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It's a toss up: Where do we stand after an election night squeaker?

Donald Trump has held some key states but Joe Biden flipped Arizona.

A supporter of President Donald Trump in Arizona.
A supporter of President Donald Trump in Arizona.
Image: Matt York/PA Images

Updated Nov 4th 2020, 8:35 AM

THE OCCUPANT OF the White House for the next four years is still undecided after a tight election night in the United States.

US President Donald Trump has won the key swing states of Florida and Ohio and also held most of the states that won him the presidency in 2016.

However, while the victories mean that Trump appears to have outperformed some pre-election polling, the overall result is still unclear. 

Democratic challenger Joe Biden has also held many of the states won by Hillary Clinton four years ago and the former vice president also also won the state of Arizona, which was won by Trump in 2016.

As of now, Biden has a projected 238 electoral college votes and Trump has 213, per Associated Press, with either candidate requiring 270 votes to win the presidency. 

Counting is continuing in many states but most have been projected by the major US networks. Some of the key battlegrounds have yet to be decided, however. 

As well as flipping Arizona, Biden’s campaign will be eyeing potential victories in the Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin that were key to Trump in 2016. 

Votes have been counted in these states but no projections have yet been made.

A senior election official in Michigan has said that the state won’t have final results until until Wednesday evening Irish-time, while it could be Friday before Pennsylvania counts all its votes. 

Wisconsin is likely to have results sooner, perhaps before midday Irish-time today when the city of Milwaukee is expected to finish counting its votes.

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 Why it’s taking so long

Last night, the first counts began to be delivered after midnight Irish time with much of the early focus on the perennial battleground of Florida.

While Biden outperformed Clinton’s performance in some parts of the state, in the voter-rich areas in and around Miami the Democratic vote was down on 2016.

Trump’s vote held up elsewhere and his victory in the state was clear throughout most of election night.

One of the questions ahead of this election night was how the huge number of votes cast ahead of election day and by postal ballot would be counted alongside election day votes. 

One of the places where this played out most clearly was in Ohio, where Biden appeared to be leading early in the count before his lead was eroded as Trump-heavy voting areas came in. The state has since been called for the Republican president.

In the key state of Pennsylvania, there are at least 270,000 mail-in votes that won’t be counted until later on today. 

election-2020-biden Biden speaks to supporters in Delaware. Source: Andrew Harnik/PA Images

Trump was uncharacteristically quiet on Twitter for most of the night but tweeted just before 6am to say that his opponents were trying to “steal the election”.

Twitter has censored Trump’s tweet to say that it is “disputed and might be misleading”.

Trump later spoke from the White House in which he made unsubstantiated claims about the election being ‘a fraud’. Trump also said that counting should stop in some states and said that he would be “going to the Supreme Court”

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Biden also spoke to supporters in Delaware, telling that that “we are going to win this” but warning patience would be needed for all the votes to be counted. 

“We knew this was going to go on but who knew it was going to go into maybe tomorrow morning, maybe even longer,” Biden told supporters. 

“But look, we feel good about where we are. We really do. I am here to tell you tonight we believe we’re on track to win this election.”

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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