The 2020 elections are painfully on Brand, an indecisive cluster * ck

When former Vice President Joe Biden warned of a “dark winter” during his last debate with President Donald Trump, he was referring to an increase in COVID-19 cases across the country. But as Americans woke up Wednesday morning to an unsolved presidential election, the last few months of a year marked by fear and uncertainty now threaten to be even more chaotic.

At 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning, Trump and Biden remained locked in a battle over results in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin with the vote count likely to stretch for days – all with Trump’s specter keeping his campaign promise to ask that postal votes and postal votes not be taken into account in favor of votes cast in person. The president threatened for months not to recognize the election results he lost, but until Wednesday those threats never materialized.

Advance vote totals among big hitters like Florida, North Carolina and Ohio were reassuring for Biden, supported by a record number of advance and mail-in ballots that disproportionately shrink Democrats. But as in-person totals poured in, Trump’s tally in those states exceeded the former vice president’s lead.

By 9:30 p.m. in the East, Democratic hopes for a landslide victory for Biden – and a decisive refutation of Trumpism – had evaporated. Instead, the Biden campaign watched the barrel of a path to victory that passed squarely through the “rust belt” states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Together, the three states have 46 royal electoral votes, although the state’s rules for counting mail-in ballots mean the final results for the states may not be ready for days.

Michigan secretary of state Jocelyn Benson predicted to reporters on Tuesday night that the state could “potentially see a full result of every tab outside Michigan within the next 24 hours.” In Pennsylvania, where half of the state’s nearly 3 million votes expected to be cast in absence, the state has been legally barred from processing ballots before election day – and some counties may not be able to process ballots before election day. not have a full count before the end of the week.

But promising numbers in longtime Republican stronghold of Arizona – a state that has voted for a Democratic presidential candidate only once since the 1940s – potentially open a wider path for Biden. The former vice president can now cross the 270 Electoral College vote threshold without Pennsylvania, provided he can win Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and Nebraska’s second congressional district.

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