As in 2016, the race will come down to the Midwest. The president wants the vote count to stop before then
THE POLLS suggested Joe Biden would win the White House in a knockout. Instead, he got a dogfight. As the votes were being counted, Mr Biden did not deliver the decisive early blow he had hoped for in large states that voted for Mr Trump in 2016 but which the Democrats had hoped to take: according to media networks Mr Biden has lost Florida, Ohio and Texas—all by surprisingly large margins—and trails behind Mr Trump in North Carolina.
However, Mr Biden may have scored an important victory. To the consternation of the White House, Fox News has called Arizona, which voted for Mr Trump in 2016, for Mr Biden. The Democrat at one point led the count there by nine percentage points, though that advantage was shrinking as ballots cast on election day were counted. (Most news networks still say that more data is needed to know the result.)
The race comes down to the Midwest—Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin—as it did in 2016 when Mr Trump unexpectedly beat Hillary Clinton. Although Mr Trump leads the current tallies in Wisconsin and Michigan, those states still have a large number of mail-in ballots, which are expected to favour Mr Biden heavily, left to count. And the Associated Press has called Minnesota for Mr Biden, which bodes well for the former vice-president’s chances in neighbouring Wisconsin.