WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – With no clear winner on Friday morning, all eyes will be on Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada to see if they release enough results for a winner to be projected in the presidential race.
The simple answer: It’s very likely.
By the Associated Press and Fox News counts, Biden needs just 6 more electoral college votes to reach the threshold of 270 and be declared the winner.
On Friday morning, Biden took the lead in Georgia and experts expect him to build on that momentum as the remaining 14,000 votes, many of them mail-in ballots, are counted and results are released. Georgia is worth 16 electoral votes. It’s worth noting that Biden’s lead is extremely small — just 1,000 votes.
It’s likely we’ll be very close to final results in Pennsylvania on Friday. State officials were hopeful we’d be near final numbers late Thursday. And while that didn’t happen, we did see a number of new results released with Biden closing the gap to about 18,000 votes. Biden will need to win roughly two-thirds of the remaining vote to pull out this state with 20 electoral votes.
Nevada is expected to release thousands of numbers Friday morning. Biden currently holds a slim lead in the state.
Trump, with 214 electoral votes, faced a much higher hurdle. To reach 270, he needed to claim all four remaining battlegrounds: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and Nevada. North Carolina is not expected to release additional results until Nov. 12.
With hundreds of thousands of votes yet to be tabulated, Biden already had received more than 73 million votes, the most in history. Addressing reporters on Thursday, the former vice president said he expected to win the presidency but stopped short of outright declaring victory.
“I ask everyone to stay calm. The process is working,” Biden said. “It is the will of the voters. No one, not anyone else who chooses the president of the United States of America.”
Biden’s victories in the upper Midwest put him in a strong position, but Trump showed no sign of giving up. He was back on Twitter around 2:30 a.m. Friday, insisting the “U.S. Supreme Court should decide!”
Trump’s erroneous claims about the integrity of the election challenged Republicans now faced with the choice of whether to break with a president who, though his grip on his office grew tenuous, commanded sky-high approval ratings from rank-and-file members of the GOP.
Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan, a potential 2024 presidential hopeful who has often criticized Trump, said unequivocally: “There is no defense for the President’s comments tonight undermining our Democratic process. America is counting the votes, and we must respect the results as we always have before.”
But others who are rumored to be considering a White House run of their own in four years aligned themselves with the incumbent, including Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who tweeted support for Trump’s claims, writing, “If last 24 hours have made anything clear, it’s that we need new election integrity laws NOW.”
Trump’s campaign engaged in a flurry of legal activity to try to improve the Republican president’s chances, requesting a recount in Wisconsin and filing lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia. Judges in Georgia and Michigan quickly dismissed Trump campaign lawsuits there on Thursday.
For four years, Democrats have been haunted by the crumbling of the blue wall, the trio of Great Lakes states — Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — that their candidates had been able to count on every four years. But Trump’s populist appeal struck a chord with white working-class voters, and he captured all three in 2016 by a combined total of just 77,000 votes.
The candidates waged a fierce fight for the states this year, with Biden’s everyman political persona resonating in blue-collar towns, while his campaign also pushed to increase turnout among Black voters in cities like Detroit and Milwaukee.
Though it’s not guaranteed we’ll have a winner on Friday, we’re certainly inching closer each day.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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