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Where the key states stand in tight US election


The result of the US presidential election is hanging on the vote count in a handful of key states, with the race too close to call so far.

Democrat Joe Biden currently holds 238 electoral votes -- including Arizona, which the Donald Trump team says could change -- compared to 213 for the Republican president.


In order to win, 270 electoral votes are needed. Those votes are divided up proportionately among the states.

Much of the delay has resulted from a flood of mailed-in ballots due to the coronavirus -- and those types of votes tend to favor Democrats.

Members of the press report from Black Lives Matters Plaza in the morning hours of November 4, 2020 in Washington, DC. - US President Donald Trump alleged on Wednesday that there had been "surprise ballot dumps" in states where he had been leading Democrat Joe Biden in the race for the White House. "Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat-run & controlled," Trump tweeted. "Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted." (Photo by Daniel SLIM / AFP)

If Biden's lead in Arizona holds and he wins Nevada as expected, he could claim victory by taking two of the following three that remain undecided: Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Should Trump hold North Carolina and Georgia but lose Arizona, he will likely also need to take two out of three in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.


The paths to victory become murkier should some of the expected outcomes change.

Here is a summary of the situation:

- Pennsylvania -
Perhaps the state that could take the longest to declare a winner -- and one that could potentially decide the outcome with 20 electoral votes at stake.

With 79 percent of the vote counted in the industrial Rust Belt state, Trump was ahead with 53.9 percent compared to Biden's 44.8.


Remaining ballots are however expected to favor Biden, who was born in the state.

Much to Trump's chagrin, the state has decided to allow mailed ballots sent by election day but received up to three days afterward to be counted due to coronavirus complications.

- North Carolina -
Trump appeared favored to win North Carolina's 15 electoral votes despite a strong showing by Biden, but it remained too close to call.

With 95 percent counted in the southeastern state, Trump had 50.1 percent and Biden 48.6.

Mail ballots sent on or before election day can be counted until November 12.


- Michigan -
Trump narrowly won Michigan over Hillary Clinton in 2016 along with the Midwestern industrial state's 16 electoral votes, but it is now too close to call.

Biden was slightly ahead with 49.5 percent to 48.9 percent with 92 percent of the ballots counted.

Remaining votes to count have been expected to favor Biden.

State officials have signalled that a winner could become clear Wednesday even if it is not a final result.


- Wisconsin -
Another Trump win in 2016 whose 10 electoral votes could flip to Biden.

With 97 percent counted in the Midwestern state known for its dairy farms, Biden had 49.5 percent compared to Trump's 48.8.

A final result is expected Wednesday.

- Nevada -
Biden had been expected to win Nevada's six electoral votes, but the Western state that is home to gambling mecca Las Vegas remains too close to call.

With 86 percent counted, Biden had 49.3 percent to 48.7 for Trump.


State officials said Wednesday that further results would not be known until Thursday.

- Georgia -
Biden performed unexpectedly well in the southeastern state that is traditionally a Republican stronghold, but Trump was still narrowly ahead. The state has 16 electoral votes.

With 92 percent counted, Trump had 50.5 percent compared to 48.3 for Biden.

A final result is expected Wednesday.


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