The Slatest

The Morning After. Here’s Where Things Stand.

Sunrise at the White House.
The election enters Day Two. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Put away the pinot gris, it’s not that kind of election anymore. Any lingering hope of a blue wave has now evaporated, but there are still multiple paths to victory for Joe Biden. The betting markets that once favored Trump to stay in the White House have flipped, for what it’s worth, possibly nothing. So, at this point, let’s not let the landslide be the enemy of the good old fashioned Electoral College win here. And that is still very much a possibility—and depending on which election forecaster you fancy, a probability. It’s worth noting that Biden currently holds a 2-point lead in the popular vote, amounting to more than 2 million votes, a lead you would expect to grow as more mail-in votes get tallied. If things go as they did in 2016, Biden’s overall lead could extend to 4 or 5 points by the time things are said and done—whether or not he wins the whole enchilada.

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As we all know, however, getting the most votes is not how our insane country picks its leader, so off we go to the Electoral College, where the race is excruciatingly tight. But there are surefire glimmers of hope. The contest has so far reverted to form with most states, including a number that looked like toss-ups, landing exactly in the same spot as they did in 2016. Trump’s won the middle of the country and the Southeast but coughed up Arizona, which is the only state to flip so far. The talk of swiping places like Texas, Iowa, and beyond is now ancient history. Biden currently has 238 electoral votes (per the Associated Press) with wins in: Arizona 11, California 55, Colorado 9, Connecticut 7, Delaware 3, District of Columbia 3, Hawaii 4, Illinois 20, Maine 2, Maine (1) 1, Maryland 10, Massachusetts 11, Minnesota 10, Nebraska (2) 1, New Hampshire 4, New Jersey 14, New Mexico 5, New York 29, Oregon 7, Rhode Island 4, Vermont 3, Virginia 13, Washington 12. That puts him 32 electoral votes shy of the 270 needed to win.

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That leaves this universe of states to decide the presidency: Nevada, North Carolina, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, and, of course, Pennsylvania. There’s also Alaska, which hasn’t technically been called yet, but let’s not get carried away, look where that’s gotten us so far. The margins are extremely close in Michigan and Wisconsin, but both appear to be on the verge of announcing vote totals that include mail-in ballots, and both are now showing Biden closing the gap due to greater Democratic mail-in numbers.

In Michigan, at least, Biden still trails but appears poised to take the lead on the strength of mail-in ballots getting added to the Election Day votes.

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There are also some good vibes out of Wisconsin.

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Nevada looks like it will be far, far closer than that 2.5 points Hillary Clinton won the state by in 2016.

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If Biden holds Nevada, which is far from a certainty, and can prevail in Michigan and Wisconsin, that’s ballgame—270 electoral votes, and Pennsylvania, Georgia, and North Carolina are gravy. If not, things get a bit messy. Nevada looks like it will remain too close to call for a while. Pennsylvania will likely be counting mail-in ballots all week. And relying on North Carolina and Georgia to carry a Democrat to victory seems like a risky bet. Trump has leads in both states, but the trusty-ish New York Times needle has the likelihood of Trump winning North Carolina at 86 percent, while it puts Biden as slight favorite to win Georgia with a 64 percent probability. Winning Georgia’s 16 votes would mean that Biden could win Michigan and lose everywhere else that’s outstanding and still win the White House.

This post has been updated with new information as it became available.

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