The presidential race still remains too close to call as of early Friday morning, as neither candidate has secured enough electoral votes to guarantee victory after three days of ballot-counting. However, in an ominous development for President Trump, Democratic nominee Joe Biden has claimed an extremely small lead in the state of Georgia.
The central focus of attention remains a set of four states that seem likely to determine the outcome of the election: Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada. In order to secure victory, Trump must win both Pennsylvania and Georgia, as well as one or the other of Arizona or Nevada. Alternately, in the much less likely event that he wins Pennsylvania and both Arizona and Nevada, the race could plausibly end in a tie at the Electoral College. In such a scenario, the vote would move to the House of Representatives, where each state delegation would be given one vote. Republicans hold a majority of state delegations, and thus Trump would likely be re-elected under those circumstances.
In Georgia, Biden claimed a razor-thin lead of just over 1,000 votes as the last of the mail-in and absentee votes trickled in overnight. It is unknown exactly how many ballots remain to be counted in Georgia, but current estimates place the number at around 10,000, including the military/overseas ballots, provisional ballots, and “cured” mail-in ballots, over which there will almost definitely be court wrangling. The margin in Georgia is currently so close that it seems unlikely that we will know the winner in Georgia for several days yet.
In Pennsylvania, President Trump still maintains a lead of about 19,000 votes, but at least 163,000 votes remain outstanding to count. Almost 100,000 of that total is from Allegheny County and the city of Philadelphia. Around 80 percent of the mail-in balloting from those locations has been breaking for Biden thus far in the counting process, which means that Trump’s lead in the Keystone State is extremely precarious as the count enters what officials hope will be the final day in Pennsylvania.
In Arizona, President Trump has narrowed Biden’s lead to about 47,000 votes, with about 263,000 votes left to count. The Trump campaign remains optimistic that Arizona is within reach and in fact estimates that President Trump will win the state by about 30,000 votes, according to their math. Arizona officials have expressed optimism that the count will be finished by Friday night. Fox News insists that the race already belongs to Biden; many other networks and the Trump campaign strongly disagree.
Nevada, as usual, remains mired in a morass of incompetence and is apparently unable to count votes at even nearly the same pace as the rest of the country. Officials there have refused to indicate that their count will be ready before November 12 (!!), so if the contest comes down to that state, the country could be in for a long wait in terms of knowing who won the presidential election.
In a fiery press conference yesterday afternoon, President Trump blasted the current counting process and promised extensive litigation to challenge the results in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. His campaign insists that they believe they will have won when all the legally cast votes have been counted.