The presidential race has not yet been scheduled, but the more votes that are counted, the better Joe Biden’s chances are.
The five key states remaining on the map – Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and North Carolina – will remain unclaimed from midnight Eastern Time. But Biden is set to take the lead in the only state he has to win, Pennsylvania. He also appears to be taking very close leadership in Georgia, where Trump has led the count since election night, which would deal a clear blow to Trump’s hopes.
In the most important of these states, PennsylvaniaPresident Trump’s lead has continued to shrink, and it seems like only a matter of time before Biden gets past him as more of the hundreds of thousands remaining postal ballots are counted.
The initial count in Pennsylvania predicted Trump because the state was slow to count its postal ballots. Democrats were much more likely to vote by mail, and Republicans were much more likely to vote in person on election day, and those latter votes were counted first. It was long expected that if the votes on the emails were counted, Biden would win, and that’s exactly what happened.
By midnight East Time, Trump’s lead in Pennsylvania had shrunk to just 0.37 percent – about 24,000 votes. And since the Democratic stronghold of Philadelphia has many more ballots to count, that leadership will most likely go away.
A call for Biden in Pennsylvania would get him over the 270 electoral votes necessary to win, making him the alleged next President of the United States. He doesn’t have to win another state.
Biden is getting closer in Georgia too
The good news for Biden doesn’t stop at Pennsylvania. A similar story plays out in Georgiawhere Trump led on election night, but his lead has steadily shrunk since then.
From midnight east time, Trump leads Georgia by just 0.04 percent – according to the decision desk, only 1,709 votes. And there are thousands more ballots to be counted in heavily Democratic Clayton County.
However, don’t expect Georgia to get a call anytime soon. That’s a pretty narrow head start, and Georgia doesn’t have many ballots left to count – there probably aren’t enough votes left to give Biden a sizable head start. A recount is definitely possible.
But Trump’s lead in this traditionally republican state would clearly be a blow to his hopes of victory – and perhaps any hopes he might have that he could change the outcome through legal gimmicks. As Vox’s Ian Milhiser writes, it’s conceivable that a lawsuit or recount battle could overturn a close result in one state – but the more key states Trump enters, the less plausible it becomes.
Trump improved his position in Arizona – but maybe not enough
Nevada has not updated its census since noon and North Carolina has not updated its census didn’t report anything new, so The other news of the day was in Arizona. (Fox News and Associated Press have already called Arizona about Biden, but other campaigns, like Vox’s partner Decision Desk, have been more cautious.)
The Arizona news was a little better for Trump – his position in the count at least improved rather than deteriorated, and Biden’s lead fell to 1.5 percent.
However, it’s not clear that this rate of improvement will be enough for Trump to make up the ground he needs to take over the leadership of the state. FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver said the recent drop in votes from Maricopa County, the state’s largest county, was “a little below the pace” Trump needs.
Hundreds of thousands of ballots (it’s not clear exactly how many) still have to be counted in Arizona so Trump’s chances cannot be ruled out just yet. But again, Biden doesn’t even need Arizona to win as long as he takes the lead in Pennsylvania. And even if Biden falls short in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Nevada, that would be enough to overdo him if he sticks to his leads there.
Overall, Biden’s chances of winning the presidency on Thursday have improved – and it’s entirely possible that outfits calling out elections could declare him the winner the next day, or even within a few hours.
An informed public is critical right now.
This is an unprecedented choice. Millions of people rely on Vox for clear explanations about the status of the vote, whether the elections are fair, and what the outcome could mean for the political choices that could affect their lives. We monitor the number of votes around the clock, speak to sources and redirect the messages into understandable information. And this work costs resources. You can support our explanatory journalism and keep it free for everyone by making a financial contribution today.