Democrat Joe Biden is one state away from capturing the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidential race, a dramatic demonstration of how rapidly the landscape of the contest changed in 24 hours.
Though Biden did not secure the quick and decisive outcome some in the party had hoped for, he has edged closer to a result that many observers had predicted: A deficit on Election Day in battleground states that was slowly erased and turned into narrow leads when the crush of absentee ballots were counted.Get the Coronavirus Watch newsletter in your inbox.
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Biden won both Wisconsin and Michigan , huge electoral prizes that represented the partial rebuilding of the “blue wall” of Democratic-leaning states that collapsed around Hillary Clinton in 2016.
The wins there left Biden standing at 264 electoral votes — just six shy of the needed 270.
The results meant that President Donald Trump has to capture all of the outstanding states, hope that the projections of a Biden win in Arizona were wrong or find a legal strategy.
Biden’s wins on Wednesday shifted the focus to the Southwest, specifically Nevada and Arizona. Biden has, as of 7 pm EDT, an extremely slim lead in Nevada, which was too close to call throughout Wednesday. Election officials there said they did not expect to report additional results there until Thursday.
Arizona, meanwhile, has become a rallying cry for Trump’s team. Aides to the president have argued that the state was projected for Biden too early — that outstanding ballots would benefit Trump. State officials there were set to release new vote counts late Wednesday and into Thursday morning.
Pennsylvania remains a must-win for Trump, but mail-in ballots that make up the remaining votes are expected to continue heavily favor Biden and could give him an edge to carry the Keystone State. Counting in that state will continue Thursday.
The count from Alaska is outstanding, though the state is a heavy favored to go to Trump.
Biden could also secure the presidency if he carries Georgia or North Carolina. Trump had leads in both of those states late Wednesday.