CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — The race to the necessary 270 electoral votes for president of the United States is down to a handful of states as we move into the weekend.
The Associated Press is not calling the presidential race yet because neither candidate has secured the 270 electoral college votes needed for victory.
Trump or Biden would need 270 electoral votes to win. Several key states were too early to call — Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina and Nevada. Here’s a look at the results state-by-state.
A close margin and a large number of outstanding votes are what’s making the Pennsylvania contest between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden too early to call.
The Democrat held a lead over Trump of more than 28,800 votes Saturday morning, out of more than 6.5 million ballots cast — a edge of about 0.43%. State law dictates that a recount must be held if the margin between the two candidates is less than 0.5%.
The Pennsylvania secretary of state’s website said Friday night that there were about 89,000 more mail ballots to count. Many were from Allegheny County, a largely Democratic area that is home to Pittsburgh, and the Democratic stronghold of Philadelphia County.
Additionally, there are potentially tens of thousands of provisional ballots that remain to be tabulated, though an exact number remained unclear. Those ballots will be counted after officials verify their eligibility to be included.
Pennsylvania is among a handful of battleground states Trump and Biden are narrowly contesting as they seek the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.
Trump, who held a 675,000-vote lead early Wednesday, prematurely declared victory in the state.
“We’re winning Pennsylvania by a tremendous amount. We’re up 690,000 votes in Pennsylvania. These aren’t even close. It’s not like, ‘Oh, it’s close,’” Trump said during an appearance at the White House.
The late-counted ballots were overwhelmingly in Biden’s favor.
One reason the race tightened: Under state law, elections officials are not allowed to process mail-in ballots until Election Day. It’s a form of voting that has skewed heavily in Biden’s favor after Trump spent months claiming — without proof — that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud.
There’s a possibility the race won’t be decided for days. If there is less than a half percentage point difference between Biden and Trump’s vote total, state law dictates that a recount must be held.
Democrats had long considered Pennsylvania a part of their “blue wall” — a trifecta that also includes Wisconsin and Michigan — that for years had served as a bulwark in presidential elections. In 2016, Trump won each by less than a percentage point.
Biden, who was born in Scranton, claims favorite-son status in the state and has long played up the idea that he was Pennsylvania’s “third senator” during his decades representing neighboring Delaware. He’s also campaigned extensively in the state from his home in Delaware.
A razor-thin margin and ongoing vote count are what’s making the Georgia contest between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden too early to call.
Votes are still being counted across the state, though many from counties where Biden was in the lead.
Biden inched past the incumbent in the tally Friday and by Saturday morning was leading more than 4,000 votes of nearly 5 million ballots cast — a lead of about 0.08 percentage points. Under Georgia state law, a candidate can request a recount if the margin is within 0.5 percentage points.
The Georgia Secretary of State’s office said Friday morning that fewer than 8,200 absentee ballots remained to be tallied and 8,900 ballots sent to military and overseas voters had yet to be returned. They must be received by 5 p.m. Friday in order to be counted. It was unclear how many ballots remained to be counted Friday evening.
Gabriel Sterling, an official in the secretary of state’s office, said a recount is “more than likely, and the people will see that the outcome will stay essentially the same.”
Electoral research conducted by the AP found there have been at least 31 statewide recounts since 2000. Three of those changed the outcome of the election. The initial margins in those races were 137 votes, 215 votes and 261 votes.
Among all 31 recounts, the largest shift in results was 0.1%, in the 2006 race for Vermont’s Auditor of Accounts. This was a low turnout election in which the initial results had one candidate winning by 137 votes. The candidate eventually lost by 102 votes, for a swing of 239 votes.
Georgia is a must-win state for Trump, who has a narrower path to victory than Biden. Trump prematurely declared he was winning it early Wednesday morning.
Georgia has long been a Republican stronghold. Voters there haven’t swung for a Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton in 1992. Trump beat Hillary Clinton there by 5 percentage points in 2016. And the state’s government is dominated by the GOP.
But the party’s grip has loosened. As older, white, Republican-leaning voters die, they are being replaced by a younger and more racially diverse cast of people, many of whom moved to the booming Atlanta area from other states — and took their politics with them.
Overall, demographic trends show that the state’s electorate is becoming younger and more diverse each year. Like other metro areas, Atlanta’s suburbs have also moved away from Republicans. In 2016, Hillary Clinton flipped both Cobb and Gwinnett counties, where Biden is currently leading.
In 2018, Democrat Stacey Abrams galvanized Black voters in her bid to become the country’s first African American woman to lead a state, a campaign she narrowly lost.
Many political analysts say it’s not a question of if but rather when Georgia becomes a swing state. That much was clear in the closing weeks of the campaign as Biden; his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris; and former President Barack Obama barnstormed the state. Trump, too, visited the state to play defense.
A tight vote margin and large number of ballots that have yet to be counted made the Nevada race between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden too early to call Friday.
With more than 1.2 million ballots counted, Biden held a 22,000 vote lead Saturday morning— a roughly 1.79 percentage point edge over Trump. But even after about 87% of the estimated vote had been tallied, tens of thousands of votes remained to be counted statewide, which could eat into Biden’s advantage.
Election officials for Clark County, the state’s most populous county. said they would release more results Saturday at noon EST.
Most of the ballots were in the county, home to Las Vegas, a Democratic-leaning area where most of the state’s voters live. Biden held a nearly 9 percentage point lead over Trump in the county on Friday. And elections officials there said they plan to continue counting 55,000 mail ballots there over the weekend.
Yet questions remain over just how much of the vote was left to count across the state, including these:
- Clark County officials said Thursday that they would be releasing the results of 51,000 ballots on Friday. But they later clarified that they had overestimated the size of the batch and released results from about 30,000 ballots instead.
- Separately, state officials said Thursday that there were about 190,000 votes left to count statewide, a total that included mail ballots and provisional ballots from voters who registered or updated their registration at the polls. But it was unclear if that figure took into account the overestimated number of ballots by Clark County election officials.
In a tight race, that could delay the AP declaring a winner. For example, in the 2004 race between George W. Bush and John Kerry, the AP did not call the winner of the election in Ohio until it was able to confirm that Bush’s lead exceeded the number of provisional ballots left to be counted.
Nevada, once a swing state, has trended toward Democrats in the past decade. But this year there were signs that Trump could have an opening after narrowly losing the state in 2016.
Overall, Trump performed better than Mitt Romney did in 2012 or John McCain in 2008. The state also has has a higher percentage of non-college-educated whites, who have made up the base of his electoral support, than in many other pivotal states, including Florida, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Bush was the last Republican to win there, in 2004.
The Associated Press has not declared a winner in North Carolina’s presidential contest because the race between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden is too early to call.
In North Carolina, the president held a sizable lead over his Democratic challenger by more than 75,000 votes.
Trump, who is locked in a tight battle with Biden to secure the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency, prematurely claimed early Wednesday that he won the state.
“We’ve clearly won North Carolina, where we’re up 1.7%, 77,000 votes with only approximately 5% left. They can’t catch us,” he said during an appearance at the White House. Trump also said he planned to contest the U.S. presidential election before the Supreme Court. It was unclear, exactly, what legal action he might pursue.
Though Trump is correct that he held a nearly 77,000-vote lead in the state Thursday, the race was too early to call with up to 116,000 mail ballots left to count, as well as the potential of thousands of provisional ballots.
As long as those ballots are postmarked by Nov. 3, state election officials have until Nov. 12 to count them. And when it comes to mail ballots, Biden was outperforming Trump by far.
That means there’s a considerable number of ballots yet to be counted that could give Biden a lead.
The Associated Press has not declared a winner in Alaska in the race between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden because the contest is too early to call.
Trump had a lead of more than 54,00 votes over Biden Saturday morning with half of the votes counted.
Though Trump had a nearly 30 percentage point lead Thursday with about 50 percent of the vote counted, the state has not yet released its absentee ballot results and says it won’t do so until Nov. 10. That leaves too much of the vote untallied to declare a winner.
Alaska became a state in 1959 and has only swung for a Democrat once: Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Trump won the state by 28 percentage points in 2016.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.