American Elections: The Battle Rages On


David O’Brien, Editor

New York Times
This map of the election depicts which candidate has won each state, along with percentages of votes counted in states too close to call.

The battle rages on the day after election night, as many mail-in ballots are yet to be counted in the swing states. Mail-in ballots will be the name of the game at this point, as they are the only ballots left to be counted in almost every state. Currently, most states have incumbent candidate Donald Trump beating former Vice President Joe Biden. However, most of the votes remaining are mail-in ballots, which makes things much trickier for both sides. At the time of writing, votes in numerous states — NV, MI and WI are within one percentage point of both candidates. These will likely be the states that officially turn the tide in either candidate’s direction and they are both still anyone’s game. Even though Republicans have a lead with .5 percentage points in Michigan, currently, the New York Times predicts that most of the remaining ballots to be counted will lean Democrat. Michigan is the closest state and the outcome of Michigan will likely be contested by either candidate. In Michigan, the race is still anyone’s game. Nevada has currently stopped counting votes and will resume doing so on Thursday at 12:00pm EST. Despite Nevada’s razor-thin margin of .6 percentage points, it is likely to paint a Democratic picture by the end of the election as the remaining votes are mail-in ballots dropped off on Election Day.

Things become more clear in the states of Alaska, GA, NC, and AZ. While North Carolina and Georgia are still not technically decided, each has over 90 percent of the vote counted and lean towards the Trump column. In Georgia, Trump is up by 2.3 percentage points and the votes there will be counted by the end of the day today. There does not seem to be any information on what kind of votes are left to be counted. Most of North Carolina’s remaining votes will likely go to Democrats as they, like most of the other ballots left to go, are mail-ins. North Carolina’s mail-ins have until Nov. 12 to arrive, which is likely to be the latest day possible this election will end. Despite this, Republicans are currently up in North Carolina by 1.4 percentage points with only 5 percent of the vote left to be counted. This situation leaves the question of “will the mail-in ballots be able to swing the vote in the Democratic party’s favor?” Arizona has been predicted, by Fox and CNN, to go in the Democratic party’s column since Biden is up by 5 percentage points. While Alaska currently has only 36 percent of the votes counted, the state usually leans conservative and many believe it is far too early to even think about whether it is breaking from the party it historically sides with.

This leaves one state remaining to discuss: Pennsylvania. This is the key(stone) state for both parties. The state has the second-least amount of ballots counted and many polls show the remaining votes in Pennsylvania going to Biden. Trump has an incredibly large lead at this point, of about 600,000 votes or 11.5 percentage points over Biden. However, the counties that are still in play are some of the largest, and are thus likely to swing Democrat: Philadelphia, Philly’s surrounding counties, and Allegheny County, which houses the city of Pittsburgh, still have hundreds of thousands of votes to be counted. Mail-ins are far from being fully counted, which makes this election much closer than it seems currently in Pennsylvania. The question for voters is can Trump hold onto the lead he has which consists of mostly in-person voting and rural counties?

Most of the votes remaining are absentee ballots and urban centers. Trump currently has the lead in Pennsylvania, but by the end of the election many news outlets predict this may change. It is still anyone’s game.

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