US election: The swing states that make it too close to call

Rust belt grabs the attention for second cycle in a row

Jon Sharman
Wednesday 04 November 2020 07:55
2020 election results
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It’s too close to call: the refrain repeating across the airwaves as votes are tallied in battleground states including Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

But why does the vote count in the rust belt states mean it is too early to say who has won the presidential election?

This year’s race appears to be coming down to those states, colloquially known as the “blue wall”, which Donald Trump wrested from Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The president and his challenger, Joe Biden, are trading blows there but hundreds of thousands of ballots are yet to be counted. Pundits have been urging caution all night, for this reason.

Follow live updates in our election results blog

In Pennsylvania, where a Biden win is considered one of his clearest paths to the White House, officials say they will not be able to tally all the mail-in ballots until well into Wednesday. And it is thought that those votes will favour the Democrat.

The same is true in Detroit, Michigan, which leans Democrat, where a final count will not be complete until Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that in Wisconsin two large areas, Milwaukee and Green Bay, are yet to report any early or absentee ballots. In much of the Badger State, officials do not announce the details of those ballots until they are all in, the paper reported.

Other battleground states include Ohio, which has been called for Mr Trump; Florida, where the president has also emerged victorious; New Hampshire, which Mr Biden has won; and Arizona, which has been called in favour of the former vice president.

Georgia is also shaping up to be a key contest. Its mail-voting situation appears similar to the rust belt states’, so a result may not come tonight.

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