe Biden, but that he just had to vote this time round... against Trump. He said he had to cast a vote for the only adult in the room, and now he sits on tenterhooks. Imagine how stressful and frustrating that must be.
But again we've seen politically the importance of Covid management.
America’s handling of Covid's been a mess, Trump’s dismissal of it is clearly coming home to roost.
There'll be voters who may feel threatened by a President who wanted to ignore Covid and hope it went away. Interestingly in one of the key states, Arizona, which looks to have flipped to Biden, exit polling there showed Covid loomed large.
49 percent of Arizona voters thought Covid was not under control.
But it's a bitter pill this morning for Democrats to swallow, that in the so-called ‘election of their lifetime’ where they wanted to see sweeping rejection of Trump, and a landslide for Biden, it’s way tighter than many predicted. Morally, that'll be wounding for them.
So the next few hours and days will be an anxious time for all Americans, as they wait to see whether their country deepens its divides, or looks to heal them.
Kate Hawkesby is a political broadcaster on Newstalk ZB - her articles can be seen HERE.
Breaking Views brings you expert commentary on topical political and policy issues. The views expressed are those of the author alone. The blog is administered by the New Zealand Centre for Political Research, an independent public policy think tank at NZCPR.com - register for the free weekly NZCPR newsletterHERE.