2020 Presidential Election is more contested than polls predicted

With North Carolina accepting mail-in ballots until Nov. 12, the election may not be called by this week.

The 2020 Presidential election has not been called yet, as some states still have to count their mail-in ballots. The election may not be called until the end of the week, or if contested, it may take multiple weeks to recount the votes. In three key swing states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — absentee ballots were not allowed to be processed until Election Day. With a record 101.9 million ballots cast before Election Day, the final judgement may be delayed due to slow processing. 

Safe States

Every state that the polls claimed to be a safe state for each candidate indeed remained their respective color. Trump is projected to retain his “red wall” which includes the 19 states of Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia and South Carolina.

Nebraska has five split electoral votes, with Trump projected to win four of them and Biden projected to win the single vote from Omaha. Georgia is the only “red wall” state since 2000 that may swing in Biden’s favor. Pre-election polls showed that Texas was a toss-up state, but Trump has pulled ahead and is likely to win the state’s 38 electoral votes. 

Biden is projected to win most of the “blue wall” states that had voted for the Democratic nominee in every election from 1992 to 2012. These 14 states include California, Oregon, Washington, Illinois, New York, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland as well as the District of Columbia.

Maine has four electoral votes and gives two of these to the statewide winner and gives one to each of the two congressional districts. Biden is expected to earn three of these votes, with Trump hoping to earn one. Key states in the blue wall include battlegrounds states in the Rust Belt, which include Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.  

Battleground States and Absentee Ballots

As of Wednesday at 4:30 p.m., the Associated Press has Biden leading 253-214. Biden has been projected to win in both Michigan and Wisconsin. Both candidates are looking to claim the remaining 68 electoral votes from the battleground states of Arizona (11), Georgia (16), Nevada (6), North Carolina (15) and Pennsylvania (20). Alaska (3 votes) has not been called yet but it is a likely Trump victory in that state. Nevada is leaning toward Biden but still has a significant number of ballots to process.

On election night, Trump was leading in five major battleground states. However, as more absentee ballots get processed, Biden has begun to regain his footing. Trump was ahead by margins of around 100,000 to 200,000 in each state, but Biden has since flipped some of these.

Trump currently leads in Pennsylvania with 51.9% of the vote compared to Biden at 46.8%, but over 800,000 absentee ballots have yet to be processed. Of the absentee votes that have been processed, Biden leads with a 78.3% margin to Trump’s 20.8% of the 810,646 absentee ballots. 

In Arizona, Biden currently leads with 51% of the vote compared to Trump at 47.6%. After Biden was projected to win Michigan and Wisconsin, Arizona has become a key battleground state for both candidates.

In Georgia, Trump leads with 50.1% of the vote compared to Biden at 48.7%. Trump also currently leads in North Carolina with 50.1% of the voted compared to Biden at 48.6%.

Biden currently leads in Nevada with 49.3% of the votes compared to Trump at 48.7%. Much like Arizona, Nevada has become a key battleground state for both candidates.

Projections as of Nov. 4

With the Associated Press projecting a record of nearly 173 million votes, and only 139 million votes having been counted, the election could still sway in either direction. If every state that has over 90% of votes reported remains the color they are now, Trump will carry Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Biden would carry Arizona and Nevada. This would put Biden at 270 electoral college votes and Trump at 268, with Biden winning the presidency.

To win the presidency Trump must maintain his lead in Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, but also win either Arizona or Nevada. However, if Biden is able to maintain his lead in Arizona and Nevada he will have the 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.

If Arizona and Nevada go red, Biden would need to win in two out of the three other battleground states, Georgia, North Carolina or Pennsylvania to win the presidency. 


As of Nov. 4, the Associated Press has called 29 of the 35 seats up for election. It is projected that Republicans will retain control of the Senate, as they are leading with 47 Senators to the Democrat’s 45. Races that remain uncalled are Alaska, Michigan, North Carolina and two seats in Georgia. 

In Georgia, incumbent David Perdue (R) leads by 3.6% of the vote with 92% reported. Raphael Warnock (D) leads in a special election with 20 candidates on the ballot, but this race is expected to be a runoff election held in January between the top two finishers. 

Alaska’s Dan Sullivan (R) is likely to win the Senate seat there. In Michigan and North Carolina, the races are too close to call. John James (R) leads by 0.2% in Michigan and Thom Tillis (R) leads by 1.8% in North Carolina. 

If Republicans are able to win in Georgia, North Carolina and Alaska, they will have a majority in the Senate with 52 seats, and if Michigan holds steady, 53 seats. Democrats hope to win a seat in each of Michigan, Georgia and North Carolina, which would bring them to 48 Senate seats which is still not enough for a majority. 

House of Representatives

With 435 House seats up for election, the Associated Press has called 383 races as of Nov. 4. For seats that have been called already, Democrats lead 199-185 over Republicans, with 218 needed for a majority. Republicans have a net gain of five seats so far, with 51 seats still not decided. It is projected that Democrats will retain control of the House, but by less of a margin.

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