The latest batch of reported Arizona vote totals has cut further into Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s lead in the state, netting President Donald Trump an additional 31,768 votes, compared to 28,285 for Biden. Biden’s lead now stands at just under 44,000 votes, with an expected 200,000 remaining to be counted.
Although the numbers were encouraging for the Trump team, they may not have been enough. As of Thursday night, Trump needed to win approximately 58% of the remaining ballots in order to take the lead in Arizona, and instead he only won about 51% of this batch (compared to 46% for Biden). So, although Trump narrowed the gap with this batch, he did not narrow it as much as his campaign would have hoped.
Arizona continues to count votes, and election officials hope that the Arizona count will be substantially completed by the night. However, there are a fairly large number of provisional ballots in Arizona that may not be counted until the weekend, or even next week.
NEW from #Tucson: Pima County says they will finish counting their remaining 9K early ballots this afternoon, and will release the results in the evening.
They also have 18K provisional ballots left, but won’t likely get counted until after the weekend, the county said. #Arizona
— Rafael Carranza (@RafaelCarranza) November 6, 2020
Arizona is one of four states — along with Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Nevada — that will likely determine the outcome of the presidential race between Trump and Biden. The race was “called” by Fox News late on election night and then a few hours later by the Associated Press, but most media outlets have not officially called the race. The Trump campaign has repeatedly insisted that they expect to win Arizona by around 30,000 votes.
If Trump does not win Arizona, his path back to the White House becomes extremely complicated and would require him to win Nevada (which looks like an increasing long shot) or win legal challenges to the current tabulated totals in one of the states that has currently been called for Biden. Winning Arizona remains the Trump campaign’s clearest and by far easiest path to victory.