04/11/2020 - 14:04

Tight US election as counting continues

04/11/2020 - 14:04


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Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin will be critical to the outcome of the US presidential election, with Donald Trump and Joe Biden in a nail-biting battle.

Joe Biden, right, currently holds a narrow lead in the popular and electoral college vote over Donald Trump. Photo: Gage Skidmore

Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin will be critical to the outcome of the US presidential election, with Donald Trump and Joe Biden in a nail-biting battle.

Results in the three midwestern states may not be known for days, as mail-in and early in-person votes are tabulated.

Mr Trump performed more strongly than predicted in polling, with most major news networks projecting wins for the incumbent president in Ohio, Iowa, Texas and Florida.

But Mr Biden has swung Arizona into his column, according to the US Associated Press.

The AP has 236 electoral college votes called for Mr Biden, while Mr Trump has 213.

At least 270 are needed for victory.

The election will now be won or lost in Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia.

Mr Trump is ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina, but early votes are still to be counted, and according to US news networks, are more likely to head to Mr Biden.

But if Mr Trump can hold on in four of five of those states, in any combination, he will win.

Mr Trump has claimed wins in all the states where he leads and strongly signalled that battles could head to the courts.

The Democrats are projected to win the House of Representatives, but the Senate majority could be in contention until a run off election in Georgia in January, NBC said.


The key swing state of Florida was called for Mr Trump, bringing 29 electoral college votes.

Mr Trump led 51.3 per cent to 47.8 per cent, with 96 per cent of the vote reported, according to America’s Associated Press.

Republican votes outperformed around the major city of Miami, traditionally a Democratic stronghold.

That was attributed to a highly successful ground game to bring out Cuban American votes for Mr Trump.

Mr Trump picked up 46 per cent of the vote in Miami-Dade County 

In 2016, he had won only 34 per cent of votes in that county.


The winner of Ohio has gone on to win nationally in every presidential election bar two since 1900, according to a newspaper from that state.

AP has called the state’s 18 electoral college votes for Mr Trump, who is up 53.4 to 45.2 with 94 per cent counted.

Mr Biden won counties around major cities such as Cleveland and Columbus, while Mr Trump secured exurban and rural counties, in a trend playing out across the nation.


Vote counting in key counties of Pennsylvania has been paused, as the time in that state passes 2am.

Winning that state’s 20 electoral college votes will be critical for Mr Trump, as he has a narrow pathway without it.

Mr Trump has had nearly 3 million ballots declared for him in Pennsylvania, with 2.3 million for Mr Biden.

About 74 per cent of votes in the state have been counted, according to the New York Times.

But the big challenge for Mr Trump will be the roughly 2.5 million votes not yet counted.

Much of that is expected to favour Mr Biden.

Biden's wins

Former vice president Joe Biden meanwhile has won Minnesota, Arizona and New Hampshire, and holds a significant lead in Nebraska's second congressional district.

Minnesota, a historically Democratic state that has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since Richard Nixon in 1972, was won comfortably by Mr Biden, after Mr Trump came within one-and-a-half percentage points of winning the state in 2016.

Democrats lost a congressional seat in the state that they had held for 30 years, while retaining the senate seat it had won in a 2018 special election.

New Hampshire meanwhile delivered Mrs Clinton her closest margin of victory in 2016, when she won the granite state by less than one per cent.

Mr Biden, however, carried the state easily, after winning all five available votes in the rural town of Dixville Notch, which is the first locality in the state to hold in-person voting on election day.

That came after he finished fifth in the Democratic primary earlier this year.

Mr Biden also carried nearby Maine, which had split its electoral votes in 2016.

Arizona swings to Biden

Elsewhere, the former vice president’s margin in Arizona appears to be bolstered by a strong performance in Maricopa County, home to the state’s capital and largest city, Phoenix.

Mr Trump won Arizona by a three per cent margin in 2016, however, Democrats have made steady inroads in the state, picking up a senate seat in 2018 and a handful of other offices.

Mark Kelly, who is running in a special election to fill the state’s other senate seat, has defeated the incumbent, Martha McSally.

AP has projected Mr Biden as the winner in the state, bringing him 11 electoral college votes.

Nebraska, which awards electoral votes per the winner of each congressional district, is likely to deliver at least one of its votes to Mr Biden.

Former president Barack Obama won the congressional district in 2008, and Mr Biden appears to hold a sizable lead in the district which takes in most of Omaha and its surrounding suburbs.

Fox News has similarly called that race for Mr Biden while all other major news networks believe it is still too close to call.

Sunbelt swings

Most networks are not yet ready to make a call in Georgia or North Carolina, although Mr Trump currently holds a lead in both states with more than 80 per cent of the vote counted.

NBC has said Georgia, a traditional Republican stronghold, may be decided by as little as 0.1 percentage points.

Mr Trump did win Texas, delivering a blow to Mr Biden, who polls had shown was competitive in a state that had not been won by a Democratic presidential candidate since 1976.

Mr Biden's losing margin does appear to be the narrowest of any Democratic nominee in modern presidential history; however, he underperformed relative to Beto O'Rourke, who came within three percentage points of winning one of the state's senate seats in 2018.

John Cornyn, who serves as the state's senior senator and the majority whip, won re-election.

Rustbelt battle looms

Mr Trump leads in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania after votes from election day were counted, although it is expected Mr Biden will close the gap as early votes come in.

Addressing supporters in Delaware, Mr Biden expressed confidence with the results and said he believed he was headed to victory.

Mr Trump meanwhile told supporters he believed he was headed to victory, and said he would escalate litigation to the US Supreme Court to challenge the results in those states that will continue tabulating votes over the coming days.

He said he had already won the election, although AP released a statement shortly after to say he had not in fact won.

No major news networks are willing to project an overall winner at this stage.


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