On late Saturday morning, the Associated Press called the 2020 presidential election for former Vice President Joe Biden, with Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes having been allocated to the Democratic nominee. This decision comes after Decision Desk HQ called the race in favor of Biden on early Friday.
Although the president held the lead in Pennsylvania on Election Day, a surge of mail-in ballots counted over the previous few days all favored the former vice president. The Associated Press determined the number of ballots left to count did not give Donald Trump enough room to overtake Biden again and thus felt confident in calling the race. The state’s 20 electoral votes pushed Biden over the 270 vote requirement needed to secure the presidency.
With the AP calling Pennsylvania, numerous other news sites, including Fox News, called the race as well and declared Biden the 46th president of the United States.
The news about Pennsylvania broke not long after Trump tweeted that he had won the election. Although Twitter has flagged the post, stating it might not be factual, there are still plenty of votes left to count in numerous states.
I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2020
Additionally, the president has already laid the groundwork for a contested election. A previous Associated Press report detailed the Trump campaign’s legal actions against some states. Specifically, they have filed lawsuits against Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Georgia. The suits include demands for better access for campaign observers, as well as concerns about absentee ballots. There are already ongoing legal challenges by Republicans in Pennsylvania and Nevada.
Those lawsuits are just one part of Trump’s push to challenge the legitimacy of the election. He has already called for a recount of the vote in Wisconsin and Georgia. In a speech on Wednesday, he also intimated a desire to take the election decision to the Supreme Court. However, according to the Associated Press, there doesn’t seem to be a reason for the Supreme Court to be involved.
The AP pointed out the president might be thinking of the 2000 presidential race, in which the Supreme Court essentially decided the race in favor of former President George W. Bush, but they detailed the differences between 2000 and 2020, mainly, that the current election doesn’t hinge on just one state. Rather, there are a few different states that could determine the pathway to the presidency.
The AP did suggest, however, that the Supreme Court could step in and make a decision on the dispute over the three-day absentee ballot extension in Pennsylvania, should those votes prove to be a deciding factor in the election outcome.