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CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE
With seven states worth 87 electoral votes still up in the air and counting mostly stopped, a couple of scenarios readily present themselves.
Former Vice President Joe Biden could very much still win the kind of victory that most forecasters had been talking about – a modest Electoral College victory in the neighborhood of 300 electoral votes combined with a robust national popular vote win.
President Trump could very much still win the kind of nail-biter he won four years ago, a similar electoral 300-ish win, but probably with a more significant popular vote loss.
A third possibility – a deadlock or dispute the pushes us into a litigated resolution and a fresh crisis in this crisis-stricken year – lurks behind one corner. But it’s too soon to start indulging those goblins when we may yet have a decisive result.
So what will it be?
The votes have already been cast. There are no ads to run, rallies to hold, speeches to give or doors to knock. There are probably 20 million or so ballots waiting to be counted coast-to-coast, resting quietly in their lockers. About 3.2 million of those votes are in the six competitive states still waiting to be called – Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Georgia and Nevada.
We expect Alaska to come in for Trump once the snow machines bring in all the ballots. And we can make some guesses about how Nevada and North Carolina may end up, leaning Biden and Trump respectively. But the truth is that the range of potential outcomes contained within the remaining electoral votes runs the gamut from what would be perceived as a mandate for the incumbent to a repudiation of him.
Only those snug little ballots know where the answer will lie on that continuum.
ABOUT THE SENATE
One thing we do know for sure is that Democrats hopes of taking the Senate are looking more than a little reedy – especially if Biden comes up short and Kamala Harris can’t provide a tie-breaking vote.
With six races yet to be called, Democrats have only managed to net out a gain of one seat. Sens. Susan Collins and Thom Tillis are doing better than polls suggested. If they go on to win and Sen. Dan Sullivan delivers in Alaska, control of the Senate would likely come down to Georgia and its two races.
While Democrats are showing real potency in the Peach State this year, you’d have to like Republican’s chances to come out with at least one – and that’s without Michigan challenger John James pulling off an upset.
We’ll keep calling races as they ripen throughout the day. You can follow along and see how your hunches play out here.
You’ll find below a news roundup of how things stand in the still-contested states. Check them out and stay tuned…
Georgia voter surge leads to deadlock – AJC: “The race for president in Georgia was too close to call early Wednesday as a record number of voters surged to the polls to render a verdict on President Donald Trump’s four years in the White House and decide two U.S. Senate races that could determine control of the chamber. Joe Biden’s late push to win Georgia for Democrats for the first time since 1992 hung in the balance as voters weighed a race for president doubling as a referendum on Trump’s handling of a coronavirus pandemic that’s upended every facet of American life. Trump built a commanding early edge in rural and exurban parts of the state, but the gap narrowed as more left-leaning metro Atlanta precincts were tallied. U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler edged fellow Republican Rep. Doug Collins to score a spot in a Jan. 5 runoff against Democrat Raphael Warnock. But Georgia’s other statewide race, between U.S. Sen. David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff, was still unsettled…”
Rural votes buoy Trump in North Carolina – Charlotte Observer: “President Donald Trump held a lead over Democrat Joe Biden in North Carolina Tuesday night, boosted by strong support in rural and suburban counties. With virtually all precincts reporting, Trump led 50% to 48.6%, according to the State Board of Elections. The numbers included the results of a historic early vote that saw more than 4.5 million North Carolinians cast ballots before Election Day. Though early votes traditionally favor Democrats in North Carolina, Trump took 50.2% of that vote and was winning the Election Day vote easily. Biden won absentee mail-in ballots by about 375,000. … The final margin will come down to uncounted absentee votes and provisional ballots.”
Pennsylvania the keystone – Philadelphia Inquirer: “The country was left on edge Tuesday as the most charged election in memory went deep into the night without a quick resolution, and with millions of ballots still to be counted in critical states, including Pennsylvania. President Donald Trump held off Democrat Joe Biden in Florida, one of the most important battlegrounds, according to the Associated Press. That makes Pennsylvania even more of a focal point, as the largest remaining swing state and a key to Biden’s path to victory. Just after 2 a.m., Trump was leading Biden in votes counted so far in Pennsylvania, but that was at least partly because in-person votes, which were disproportionately cast by Republicans, were being tallied faster than mail ballots. Democrats voted by mail in much greater numbers than Republicans. Those votes take longer to count, and the slow process of tallying them is expected to shift the margins considerably in Biden’s favor — a phenomenon know as ‘the blue shift.’”
Michigan votes expected to count quickly today – Detroit Free Press: “Election results could be known in Michigan in the next 24 hours, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said at a news conference Tuesday night. Michigan could set a new record for voter turnout Tuesday as well. At least 3.26 million absentee ballots were received and an estimated 2 million to 2.5 million Michiganders voted at the polls on Election Day, Benson said. ‘All around the state today, our clerks wanted to make sure that every single vote was counted and every voice was heard,’ Benson said at the news conference at Ford Field in Detroit. Combining those numbers, and using the low-end estimate for voting at the polls, at least 5.26 million votes were cast. That would beat the record of just over 5 million, set in the presidential election of 2008, when former President Barack Obama won Michigan on his way to victory.”
Biden bets on Nevada – The Nevada Independent: “Joe Biden maintains a narrow lead in Nevada over President Donald Trump, but the state’s six electoral votes and the results of many other major congressional, statewide and local races remain up in the air after initial returns on Election Night. As of early Wednesday, Biden and Democratic congressional candidates running in the state’s two competitive House districts — Susie Lee and Steven Horsford— maintained narrow leads over their Republican opponents, but no news outlets have called the races given a large number of outstanding ballots yet to be tallied. … More than 1.2 million Nevadans cast a ballot in the general election, although it’s unclear what the total turnout will be as last-minute ballots mailed in or dropped off have not yet been tallied. … Hillary Clinton defeated Trump by 2.4 percentage points in the Silver State four years ago.”
Wisconsin back on center stage – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “After all the upheaval of the past year and the drama and turmoil of President Donald Trump’s first term, Wisconsin once again went down to the wire in the 2020 election, as the returns that dragged into the early morning Wednesday came to uncannily resemble the ultra-close 2016 vote. Democrat Joe Biden overtook Trump in early morning hours when the city of Milwaukee finally reported its roughly 170,000 absentee votes, which were overwhelmingly Democratic. Trump had nurtured a lead of more than 100,000 votes before that. With Biden up by about 8,000 votes, there were still votes to be reported from the city of Kenosha and Green Bay, Democratic-leaning communities. While Trump did worse in much of metropolitan Milwaukee and Madison than he did four years ago, he did a little better in much of northern and central Wisconsin. The urban-rural political divide widened.”
Trump looks cool in Alaska – Anchorage Daily News: “Early returns in Tuesday’s general election indicated that a majority of Alaskans support Republican President Donald Trump’s re-election, though thousands of ballots had yet to be counted. As of 11:10 p.m. Tuesday, the Alaska Division of Elections had counted 133,371 ballots so far in the race, representing about 22.4% of registered voters. In early results, Trump carried 61% of the vote while Democratic nominee and former vice president Joe Biden received 34.5%. The candidate with the next highest percentage of votes was Libertarian Party candidate Jo Jorgenson, with 2.6% of the vote in early returns. Tens of thousands of ballots won’t be counted for several days in the election. A record number of Alaskans requested absentee ballots for the election, and state elections workers won’t start counting over 120,000 absentee and early voting ballots until at least Nov. 10.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“There is something about the American spirit — about the bedrock decency and common sense of the American — that seems to help us find our way, something about American history that redeems itself in a way that inspires all. I would summarize it by quoting my favorite pundit, Otto von Bismarck. He was not known for his punditry, but he is famously said to have said: ‘God looks after children, drunkards, idiots and the United States of America.’ I think He still does. I hope He still does.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) in a column excerpted his posthumous book, “The Point of It All,” published Nov. 29, 2018.
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up