The Election: What We Do Know and What We Don't
With state and national races still being tallied, Pennsylvania keeps counting
The only thing that might've made the night of Nov. 3, 2020 feel any longer would have been if Daylight Savings Time ended Tuesday night rather than Sunday, Nov. 1. On the lead-up to the 2020 Presidential Election, many anticipated the results may not be known before we turned off the TVs, logged off Twitter, and turned in for the night, but with major polls, pundits, and prognosticators pointing confidently to a Biden victory, some were holding out hope we'd know the outcome early. Even FiveThirtyEight claimed the election walked a "fine line between a landslide and a nail-bitter."
But by 2:30 a.m., many cuticles had been gnawed away.
At the time of filing this update, we still do not know the outcome between President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden. Florida stayed red and Texas didn't flip, two states that Trump needed on a path to victory and two states that – had Biden won them – would've proved landslide over nail-bitter.
Eyes fixated on early results were watching those states. And Ohio. And Arizona. And North Carolina. And Georgia – which is still in play.
At 12:27 a.m., New York Times columnist and bestselling author David Brooks tweeted "Suddenly the Times needle is tilting Biden in Georgia." Being reminded of watching the grossly inaccurately prediction of the NYT needle from 2016, your dear writer, dear reader, couldn't help but hear Neil Young's "The Needle and the Damage Done" reverberating in his head.
But alas: Georgia remains up for grabs as ballots are being counted.
As does Pennsylvania. But that was to be expected.
The Keystone State only recently introduced no-excuses mail-in voting. In the weeks and months leading up to the election, many cautioned to have patience when it comes to Pennsylvania.
So, at the time of filing this report, at 5 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, let's look at what we do know and what we don't when it comes to several key races in the Erie, Pennsylvania area, leaving analysis and coverage of broader elections at the federal, house, and local levels to future coverage.
What We Do Know Now:
- At 69.9 million votes as of 12:10 p.m., Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden has secured more votes than any other candidate in the history of U.S. Presidential Elections.
- At 10:57 a.m., Democratic challenger and Erieite Kristy Gnibus conceded on Twitter. She was vying to unseat incumbent Republican Mike Kelly in the PA-16 House of Representatives seat. The Butler native has held the seat since ousting Kathy Dahlkemper during 2010's mid-term election and will hold it yet again for another cycle.
- At 2:03 p.m., Democratic challenger Julie Slomski conceded on Twitter. She was vying to unseat incumbent Republican Dan Laughlin in the Pennsylvania State Senator District 49 seat. Laughlin defeated one-term incumbent Democrat Sean Wiley in 2016.
- In his bid to retain his legislative seat in District 3, which he won in 2012, incumbent Democrat Ryan Bizzarro is projected to retain his seat, according to an official statement issued by the House Democratic Campaign Committee released Wednesday afternoon. He was being challenged by Republican Greg Hayes.
- It's expected that Democratic challenger Matt Ferrence will not unseat Republican incumbent Brad Roae in District 6 for state house.
- State Reps. Pat Harkins; Bob Merski, Curt Sonney; and Parke Wentling are all headed back to Harrisburg without any headaches on the campaign trail, as they ran uncontested.
What We Don't Know Yet:
- How key Pennsylvania state races – including Attorney General, Auditor General, and Treasurer –will play out.
- Pennsylvania's role in the Electoral College Outcome.
- How exactly Erie County voted. As it stands now, Trump leads Biden 60,323 votes to 52,130, with an estimated 21,226 anticipated valid ballots left to be reported. Of the main-in and absentee ballots that have been cast, there is more than a four to one ratio favoring Biden.