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US election: Why the results of 3 'blue wall' states still hang in the balance

US election: Why the results of 3 'blue wall' states still hang in the balance

Ballots are brought to a warehouse on election night, Tuesday, Nov 3, 2020, in Pittsburgh. (Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

WASHINGTON: The Associated Press has not declared a winner in the trio of "blue wall" states - Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin - that remain too close to call.

Voting concluded as scheduled on Tuesday night, but many states routinely take days to finish counting ballots. Huge numbers of people voted by mail because of the coronavirus pandemic, making it likely the count will take longer than usual.

The three battleground states are among a handful that were still up for grabs by President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden as polls closed across the United States.

READ: With results from key states unclear, Trump declares victory

In Pennsylvania, there were more than 1.5 million votes left to be counted. Michigan has more than 1 million uncounted ballots to go, many coming from the Democratic stronghold of Detroit.

The three states unexpectedly sent Trump to the White House in 2016.

Trump on Wednesday morning prematurely claimed victory in all three states, with millions of votes still uncounted. Biden said earlier he was confident of winning the contest.

“We’re winning Pennsylvania by a tremendous amount,” Trump said during an appearance at the White House.

“We’re winning Michigan by - I’ll tell you, I looked at the numbers," he added.

Biden leads 224 to 213 over Trump in the Electoral College vote count, according to Edison Research.

Trump and Biden both still have possible paths to reach the needed 270 votes to win the White House, as states keep counting mail-in ballots.

Earlier in the day, US media projected a win for Biden in Arizona. The projected victory gives Biden multiple pathways to the White House. If he holds onto Nevada, he could secure the presidency by winning the Midwestern states of Wisconsin and Michigan, where he held large leads in polls before Election Day, even if he loses Pennsylvania.

Trump's most likely path goes through Pennsylvania; if he wins that state, he would secure re-election if he also held onto the southern states and won at least one Midwestern state.


READ: Biden camp - Trump bid to stop vote counting 'outrageous'


In a year turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic, many states made it easier to vote by mail, and millions chose to do so rather than venture out to cast ballots in person, something Trump has spent months claiming would lead to widespread voter fraud.

That meant a slowdown in the tabulation of results because votes received by mail often take longer to process than ballots cast at polling places.

The closer the margin in a state is, the more votes are needed for The Associated Press to declare a winner. 

There are also roughly 20 states that allow ballots received after election day to be counted if they were postmarked by the day of the election. That includes Pennsylvania, one of the key outstanding states. 

Democrats had long considered Pennsylvania a part of their “blue wall” - a trifecta that also includes Wisconsin and Michigan - that for years had served as a bulwark in presidential elections. In 2016, Trump won each by less than a percentage point.

Wisconsin and Michigan are also without declared winners. 

Biden, who was born in Scranton, claims favourite-son status in the state and has long played up the idea that he was Pennsylvania’s “third senator” during his decades representing neighbouring Delaware. He has also campaigned extensively in the state from his home in Delaware.

Source: AP/nh


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