LIVE UPDATES: Election 2020

7:40 PM, November 3, 2020

As the presidential election progresses, Spokesman will be providing live updates and analysis on the election, including leads and victories in important states and constantly changing predictions. Polls are now closed in 32 states across the U.S., and predictions are swarming in as to who will be the next President of the United States. With mail-in ballots in play and some states refusing to count any mail-ins before Election Day, the results of this election may not be clear for several more days or even weeks. There are several key swing states in this election that President Donald Trump must claim to offset the electoral votes former Vice President Joe Biden already has secured. These states are: Arizona, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Trump won all of these states in 2016 except for Minnesota.

Texas, the state with the second most electoral votes and usually an easy win for Republicans, is now considered competitive. Some have suggested the influx of Latin American immigrants, who tend to lean towards Democrats, may swing Texas blue this year. Should this happen, Trump will be down 76 electoral votes and will surely lose unless he can flip a big blue state. With 32% of the votes counted, Biden is currently winning Texas with 53.9% of the vote. Ohio and North Carolina are also being led by Biden, with less than half the votes counted in either state so far. Florida is another key state to Trump’s victory. It is tied with New York for holding the third most electoral votes, with 29 votes up for grabs. Florida has historically been essential to Republican victory, as no Republican has won the presidency without Florida since Calvin Coolidge in 1924. With 89% of votes counted, Trump is currently leading Biden by 1.8% in Florida. Should this lead slip, however, Trump’s path to victory will become much more difficult.


9:20 PM, November 3, 2020

According to projections by Reuters, the winners of 19 states have been called. President Trump has won Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Joe Biden has won Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont. None of these victories should come as any surprise, as these states (and D.C.) have been safe and easy victories for their respective parties for decades. With these elections called, Joe Biden has 89 electoral votes and Donald Trump has 72. 270 votes are required to win the election. Should both candidates hold on to all of their parties’ safe states, Biden will have 222 electoral votes and Trump will have 185, including the 38 from Texas. Trump has now pulled ahead of Biden in Texas, now holding a 2% lead over the former vice president. Biden’s current numbers in Texas are above average for a Democrat, but he’ll need to do a lot better than “above average” to flip the red giant.

Trump has now also taken the lead in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Georgia. Only a third or less of the votes have been counted in these states, so it’s still anyone’s game. Trump remains competitive in the race, as he has expanded his lead in Florida to now hold 51.2%. Meanwhile, Biden is keeping a healthy lead in Minnesota and Arizona. The two candidates are neck-and-neck in North Carolina, with Biden holding just a 0.6% lead over Trump. If the leaders in these states don’t change, Trump will defeat Biden by 20 electoral votes. However, if Trump loses any one of these states besides Wisconsin without picking up one of Biden’s, his win will slip right through his hands. If Wisconsin goes to Biden and nothing else changes from the current projections, the candidates will be tied 269-269. The tiebreaker would be decided by the House of Representatives, with each state getting one vote; this would almost certainly be a win for Trump.


11:15 PM, November 3, 2020

95% of the vote is now in for North Carolina, where Trump has taken the lead in North Carolina, holding an advantage of 1.4% over Biden. Adding North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes to his total lowers the risk associated with him losing in other swing states. However, as he maintains leads of up to 14% in those other swing states, he may not even need that wiggle room. Trump has a 7.9% lead in Ohio, a 9% lead in Georgia, a 10.6% lead in Michigan, and a whopping 14.8% lead in Pennsylvania. Trump’s lead in Michigan and Pennsylvania may be attributed to Biden’s proposals to stop climate change by phasing out fossil fuel industry. These two states’ economies heavily rely on industrial work and factories, and the risk of losing their jobs may have activated a high volume of undecided voters in these states. If Trump can keep these huge leads, the once deep blue Michigan and the recent swing state of Pennsylvania may become new safeties for the Republican Party in future elections.

Trump is also now holding a 5.7% lead in Texas, leaving little hope for Democrats to turn it blue. While Biden is maintaining huge leads in Arizona and Minnesota, he’s still very behind overall. If Biden can achieve a narrow victory in North Carolina and beat out Trump’s substantial lead in Ohio, he can take this election back from Trump. It’s definitely possible for Biden to take back Ohio, as Ohio’s deadline for mail-in ballots is very late. Since voters who vote by mail are more often Democrats than Republicas, it’s possible a flood of mail-in votes could save Biden in Ohio at the last minute. Florida is looking to be a win for Trump, as he’s currently winning with 96% of votes counted. If he can manage to take back Florida, he can pull the rug out from under Trump and win the election; however, time is running out for that Biden strategy.


11:35 PM, November 3, 2020

With 94% of votes counted in Ohio, a winner has been called for the state. Donald Trump has won Ohio and its 18 electoral votes. Things are looking bleak for Joe Biden and the Democrats right now. Even if Biden can pull ahead of Trump in North Carolina and Wisconsin, that would only tie the vote. A tie would, as previously stated, almost certainly result in a win for Trump. This is also assuming Trump loses Maine’s 2nd congressional district. The 1 vote from that district could just barely give Trump the 270 votes he needs to win and avoid a tie. Democrats can hold out hope that Trump loses his lead in Georgia, but Michigan and Pennsylvania are looking to be solid Trump territory. Biden could also still win by taking Florida, but, once again, that’s not looking likely.


12:05 AM, November 4, 2020

Trump’s lead in Michigan is slipping. His lead is down to 8.6%, a noticeable drop from the 10.6% he was riding earlier in the night. Unfortunately for Biden, Trump’s lead in Wisconsin has increased to 4.5%. Even if Biden wins Michigan, he’d still need Wisconsin to get to 270 votes. And in that case, if Trump takes Maine’s 2nd district, we would have yet another scenario of a tie.


12:25 AM, November 4, 2020

Donald Trump has been declared the winner in Florida. Biden must now look to votes trickling in from two major cities: Atlanta, Georgia and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Trump is leading in both those states, but big cities and metropolitan areas typically bring in lots of voters for Democrats. Milwaukee election officials expect to be done counting between 3 and 6 AM today. Georgia’s secretary of state expects all votes to be counted by this evening. Uncounted votes in major cities could be the miracle Biden needs. If he takes Georgia and Wisconsin, he won’t need Michigan. Georgia and Michigan are both worth 16 electoral votes, so Biden could win Michigan and lose Georgia and get the same result. Once again, this would cause the election to fall on Maine’s 2nd district.

The election has significantly slowed down, as states that have not yet been called are presumably waiting for mail-in ballots to arrive to finish counting. The current decided votes has Joe Biden with 196 electoral votes and Donald Trump with 209. The popular vote has Biden leading by about 1.4 million votes, or 1.1% of the popular vote.


1:25 AM, November 4, 2020

Trump has officially won Texas after turning a neck-and-neck race into a solid win. However, Biden was able to pick up one of Nebraska’s congressional districts, netting him another electoral vote. This one vote will cancel out a potential Trump win in Maine’s 2nd district, meaning a tie is now off the table. If Biden gets Wisconsin and Georgia or Michigan, he wins the election. As for the current standings in those two states, Trump’s lead in Michigan remains unchanged. However, Biden is quickly closing the gap with Trump in Georgia. 91% of the votes have been reported and Trump is holding a mere 2.5% lead over Biden, paling in comparison to his 9% lead earlier in the night. With Trump losing so much ground so quickly, Georgia is looking to be a win for Biden. Arizona has yet to be called, but with mail-in ballots likely being responsible for the hold-up, Biden’s lead will probably only get bigger.

After Milwaukee finishes reporting their results, the winner of Wisconsin should be clear. Later in the day, the results for Georgia should be available. If either candidate wins both of these states, they’ll win the election without needing to hear the results of Michigan. However, if different candidates take Georgia and Wisconsin, Americans will have to wait anxiously until Friday when Michigan’s full results will be available.


8:05 AM, November 4, 2020

Joe Biden has pulled off an overnight miracle and gained a lead in Wisconsin, narrowed the 8 point gap between him and Trump in Michigan to a 0.4 point gap, and inched closer to Trump in Georgia. Surprisingly, Trump may take Nevada from Biden. His better-than-expected performance with Hispanic voters across the U.S. may pay off for him in winning Nevada, as it did in Florida and Ohio. However, even this would not be enough to save Trump if he loses Michigan and Georgia. As more mail-in votes are counted, Biden is likely to expand his lead in Wisconsin and narrowly surpass Trump in both Michigan and Georgia. All three of these states expect to have a final vote total sometime today.

If Trump can hold his lead in Michigan or Georgia and take Nevada, he could narrowly beat Biden. With how Trump has turned the tide on Nevada, now trailing only 0.6% in what was predicted to be a safe or likely blue state, it’s definitely possible the final mail-in votes in the state could actually benefit Trump. However, if he can’t hold a lead in Michigan or Georgia, his potential Nevada victory will be for nought.

Should the election come down to Nevada, we’ll have to wait until at least tomorrow afternoon to see the results. If the Nevada election can’t be called by tomorrow, it may take up to another week for results to be ready.


12:25 PM, November 4, 2020

As the final few hundred votes are being counted in Wisconsin, Joe Biden is just barely beating Donald Trump, holding a 0.6% lead. In Wisconsin, a margin of 1% or less qualifies a candidate to request a recount. Naturally, Trump is jumping at the opportunity. A recount when the margin is greater than 0.25% costs the candidate who requested it about $3 million, but that shouldn’t be a problem for a major party candidate and billionaire like Trump. Biden has secured a 1.2% lead in Michigan, or about 45,000 votes. Trump can only get a recount in Michigan if he and Biden are separated by a margin of 2,000 votes. Alternatively, if Trump can make a valid claim that there have been incidents of fraud against him in the state, he can request a recount.

Meanwhile in Georgia, roughly 350,000 votes have yet to be reported. For the 3.5 million absentee ballots that have already been counted, Biden has been chosen for 51.3% of them and Trump for 47.7%. Should this ratio apply to the remaining in-person ballots, Trump will be able to hold on to Georgia and put the election in the hands of Nevada, where the candidates are just under 8,000 votes apart.

Interesting enough, that vote margin could be filled by people who literally voted for no one. Nevada is one of the states where voters can go to the polls and select a “none of the above” type of option, and over 10,000 voters chose to do so. This is a method exercising their right to vote without picking a candidate they don’t like. This is, of course, more of a symbolic vote against the major two parties than anything else, but it’s interesting to think about what the margin between Trump and Biden would look like in Nevada if voters could not vote for no one.


1:25 PM, November 4, 2020

The Associated Press has called Wisconsin for Joe Biden. Biden won by 0.6%, or about 20,000 votes. Trump is almost certain to call for a recount.


7:25 PM, November 4, 2020

This is looking to be the end for Donald Trump’s campaign. Michigan has been called for Biden. His monumental lead in Pennsylvania has crashed, as voters from major cities like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are on track to boost Biden past Trump. If Trump loses Pennsylvania, not even Georgia and a flipped Nevada will save his campaign.

However, Trump has one final gambit: demanding recounts. Trump’s campaign manager as officially stated that he will demand a recount in Wisconsin. He is eligible due to the low margin he lost by. Trump needs proof that fraud occurred to get a recount in Michigan, but Trump appears to be prepared for just that.

Trump, his supporters, and many right-wing news sources and pundits are claiming the Democrats committed voter fraud in Wisconsin and Michigan. These claims stem from a graph published by FiveThirtyEight that shows steady increases in votes for both candidates, followed by Trump gradually overtaking Biden, followed by a major spike for Biden around 4 AM that put him in the lead. This spike was equivalent to somewhere between 120,000 and 130,000 votes. This is associated with the votes that came from Milwaukee that were reported in bulk around 4 AM. A similar spike for a similar amount of votes appeared at around the same time in Michigan, reportedly tied to Detroit and other major cities. However, Republicans, as well as some independents, remain skeptical.

The investigation Trump’s team will launch and the legal battles that follow are sure to take at least several weeks. If Biden faces undesirable results, his team is likely to start legal battles of their own. Democrats have made claims that voter disenfranchisement has been taking place in Georgia, a state Trump is still holding on to. Unfortunately, counting the ballots and accepting the results is no longer the reality; it’s arguments, excuses, and lengthy legal battles. This could be the inconclusive Russia investigation of the 2016 election all over again. It seems mail-in ballots won’t be what holds up the election; instead, it’ll be the two candidates’ inability to accept the results of the election.