The presidential election will not only decide who gets to lead the world’s most powerful nation, but it will also be the most acute stress test for democracy at a time when democracy itself feels besieged from Hong Kong to Hungary.
For the first time Americans are asking the kind of questions usually reserved for far more fragile countries: will there be a peaceful transition of power?
Will the results be contested in the courts or even on the streets?
Astonishingly these questions are being asked because the president himself has made them an issue.
Mr Trump is fighting for his political life, hoping to close the gap in the polls with a final day campaign blitz – as is Mr Biden, converging in the end on Pennsylvania, the state where this entire election could be decided.