With a few hours to presidential election voting between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, things are heating up pretty fast and both candidates are consolidating grounds in all areas. But surprises are bound to happen, and here are six factors that could impact on who ultimately wins the votes to the White House.

Trump must win hard states

It is widely known that some states are die-hard Republicans while others are strongly Democrats, while some could not be easily categorized but capable of springing electoral surprises. Mitt Romney won North Carolina and Arizona some years back and President Obama did Iowa, Ohio, and Florida.

Trump must win these states to better his chances against Clinton.

He will also do better by winning Pennsylvania and Michigan, while Minnesota and Colorado would clinch him the ticket to the White House. But then, anything could happen in these states.

Clinton must win the Great Lakes

Hillary Clinton could be assured of some victory if she goes ahead to win Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania among other Great Lakes region. While polls showed Clinton is leading in these three states, Pennsylvania and Michigan are known to spring unknown surprises on election day. But Clinton’s chances will be greatly improved if she can win Ohio, Florida and North Carolina, while also clinching Virginia, Nevada, Colorado and New Hampshire would see her on the road to the White House.

Latinos and other ethnic populations must never be undermined in American politics; they carry the subtle power to determine where the pendulum swings. Clinton has been trying her best to win over Latino voters and women groups among other educated voters, and those in Florida and Nevada have been showing great promise in this regard.

Meanwhile, the verbal assault Trump had unleashed on Mexicans has made Latino voters to turn against him – to the advantage of Clinton, and allegations of sexual misconduct with several women is haunting Trump’s chances at the moment. But again, the way things would go remains to be seen.

Will majority white supporters see Trump to the White House?

Many people may see Trump as racist or a protectionist, but this is what a silent majority of white voters want, especially those who see Trump as the answer to several things bothering them about the American destiny. So while Trump may have a silent majority of disaffected white voters to carry him, several Democrats and independents also have his back. How this will affect Clinton could only be imagined, but then anything could happen.

Will African-Americans support Clinton as they did Obama?

It must be noted that the majority of African-American votes brought President Obama to the White House in 2008 and 2012, and the same overwhelming support would be needed to see Clinton to the presidency again – mostly in North Carolina and Florida among other states.

In drumming up support for Clinton, Obama said "You know what? I need everybody to understand that everything we've done is dependent on me being able to pass the baton to somebody who believes in same things I believe in."

Will the eventual loser legitimize the victor?

In simple language, will the eventual loser accept defeat and agree to the victory of the victor? How both candidates accept their loss has a lot to do with the legitimacy of the ultimate winner. With her email scandals, many people think Clinton is a fraud while half the country regards Trump as a hater of women and a racist. So how will this perception affect their winning chances and post-election events?