Photo Credit: AP Photos
The Center Square [By Dan McCaleb]-
With the race to 270 electoral votes still too close to call, Vice President Joe Biden won Wisconsin and pulled ahead in Michigan Wednesday while President Donald Trump maintained his leads in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia.
Biden held a 248-214 electoral vote advantage over Trump, according to The Associated Press, which called the race in Wisconsin Wednesday afternoon, with final vote counts in the other battleground states to determine the winner.
Georgia has 16 electoral college votes at stake; Michigan also has 16; North Carolina has 15; and Pennsylvania, 20.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said about 200,000 absentee ballots remained to be counted and the state hoped to have those done this afternoon.
In North Carolina, between 100,000 to 200,000 absentee ballots still needed to be counted. The state board of elections had scheduled a news conference for 2:30 p.m. EST.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said Wednesday morning that hundreds of thousands of votes still need to be counted but officials hoped to finish by the end of the day.
In Wisconsin, with 99 percent of the vote counted, Biden led Trump by about 20,000 votes. Trump’s campaign team said it would seek an immediate recount in the state after claiming irregularities with the vote count.
“Despite ridiculous public polling used as a voter suppression tactic, Wisconsin has been a razor thin as we always knew it would be,” Bill Stepien, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, said in a statement. “There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubt about the validity of the results. The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so.”
In Pennsylvania, predictions that it might take the Keystone State several days to sort through an unprecedented number of absentee ballots appeared to be coming true.
Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, the state’s top election official, said Wednesday that the state still needed to count 1.3 million mail-in ballots, out of 2.6 million that were sent in by voters.
“There are still millions of ballots left to be counted,” Boockvar said during a news conference Wednesday.
Trump still had a sizable lead in Pennsylvania on Wednesday afternoon, with a margin of more than 400,000 votes giving him a 53-45% advantage. But onlookers noted that the mail-in ballots that had been counted so far were favoring Biden by a margin that, if it held up, would allow the Pennsylvania native to catch up to and surpass the president and claim the state’s 20 electoral votes.
Votes in Nevada, an expected Biden win, and Alaska, an expected Trump win, were also still being counted Wednesday and no winner has been declared in either state.
If the contests in Nevada (6 electoral votes) and Alaska (3) finish as predicted and Trump wins in the states he’s currently leading in, the president likely still needs to win in Michigan to be reelected.
Nebraska, where Trump won the popular vote, and Maine, where Biden won, are the only two states that split their electoral college votes by Congressional districts. In the 48 others, all electoral college votes are awarded to the winner of the respective state.
Biden campaign adviser Anita Dunn said Wednesday that the former vice president will declare victory once they feel they have reached 270 electoral votes, even if votes are still being counted.
“I think that at the end of the day, we always said that the goal was to get 270 electoral votes, and we feel very confident that after the vote’s been counted, that’s where the vote is going to be: above 270,” she told reporters.
Trump so far has been declared the winner in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.
Biden won Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusets, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washigton and Wyoming.
In states where the final, unofficial results are particularly close, both Trump and Biden have attorneys on standby to legally challenge any potential discrepancies. That could drag out the presidential outcome for weeks.