Biden pulls ahead in swing states in a close race

Biden pulls ahead in swing states in a close race

Vote counts in Pennsylvania and Georgia shift to former Vice President's favor in the race to reach 270 electoral votes.
Published: November 6, 2020
Election 2020: United States map with states where vote counting is delayed or being contested in the presidential race.

Election Day has come and gone but the winner of the presidential race has yet to be decided with the results of key states still pending.

Record numbers of Americans turned out for early voting and millions cast their ballots at the polls on Election Day. Due to the large influx of mail-in ballots, some states continue to tally votes throughout the week.Election 2020

As of 1 p.m. Friday, Joe Biden still held onto his lead with 253 electoral votes compared to Donald Trump’s 214 votes, according to The New York Times, while The Associated Press set the count at 264-214 with Arizona in Biden’s favor.

Also, AP reported that Biden holds the lead with the national popular vote at 50.5% to Trump’s 47.8% with votes to still be counted in Nevada, Arizona, Alaska, Pennsylvania and Georgia.

Biden addressed his supporters in a speech in Delaware Friday night just before 11 p.m., acknowledging his current lead in Georgia, Nevada, Arizona and Pennsylvania, which he expressed his confidence in his ability to turn the swing states blue. If that proves to be true, Biden would be the first Democrat to win Arizona in 24 years and Georgia in 28 years.

“The numbers tell a clear and convincing story,” he said. “We’re going to win this race.”

He noted that he was “on track” to receive more than 300 electoral college votes if the numbers continue to be in his favor, emphasizing the need to continue to count all ballots. Biden currently holds the record as the presidential candidate to receive the most popular votes, with more than 74 million votes nationally.

Overnight from Thursday into Friday, Biden moved slightly ahead of Trump in Georgia’s vote count in the bid for the state’s 16 electoral college votes. Both candidates held approximately 49% of the votes, separated by about 1,000 votes with 99% reported.

Pennsylvania’s vote count was being carefully watched as Trump’s dominant lead after Election Day slowly dwindled. As of Friday evening, Biden held a lead of approximately 28,000 more votes than Trump in an attempt to secure the state’s 20 electoral college votes, with a few thousand votes to still be counted.

“Pennsylvania would be the whole ball game,” Syracuse University political science professor Keith Bybee said Thursday night. “Winning it would put Biden over the top, even according to the news organizations that have not yet called Arizona for him.”

Bybee said both campaigns knew Pennsylvania would be significant. But he notes it may be the state that pushes Biden past the 270 mark, while it’s essential for Trump to win the state for a successful reelection bid.

Trump remained ahead in North Carolina and Alaska while Biden was leading in Arizona and Nevada with more returns are expected on Friday.

While Biden held a lead in many swing states where ballots are still being counted, the Trump Campaign issued a public statement regarding the election.

Just before 2 p.m., the president said he vowed to “pursue this process through every aspect of the law,” citing concerns about “illegal” ballots being counted.

This statement is the latest in Trump’s legal endeavors in swing states. It is also a continuation of his claims that there were illegitimate votes cast in the election, although there is no evidence to support it.

Americans still await voting results from the most contentious states in this election. Although there were already expected delays with ballot counting, election official Joe Gloria of Clark County, Nevada said in a press conference on Thursday that there would be further delays with mail-in voting that could push an announcement of official results into the weekend. Biden held a slim lead for the state’s six electoral college votes.

Trump campaign surrogates announced Thursday they was attempting to file a lawsuit against Nevada, claiming that 10,000 people who cast their ballots in the state no longer live there, which only adds to the list of lawsuits the president has announced during this election week.

After avoiding any public appearances for nearly 48 hours, Trump finally spoke Thursday evening at a White House press conference.

“If you counted the legal votes, I easily win,” Trump opened his speech saying, before leading into a list of Republican election successes and his grievances about this week’s ballot counting process.

Although there has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud, Trump claimed there were “illegal votes” and that the election was being “stolen” from him. Also the President said without evidence that illegitimate ballot counting was occurring. Trump touted his “massive victories” in Florida, Iowa and Ohio and continued to blame “phony polls” that kept voters at home as the reason he was trailing in the race to 270.

Meanwhile, Biden tweeted, “Every vote must be counted,” a sentiment he’s repeated through this election week.

As states have continued to tabulate more than 140 million votes cast nationwide, SU policy studies and citizenship and civic engagement sophomore Chris Bezdedeanu said Wednesday the process to count mail-in ballots takes extra time.

“I think a lot of people are kind of panicking about Pennsylvania right now,” Bezdedeanu said. “But I mean, we won’t know before tomorrow night, if not like Friday morning so I think there’s still a while to go there.”

Biden urged his supporters to be patient as he addressed a crowd just before 1 a.m. on Nov. 3 in Delaware, while Trump spoke from the White House after 2:30 a.m. and suggested that efforts were being made to steal the election from him.

“I think President Trump’s remarks were pretty blunt but also very expected and that’s just like his character,” Bezdedeanu said. “What I liked about Vice President Biden’s remarks was that it was short, sweet to the point.”

Early Wednesday morning, Trump tweeted, “We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!” The tweet was marked by Twitter as content that is “disputed and might be misleading.”

Trump’s campaign has made efforts to challenge the election process with lawsuits filed in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan and requested a recount in Wisconsin.

For key battleground states where it will come down to the wire based on the count of mail-in ballots, SU history professor David Bennett said there may be a long road ahead in the courts.

“He has a platoon of lawyers and they’re already preparing lawsuits to argue that the available balance is fraudulent,” Bennett said Tuesday.

SU political science professor Mark Rupert said he has been discouraged that the election could be so close.

“President Trump has a well-established track record of lying to the public, using public office to profit his businesses and avoid prosecution for his corruption, enacting policies that benefit the wealthiest, promoting racism and xenophobia, encouraging white supremacists and armed extremists, and defaulting on his most important responsibilities during an extraordinarily deadly public health crisis,” Rupert said. “These things are apparently not deal breakers for almost half of us.”

When to expect results for remaining states
November 6, 2020 1:00 pm

According to The New York Times and The Associated Press, here’s when to expect results for the final six states.

Alaska: 3 electoral votes, 56% votes reported, mail-in ballots won’t be counted for another week.

Arizona: 11 electoral votes, 90% votes reported, more results expected Wednesday night.

Georgia: 16 electoral votes, 99% votes reported, ballots will still be counted Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

Nevada: 6 electoral votes, 87% votes reported, results will be updated at noon eastern on Thursday.

North Carolina: 15 electoral votes, 95% votes reported, mail-in ballots are accepted through Nov. 12.

Pennsylvania: 20 electoral votes, 98% reported results, vote expected to be counted by Friday.