Still counting: As early votes are counted, races in battleground states have become increasingly close. (Photo by Olivia Shirk)
Still counting: As early votes are counted, races in battleground states have become increasingly close.

Photo by Olivia Shirk

Race to 270: November 5

November 5, 2020

After a large influx of mail-in and early voting ballots were counted in swing states throughout the nation (which were predicted to be mostly Democratic given President Trump’s public condemnation of mail-in voting), it appears that Biden has extended his lead and is 17 electoral votes short of winning the presidency.

Yesterday, Biden was able to flip Wisconsin and Michigan by margins of around 0.6 and two percent, respectively, after they went red in 2016. This earned the former Vice President a total of 26 electoral votes: a major victory for the Biden campaign. As of 8:00 a.m. on Nov. 5, over 98 percent of the vote has been counted in both states.

CNN and The New York Times both project Biden to have 253 electoral votes, while Fox News puts his total, somewhat controversially, at 264 electoral votes. This is because Fox News announced Biden would win Arizona at 11:20 ET on election night when just over 70 percent of the vote had been counted. The race in Arizona has since become much more competitive as Biden leads by two percent with 86 percent of the votes counted. 

Fox News and The New York Times report Trump’s total to be 214 electoral votes while CNN puts it one vote shorter, at 213. This single vote discrepancy exists because CNN has not yet given Maine’s 2nd Congressional District* to Trump, while Fox News and The New York Times have.

Biden is also leading in Nevada by 0.6 percent, with 86 percent of the total vote counted. While the margins for error are small, the only two states that Biden leads in are Nevada and Arizona, which have a combined electoral vote of 17. If Biden can maintain his leads in both states, he will reach the threshold of 270 electoral votes and win.

Trump is currently leading in the three other swing states; North Carolina, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. With 95 percent of the vote counted, Trump leads by over one percentage point in North Carolina. 

As ballots were counted throughout yesterday, Trump’s lead in Georgia fell to 0.4 percentage points with around 96 percent of the vote counted. If Georgia’s 16 electoral votes go to Biden, he will only need one other state to win, most likely either Nevada or Arizona.

Pennsylvania is another state in which Trump’s lead had dramatically shrunk. After leading by about 12 percentage points yesterday morning, he now leads by less than three percent. Pennsylvania, which allows mail-in votes to be received by Friday, has 11 percent of votes left to count, many of them from the democratic areas of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

While it seems Biden has a clearer path to victory than Trump has, many of these races are extremely close and could easily flip toward Trump. If yesterday is any indication, a candidate can make up or lose a lot of ground in the short span of 24 hours, and both candidates have expressed confidence that they will win. Check back tomorrow for another update on the race to 270.


*Maine and Nebraska are the only two states that award electoral votes by congressional district, meaning candidates can split the state’s votes

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