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Donald Trump wins Alaska - but that won't impact on US election outcome

Alaska was expected to vote Republican, so this will not hinder Joe Biden’s win.

Donald Trump making a statement to the nation last Wednesday.
Donald Trump making a statement to the nation last Wednesday.
Image: Kleponis Chris/CNP/ABACA

Updated Nov 11th 2020, 6:25 PM

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS and the New York Times have joined US broadcaster NBC in projecting that Donald Trump won the state of Alaska, one of the four largely uncalled states still counting votes in the US.

Alaska famously takes many days to count votes after Election Day, and with 75% of the expected vote counted today, NBC has called the state for Trump. 

61% of the vote was counted by yesterday afternoon in Alaska, due in part to the logistics of collecting ballots in the vast and most sparsely populated state in the US.

It was expected that Trump would win the state, and so this result will not impact Biden’s route to the White House as it only accounts for three electoral votes out of 538. 

It was not a close race with Trump in the lead with 56.9% of the vote so far, according to NBC. A Democratic candidate hasn’t won in Alaska for decades.  

Biden is currently on 279 electoral votes and Trump is on 217, according to multiple projections.

A winner is yet to be called by the Associated Press and other media outlets in Georgia and North Carolina, where Joe Biden and Donald Trump are ahead respectively.

Some outlets projected Biden as the winner of Arizona early on, but many outlets including the New York Times have yet to call a winner for the state as votes are still being counted (Biden is also ahead here, but the gap has been narrowing). 

Biden was projected to win the presidency on Saturday, but Trump has not yet conceded. Yesterday, Biden said Trump’s refusal to concede was an “embarrassment” that will reflect poorly on his legacy. 

The House and the Senate

Meanwhile, the Republican Party won another seat in the US Senate today – a victory in Alaska that puts it one vote away from a majority in the upper house of Congress.

Incumbent Dan Sullivan was easily reelected with more than 57% of the vote, according to CNN and NBC television projections.

His victory confirms the strong performance of the Republican Party in the congressional elections, which were held on the same day as the US presidential election.

The Republicans now have 50 seats, compared to 48 for the Democrats in the 100-seat Senate. Two seats are still to be filled in runoffs scheduled for 5 January in the southern state of Georgia.

The Democrats would have to win both seats to catch up with the Republicans and give Biden more room to implement his policies. It would then be Vice President Kamala Harris’s voice that would decide the tie in a 50-50 vote in her role as president of the Senate.

No law can be passed in the United States without the upper house, which also has the power to approve the president’s appointments: his secretaries, his ambassadors, and the judges, especially on the Supreme Court.

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If the Senate remains Republican, Biden, who sat in it for 36 years, would have to use his skills of bi-partisanship and negotiation.

The President-elect said that he was confident that he would be able to work with a sufficient number of congressional lawmakers from the other side.

With reporting from Gráinne Ní Aodha and © AFP 2020

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