Democratic nominee Joe Biden has taken the lead in Georgia and Pennsylvania, two of the key states that will decide the 2020 presidential election. As of 8:15 A.M. ET Friday, the New York Times showed Biden with a 1,097 vote lead over President Donald Trump after days of watching Trump’s lead in the traditionally red state erode. Shortly after the publication of this report, around 9:00 A.M. ET, the Times showed that Biden had also taken the lead in Pennsylvania by 5,587 votes.
As of Friday morning, the Times reported that almost all ballots have been tallied in Georgia with almost 5 million votes cast total. Biden has 2,449,582 votes and Trump had 2,448,485 — a dead heat with both candidates at 49.4% of the vote. In Pennsylvania, the Times indicated that 95% of the total estimated vote has been reported. That’s 6.6 million Pennsylvanian votes, with 3,295,304 (49.4%) for Biden and 3,289,717 (49.3%) for Trump.
Biden is currently projected at 253 Electoral College votes by our tally. Pennsylvania has 20 Electoral College votes, so if Biden is projected to win the Keystone State, that would be enough to get him over the 270 needed to win, if those projections, once made, held. With 16 Electoral College votes in Georgia, being projected to win the state would move Biden’s total to 269 — just one shy of the 270 needed to win. The former vice president would still need to be projected to pick up another one of the outstanding states — possibly Nevada or Arizona — to look like he’s in a position to win.
According to CBS News, Georgia’s secretary of state is scheduled to hold a press conference at 10:30 A.M. ET to provide an election update.
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Trump narrowly won Pennsylvania in 2016, shocking Democrats as it had long been considered part of the “blue wall” of reliably Democratic states. Prior to that, no Republican presidential candidate had won Pennsylvania since 1988. Biden was a senator for neighboring Delaware for 36 years, but he was born in working-class Scranton, Pennsylvania. He incorporated that into campaign rhetoric by framing the race as a battle between Scranton and Park Avenue, a ritzy New York City street home to one of Trump’s buildings. Philadelphia and its suburbs have been key to Biden’s chances in the state, as the Philadelphia Inquirer examined Thursday.
Georgia has somewhat unexpectedly become a key state in the election. Bill Clinton’s narrow 1992 victory was the last time a Democrat won the state. Prior to that, a Dem hadn’t won the state since Georgia’s own Jimmy Carter lost his re-election bid in 1980. Many are crediting the work of people like Stacey Abrams, the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial candidate who, after her loss, turned to addressing concerns about voter suppression in the Peach State. The Atlanta metropolitan area — the largest metro area in the south outside of Texas or Florida, according to estimates from Statista — and the Black voters who live there appear to be the key to Biden’s success in the state so far.
Georgia and Pennsylvania were both states expected to be consequential in 2020. Those predictions have proven correct.
Editor’s Note: Shortly after the initial publication of this report, new results from Pennsylvania indicated Biden had taken the lead. This story was updated to reflect that.
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