MADISON, Wis. (AP) – President Donald Trump and Joe Biden were gunned down in a razor-thin race in Wisconsin on Wednesday morning as the vote stretched into the prewar hours and the nation’s eyes turned to the same Middleern battleground Who decided election four years ago.
With almost all the votes counted, Biden had a lead of less than three-tenths of a percentage point over Trump, a substantial margin to allow Trump to request to stand again.
More than 1.9 million people voted either mail or in person due to the coronovirus epidemic. The flood of ballots increased the counting of votes at 4 am on Wednesday. Those ballots take longer to process than a regular ballot, and the counting of votes could not begin until Tuesday, delaying reporting of results.
After connecting the city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County, Biden was ahead of Trump by fewer than 8,000 votes out of nearly 3.2 million artists.
Trump took the lead earlier in the night, impressed by the results of in-person voting, but ballots from Milwaukee’s 169,000 and other cities broke heavily for Biden. There were still a few thousand other votes waiting to be counted, mainly from the city of Green Bay.
State Democratic Party President Ben Winkler tweeted, “When all votes are counted, we believe Joe Biden will win Wisconsin.”
Biden described Hillary Clinton’s totals better in urban areas since 2016, while Trump performed better in small towns and rural areas than he did four years ago.
This was not the first time that absentee ballots from Milwaukee could make a difference in a high-profile race. Absentee ballots in Milwaukee put Democrat Tony Evers on Walker late that year in the 2018 race for governor.
No matter who wins Wisconsin, the 10 electoral votes needed to win will not be enough to cast Biden or Trump on the 270 electoral votes.
Trump led Wisconsin by fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016, and the race nearly took off this year. There is no automatic calculation in Wisconsin. Only a candidate who is within 1% of the winner can request a request, which in this case Trump could do until a narrow margin widens once all the votes are cast.
Three of the last five presidential elections in Wisconsin were decided by less than one percentage point. Trump, in 2016, was the first Republican presidential candidate to win in the state since 1984. Polls leading to the election showed Biden with a big lead, just as he had done for Clinton four years earlier.
In 2000, Al Gore won Wisconsin over George W. Bush by only 5,228 votes, a margin of just 0.22%. Trump’s victory in 2016 was 0.77% and subject to a statement requested by Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
Milwaukee absentee votes were among a record 1.9 million cast before Election Day. Again, despite an increase in coronovirus cases in Wisconsin, more than 1 million people voted on Tuesday, which also prevented absentee voting. Total votes were expected to break the record high turnout of the 2012 election.
Wisconsin decided the 2016 presidential election and both campaigns focused on it this year. Trump made four stops in Wisconsin in the final 10 days of the race, while Biden came once.
The turnout was about 3.2 million overall, the highest ever in Wisconsin. The previous high was over 3 million in 2012.