Several media called for Joe Biden in Pennsylvania on Saturday, handing the former vice president the decisive 20 votes from the White House.
Pennsylvania was a must for President Donald Trump because there was no way for him to get those 270 votes without them. Even if he were to win every other outstanding state-Nevada, North Carolina, Georgia and Alaska-this would not be enough to secure reelection.
Trump had declared victory prematurely in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, although millions of votes still had to be counted. Bill Stepien, the president’s campaign manager, said in a press appeal: “We declare a victory in Pennsylvania. This is not done on instinct or emotion. It’s based on mathematics.” In response, Eric Trump tweeted that his father had won the state.
But his lead in the state continued to erode after election night, mainly due to the counting of postal ballots from highly democratic areas like Philadelphia and its suburbs. Biden officially took the lead in Pennsylvania on Friday morning and steadily increased his lead throughout the day.
At the time the race was called, Biden was ahead of Trump with 34,458 votes according to the Associated Press.
Head-to-head polls conducted before Election Day showed, according to FiveThirtyEight, that Biden was on average just over 5 percent ahead of Trump in Pennsylvania. The Democratic candidate was 50.3 percent of the vote on November 2, while Trump received 45.2 percent of the vote.
Four years ago, the country’s eyes turned to Pennsylvania as a must-see for Hillary Clinton following Trump’s victories in other swing states. Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016 with about 44,000 votes and put the state in the red after having voted democratically in the six elections before – including Barack Obama in his two presidential candidacies.
This year, both candidates made the state a priority. According to Politico, the two campaigns and national parties spent more than $54 million on advertising in Pennsylvania. The money invested there is more than in any other state except Florida.
Biden and Trump spent some time in Pennsylvania over the weekend to strengthen the strength of the most important state on the battlefield. Both candidates emphasized the important role the state plays in deciding who will occupy the White House next year.
Trump called Pennsylvania “the state that will save the American dream” during a campaign stop in Bucks County on Saturday. Later that day, Trump told thousands of supporters gathered in an airport hangar in Reading: “If we win Pennsylvania, it’s over. It is over. Let’s do it.”
Biden hosted two events in Philadelphia on Sunday to strengthen his forces in Pennsylvania. In one of his speeches, Biden noted how critical Keystone State was for the outcome of the race.
“Every single vote counts,” he said before the assembled crowd at the Sharon Baptist Church. “The power to change this country is literally in your hands.”
Because of its critical role in the election, Pennsylvania has been called “ground zero” for campaign processes in this cycle.
In the weeks leading up to election day, state and federal judges ruled on legal disputes with election observers, mailboxes and deadlines for counting votes. One case even reached the U.S. Supreme Court, where the judges voted 4-4 to reject the Pennsylvania Republicans’ request for an expedited appeals process after a lower court ruled that postal ballots may be counted if delivered up to three days after election day.
The day after the election, the Trump campaign announced that they would file several lawsuits in Pennsylvania.
The lawsuits were directed against the state’s rules for election observers and postal ballots, as well as against interference in an ongoing U.S. Supreme Court case regarding the state’s deadline for postal ballots. The Trump campaign and the Republicans also filed a lawsuit against the alleged “unilateral actions of Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar to extend the statutory deadline for voter identification, bypassing state laws and adding more chaos and uncertainty to the process.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, said the Trump campaign’s legal efforts to stop the ongoing counting of ballots in the state were not successful,