- Joe Biden is narrowing the gap with President Donald Trump in the key swing states of Georgia and Pennsylvania, putting him within striking distance of the presidency.
- Pennsylvania’s top election official Kathy Boockvar told CNN that she expects the state to finish containing all remaining ballots on Thursday.
- If Biden wins the state’s 20 electoral college votes, he’ll surpass the 270 electoral college votes necessary to win the presidency.
- Trump also still has a path to victory, but a tougher one than Biden’s, which relies on winning more states.
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Democratic nominee Joe Biden is within striking distance of the White House early Thursday morning as more mail votes counted in Georgia and Pennsylvania narrows the gap between him and President Donald Trump.
With Nevada, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Georgia too close to be called, Biden is still short of the 270 votes needed to win the Electoral College and thus the presidency.
All eyes are now on the key battleground state of Pennsylvania, which accounts for 20 Electoral College votes, as Trump’s lead over Biden continues to dwindle as Democratic-leaning mail ballots are counted.
President Donald Trump also still has a path to victory, but a tougher one than Biden’s, which relies on winning more states.
Decision Desk HQ projected that Trump would win the battleground states of Florida, Iowa, Ohio, and Texas, and Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, while Biden, the Democratic nominee, was projected to win Minnesota, Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Because Biden supporters were far more likely than Trump supporters to vote by mail, the outstanding mail ballots in places like Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania are favoring the former vice president — and could eventually lead Biden expanding his margins in Arizona and taking the lead in Georgia and Pennsylvania as more votes are counted into Thursday.
On Wednesday afternoon the Trump campaign said it would demand a recount in Wisconsin decrying, without evidence, “irregularities” in counting process for the “razor thin race” there. They can only file the recount, however, after the race is certified next week, and due to Biden’s current 20,000-vote lead, a recount is highly unlikely to result in Trump winning the state.
The Trump campaign has also lost a number of last-minute court challenges in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Georgia aimed at slowing down or temporarily halting vote counts.
As of 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, this was the situation in the major states still to call:
- Arizona, 11 electoral votes: While Biden leads the current vote count in Arizona, Decision Desk HQ has not projected a winner yet pending more results from Maricopa County. Dozens of Trump supporters gathered outside an election office in Maricopa County late Wednesday, shouting “Fox News sucks” — it was the first major outlet to call the state for Biden — and attempting to get into the building where votes were being tabulated.
- Georgia, 16 electoral votes: Biden has significantly cut into Trump’s lead in Georgia as more mail votes have been tabulated and reported in the Democratic-leaning counties around Atlanta.
- Trump’s is now down to 12,825 votes as of Thursday afternoon. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger also announced on Thursday afternoon that there are over 42,200 ballots outstanding throughout the state, in addition to an unknown number.
- Nevada, six electoral votes: Biden’s lead over Trump in Nevada widened to 11,438 votes on Thursday afternoon after state election officials reported another round of results, including results from the populous Clark and Washoe counties. Nevada accepts mail ballots that are postmarked by Election Day and arrive through November 10.
- Pennsylvania, 20 electoral votes: Pennsylvania’s counties are also processing mail ballots at different speeds, meaning we don’t have a definitive timeline for when most of the vote will be reported. Still, the outstanding mail ballots are likely to significantly favor Biden.
- Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said on CNN on Thursday that she expects Pennsylvania to finish counting its outstanding votes, of which there are roughly 550,000 on Thursday.
- Allegheny County, home to the city of Pittsburgh, has 35,000 outstanding ballots left to count. Of those ballots, around 29,000 are reprints of incorrect mails ballots initially sent to voters, and cannot be counted until Friday — the state’s deadline by which ballots must be received — in order to ensure those voters did not vote twice.
In addition to the presidential race, hundreds of critical US Senate and House races on the ballot this fall will determine the balance of power in Washington, DC, for years to come.
Democrats are, so far, having a disappointing week in the race for the US Senate and House after some analysts determined, based on polling and fundraising data in the lead up to the election, that Democrats were favored to win back the US Senate and grow their majority in the House.
With losses in Maine, Iowa, Montana, Kansas, and likely in North Carolina too, Democrats now have a narrow path to retaking the US Senate majority. As the race stands. they’d need to flip both Sen. Martha McSally’s seat in Arizona and win both the US Senate elections in Georgia (at least one of which is going to a runoff), to get a 50-50 tie with Republicans.
And in the US House, Democrats are likely to see the size of their majority shrink rather than expand. As of Thursday afternoon, Republican challengers have ousted seven incumbent Democratic representatives, and Democrats have failed to flip a single Republican-held seat other than two in North Carolina that they were virtually guaranteed to win due to court-ordered redistricting.
See Insider’s full coverage of the race for the US Senate, the US House, 2020’s gubernatorial elections, and some of the most critical ballot initiatives around the country.
Here’s what you need to know about the top 10 swing states and how they voted.
There are six states on the map — Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin — that flipped from voting for President Barack Obama in 2012 to vote for Trump in 2016.
- Arizona accounts for 11 votes in the Electoral College.
- Florida, which Decision Desk HQ projects for Trump, accounts for 29 votes in the Electoral College.
- Georgia accounts for 16 votes in the Electoral College.
- Iowa, which Decision Desk HQ projects for Trump, accounts for six votes in the Electoral College.
- Michigan, which Decision Desk HQ projects for Biden, accounts for 16 votes in the Electoral College.
- North Carolina accounts for 15 votes in the Electoral College.
- Ohio, which Decision Desk HQ projects for Trump, accounts for 18 Electoral College votes.
- Pennsylvania accounts for 20 Electoral College votes. It was rated as “leans Democratic” in the Electoral College by Inside Elections, the Cook Political Report, and Sabato’s Crystal Ball.
- Texas, which Decision Desk HQ projects for Trump, accounts for 38 Electoral College votes. It was rated as a “tossup” by the Cook Political Report and Inside Elections, and “leans Republican” by Sabato’s Crystal Ball.
- Wisconsin, which Decision Desk HQ projects for Biden, accounts for 10 Electoral College votes. It was rated as “leans Democratic” in the Electoral College by Inside Elections, the Cook Political Report, and Sabato’s Crystal Ball.
Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, which Decision Desk HQ projects for Biden, was rated as “leans Democratic” in the Electoral College by Inside Elections, the Cook Political Report, and Sabato’s Crystal Ball. Trump carried the 2nd District by a margin of 2.2 percentage points in the 2016 election, according to the Daily Kos.
Maine’s 2nd Congressional District is rated as a “tossup” in the Electoral College by Inside Elections and the Cook Political Report and “leans Republican” by Sabato’s Crystal Ball. Trump carried Maine’s 2nd District by a margin of 10 percentage points in the 2016 election, according to the Daily Kos.