If Mr. Biden cannot win one of those three states (or Texas, where most state polls close at 8 p.m.), he will underestimate the importance of the so-called blue wall of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Trump defected from the Democrats in 2016 and that’s where the polls show Mr. Biden ahead. Mr. Trump needs to catch just one of them to win re-election, assuming he leaves the rest of the 2016 map. That’s a big assumption: he’s defending half a dozen states that won in 2016, and is slightly behind in some polls in Georgia and Arizona.
It could all come to Pennsylvania. Voting there is close to eight o’clock at night, but Pennsylvania will not begin counting its initial votes until Wednesday morning. Voting is expected to be overwhelmingly Republican in person, so Mr. Trump may jump to early-night leadership.
Do not be misled; Early voting has been heavily democratic. The poll shows Mr. Biden with a narrow lead in Pennsylvania, although Mr. Trump won the 2016 election there – and this is an attempt by his campaign to oust first-time Republican voters, which has been ignored by voters. This state is one of the big secrets of the night. Pennsylvania’s vote count could take several days to complete.
Voting in Wisconsin is close to 9 p.m., but the state’s municipal clerk will not begin counting votes until the morning of election day; Tight races can mean that it will take a day or more before the winner is announced. Officials in Milwaukee, the state’s largest city, said they would not announce any early voting results until all ballots had been counted – a process that is unlikely to end until 4 a.m. Wednesday.
The final vote in Michigan is also at pm, although most of the state’s polls will close at 8pm, early voting here was also heavy, and counting of those votes did not begin until Monday. This is another one that will take some time.
The next few nights in the West will be: Nevada, which Mr. Trump has tried to pull back from Democrats and Arizona, which Mr. Biden is trying to put into the Democratic column.
Trump will host a pre-continental rally, but has no plans for a relief speech.
Four years ago, the superstitious Mr. Trump did not write a victory speech the night before the election. Now, with the president expecting a decisive winner on Tuesday night, and his campaign lawyers trying to use state rules to prevent the counting of mail-in votes after election day, he has no plans to grant any kind of waiver.
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