Biden closes in on electoral college victory; race narrows in Arizona, Georgia

Democratic nominee Joe Biden needs only 17 more electoral votes to claim victory over President Trump. Arizona, Alaska, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and Nevada remain uncalled.

How Wisconsin and Michigan could deliver Biden the presidency

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In Arizona, Biden’s lead narrowed overnight, leaving the Republican incumbent with a small path to victory in the key battleground state. Meanwhile, Trump’s lead in Georgia shrank, opening the possibility that Biden could pull an upset there.

While Biden’s campaign has continued to express confidence, Trump’s reelection campaign attempted to halt vote-counting in Pennsylvania and Michigan, sought a recount in Wisconsin, and challenged the handling of ballots in Georgia.

The latest …

  • Arizona: Biden’s lead narrowed to about 68,000 votes early Thursday as Maricopa County, the state’s largest jurisdiction, released the tallies of more ballots it had counted.
  • Georgia: Fulton County, where Atlanta is located, continued counting ballots overnight. Trump’s lead had narrowed to about 18,500 votes as of early Thursday. Fulton County elections chief Rick Barron said officials will release more vote totals around 11 a.m.
  • Nevada: Updated vote totals won’t be released until noon Eastern time on Thursday, officials said.
  • North Carolina: As of late Wednesday, officials were still counting provisional and absentee ballots. Trump was ahead, but officials said it is likely the winner will not be known for days.
  • Pennsylvania: Trump maintained a lead of nearly 164,000 votes, but that was expected to shrink as more ballots were counted in heavily Democratic areas.

7:45 AM: Analysis: Democrats’ down-ballot misery continues with state legislative battles



a stop sign in front of a building: The Pennsylvania Capitol. (Julio Cortez/AP)


The Pennsylvania Capitol. (Julio Cortez/AP)

Heading into Election Day, Democrats had hoped to pick up a half-dozen or more state legislative chambers to get a foot in the door when many state politicians get to redraw congressional maps next year, lines that will last for the next decade and help determine which party controls Congress.

Instead, it’s possible Democrats end up with no new chambers, and it will be Republicans who leave 2020 with wins. Republicans picked up the New Hampshire House and Senate, giving them total control over governing in that state because they also kept the governor’s mansion. Republicans won another trifecta, as it is called when one party holds the state legislature and governorship, after their victory in the Montana’s governor race.

Arizona’s state House and state Senate are still outstanding and could be Democratic pickups. There’s a long-shot chance that Democrats take the Pennsylvania House. But those are all ifs, and they are far from the only victories Democrats had hoped to be talking about right now.

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By: Amber Phillips

7:18 AM: Neither Trump nor Biden advertises public appearances for Thursday



Joe Biden, Donald Trump are posing for a picture: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Wilmington, Del., and President Trump in Washington on Wednesday.


© Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Wilmington, Del., and President Trump in Washington on Wednesday.

With the counting of ballots continuing, neither Trump nor Biden has advertised a planned public appearance on Thursday.

Trump fired off election commentary on Twitter on Wednesday but did not appear in public after an early-morning event at the White House at which he prematurely declared victory. He and his team also initiated legal actions on several fronts.

According to the White House, neither Trump nor Vice President Pence has any public events planned on Thursday.

Biden’s campaign has not advertised any appearances, either, although that could change.

On Wednesday, Biden added an afternoon appearance in Wilmington, Del., to his schedule. During his remarks, he urged that every vote be counted.

“No one’s going to take our democracy away from us,” he said. “Not now, not ever.”

By: John Wagner

6:47 AM: Race tightens in Georgia, with Trump clinging to narrow lead as more mail-in ballots tallied



a group of people sitting at a table: Absentee ballots are processed and verified by the Fulton County Registration and Elections Department in a large room at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on Wednesday.


© Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Absentee ballots are processed and verified by the Fulton County Registration and Elections Department in a large room at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on Wednesday.

The race in Georgia continued to narrow, largely because more ballots are being counted in Democratic-leaning Fulton County and other populous counties in the Atlanta metro region.

As of 6:30 a.m., Trump led Biden by just 18,540 votes out of more than 4.8 million cast in Georgia.

Fulton County elections officials were close to completing the processing and counting of the last of about 140,000 absentee-by-mail ballots, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Elections officials worked into the dawn hours Thursday on the final stacks of ballots, the publication said.

In Fulton County, mail-in ballots favored Biden by nearly 80 percent, according to election officials.

DeKalb and Gwinnett counties, two others in the Atlanta region where Biden is leading, also neared completion of their ballot processing Thursday morning, according to the Journal-Constitution.

By: John Wagner

6:26 AM: Biden’s lead in Arizona narrows to about 68,000 votes



a man holding a baseball bat: Supporters of President Trump gather to protest the election results at the Maricopa County Elections Department office on Wednesday.


© Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images
Supporters of President Trump gather to protest the election results at the Maricopa County Elections Department office on Wednesday.

Biden’s lead in Arizona narrowed to about 68,000 votes early Thursday as Maricopa County, the state’s largest jurisdiction, released the results of more ballot-counting.

Officials told the Arizona Republic that about 470,000 votes are left to count in the state, and analysts said Trump would need to win about 57 percent of those to catch Biden and claim the state’s 11 electoral votes.

That’s about the percentage Trump won in the latest batch from Maricopa, but some of the batches remaining will come from Democratic-leaning counties in which Biden had sizable leads.

On Wednesday, Biden’s lead in the state was about 90,000 votes. More than 2.8 million ballots have been counted so far.

The ballots that remain to be counted include a mix of those that arrived in the mail before Election Day, early ballots dropped off at the polls on Election Day, and provisional ballots that voters cast because they did not have the right form of identification or went to the wrong polling place.

The Biden campaign continued to express confidence that its ticket would have the votes needed to carry Arizona, a state Trump won by nearly four percentage points four years ago. On Wednesday, the Trump campaign predicted that the president would prevail by about 30,000 votes.

By: John Wagner

6:12 AM: Trump and his allies boost bogus conspiracy theories in a bid to undermine vote count

Republicans react to Trump’s false claim of victory and allegations of fraud

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Trump, his son and top members of his campaign advanced a set of unfounded conspiracy theories on Wednesday about the vote-tallying process to claim that Democrats were rigging the final count.

Eric Trump tweeted a video, first pushed out by an account associated with the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory, that purported to show someone burning ballots cast for his father. The materials turned out to be sample ballots, and Twitter quickly suspended the original account that circulated the misleading clip.

Trump’s son and others, including White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, claimed falsely in tweets later hidden by warning labels that the president had won Pennsylvania — even though no such determination had been made. And the campaign’s spokesman, Tim Murtaugh, claimed without evidence that crowd control at a processing center in Detroit was an effort to thwart Trump’s chances of reelection.

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By: Isaac Stanley-Becker, Tony Romm, Elizabeth Dwoskin and Drew Harwell

6:10 AM: Hispanic voters in Miami-Dade helped sink Biden in Florida

With about 636,000 registered Democrats and nearly a half-million nonpartisan voters, Florida’s Miami-Dade County was supposed to be friendly terrain for Biden — a bastion of ethnic diversity that might have helped propel him to victory in a must-win state for Trump.

Instead, by Wednesday, Democrats were taking stock of a devastatingly disappointing performance.

Biden drew far fewer Hispanic voters than Democrats expected, carrying Florida’s most populous county of Miami-Dade by only seven percentage points, compared with the 30-point margin boasted by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. To top it off, the Republican surge in Miami-Dade sent shock waves down the ballot.

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By: Beth Reinhard and Lori Rozsa

6:09 AM: Black voters could save Biden’s campaign once again



a man standing in front of a building: Kelan Gilbert, 11, watches Black Voters Matter staff visit his rural neighborhood to speak to and support Georgia voters in Blakely on Monday.


© Melina Mara/The Washington Post
Kelan Gilbert, 11, watches Black Voters Matter staff visit his rural neighborhood to speak to and support Georgia voters in Blakely on Monday.

For the second time in Biden’s presidential bid, his campaign is on the brink, as razor-thin margins separate him and Trump in battleground states where votes are still being counted.

And for the second time this election cycle, it could be Black voters who propel the Democrat to victory — just as they resuscitated Biden in the South Carolina primary.

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By: Amy B Wang, Vanessa Williams and Reis Thebault

6:08 AM: Democrats lose ground with Latino voters in Florida and Texas



a person standing on a stage: Supporters of President Trump line Calle Ocho in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood to celebrate his apparent victory in the battleground state of Florida on Tuesday.


© Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post
Supporters of President Trump line Calle Ocho in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood to celebrate his apparent victory in the battleground state of Florida on Tuesday.

The nuanced and sometimes dissonant political preferences shown by Latino voters in the 2020 presidential election have sparked bewilderment and soul-searching among Democrats, as the party lost significant ground with Latinos in Florida and Texas over the past four years.

The preliminary results underscored the extent to which the broad range of Latino communities, from Cuban Americans in South Florida to Mexican Americans in Nevada, have been often taken for granted and misunderstood by the Democratic political establishment.

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By: Jose A. Del Real and Arelis R. Hernández

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