Presidential Election Results Remain Unclear Following Election Day

Image Courtesy of Chicago Tribune

By Jeremy Perillo

Most Americans went to bed with the anticipation that President Trump was going to secure his re-election. However, given the relationship between party affiliation and voting method, Joe Biden’s support surged in various swing states as mail-in-ballots began to be counted.

One thing that became abundantly clear on election night was that once again the polling that was conducted in anticipation of the election was once again incorrect. The blue tsunami that was expected across the country never happened. Joe Biden did not blow President Donald Trump out of the water, and the Democrats were not as successful in the Senate as expected.

In terms of election results, as of the writing of this article, Joe Biden is the favorite to win. Fox News has called Arizona for Biden, which is a flip as a typically Republican state, taking away 11 electoral votes from Donald Trump. Additionally, Wisconsin and Michigan, two swing states, have been called for Biden. 

Fox’s Decision Desk was criticized for its early call of Arizona. Arnon Miskin, the director of the networks decision desk, shot down claims that they would bend to pressure from Trump or other groups who saw their call as one too early, “we strongly believe that our call will stand, and that’s why we’re not pulling back the call.” 

Four crucial states remain undecided/awaiting further results: Nevada, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Georgia. The races depend on the remaining mail-in-ballots because of the close positions between Trump and Biden. Trump is slightly ahead in Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, but there remain thousands of ballots that still need to be counted. The margin between ballots cast and the ballots that are yet to be counted is small enough that either candidate could win those states.

Given those four remaining states, Joe Biden would need to secure Nevada’s electoral votes to reach the required 270 electoral votes (with Arizona, Biden has 264 votes). Even if Trump secured Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania’s electoral votes, he would still have less than 270 votes. 

Given this, and especially since Wisconsin and Michigan have seemingly gone blue for Biden, the Trump campaign has mounted legal challenges in various states. The campaign is seeking to stop the count of ballots in Pennsylvania and Michigan until more access is allowed for observers. The campaign is also challenging the handling of mail-in-ballots in Georgia, in addition to seeking a recount in Wisconsin.

It is important to note that there are still paths for both candidates to reach 270 electoral votes, as there are still thousands of outstanding ballots, as well as pending lawsuits that may affect those outstanding mail-in-ballots.
Keep an eye out for future publications from The Tower as the 2020 presidential election continues to unfold.

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