It’s going to be close, and potentially messy.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden and incumbent GOP President Donald Trump both have multiple paths to the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the presidency as of late Tuesday. Trump’s healthy leads in Florida and Texas have eliminated the chances for an early, blowout victory for the Democrat, and Democratic chances of winning control of the Senate appear sharply lower than they were at the beginning of the day on Tuesday. (Democrats are set to keep control of the House of Representatives, blocking total GOP control of the federal government.)
Biden is projected to win Arizona, while Trump has leads in still-too-close-to-call North Carolina and Georgia. But Georgia is unlikely to report final results due to delays counting absentee ballots in the Democratic stronghold of Atlanta, and North Carolina looks headed to litigation and possibly a recount.
For the latest results, maps and more, check out HuffPost’s Elections Hub.
At this point, no one can say who will win the White House on election night. This was an expected result after the coronavirus pandemic dramatically altered the way Americans voted.
In order to avoid spreading the virus, far more voters than ever before ― more than 100 million ― cast their votes early, 65 million of them by absentee ballot. While voters changed their behavior, states only slightly modified theirs.
In some key states, Republican-controlled legislatures refused to allow election officials to process and count absentee ballots before Election Day. And now it will take days after the election to count these ballots.
That’s what’s happening in the three Upper Midwest states that handed Trump the White House in 2016 ― Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. None of these states will be able to count all of their absentee ballots until the end of the week. And their results will likely hold the balance of the electoral college votes to deliver Trump or Biden the White House.
Early results in these three states show Trump up big, but these largely represent Election Day votes, which heavily tilt Republican this year. Democratic voters in these three and other states largely chose to vote absentee, so their votes will be counted in the days to come.
Republicans quickly triumphed in two Democratic reach states: Sen. Lindsey Graham defeated Democrat Jaime Harrison in South Carolina, and GOP Rep. Roger Marshall defeated state Sen. Barbara Bollier in Kansas. Those victories likely eliminate the chances of a substantial Democratic majority, and could hamper Biden’s ability to enact his agenda if he wins.
― Kevin Robillard and Paul Blumenthal
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