Paths to victory remain in the US presidential race for both Donald Trump and Joe Biden, but Biden has more ways to win and appears to be running stronger state to state, based on the places – cities, mainly – where large absentee votes have yet to be counted.
Biden leads the electoral tally 248-214 after he was declared the winner in Wisconsin on Wednesday and Trump gained one vote in Maine. Adding Alaska for Trump – which had not been called but where the result is not in doubt – gives the president 217.
From there, five states remained to be called as Wednesday evening approached in the US: Nevada, North Carolina, Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
The simplest way for Trump to find the 53 electoral votes he needs would be to win Pennsylvania and at least three other states. If he does not win Pennsylvania, Trump must make a clean sweep of all four remaining states to get to 270.
But a huge Democratic vote share remained to be tallied in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, meaning Trump could have difficulty hanging on to a narrow lead gained elsewhere in the state. In Michigan, Trump appeared to be in even deeper trouble, because the outstanding vote was expected to be heavily Democratic.
Biden had many paths to find his remaining 22 electoral votes. His most likely path lay through the Great Lakes states, where Pennsylvania and Michigan combined would net 36 votes.
Without Pennsylvania, Biden could win by winning Michigan and Nevada, where he held a clear but narrow lead. A Biden victory in either of the two reddest states in the mix – Georgia or North Carolina – would almost certainly foretell wins elsewhere and a Biden victory.