Biden Path to Electoral College Win Widens as Votes Come In
Pedestrians walk past a screen promoting news coverage of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election in Hong Kong. (Photographer: Lam Yik/Bloomberg)

Biden Path to Electoral College Win Widens as Votes Come In

The presidential battlefield is narrowing to a smaller number of states, with Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s chances of an Electoral College victory getting higher as votes come in. Biden now has 238 electoral votes to President Donald Trump’s 213.

Biden edged ahead of Trump in Wisconsin and Michigan, two of the three “Blue Wall” states deemed essential to his chances. His victory in Arizona, a state Trump won in 2016, gives him more breathing room. Even without Pennsylvania, which was also trending in his favor, Biden could now reach the necessary 270 electoral votes if he also holds Nevada, where he was leading by a razor-thin margin early Wednesday.

Those states still have dwindling but significant numbers of votes outstanding from absentee voters and large urban counties that tend to vote Democratic. Election officials said it would be later Wednesday before they could finish counting the Wisconsin and Michigan votes, and Nevada won’t resume counting absentee ballots until Thursday.

Both campaigns expressed confidence about the electoral map. Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said his team is “honing in” on Arizona and Pennsylvania, and believes a count of the remaining “legally cast” ballots will put the president ahead. The Biden campaign said it expected Wisconsin to be called later today, and believes it will win in Nevada and Pennsylvania. Georgia is a toss-up.

Biden is leading the popular vote count by about 2.5 million votes, a gap that’s expected to widen as more West Coast ballots are tallied, as both candidates exceeded comparative tallies from 2016. Turnout was 66.9%, the highest since 1900, when it was 73.7%, according to the U.S. Elections Project.

While both campaigns voiced optimism about the results, Trump cast doubt on the counting process in a pair of tweets on Wednesday. He suggested that the late flood of votes for Biden were fraudulent, though experts had been warning for months this phenomenon might occur since vote-by-mail ballots -- which tended to be cast by Democrats in 2020 -- are often counted last.

“Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled,” Trump tweeted. “Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the ‘pollsters’ got it completely & historically wrong!”

Trump needs at least four of the following states to pass 270 electoral votes: Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. He won them all in 2016. If Biden wins any two of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia, he’ll win.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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