FT Reporters

Millions of mail-in ballots and extraordinarily narrow margins in several battleground states mean the results of the 2020 presidential election remain in the balance.

To further complicate the outcome, President Donald Trump’s legal team spent much of Wednesday peppering several states with lawsuits in an attempt to stop the counting of ballots where his lead was shrinking.

Here is the state of play in the swing states that could still decide who is sworn in as president on January 20:

Pennsylvania (20 votes): Ballots still being counted

Mr Trump saw his sizeable lead slowly reduced over the course of Wednesday as hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots were counted in the heavily Democratic cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. By late on Wednesday Mr Trump’s lead had shrunk to 4 percentage points.

As Mr Trump’s lead narrowed, the campaign said it was suing to halt the counting of votes in the state, even as it claimed that the incumbent would win when all the ballots were tallied.

The long count in the state is expected to stretch well into Thursday.

Nevada (6 votes): Ballots still being counted

Joe Biden was ahead on Wednesday evening, but his lead was gradually narrowed as new votes were tallied, keeping the state — the only one still in question that went for Hilary Clinton in 2016 — too close to call.

Nevada election officials on Wednesday said they had completed counting all in-person ballots, both those cast on election day and in early voting, but were still working their way through late-arriving postal votes. The state elections division announced it would not be releasing new data on the count until Thursday.

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Georgia (16 votes): Ballots still being counted

Although Mr Trump has maintained a lead in Georgia, observers have held off from calling the state because of ballots still to be counted in what has emerged as one of Mr Biden’s strongest areas: the suburbs.

Fulton County, which includes Atlanta, as well as DeKalb and Clayton counties, vote-rich suburban areas around the city, still had thousands of votes to tabulate on Wednesday evening.

North Carolina (15 votes): Ballots still being counted

The former vice-president’s strength in the suburbs has put him within striking distance of Mr Trump, but it may simply narrow his losing margin to the incumbent, who was ahead statewide by about 1 percentage point with 95 per cent of the vote counted.

Wisconsin (10 votes): Possible recount

Election officials in Wisconsin, another part of the Democrats’ once-invincible “blue wall” in the industrial north, have said their count is complete, and the Associated Press has called the state for Mr Biden with a 20,517-vote margin.

But even before the vote was finished, Bill Stepien, Mr Trump’s campaign manager, said in a statement that the president’s team would immediately request a recount.

Scott Walker, the former Republican governor of Wisconsin, noted that previous recounts in the state had changed the final tally by, at most, a few hundred votes.

Michigan (16 votes): Called for Biden

Before Michigan was called for Mr Biden on Wednesday evening, the Trump campaign said it had filed a lawsuit to halt the counting of votes in the state, alleging it had not been given “meaningful access” to observe the count in several locations.

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For more in depth analysis on the states to watch, read the full piece here

Via Financial Times