Happy election week, America.
Votes continue to be tabulated in five crucial states that will determine the presidency, and by the end of the day on Thursday it should be much clearer where the presidential map will land.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has gotten some good news in key states throughout the day, and President Trump’s hopes for a second term continue to dwindle.
Here’s where we stand as of 2:30 p.m. EST Thursday afternoon.
Biden has gained hard on Trump, as the state slowly tallies up its huge number of mail ballots. Trump’s lead has continued to disappear since this morning, currently down to 111,000 votes, a drop from an almost-700,000 vote lead Wednesday morning and 165,000 votes Thursday morning.
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar told CNN Thursday afternoon that there were roughly 550,000 ballots left to be counted, including more than 100,000 in Democratic-heavy Philadelphia, and that the “overwhelming majority” of that should be tallied by the end of the day Thursday, though roughly 35,000 ballots in Allegheny County, home to Pittsburgh, won’t be tallied until tomorrow morning.
In the counties where all votes have been counted, Biden is consistently outperforming Hillary Clinton’s margins from four years ago in a state that Trump barely won. And in every vote update, he’s been outpacing the margins he needs to pull ahead in the state. It looks increasingly likely that Biden will pull ahead in Pennsylvania, and a win there will seal his election.
Under current rules, the state will keep counting mail ballots that were postmarked by Election Day and trickle in over the next few days, though the Trump campaign is suing to try to stop that from happening, so the exact final count will remain in flux for some time. Biden hopes he can win without any late-counting ballots to avoid any potential legal threats, but either way it looks like he’s pacing to pull ahead in the state.
Biden continues to gain on Trump. The big question is whether there are enough votes left uncounted to put him over the top.
Trump’s lead in Georgia had been reduced to slightly more than 13,000 votes by Thursday afternoon, down from 18,000 votes this morning.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) said Thursday afternoon that roughly 48,000 votes remain to be added to the count, down from 61,000 that remained as of Thursday morning.
Much of that remaining vote is coming from Democratic-heavy areas in greater Atlanta. Georgia officials expect the full state count (not including some outstanding military and provisional ballots) to conclude sometime Thursday. Officials in heavily Democratic Fulton County, home of Atlanta, finished counting about 10,000 remaining ballots late Thursday morning, and expect those numbers to be added to the unofficial statewide Georgia count soon.
If Biden keeps winning the remaining vote at the same margins he’s carried similar votes that were recently counted, he might just pull ahead of Trump in the state. But it’s going to be very close—and a recount in the state is a strong possibility.
Another key point in Georgia: Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) has now slipped below 50 percent of the vote. Georgia law requires a runoff if no candidate wins an outright majority of the vote, so he may be heading to a January runoff election with Jon Ossoff. Democrats, after a disappointing night, appear to be two seats short of the Senate majority—and both of Georgia’s Senate races may be heading to runoffs, meaning the Peach State could determine Senate control.
Votes continue to come in—and while it’s unclear who will prevail in the state, it is clear that the Fox News and Associated Press election night calls for Biden in the state were premature.
Biden’s statewide lead has been cut in half in the last 24 hours to less than 70,000 votes statewide, with nearly a half-million ballots left to be counted. Arizona officials don’t plan to release more vote counts until Thursday night.
Biden got some good news out of Nevada Thursday afternoon, with new ballots counted that expanded his statewide lead up from 7,600 to 11,4000 votes.
There’s still a decent amount of vote out in the state, and Nevada officials are now saying they may not be done counting until this weekend. But it appears that the remaining ballots aren’t likely to cut hard against Biden—much of them come from Democratic-heavy Clark County, home of Las Vegas—and he looks favored to hang on in the state.
Nevada is also accepting mail ballots that were postmarked by Election Day for a few more days, so things won’t be finalized for a bit there.
Trump’s 77,000-vote lead appears to be a durable one in the Tarheel State, and while North Carolina has some outstanding votes still and will continue to count late-arriving mail ballots that were postmarked by Election Day it doesn’t look like there will be enough for Biden to overcome his margins.