Too early to call: Biden, Trump still shy of 270 electoral votes

Too early to call: Biden, Trump still shy of 270 electoral votes

The presidency remains unclear as key states like Pennsylvania and Michigan continue to count ballots.
Published: November 3, 2020

The winner of the 2020 presidential election was not determined as of early Wednesday morning with half a dozen states yet to tally millions of ballots.

As of noon Wednesday, several Electoral College projections showed Biden with 238 electoral votes and Trump with 213 electoral votes, while some forecasters had states such as Arizona that were still too close or early to call. Election 2020

Projections indicated that Trump has won Florida, Ohio and Texas while Biden has secured New York, Illinois and California. Meanwhile, The New York Times reported that the results of the election are based on six states: Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

According to the New York Post, Pennsylvania stopped counting its mail-in ballots, with only 76,000 of the 350,000 ballots counted on Election Day. Also, Georgia stopped counting ballots following a water pipe burst that set the ballot counting back. Both counting setbacks in those swing states are expected tot slow the results of the 2020 election as the race to secure 270 electoral votes continues to be tight.

Biden addressed voters before 1 a.m. from Wilmington, Delaware. He commended the patience of his supporters and said he feels he is on track to win the election. He said the race isn’t over until every ballot is counted.

Chris Bezdedeanu, policy studies and citizenship and civic engagement sophomore, said Biden’s early morning appearance was short and confident.

“I think this is a genius move by Biden going on to tell his supporters that he is on track to win this election, while still reminding us that lots of mail-in votes need to be counted before Trump can get an appearance in,” Bezdedeanu said.

Trump made his statement from the White House just before 2:30 a.m., suggesting that efforts were being made to steal the election from him while he had leads but not declared victories in Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

In the key state of Florida, polls closed at 7 p.m. and projections from NBC show Trump winning the state’s electoral votes by 51.2%. Trump was set to get a higher level of Hispanic votes in Florida than he did in 2016, political science professor Keith Bybee said.

If Florida had gone to Biden, history professor David Bennett said a frontrunner may have been clear by late tonight. At this point, an expected “blue wave” of Democrat voters was not going to appear in this election.

“We don’t know what the ultimate outcome of the election is going to be, but Biden underperformed dramatically in Miami-Dade County and couldn’t nearly make that up,” Bennett said.

Pennsylvania, a state where ballots don’t have to be counted until three days after Election Day, is important for many reasons. Pennsylvania is a state Trump won narrowly in 2016.,

History and political science professor Margaret Thompson said Biden’s campaign focused on winning the candidate’s home state but it’s divided politically.

“There are some parts of it that are very liberal, such as the areas around Philadelphia, and then there are some parts that are like Indiana, which is a pretty conservative part of the Midwest,” Thompson said. “It’s hard to generalize about Pennsylvania.”

Other states that are a toss-up are North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. If Biden wins one of these three states, it will be much more difficult for Trump to get 270 electoral votes, Bybee said.

“I think a lot of attention is going to be paid to Georgia and North Carolina results,” Bybee said. “Those states have a good number of electoral votes, but it’s because of the indicative of the direction the race is heading.”

Augustus LeRoux, a College Republicans member, said Trump is “golden” if he can secure the electoral votes from Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. As of 10 p.m., he said he is cautiously optimistic at Trump’s chances, but that the race is still tight.

“We’re almost three hours after the first polls closed and there’s still very little indicator about where this will go,” LeRoux said.

As results come in, Bybee said media outlets are more cautious to publish results this year. In 2016, Bybee said The New York Times had a graphic showing Hillary Clinton likely to win the whole night.

“That’s one of the things that’s impressed me at this early stage is how deliberate the media is being in making predictions about the outcome of the election,” Bybee said.

Though the declaration of a winner will likely not be clear tonight, Bennett said he fears violence and civil disorder if results take weeks to be confirmed.

“This is the first election in American history in the modern era where across America and downtown areas, stores have to be boarded up because of the fear of violence and huge unscalable fences have to be placed around the White House,” Bennett said.

Regardless of projections based on votes counted today, Thompson said people need to understand that results must be first certified by the states.

“The problem for Mr. Trump is that he can say whatever he wants but that doesn’t have any force of law, it doesn’t matter,” Thompson said. “These votes have to be certified by the various states, all the votes have to be counted, and so on.”

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A poll worker greets voters Tuesday as they enter a polling station at Hamilton High School North, in Hamilton, N.J.