Wisconsin elections chief: All ballots have now been counted, Biden leads by 20,000+; Update: Team Trump requests recount; Update: CNN says Biden wins WI

Wisconsin elections chief: All ballots have now been counted, Biden leads by 20,000+; Update: Team Trump requests recount; Update: CNN says Biden wins WI

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.

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.

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:

Jon Ralston also thinks Biden is slightly favored due to the outstanding mail vote:

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:

Probably the best news for Trump this morning is that Arizona may not yet be off the board:

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…

…and here’s how Team Biden sees it:

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?

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.

Update: And here’s the projection now. Lotta tension over Pennsylvania and Arizona at this hour.

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