Here's why Biden still has the inside track to victory even though Trump scored early must-wins

Here's why Biden still has the inside track to victory even though Trump scored early must-wins

November 5, 2020
  • President Donald Trump had a strong start on election night with a series of wins in the critical battleground states of Florida, Texas, Ohio, and Iowa.
  • Joe Bide, the Democratic nominee, had a more modest start with victories in Minnesota, Illinois, and Virginia, along with projected wins in reliably blue states like New York and California.
  • But Biden has more paths to 270 electoral votes than Trump does. On Wednesday morning, the former vice president had 227 electoral votes compared with Trump's 213, per projections by Decision Desk HQ.
  • If Biden picks up Nevada and Arizona — states he's leading that haven't been called yet — all he'd need to win would be the Rust Belt states of Michigan and Wisconsin.
  • Trump, meanwhile, would need to pick up North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and either Michigan or Wisconsin.
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President Donald Trump had a strong start on election night with a series of wins in the critical battleground states of Florida, Texas, Ohio, and Iowa. Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, had a more modest start with victories in Minnesota, Illinois, and Virginia, along with projected wins in reliably blue states like New York and California.

Despite the president's hefty start, Biden has more paths to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election than Trump does. On Wednesday morning, the former vice president had 227 electoral votes compared with Trump's 213, based on projections by Decision Desk HQ.

It increasingly looks as if the result will come down to Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, three Rust Belt states that Trump flipped from blue to red in 2016 to win the White House.

This year, all three states are up in the air.

Decision Desk HQ projected that on Wednesday morning Biden was ahead by about 21,000 votes in Wisconsin, with 99% of precincts reporting. In Michigan, Biden was ahead by almost 33,000 votes and increasing his lead, with over 99% of precincts reporting.

The president led Biden by nearly 10 points, or 500,000 votes, in Pennsylvania, but nearly 2 million ballots have not been counted yet.

The good news for Biden is that he's leading in two key states, Arizona and Nevada, that haven't been called. According to local reports, Arizona is set to release its next wave of results at 9 p.m. ET, which should provide a much clearer picture of just how wide Biden's lead in the state is.

Nevada has counted all its in-person votes, leaving only mail-in and provisional ballots to be reported. Nevada's elections division said on Twitter that it would report more votes on Thursday. 

If he picks up those votes, Biden would need to win just two of the three Rust Belt states to make it to 270. Trump would need to win Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and either Michigan or Wisconsin to fend off Biden's challenge.

As much of the country went to bed on Tuesday night, several victory scenarios were still in play for both candidates. The in-person votes appeared to lean toward Trump — but, as predicted, Biden seems to have an advantage among the mail-in votes that remain unreported.

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