US Elections 2020: From Pennsylvania to Wisconsin, Why These Decider States Haven’t Been Called for Donald Trump or Joe Biden Yet
A bartender watches election results on television at a bar and grill Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
The Associated Press is not calling the presidential race yet because neither candidate has secured the 270 electoral college votes needed to claim victory.
Republican President Donald Trump spoke at the White House early Wednesday and claimed victories in several states that were still too early to call, saying, “Frankly, we did win this election” over Democrat Joe Biden. His assertion of victory does not match the results and information currently available to the AP. Trump said he would take the election to the Supreme Court, but it was unclear on what legal grounds.
Trump or Biden would need 270 electoral votes to win. Several key states are too early to call, including Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan.
Here is a state-by-state look at how and why The Associated Press hasn’t yet called certain US states in the 2020 presidential election.
Why AP hasn't called Wisconsin
The Associated Press has not declared a winner in Wisconsin’s presidential contest because the race between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden is too early to call.
Biden is ahead of Trump by fewer than 8,000 votes out of nearly 3.2 million cast. Trump led earlier in the night, fueled by in-person voting results, but the 169,000 outstanding ballots from Milwaukee and ballots from other cities broke heavily for Biden. There were still a few thousand other votes waiting to be counted, primarily from the city of Green Bay.
Why AP hasn't called Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is among a handful of battleground states Trump and Biden are narrowly contesting as they seek the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.
Trump, who held a 675,000-vote lead early Wednesday, prematurely declared victory in the state.
“We’re winning Pennsylvania by a tremendous amount. We’re up 690,000 votes in Pennsylvania. These aren’t even close. It’s not like, ‘Oh, it’s close,’” Trump said during an appearance at the White House.
Yet, the vast majority of the votes left to be counted there were cast by mail, a form of voting that Biden has carried by a large margin. That’s likely because Trump has spent months claiming without proof that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud.
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.
Biden, who was born in Scranton, claims favorite-son status in the state and has long played up the idea that he was Pennsylvania’s “third senator” during his decades representing neighboring Delaware. He’s also campaigned extensively in the state from his home in Delaware.
Why AP hasn't called Michigan
Michigan is among a handful of battleground states where Trump prematurely claimed early Wednesday he was “winning” the contest with Biden. Both are locked in a tight race for the 270 electors needed to win the presidency.
“We’re winning Michigan by — I’ll tell you, I looked at the numbers,” Trump said during an appearance at the White House, where he promised to contest the election before the Supreme Court.
More than 5.26 million votes have been cast in Michigan and many of the ballots left to be counted were submitted by mail, a way of voting that favors Biden. Of those, a significant number were from Wayne County, home to heavily Democratic Detroit.
Trump also gave differing figures for his lead in the contest. At one point he said he was ahead by 300,000 votes, but he later said his lead was 107,000.
With 79% of the vote counted in the state, Trump is actually leading by 226,000 votes.
Why AP hasn't called North Carolina
The Associated Press has not declared a winner in North Carolina’s presidential contest because the race between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden is too early to call.
“We’ve clearly won North Carolina, where we’re up 1.7%, 77,000 votes with only approximately 5% left. They can’t catch us,” he said during an appearance at the White House. Trump also said he planned to contest the U.S. presidential election before the Supreme Court. It was unclear, exactly, what legal action he might pursue.
Though Trump is correct that he held a 76,000-vote lead in the state early Wednesday, the race is too early to call and there are still about 200,000 mail-in ballots left to count.
As long as those ballots are postmarked by Nov. 3, state election officials have until Nov. 12 to count them. And when it comes to mail ballots, Biden was outperforming Trump by far.
That means there’s a considerable number of ballots yet to be counted that could give Biden a lead.
Why AP hasn't called Georgia
The Associated Press has not declared a winner in Georgia’s presidential contest because the race between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden is too early to call, with outstanding ballots left to be counted in counties where Biden has performed well.
“It’s ... clear that we have won Georgia. We’re up by 2.5%, or 117,000 (votes) with only 7% (of the vote) left” to count, Trump said during an early morning appearance at the White House. He also said he planned to contest the U.S. presidential election before the Supreme Court. It was unclear exactly what legal action he might pursue.
The race is too early to call because an estimated 4% of the vote still remains to be counted. That includes mailed ballots from two counties Biden is winning: metro Atlanta’s DeKalb County, as well as Chatham County, which is home to Savannah.
Several counties in the Atlanta area also stopped counting votes after running into technical difficulties.