Why Decision Desk called Pennsylvania, and the presidential race, for Joe Biden

Why Decision Desk called Pennsylvania, and the presidential race, for Joe Biden

“It became pretty obvious that as the remaining votes across the state and in Philadelphia are counted, Biden’s lead will continue to grow.”

On Friday morning, Vox’s election-calling partner, Decision Desk, called that Joe Biden has won the state of Pennsylvania — and that he therefore has won enough electoral votes to win the presidency.

Other election-calling operations, such as the Associated Press and those at the major television networks, have not yet done the same.

“The race is over, as far as our call is concerned, because of the vote totals coming out of Philadelphia this morning,” Drew McCoy, the president of Decision Desk, tells me in an interview. “It became pretty obvious that as the remaining votes across the state and in Philadelphia are counted, Biden’s lead will continue to grow.”

That’s for a few reasons. First, according to the state, there are at least 30,000 mail ballots in Philadelphia remaining to be counted (and potentially more in-person Election Day votes there as well). “Biden’s consistently winning Philly’s vote with 80-plus percent, sometimes as much as 87 percent in some drops,” McCoy says. On top of that, there are another 30,000 mail ballots in Allegheny County that remain to be counted, and mail ballots there have also gone heavily to Biden so far.