The so-called Blue Wall states – Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania – had gone to the Democrats in every presidential election from the 1990s until President Trump won them all in 2016. The three states could again reveal themselves. decisive as Mr. Trump tries to hold on. to the White House.
Early vote totals in Michigan and Pennsylvania show the president ahead, while Joseph R. Biden Jr. took a narrow lead in Wisconsin on Wednesday morning. But the numbers were incomplete and did not include some of the largest and most democratic regions of states.
Here’s a look at the situation as the count continues and each state stays too close to call.
Maybe no state has a longer count period than Pennsylvania. As of early Wednesday morning, 5.3 million votes had been counted in Pennsylvania, which was about 65% of the state’s estimated total votes.
The state legislature refused to allow election officials to begin processing postal ballots until 7 a.m. on election day, and officials across the state were working through the tedious process of counting of ballots.
In Philadelphia, only 76,000 out of over 350,000 missing ballots were processed in the first 14 hours that officials were allowed to count the ballots. Although Philadelphia election officials were working around the clock on postal votes, the pace indicated the tally could last until Thursday.
Other large counties, such as Chester, Montgomery and Delaware, suburban counties outside of Philadelphia and a growing source of strength for Democrats, also failed to report the majority of their mail-in ballots. Allegheny County, home to Pittsburgh and another Democratic support base, still had a large chunk of the ballots to count.
Senator Bob Casey, Jr., a Democrat, said, “I have no doubts that Joe Biden will carry the state because of the margins we will get in these counties.”
Although President Trump had an advantage of around 670,000 votes in Pennsylvania, Democrats in the state were confident they could catch up with the margins with the participation of Philadelphia and the “county passes” that still surrounded him. .
They were also supported by the recapture of Erie County in the northwest corner of the state. Democrats had requested more than 1.1 million more missing ballots than Republicans in the state, according to data from the secretary of state’s office.
However, delays in results in Pennsylvania could go beyond the simple challenge of counting outstanding ballots. Republicans filed several lawsuits in the state on Tuesday, including one over provisional ballots for voters whose mail-in ballots were rejected.
Early Wednesday morning, National Democrats tabled a motion to intervene in Montgomery County. Hearings were scheduled in both state and federal courts on Republican lawsuits, and lawyers on both sides were planning new lawsuits in Pennsylvania.
Early returns were inconclusive on Tuesday night, with key Milwaukee population center yet to report the vote count. But early Wednesday, a large vote count from that city was announced, and Mr. Biden edged out Mr. Trump based on about 90 percent of the estimated statewide votes.
State Democrats seek to replicate the political coalition of Senator Tammy Baldwin, the Democrat who won in 2018 by energizing her party’s constituencies while limiting losses in suburbs and rural areas.
In an election day interview, Ms Baldwin said she believed Mr Biden would be successful.
“They found a way to be here virtually, even though they weren’t here in person,” she says. “We learned a lot of lessons about how we conducted 2016, from the party all the way through.”
There are several reasons Democrats remain confident in Wisconsin. The state has seen increased turnout in Madison, reaching over 80%, according to election officials. In Milwaukee, another liberal stronghold of the state, turnout looked better than four years ago, but below expectations of the state’s left wing.
Mr. Biden has built a political campaign centered on Midwestern voters, aimed at winning back many of the ideological moderates who voted for Mr. Trump in 2016. For all the victory speeches of states like Florida, Iowa or Texas, Wisconsin Democrats say the campaign will be decided as it began – with Mr. Biden betting his political future on the region of the country with which he is most associated.
Although a glance at the higher numbers seems to show Michigan is widely represented and leans towards Mr. Trump, some of the state’s major population centers had hundreds of thousands of ballots to count. Wednesday morning. And these could easily tip the state over to Mr. Biden, as Democrats have said they expect.
Polls taken before the election showed the former vice president was significantly ahead, outside the margin of error.
Mr. Trump’s advance so far reflects his advantage in voting on election day – not early voting, which accounts for a larger share of total votes cast in the state and favors Mr. Biden.
In Detroit, the clerk had only counted about half of what was expected. The clerk’s office reported counting 125,000 votes just after 2 a.m.
For comparison, the Detroiters voted 248,000 votes in 2016, when the turnout was low. This year, election officials said they expected turnout to easily exceed that figure, potentially exceeding 2008 and 2012 when President Barack Obama was on the ballot.
Mr. Biden is expected to easily get 90% of the vote in Detroit.
In Macomb County, Michigan, which voted twice for Mr. Obama and then Mr. Trump in 2016, the president was ahead due to a large advantage with voters who turned out to vote on Tuesday. But only about half of the ridings had fully counted their advance ballots and on election day, giving Mr Biden a significant opportunity to close that gap.
And in Oakland County, the state’s second largest, what started as a big lead for Mr. Trump on Tuesday night faded into an advantage for Mr. Biden on Wednesday as more ridings moved forward. announced their first votes.
Democrats have won Oakland County in every recent presidential election. Hillary Clinton carried it by eight points in 2016, and Mr Biden seemed on track to exceed that margin of victory.