Three battleground states could determine whether Trump or Biden wins

Three key battleground states could determine the outcome of a US election that has come down to the wire.

Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania are all still counting their ballots as the world waits to see if Joe Biden or Donald Trump will clinch the all-important 270 Electoral College votes.

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Democrat Mr Biden needs 17 more Electoral College votes to get to that number, while Republican Mr Trump needs 56.

They are within three percentage points, at the most, of each other in those three states.

With so few states left, it now depends on which ones declare first, as whichever candidate reaches 270 Electoral College votes first wins the presidency.

Pennsylvania:Biden 49% Trump 50% – 92% votes counted

If Mr Biden wins the Keystone State he will be victorious as its 20 electoral college votes will take him over the line.

Mr Trump was initially leading in Pennsylvania thanks to in-person votes being counted there first – leading to what is a called a “red mirage”.

Democrats voted heavily by mail, but Pennsylvania is not allowed to start processing those ballots until election day so they were counted second – and are still being counted.

As more postal votes have been counted, the difference between the two candidates has become slimmer.

There are now fewer than 200,000 votes between them, with 11% of ballots still to be counted.

Mr Trump’s son, Eric Trump, and the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, have accused the Democrats of cheating because of the red mirage.

Arizona: Biden 51% Trump 50% – 86% votes counted

The Grand Canyon state has 11 electoral college votes so Mr Biden would also need Georgia to bring him over the 270 mark.

In contrast with Pennsylvania, Arizona had a “blue mirage”, where Mr Biden was initially leading thanks to in-person voting.

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How could each candidate still win?

Unlike most other states, Republicans have more of a history of postal voting in Arizona, and also tended to return their ballots later than Democrats.

After a count of mail votes from the state’s most populous county, Maricopa County, home to Phoenix, Mr Biden’s lead shrank to less than three percentage points, with hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots to be counted.

Showing just how important Arizona could be for Mr Trump, about 200 of his supporters, some with guns, gathered outside an election office in Phoenix following unsubstantiated rumours votes were not being counted.

Georgia:Biden 49% Trump 50% – 98% votes counted

With nearly all votes counted, and 16 electoral college votes, Georgia is proving to be a real nail biter state – and in the past three decades has only voted in a Democrat once – Bill Clinton in 1992.

If Mr Biden won Georgia, he would only need one more vote to get over the line, and even if he did not win Arizona or Pennsylvania he could get above 270 by winning Nevada where the candidates are also head-to-head.

Why did the pollsters get the results so wrong?

Why did the pollsters get the results so wrong?

There was a “red mirage” in Georgia as Mr Trump was leading at first as rural ballots were counted first.

This narrowed right down to just one percentage point difference after suburban areas favouring Mr Biden, particularly around Atlanta, were counted.

Mr Trump’s campaign has filed a lawsuit in Georgia to require Chatham County, which includes the city of Savannah, separate out late-arriving ballots and to not count them.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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