The presidential battlefield is narrowing to a smaller number of states, with Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s chances of an Electoral College victory getting higher as votes come in. Biden now has 238 electoral votes to US President Donald Trump’s 213.
Biden edged ahead of Trump in Wisconsin, one of the three “Blue Wall” states where voting tallies all moved in his favour as more were counted. His victory in Arizona, a state Trump won in 2016, gives him more breathing room. Even without Pennsylvania, Biden could now reach the necessary 270 electoral votes if he can win Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as Nevada, where he was leading by a razor-thin margin early Wednesday.
Those states still have dwindling but significant numbers of votes outstanding from absentee voters and large urban counties that tend to vote Democratic. Election officials said it would be later Wednesday before they could finish counting the Wisconsin and Michigan votes, and Nevada won’t resume counting absentee ballots until Thursday.
The difference-maker for Biden could end up being a single electoral vote from the second congressional district of Nebraska, one of two states that splits its votes. Trump won that district in 2016 but Biden won it Tuesday. Biden was also gaining ground in Georgia as votes from Democratic-heavy urban centres came in.
Trump needs at least four of the following states to pass 270 electoral votes: Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. He won them all in 2016. If Biden wins any two of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia, he’ll win.
There is a scenario, though it’s now looking less likely, in which the race could come down to a single electoral – or even a tie. Maine also splits its votes by congressional district, and one of its two districts remains up for grabs.
If Trump wins that vote – and loses Wisconsin and North Carolina – both Biden and Trump will have 269 electoral votes. In that case, Trump would likely win the tiebreaker vote in the House of Representatives, where each state delegation gets a single vote.