WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — With no clear winner on Saturday morning, all eyes will be on Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada to see if they release enough results for a winner to be projected in the presidential race.
The simple answer: It certainly seems that way.
However, you could’ve said the same thing about Friday.
By the Associated Press and Fox News counts, Democrat Joe Biden needs just 6 more electoral college votes to reach the threshold of 270 and be declared the winner. Those votes could come with a win in Nevada.
All other major news outlets have Biden 17 electoral votes away from the presidency. That means if Pennsylvania and its 20 votes are called, Biden will be the projected winner over the incumbent Donald Trump.
We’re slowly creeping towards final results in Pennsylvania. State officials were hopeful they would be near final numbers late Thursday. Clearly, that didn’t happen. As of Saturday morning, the state had about 80,000 ballots left to count (not including provisional ballots) with about 40,000 of those coming in the Democratic strongholds of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
As of 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday, Biden had a lead of about 29,000 votes in Pennsylvania. That slim lead is less than a percentage point.
On Friday morning, Biden took a lead in Georgia that he’s been able to build on over the last 24 hours. With about 20,000 votes remaining in the state (provisional not included), Biden leads by about 7,000 votes.
Nevada is expected to release thousands of numbers Saturday morning. However, results have been slow-going in that state. Biden currently holds a lead of about 23,000 votes.
Trump, with 214 electoral votes, faced a much higher hurdle. To reach 270, he needed to claim all four remaining battlegrounds: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and Nevada. North Carolina is not expected to release additional results until Nov. 12.
With hundreds of thousands of votes yet to be tabulated, Biden already had received more than 74 million votes, the most in history. Addressing the nation on Friday night, the former vice president said he expected to win the presidency but stopped short of outright declaring victory.
“We don’t have a final declaration of victory yet, but the numbers tell us it’s clear,” Biden said. “It’s a clear and convincing story we’re going to win this race.”
Biden’s victories in the upper Midwest put him in a strong position, but Trump showed no sign of giving up. He’s largely waged his public battle on Twitter insisting the “U.S. Supreme Court should decide!”
Trump’s erroneous claims about the integrity of the election challenged Republicans now faced with the choice of whether to break with a president who, though his grip on his office grew tenuous, commanded sky-high approval ratings from rank-and-file members of the GOP.
Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan, a potential 2024 presidential hopeful who has often criticized Trump, said unequivocally: “There is no defense for the President’s comments tonight undermining our Democratic process. America is counting the votes, and we must respect the results as we always have before.”
But others who are rumored to be considering a White House run of their own in four years aligned themselves with the incumbent, including Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who tweeted support for Trump’s claims, writing, “If last 24 hours have made anything clear, it’s that we need new election integrity laws NOW.”
Trump’s campaign engaged in a flurry of legal activity to try to improve the Republican president’s chances, requesting a recount in Wisconsin and filing lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia. Judges in Georgia and Michigan quickly dismissed Trump campaign lawsuits there on Thursday.
For four years, Democrats have been haunted by the crumbling of the blue wall, the trio of Great Lakes states — Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — that their candidates had been able to count on every four years. But Trump’s populist appeal struck a chord with white working-class voters, and he captured all three in 2016 by a combined total of just 77,000 votes.
The candidates waged a fierce fight for the states this year, with Biden’s everyman political persona resonating in blue-collar towns, while his campaign also pushed to increase turnout among Black voters in cities like Detroit and Milwaukee.
Though it’s not guaranteed we’ll have a winner on Saturday, we’re certainly inching closer to the finish line.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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