Election results update: Biden on the verge of winning presidency with leads in Pennsylvania and Georgia

Savannah Behrmann
 
| USA TODAY

We’re on the fourth day past Election Day and USA TODAY’S coverage of the 2020 election continues as states work to finish counting the ballots.

All eyes on are the battleground states that will ultimately decide the election. Be sure to refresh this page often to get the latest information on how things are going.  

USA TODAY will have live election results from across the country.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden edged ahead of President Donald Trump in the all-important battleground of Pennsylvania for the first time Friday, adding to a sense of inevitability that the Scranton native would reach the 270 electoral votes he needs to capture the presidency. 

Biden leads the president by 6, votes as of Friday morning, a difference of 0.1%.

Votes were still being counted and Biden had not been declared the winner in the Keystone State. Republicans argued that at least some of the outstanding ballots would go for Trump.  

But the momentum and the math increasingly appears to be on Biden’s side.  

Pennsylvania, with its 20 electoral votes, was part of the so-called “blue wall” that had carried past Democrats to the White House until 2016. Two other states in the wall, Michigan and Wisconsin, were called for Biden on Wednesday.  

Trump got out to an early lead in Pennsylvania Tuesday, but Biden has been closing the gap ever since as a crush of mail-in ballots were counted. Polls had always suggested Democrats were more likely to vote by mail because of concerns about the pandemic. In this case, the polls were right.  

Also, Trump had cast doubts on the security of mail voting for months before the election, a line of attack that had made some Republican operatives in states like Pennsylvania and Florida nervous that it would affect their own voters.  

Over the past 24 hours, Trump’s margin narrowed even as his campaign aides prematurely declared they had won the state. It closed as Trump incorrectly claimed he had won the election. It got smaller as aides alleged widespread fraud, without citing evidence, and threatened lawsuits.  

Trump led Biden in the state by several hundred thousand votes immediately after the election, which was the count of people who turned out in person on Election Day.

Trump won the state by about 44,300 votes in 2016 over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, a 0.72% difference.

– John Fritze and Nicholas Wu

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Electoral College vs. the popular vote, explained

President Trump and President George W. Bush won the electoral vote during the election, but not the popular vote. How does the electoral college work?

The Federal Aviation Administration placed restrictions on airspace over Joe Biden’s home, affording the Democratic nominee the same security restriction provided to other political VIPs such as the president and vice president.

While the temporary flight restrictions (TFR) appeared to be activated on Friday, it was not clear when they were announced. The FAA referred questions about the restrictions, which limit flights through the area, to the U.S. Secret Service.

The TFRs, which will be in place over Wilmington, Delaware, for several days, are commonly imposed when the president or vice president is traveling out of Washington for an event, such as to a rally.

Like other candidates, Biden received Secret Service protection earlier this year. His security detail was set to grow in coming days as the Secret Service prepared for the possibility he wins, The Washington Post and CNN reported this week.

– John Fritze

Democratic candidate Joe Biden officially took the lead in Georgia Friday, after a new round of results were released. 

As of 4:30 a.m. EST, the former Vice President leads by 917 votes with thousands of ballots remaining to be counted. 

Biden caught then passed Trump in the traditionally red state due to an onslaught of mail-in ballots from Democratic-leaning counties. Democratic voters utilized early voting and mail-in ballots across the nation more so than Republicans.

Georgia is critical to Trump’s reelection, but not necessary to Biden’s path to the White House.

The state has not backed a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992, when Bill Clinton won the state by 13,000 votes. Trump beat Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Georgia in 2016 by 211,141 votes, or 50.4% to 45.3%.

Clayton County, which was represented by the late Rep. John Lewis, was one of the counties that put Biden over the top in Georgia.

— Savannah Behrmann

President Donald Trump inched closer to former Vice President Joe Biden in Arizona as results from Thursday’s ballot counting were released, but he fell off the pace needed to win the state’s 11 electoral votes.

The Associated Press called the race for Biden on Wednesday, but the Trump campaign hopes votes still to be counted will change the outcome. 

Statewide, Trump chipped away 22,000 votes from Biden’s lead, closing the gap to 46,667 votes as of Thursday night. But unless the next batches of votes show Trump with a higher percentage than what the president managed Thursday, he will fall short.

The Arizona Republic estimates there were 300,000 votes left to count statewide as of Thursday evening, with 218,000 of those votes left to count in Maricopa County. 

– Rob O’Dell, Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Caitlin McGlade (Arizona Republic)

Could today be the day?

No states were called Thursday in the presidential election, but Friday may well be the day the election ends when most of the remaining battleground states hit the home stretch in counting and even call some races.

Biden begins the day with 264 Electoral College votes to Trump’s 214. That means Biden needs to win one of the four remaining battleground states: Pennsylvania, Nevada, North Carolina and Georgia. All of them are expected to make significant progress or finish counting outright. 

In Georgia, Democratic nominee Joe Biden took the lead Friday morning as vote-counting continues.

More: Georgia solidifies its swing-state status thanks, in part, to Stacey Abrams

In Pennsylvania, major counties such as Philadelphia have been counting through the night, and the president’s lead there is also narrowing. 

Biden gained ground due to an onslaught of mail-in ballots from Democratic-leaning counties.

Arizona and Nevada finishing up 

Voters can also expect updated results Thursday morning from Arizona, where Trump has been narrowing Biden’s lead, and Nevada, where Biden leads by around 11,500 votes. 

An estimated 190,150 ballots remained uncounted in Nevada on Thursday, according to the Reno Gazette Journal, which is part of the USA TODAY Network.

State elections officials announced nearly two-thirds of that total were either returned by mail or dropped off in-person on Election Day. The remaining 66,596 votes were cast by same-day registrants either in-person on Tuesday or during the state’s two-week early voting period. 

Some 90% of the outstanding ballots are in Clark County, a southern Nevada stronghold for Democrats where the party built up a daunting 89,000-voter edge over Republicans in early voting turnout.

More: We fact-checked President Trump’s speech about the election. Here’s what we found.

More: Election protests across US: Trump, Biden supporters gather in Philadelphia; Facebook shuts down ‘Stop the Steal’ group; Portland on edge

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