WINDSOR TERRACE — Talk about a nail-biter!
The race for the White House between incumbent President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden was still undecided the morning after Election Day, as votes were still being counted in a handful of states in a close contest that could go either way.
On the morning of Nov. 4, Democrat Joe Biden had 238 Electoral College votes to Republican President Donald Trump’s 213, according to the Associated Press, leaving both men short of the 270 Electoral College votes needed to secure victory.
Seven states — Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Alaska — had yet to declare a winner. Besides, the Second Congressional District in Maine was still counting votes. Maine awards its Electoral College votes by congressional district rather than statewide.
Vote counting was expected to take many hours, and in some cases days, in some of these states. The vote totals in these states were fluctuating as the hours went on.
Kathy Boockvar, the secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, announced Wednesday morning that a final vote total would not be in by the end of the day. Millions of Americans, concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic, voted by mail this year.
Speaking to supporters from the White House early Wednesday morning, President Trump — who was clinging to small leads in Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, and had a big lead in Alaska — declared victory and charged that Democrats were trying to steal the election.
“This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election,” Trump said.
The president predicted that the whole thing would wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court.
“So our goal now is to ensure the integrity for the good of this nation. This is a very big moment. This is a major fraud in our nation. We want the law to be used in a proper manner. So we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at four o’clock in the morning and add them to the list.”
Biden expressed confidence that he would win in the end and urged his supporters to remain calm as the votes are counted.
“We knew this was going to go long. We feel good about where we are. We really do,” the former vice president told supporters in Wilmington, Delaware shortly after midnight.
“I’m here to tell you tonight we believe we’re on track to win this election. I’m optimistic about this outcome. Keep the faith, guys. We’re going to win this,” Biden said.
Biden was ahead in the popular vote Wednesday morning, winning 69.5 million votes to Trump’s 67 million. Biden’s total puts him ahead of Barack Obama (2008) for the most votes ever received by a presidential candidate.
As was widely expected, Biden won New York State’s 29 Electoral College votes, 55.5 percent to Trump’s 43.2 percent, with third-party candidates taking the rest. New York hasn’t voted for a Republican since Ronald Reagan in 1984.
Biden easily won New York City — 73.58 percent to Trump’s 25.43 percent. In the Diocese of Brooklyn, Biden garnered far more votes than Trump. Biden won Brooklyn by a near 3-1 margin, 74.1 percent to Trump’s 25.2 percent. Biden did even better in Queens, earning 81.7 percent of the vote. Trump earned 18.3 percent.
Looking at the national map, the election contained some surprises.
Florida, which was expected to be a close race, was won by the president. Trump won the state’s 29 Electoral College votes with 51.2 percent of the vote to Biden’s 47.8 percent. The margin of victory for Trump in Florida was even larger than in 2016.
The president performed extraordinarily well among Florida’s Latino population, winning 55 percent of the Cuban-American vote, as well as 30 percent of the Puerto Rican vote. Trump also enjoyed widespread support from the Venezuelan, Nicaraguan and Colombian communities in that state.
The 2020 race is turning out to be closer than 2016, which came down to three states — Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin — all of which President Trump was able to win by small margins and win the White House.