Democratic challenger Joe Biden late on Wednesday (US Time) neared the magic number of 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House with several battleground states still in play. He had 264 electoral votes against President Donald Trump’s 214 .
But the maverick Trump, who had created a flutter by prematurely announcing his victory, was all set to mount a legal challenge , seemingly keen to take the battle down to the proverbial last round. Biden
As it stands, there are five states still left uncalled, including major prizes such as Pennsylvania, and key small state Nevada — meaning both Trump and Biden still have a path to victory. But Trump has to win it all among those states left while Biden just needs another clean margin win in a state to seal it .
US media outlets have projected wins for the Republican incumbent in 23 states including big prizes Florida and Texas, as well as Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Ohio — all states he won in 2016.
Biden has captured 22 states including his home state Delaware and big prizes California and New York, as well as the US capital.
The former vice president has flipped three states won by Trump in 2016 — Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Nebraska split its electoral votes between the two — four for Trump and one for Biden. Maine was won by Biden, but he seized only three of the four electoral votes on offer, with the last allocated to Trump.
So far, that gives Biden 264 electoral votes and Trump 214.
The magic number of electoral votes is 270. If Biden were to win in Nevada, he would in theory have the necessary 270.
The following is a list of the states won by each candidate and the corresponding number of electoral votes, based on the projections of US media including CNN, Fox News, MSNBC/NBC News, ABC, CBS and The New York Times.
President Donald Trump and his reelection campaign are signaling they will pursue an aggressive legal strategy to try to prevent Pennsylvania from counting mailed ballots that are received in the three days after the election. The matter could find its way to the Supreme Court, especially if those ballots could tip the outcome in the battleground state.
The three-day extension was ordered by Pennsylvania’s top court. The Supreme Court refused to block it, but several conservative justices have indicated they could revisit the issue after the election.
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, a Democrat, already has told local elections officials to keep the late-arriving ballots separate, but also to count them. She acknowledged that a post-election court fight could change that.
Trump’s threat of legal action comes as he has been delivering a chaotic closing message during the waning days of the campaign as he lags behind Democratic rival Joe Biden nationally and by narrow margins in key battleground states.
The president has made a flurry of last-minute campaign stops trying to hold onto states he won in 2016, including Pennsylvania, Florida and North Carolina. Over the weekend, he continued to rail against absentee ballots, frustrated by a Supreme Court ruling that didn’t deliver a clear GOP win, continuing a month-long push to sow unfounded doubt about potential voter fraud.
Trump said the high court’s pre-election refusal to rule out the extension was a “terrible decision.” He also said that once the polls close Tuesday, “we’re going in with our lawyers.”
Justin Clark, the deputy Trump campaign manager and senior counsel, said Boockvar “is blatantly attempting to steal this election for Joe Biden and the Democrats. But make no mistake: President Trump and his team will continue to fight for the free, fair election and the trustworthy results all Americans deserve.”
The legal issue is whether the extension ordered by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, relying on voter protections in the Pennsylvania constitution, violated the U.S. Constitution.
The argument advanced by Republicans is that the Constitution gives state legislatures — not state courts — the power to decide how electoral votes are awarded, including whether absentee ballots received after Election Day can be counted.