Biden Takes Early Lead In US Elections
4 November 2020

The Guardian

Fox News has called Arizona for Joe Biden, which would significantly bolster the Democrat’s chances of victory.

Again, the Guardian is not yet calling Arizona because the AP has not declared a winner in the race.

However, if Biden wins Arizona, it gives him multiple paths to victory because he could afford to lose Pennsylvania and still win the presidential race if he won Michigan, Wisconsin and the stray electoral votes in Nebraska and Maine.

It may be a long election week, now that it appears the presidential race will come down to the midwest.

Election officials in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have said they will not be announcing the winners of their states tonight.

Vivian Ho reports from Chandler, Arizona:

At a Republican watch party in Chandler, Arizona, where dozens gathered in seats under stringed lights, the group cheered as Fox News read off the early numbers in Georgia and North Carolina in favor of Donald Trump.

“It’s 2016 all over again,” whooped Kenneth, a Chandler resident who declined to give his last name.

Kenneth, 43, said he voted for Trump again not just because his tax plan helped him as a laborer, but because “it seems like the Democratic party is the party of anger”. “They’re burning stuff down, they’re starting fights, riots, looting, shooting,” he said, a Keep America Great sign in his hands.

The switch to the Republican party was a recent change for him. “I’ve been a Democrat my entire life up until 2016,” said Kenneth, a Black man. “I’ve always thought Republicans were racist but in 2016, I was done.”

“You don’t think Trump is racist?” I asked.

“OK, if he is, would he be the first president? No,” Kenneth said. “But look, this is the thing: The only reason why everybody is saying Trump is racist is because you have the news media, Facebook, Twitter, favorite rappers and celebrities and singers saying it.

“Nobody would believe that if they didn’t have all this outside influence. It’s like the news media and social media has people believing all sorts of stuff. They thought tonight was going to be a blowout. Biden was supposed to blow Trump out in Florida. The media has been lying to everybody the whole time!”

Again, the Guardian is not yet calling Florida because it goes by the AP’s calls, but a Florida win for Trump (which seems very likely) would be crucial for the president.

Biden picks up three states, Trump wins Idaho

Polls just closed in four western states, but all of them have already been called by the AP.

Joe Biden has won California, Oregon and Washington state, while Donald Trump has won Idaho.

With those four states in, the electoral college count stands at 209 votes for Biden and 112 votes for Trump. The magic number to hit is 270.

It seems everything will come down to the midwest.

Polls close in four more states

It is 11pm ET, so polls have now closed in four more states – California, Oregon, Idaho and Washington.

Biden wins New Hampshire

Joe Biden has won New Hampshire, a state where he came in fifth in the Democratic primary.

The Republican congressman Doug Collin has conceded in the special Senate election in Georgia.

The race will proceed to a January runoff between Republican Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed to the seat, and the Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock.

With Donald Trump’s numbers looking good in Georgia and North Carolina, Joe Biden is now relying on the midwest to come through for him.

But even if Biden were to lose in Pennsylvania, he could still theoretically pull off a victory if he wins Arizona and one electoral vote each from congressional districts in Nebraska and Maine.

Democrat Roy Cooper has won another term as the governor of North Carolina, the AP just announced.

Cooper is running ahead of Joe Biden and Senate candidate Cal Cunningham in North Carolina.

With 92% of the vote in, Cooper is leading by about 5 points, while Biden is trailing by 1 point and Cunningham is trailing by 1.4 points.

Richard Luscombe reports from Miami:

Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, a solid Trump ally, is getting miffed that none of the major news networks are calling his state for the president yet, more than two hours after polls closed.

“President @realDonaldTrump is up in Florida by almost 400,000 votes with more than 90% of precincts reporting,” DeSantis fumed in a tweet. “Why haven’t networks called the race? It’s a done deal and the refusal to recognize the obvious speaks volumes about the (lack of) objectivity of these outlets.”

Trump needs Florida’s 29 electoral college votes to win back the White House, while Joe Bidenstill has a pathway without it. With less than 10% of Florida’s votes outstanding, the indications are that Trump will significantly increase the 1.2% majority by which he won the state from Hilary Clinton in 2016.

Trump wins Missouri

Donald Trump has won Missouri and its 10 electoral college votes, the AP just announced.

The electoral college count currently stands at 131 votes for Joe Biden and 108 votes for Trump.

Again, all of the battleground states remain up for grabs, so this race is far from over.

Ohio is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing states of the night so far, with Donald Trump now surging past Joe Biden’s early lead.

Trump was almost four points up at 10.20pm ET, a return to something approaching what people had expected – he won here by eight points in 2016.

The silver lining for Biden is that some of Ohio’s biggest counties, which include cities such as Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, where Biden is winning, haven’t reported all their votes yet. Biden is doing far better than Hillary Clinton in those areas, which each have about a third of their votes yet to come in.

The other silver lining for Biden is that even if the current result stands, and he loses by about four points, that’s a big inroad for him compared to how Trump did in 2016… and could indicate a strong Democratic performance in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Republicans pick up Senate seat in Alabama

Republican Tommy Tuberville has been declared the winner of the Alabama Senate race, defeating Democratic incumbent Doug Jones.

Jones had been widely expected to lose his race, after narrowly winning the seat in a 2017 special election.

Combined with Democrats flipping Cory Gardner’s seat in Colorado, the two parties have canceled out their Senate gains so far tonight.

Biden underperforming in Florida and Georgia compared to polls

We still have a long night ahead of us, but the results so far indicate Joe Biden has underperformed in Florida and Georgia in comparison to his polling there.

With about 91% of the Florida vote in, Donald Trump leads Biden by about 3 points, 51%-48%.

In Georgia, where 54% of the vote is in, Trump leads by 13 points, 56%-43%.

Florida was seen as a toss-up, although a recent poll showed Biden ahead there by 5 points. The Democratic nominee was also seen as slightly favored to win Georgia.

It’s important to remember Biden did not absolutely need to win Florida or Georgia. If he can win in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, he will still capture the White House.

However, Biden wins in Florida or Georgia would have almost certainly eliminated any chance of a Trump victory. That does not seem to be the case tonight.

Instead, we will likely have to wait for results from the Midwestern battlegrounds to determine the winner of the presidential race.

Cornyn wins Senate race in Texas

The AP has confirmed that Senator John Cornyn has won another Senate term in Texas, defeating Democratic candidate MJ Hegar.

Earlier reports indicated that Hegar had already called Cornyn to concede.

Trump wins Kansas

Donald Trump has won Kansas and its 6 electoral votes, the AP just announced.

With 69% of the Kansas vote in, Trump leads Joe Bidenby about 6 points, 52%-46%.

The electoral college vote count currently stands at 131 votes for Biden and 98 votes for Trump. Again, a candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the election.

Lindsey Graham wins re-election

Lindsey Graham has won re-election in South Carolina, the AP just announced.

Democrats believed they had a real chance of flipping the state with Jaime Harrison, who raised massive sums of money in the final weeks before election day.

But with 39% of the vote in, Graham is leading Harrison by about 10 points.