(The Center Square) – President Donald Trump won key battleground states in Ohio, Florida and Texas Tuesday, but the race in others remained too close to call as most Americans went to bed not knowing the winner of the presidential election.
And they might not find out when they wake up, either.
Results in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – where millions of votes were still being counted as of 2 a.m. eastern time Wednesday – will determine the winner.
In early morning comments before supporters, Trump said he was poised to win Tuesday night but questioned why races weren’t called in Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where he held leads as votes were still being counted.
“We had such a big night,” Trump said. “We were going to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election,” he said, claiming that the integrity of the election was in question.
Earlier, Biden told supporters he was confident he would still win despite deficits in the key battleground states.
“We feel good about where we are,” Biden said. “We believe we’re on track to win this election.”
Trump so far has been declared the winner in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.
Biden won California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.
Nebraska is one of two states – Maine also – that splits its electoral college votes by congressional districts. In the 48 others, all electoral college votes are awarded to the winner of the respective state.
Biden held a 223-212 electoral vote advantage over Trump at 1:15 a.m. eastern, according to the Associated Press. Either candidate needs to secure at least 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.
The battleground states of Arizona (11 electoral college votes), Georgia (16), Michigan (16), North Carolina (15), Pennsylvania (20) and Wisconsin (10) will determine the outcome. Trump held leads in all but Arizona.
If Trump ends up winning in the states he held leads in early Wednesday, he would be reelected.
But if the race remains close in some key swing states, it’s possible – maybe even likely – that a winner won’t be known for days as more than 99 million Americans voted early or by mail before Tuesday’s polls even opened. States have different rules for counting and processing mail-in votes. Some wait until after all polls close in the state. Some states also will accept mail-in ballots for days after Nov. 3.
In the key swing state of Pennsylvania, for example, some counties don’t expect to start counting mail-in ballots until Wednesday or later. During Pennsylvania’s June primary, roughly half of counties were still counting ballots a full week after Election Day.
And in states where the final, unofficial results are particularly close, both Trump and Biden have attorneys on standby to legally challenge any potential discrepancies. That could drag out the presidential outcome.
In 2016, Trump won the electoral vote and the presidency despite losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million votes. By winning the key swing states of Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, Trump claimed 304 electoral votes to Clinton’s 227.