Incumbent meaning: What does incumbent President mean?

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Donald Trump and his Democrat rival Joe Biden have been working the campaign trail for months now, and the big day they’ve both been waiting for has final arrived. Millions of voters have already cast their ballots in what is known as ‘early voting’, while millions more will head to the polling stations today to vote in the US Election 2020.

The campaign has been bitterly fought with both men vying for votes at a time of heightened tensions in the USA, with ongoing Black Lives Matter protests and the coronavirus proving to be new concerns for voters.

And it’s not just America that is affected by the vote.

The US President’s influence extends beyond the shores of the USA and whoever wins this vote today could impact lives both home and abroad.

While it can take several days for the votes to be counted and the true result revealed, we can expect an indication in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

READ MORE: US election map: Current rankings – who is leading right now?

Last time round, Donald Trump gave his victory speech at about 3am – but don’t set your alarm clocks just yet.

Due to the close contest this year, experts say we may have a long wait for results – it could even be days or weeks, thanks to the huge surge in early voting in 2020.

But whether you’re backing Trump or Biden in this election, you can follow all the latest developments and results on our live blog, which is due to go live this evening – check back on our homepage.

A word you may hear a lot of the course of the next few days is ‘incumbent’ – so explains exactly what that means.

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What does incumbent President mean?

There are three meanings of the word incumbent. The first is an adjective, which describes a duty or responsibility.

For example, “the Government realised it was incumbent on them to act”.

Synonyms include binding, obligatory or necessary.

In terms of the US Presidency, the “incumbent” means the person currently holding office.

So if Donald Trump loses the election, it would mean the ‘incumbent President has been defeated’.

You could also use the words current, existing or present.

The final meaning of incumbent is a noun and is ‘the holder of an office or post’.

For example, if you say ‘the incumbent will be leaving the role’ it means the present holder of the job is leaving.

You could also say holder, bearer or occupant.

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