Update Nov. 6 11:00AM: Decision Desk HQ has called the race for Biden and Harris based on the expectation that his lead in Pennsylvania will grow from here as the remaining votes are counted, giving them all the Electoral College they need without even including any of the states that haven’t been called in their favor yet—though victories in other states still appear likely.
Other news outlets have been more reluctant to make an official projection, but some have been dropping hints.
Update Nov. 6 8:58AM: Biden now leads Pennsylvania by about 6,000 votes, which puts him over the top if that lead continues to grow, which it is expected to with the way the vote count has been trending in his favor.
Update Nov. 6 8:40AM: Biden still leads Nevada and Arizona, and now Georgia, while Trump leads North Carolina and Pennsylvania. None* have been decided yet.
He now leads Trump in Georgia by a razor thin margin, and we may have a long wait before a winner there is finalized, considering that outstanding military ballots and provisional ballots will come into play with a margin that small. That’s not necessarily bad news for Biden, as today is already Georgia’s last day to accept military ballots and provisionals could come out in Biden’s favor, but with Biden’s current lead at only about a thousand votes, it’s too close to be certain of the outcome.
Biden is also around 18,000 votes behind in Pennsylvania, though that could change as the remaining votes are counted today, many from strongly Democratic areas, which would, again, hand Biden a victory outright, regardless of other nail-biter states.
Biden’s Nevada lead seems like it will hold, with the bulk of the outstanding votes reportedly coming from Democratic areas, and Arizona is still confounding everyone, with all the uproar over the few news networks that called it for Biden early on (*that’s where that asterisk comes from, as some may be surprised to hear that Arizona is not a sure thing.) North Carolina, on the other hand, seems it will remain in Trump’s column, though it’s still too close to call.
Hopefully, we’ll know about Pennsylvania today, with more numbers from the state expected this morning, and we will finally be able to take a break from thinking about this annoyingly, frustratingly, disappointingly close election.
Update Nov. 5 5:20PM: Biden is now only 90,000 votes behind Donald Trump in Pennsylvania and less than 10,000 behind in Georgia. If Biden continues to win remaining votes in those states at the same percentages he has so far, it appears that he can overtake Trump in both states, though it is still too early to say for sure, especially when it’s hard to pin down exactly how many ballots truly remain to be counted and which locations they’re in. Biden also leads in Nevada, and it currently seems he will continue to do so, though more results will come in tomorrow.
We’re still waiting on more info from Arizona, where Biden currently leads, which is expected this evening, including Maricopa county at 9PM, where most of the outlying ballots are reportedly from. North Carolina has counted all of its current ballots, though there are still outstanding ballots that could potentially come in and provisional ballots that won’t be verified until next week, but it seems unlikely they will allow Biden to catch up to Trump’s current lead.
Update Nov. 5 2:35PM: Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar has said that ballot counting in the state is ahead of schedule, with some already counted and simply awaiting their totals to be uploaded, and we may know the winner there as soon as later tonight.
Update Nov. 5 10:00AM: Joe Biden has won Wisconsin and Michigan, and we’re still waiting for final results in Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, and perhaps most importantly, Pennsylvania. While Biden, with the other states now decided in his favor, would win the election just by winning Nevada and Arizona alone, where he currently leads, Donald Trump is currently chipping away at the vote difference in Arizona, despite that some news networks called the state for Biden relatively early on. Some haven’t called the state yet at all, and it’s still possible Trump could win it. (Nevada is expected to update results at noon EST, with Arizona’s largest county expected to report at 9PM EST.)
The same could be said of Biden’s chances in Georgia, where there are reportedly about 50,000 ballots left to count (or maybe 60,000?), while Trump leads by about 20,000. With the way Biden has won mail-in ballots, combined with the party preference of the places the outstanding ballots are coming from, it is possible the ballots could be so overwhelmingly Democratic that Biden could close that gap, but either way, it will be incredibly close. (Georgia’s vote count is expected to be completed today, with the secretary of state claiming it will be done—but not necessarily reported—before noon, so hopefully we’ll know soon.)
That’s why everyone is looking to Pennsylvania, where Biden is rapidly eating into Trump’s lead, cutting it down from a few hundred thousand to only about 140,000 right now, with hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots, which have been fueling this late Biden surge, still to be counted. Once again, many of these ballots are going and will go overwhelmingly to Biden, making victory very possible at this point. Just how many ballots are left is difficult to pinpoint, which will play a role in the outcome, but if Biden wins Pennsylvania, he will win the election without even needing any of the other undecided states. (Pennsylvania’s results are still coming painfully slowly, and we have no idea at this point if we’ll even know today whether Biden will pull into the lead.)
Those aren’t the only undecided states, but it looks like they’re the ones whose outcomes are both most in question and most consequential. Results will come in throughout the day, which we’ll all be obsessively refreshing until we know for sure what the outcome will be.
Meanwhile, Trump is still filing lawsuits to interfere with the vote count and trying to claim he’s won states via tweet, and his cronies and supporters are out there claiming the normal counting of votes is evidence of some wild conspiracy to hand Biden victories in states where Trump led on election night, so even with a final result in-hand, this is sure to be an annoying situation we can’t look away from for some time to come.
The presidential race isn’t the only thing that matters, though, with Democrats currently projected to maintain control of the House of Representatives but not regain control of the Senate, with Georgia races up in the air and at least one headed for a runoff, and North Carolina not looking good for Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham, though it hasn’t been called yet.
Also worth noting is that Joe Biden has now gotten a higher popular vote total than any presidential candidate … ever (topping even Obama’s 2008 total of nearly 69.5 million with over 72 million and counting), and he’s leading Trump by even more in the popular vote than Hillary Clinton did in 2016 (currently by more than 3 million). Needless to say, that will make it incredibly frustrating if the Electoral College still hands this election to Trump,
Update Nov. 4 12:15PM: As more states reach complete vote totals, Joe Biden now holds the lead in enough states to total the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency, which was expected as more mail-in votes were counted due to their democratic lean, though some of those races are still too close to call, and we won’t have official results until later today or possibly tomorrow.
Those states include Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Michigan, with recent reporting indicating that Wisconsin may be officially decided soon, while Arizona and Nevada still have significant amounts of votes to be counted. Some races, like Pennsylvania, may not even be decided until the end of the week.
Original story: As anticipated, despite our hopes to the contrary, election night 2020 has gone without a clear presidential winner. Of course, after a brief message from Joe Biden reassuring everyone that all votes would be counted and that he believes he can come out on top, Donald Trump has reacted exactly how everyone (including him) predicted.
Trump gave a speech claiming that his current leads in certain states like Michigan and Pennsylvania, where many votes have not yet been counted, mean that he’s won and that the counting of perfectly legitimate ballots must then stop—and that he plans to demand the Supreme Court make that happen. Though we all knew it was coming, from his own words over the course of the campaign, it was still appalling to watch it unfold.
Of course, his supporters will make excuses for this behavior, especially if he winds up winning, which IS completely possible at this point. However, that does not make any of this any less authoritarian or unacceptable. There is absolutely no legal or rational basis to stop the normal counting of votes. The only basis is that Trump knows the votes counted later are likely to lean strongly towards Biden and could very well end Trump’s presidency. He would rather throw out legitimate votes than lose. He cares nothing for fair elections, his constant feigned fretting over fraud no more than a way to enable himself to undermine election results.
The fact is, right now, we just don’t know who will win. Several states that are still counting votes (again, a totally normal process exacerbated by some factors this year that we all already knew about) are just too close to call, and it’s possible that the remaining ballots could ultimately change the current state of the numbers. Every vote must be counted, and only then will we have a winner.
(featured image: Olivier DOULIERY and Brendan Smialowski / AFP)
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