I haven’t seen an official call from any networks yet. But if the count’s over and one guy is ahead, that would seem to make victory for the other guy … difficult.
BREAKING Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator says on @NBCNews: “All of the ballots have been counted.” Joe Biden has won Wisconsin by 20,697 votes.
— Chris D. Jackson (@ChrisDJackson) November 4, 2020
Ed noted earlier that the Trump campaign is already talking recount in Wisconsin, but Trump ally Scott Walker is skeptical. I noted in the last post that certain “Trumpers of convenience” like Marco Rubio have already begun to gently counterprogram his claims that the election is being stolen. Walker seems to be doing something similar, focusing more on shoring up public confidence in the result than playing Trump’s game of trying to drag the process out in order to delegitimize a possible Biden victory.
After recount in 2011 race for WI Supreme Court, there was a swing of 300 votes. After recount in 2016 Presidential race in WI, @realDonaldTrump numbers went up by 131.
— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) November 4, 2020
Weird but true: We may be headed for a bizarro version of 2016 in which one candidate finishes with 306 electoral votes via a series of cliffhanger wins in the Rust Belt and other battlegrounds, except this time Trump loses instead of wins. Data nerds who are paying attention to where votes are still outstanding think Biden has the inside track in Michigan due to the slow count in Democrat-heavy Detroit. Nevada is *very* close and Trump isn’t out of the running there yet, but:
So, what's left in Nevada is mail and provisionals. No more in-person votes. That's likely good news for Democrats, unless the late-arriving mail ballots were MUCH redder than the early-arriving ones. https://t.co/oTtD08cxAx
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) November 4, 2020
Jon Ralston also thinks Biden is slightly favored due to the outstanding mail vote:
But the Republicans surely thought they could have a lead on Election Night so Trump could declare victory because they know what the mail ballots hold: Good news for Dems. So how many are left?
I'll know soon, but at least 50-60K in Clark, I think. Those should tilt heavy D.
— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) November 4, 2020
Pennsylvania is the big one, but it’s the ultimate “blue shift” state. All the Trump-heavy same-day votes are in, most of the Biden-heavy mail ballots are now being counted. Should Biden have enough of those to overtake Trump? Nate Cohn thinks so:
President Trump leads by nearly 700,000 votes in Pennsylvania as of 5 a.m. on Wednesday, and Mr. Biden’s chances depend on whether he can win a large percentage of the more than 1.4 million absentee ballots that remain to be counted.
So far, Mr. Biden has won absentee voters in Pennsylvania, 78 percent to 21 percent, according to the Secretary of State’s office. The results comport with the findings of pre-election surveys and an analysis of absentee ballot requests, which all indicated that Mr. Biden held an overwhelming lead among absentee voters.
If Mr. Biden won the more than 1.4 million absentee votes by such a large margin, he would net around 800,000 votes — enough to overcome his deficit statewide.
Biden could theoretically net more than 800,000, Cohn adds, because most of the remaining ballots come from areas that trend a little bluer than the state does in the aggregate.
What about Georgia, though? I flagged that state last night as the likeliest to flip among the three southern battlegrounds (Florida and Texas being the other two) but it was leaning Trump until the wee hours. Then Biden closed the gap. Much of the remaining vote there consists of mail ballots from blue counties like Fulton and Gwinnett:
And we have a very clear picture in Georgia, thanks to the needle’s analysis of the vote by precinct x method–stipulating that there aren’t any errors in the GA county data. There’s a lot of heavily Dem vote in the Atlanta area left. It’s enough to make Biden a narrow favorite
— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) November 4, 2020
Trump's claim to have won Georgia is highly dubious. No network has called it. He's only ahead by 2.5 points there, and the outstanding votes are mostly mail votes in very blue counties, likely very Democratic. Biden may even be a slight favorite there. https://t.co/dtj6h9jFEx
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) November 4, 2020
Probably the best news for Trump this morning is that Arizona may not yet be off the board:
The latest plot twist comes from Arizona, which had reportedly counted 95%+ of its votes. NYT notes that "due to an error in an Edison Research data feed of results … the actual estimate is that 86% of the vote has been counted."
— Jeff Dufour (@dcdufour) November 4, 2020
If Biden were to hold on in the Rust Belt, Georgia, and Arizona, and if we assume Trump holds on in North Carolina, we’d have a … 306-232 election, precisely the outcome we had in 2016, only this time the Democrat wins. Even if we assume Trump holds Georgia and comes back to take Arizona, he’d still need either Michigan or Pennsylvania to come through for him. Otherwise it’s a 279-259 Biden win. Here’s how Team Trump sees the race as of noon…
From working phones – Multiple sources close to President Trump believe they have at least one clear but complicated path to re- election. Sources say Trump would need to hold Pennsylvania, Georgia and pull off a win in Arizona but admit it is tough to me & @KFaulders
— John Santucci (@Santucci) November 4, 2020
…and here’s how Team Biden sees it:
Biden campaign expectations:
MICH: Win, results today
WISC: Win, results today
NEVADA: Win, results tomorrow
PENNSYLVANIA: 1.4m outstanding ballots that will overcome 600k ballot deficit. Results tomorrow
GEORGIA: Tossup; results today
NC: Leaning Trump; results in few days
— Matt Viser (@mviser) November 4, 2020
Is there any scenario in which Nevada is decisive, by the way? Trump making it very tight there is a fascinating subplot but I don’t think winning it changes the equation for him if he’s swept in the Rust Belt, even if he takes all of the other toss-ups.
I’ll leave you with this, in which the Biden campaign is now claiming it’s “won the election.” That’s irresponsible horsesh*t in the same way Trump’s speech last night was. Can we not have a single admirable civic figure for our benighted country to look to?
Biden lawyer Bob Bauer: "We're winning the election. We’ve won the election. And we're going to defend that election.”
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 4, 2020
Update: I just realized that if Team Trump gets what it’s hoping for — Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Arizona — and if Biden holds on in Nevada, we’ll have a 280-258 win for the president. My prediction last night before the votes were counted was Trump 279, Biden 259.
Update: The campaign wants a recount in Wisconsin, which is fine and fair, although they shouldn’t get their hopes up about the outcome per Walker’s tweet. Trump is now encouraging the counting, or recounting, of ballots in states where he’s behind and trying to manufacture reasons for why the ongoing counting in states where he’s ahead is illegitimate. As always, his ethics are purely situational and there’s not even a pretense to the contrary.
Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien says the campaign will request a recount in Wisconsin. pic.twitter.com/g516W283eH
— Daniel Strauss (@DanielStrauss4) November 4, 2020
Update: And here’s the projection now. Lotta tension over Pennsylvania and Arizona at this hour.
— Ryan Matsumoto (@ryanmatsumoto1) November 4, 2020