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Election Update: Where are we now? What scenarios decide the election?

Zach Yearwood, Managing Editor

The country is still awaiting the results of the 2020 Election. No matter what the final Electoral College vote tally ends up being, this has been one of the closest and most contentious elections in this nation’s history. 

Where do we currently sit?

Mail-in ballots have been the focal point of this election. 

We have already waited several days since Election Day to find out who will run the country for the next four years, and we may have to wait several more. The counts of the mail-in votes are still trickling in in key states that are still too close to call.

After months of sowing distrust in the mail-in voting process among his base, the president in the last few days has tried to delegitimize these votes by calling them illegal, and demanded that counting ballots be stopped.

Joe Biden currently leads President Trump in the Electoral College 253–213 (although some projections including Fox News and the Associated Press have called Arizona in favor of Biden, putting the tally at 264–213). 

Here’s a look at the states that still remain to be called:

Alaska

Alaska not being called a few days in is nothing unusual. Alaska almost always takes several days to gather all the results. Expect this state and its three Electoral College votes to go towards President Trump.

Arizona

As mentioned before, some news organizations have already called Arizona in favor of the former vice president. At the time of writing, he is currently leading in the state by slightly over 47,000 votes with 90% reporting.

According to CNN, Arizona had about 285,000 uncounted ballots as of 9:30 p.m. ET, about 225,000 of which are from Maricopa County, the state’s most populous.

While not mathematically impossible for Trump to pull ahead in Arizona, it is not likely as about 204,000 of the remaining uncounted votes are mail-ins, which tend to sway Democratic.

Georgia

Georgia may just end up being the surprise of the election. While writing this article, votes in Georgia were trickling in and President Trump’s narrow lead shrunk with each new dataset released. 

The difference in votes went from over 1,800 in favor of Trump to 1,709, then 665 to 463.

At 4:16 a.m., the lead swung from Trump leading by 463 votes to Biden pulling ahead by 917. The lead has since risen to 1,096 votes in favor of Biden.

Georgia is essential in Trump’s reelection campaign. Without it, he mathematically cannot get to 270 votes. If he claims every currently available Electoral College vote but loses Georgia, he would only be at 269.

Expect legal battles and recounts in this state over the next few days, no matter who ends up ahead after all the votes are counted.

Nevada

You may have seen memes on Twitter or Instagram poking fun at how long Nevada is taking to count its votes. Nevada’s secretary of state said earlier Thursday that there were some 190,150 votes that have yet to be counted, about 90% of which are from Clark County—which houses Las Vegas.

The state is still also accepting mail-in ballots coming in until Nov. 10, as long as they were postmarked on or before Election Day.

Nevada is currently reporting a Biden lead of 11,438 votes. This race could still go either way and we likely still will not know before Friday is over.

North Carolina

President Trump currently leads in North Carolina by over 75,000 votes with roughly 95% reporting.

This state is very likely to go to Trump, but probably will not be made official until on or after Nov. 12. Similarly to Nevada, it is accepting mail-ins that are postmarked on or before election day until next Thursday.

For now though, it is still too close to officially call.

Pennsylvania

Joe Biden’s home state may end up being his golden egg. Pennsylvania is currently all Biden needs. If he wins Pennsylvania, the election is over, as the state’s 20 electoral votes puts him above the 270 needed to win.

Trump pulled ahead early by as many as 196,000 votes with 12% of the vote in. But as mail-in votes started getting counted, Biden gradually chipped into that lead, bringing it down to an 18,229 vote lead for the president at the time of writing.

According to CNN, about 163,000 votes have yet to be counted. Many of those are coming from Philadelphia County and Allegheny County—home to Pittsburgh. These are very likely to reduce the president’s lead even further, and this race may come down to the wire.

Summary

Things are looking bleak for Donald Trump as things stand, but this marathon of a race is by no means over. 

In order to eke out a win, not only would he have to retake the lead in Georgia and squeeze out Pennsylvania, but he would also need to secure both North Carolina and Alaska, along with flipping either Arizona or Nevada. 

If Trump loses Georgia and sweeps the rest of the map still in play, the result would be a 269–269 tie, meaning the election would likely be in the hands of the House of Representatives.

For Joe Biden, his options to win are a lot more simple. If he wins Georgia, it is mathematically impossible for him to lose the election through the Electoral College—his worst case scenario if this happens is an electoral tie.

Biden taking Georgia would result in him just needing one electoral vote to put him past 270. He could get this from any state and even Maine’s 2nd District — which also has not been decided yet.

If Biden wins Pennsylvania, he wins the election.

If he wins Arizona and Nevada, he doesn’t need Pennsylvania or Georgia, as he would be exactly at 270.

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For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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