The ways Joe Biden or Donald Trump would get 270 electoral votes and the White House

  • Joe Biden and Donald Trump each have paths to 270 electoral votes and the White House in the 2020 election. NBC has not yet projected results in a range of key states.
  • If Biden can hold leads in Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and Nevada, he would hit the electoral vote mark.
  • Trump would need to keep leads in Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina and Alaska, and overtake Biden in another state.

It could still take days to know whether President Donald Trump or Democratic nominee Joe Biden will hold the White House for the next four years.

Tallies in undecided states so far show the paths both hopefuls have to racking up the 270 electoral votes needed to win.

As of Wednesday, Biden had won 227 electoral votes, according to NBC News projections. Trump trailed with 213.

The race appeared it would come down to a handful of states NBC classified as either too close or too early to call: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Nevada and Alaska.

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As of 11 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Biden held at least narrow leads in states that collectively award 43 electoral votes. Winning all of those — Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin, Nevada — would get him to the finish line with exactly 270 electoral votes.

NBC projected Biden would carry at least three of Maine's four electoral votes, and he could potentially add on one more in an undecided congressional-district level race to get to 271 total. Meanwhile, a top election official in Wisconsin said nearly all of the state's votes have been counted, but NBC has not yet projected a Biden victory.

His campaign said Wednesday that he is "on track" to win the presidential election.

If Trump held his current advantages in Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina and Alaska, he would fall just short of a second term with 262 electoral votes. He would therefore have to overtake Biden elsewhere, as well.

The rivals may only have tenuous holds on their leads in some states as election officials continue counting votes. More counted votes, particularly Democratic-leaning mail-in ballots, could still change the dynamic in uncalled states.

Trump needs to carry Pennsylvania in order to win the election. He had a lead of more than 500,000 votes Wednesday morning with roughly 80% of votes counted.

Pennsylvania has not tallied more than 1.3 million remaining mail-in ballots, according to the secretary of state's office. The votes are expected to include hundreds of thousands from the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas, which skew heavily Democratic. In Philadelphia County, Biden has won more than three-quarters of the vote counted so far, according to NBC.

As noted above, Biden does not need Pennsylvania to get to 270 electoral votes. If he fails to overtake Trump in the Keystone State, he would have to hold on in Michigan.

Biden led Trump by about 9,000 votes there Wednesday morning. Wayne County, the heavily Democratic home of Detroit, has an array of votes outstanding: an estimate of more than 200,000, according to NBC.

Without beating Trump in a state where the president currently leads, Biden would have to hold on in both Arizona and Nevada. The Democrat leads in Arizona by more than 90,000 votes, but the Trump campaign argues it can make up ground with an estimated hundreds of thousands of votes outstanding.

Biden holds a lead of only about 8,000 votes in Nevada. Still, at least 150,000 more votes are expected to come in from Clark County, the Democratic-leaning area that includes Las Vegas.

Biden has one more big opportunity to gain ground on Trump. He currently trails the president by about 100,000 votes in Georgia.

The state still has to report votes in several areas that favor Democrats, including DeKalb County.

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