With More Than 760,000 Ballots to Go, Mail-Ins Already Changing Leads in Some Races

An election worker opens up a mail-in ballot before it is counted in the 2020 general election at the Dauphin County Administration Building, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

By Patrick Abdalla

November 5, 2020

President Donald Trump’s lead over Joe Biden has shrunk, and Attorney General Josh Shapiro and two Democratic US Reps. have taken the lead in their races.

Pennsylvanians are waking up to very different races today than the early results they saw yesterday. 

Those races aren’t over yet, however. As of 7 a.m. Thursday, 763,311 mail-in votes that were submitted before Election Day still need to be counted. That’s a steep drop from the more than 1.4 million everyone was waiting on 24 hours earlier. 

The races have swung drastically.

It starts with the race everyone has their eyes on: President Donald Trump’s lead over Joe Biden plummeted from over 500,000 yesterday morning to about 176,000. It remains to be seen whether Biden’s vote total can close that gap.

Democrats cast 1 million more mail-in ballots than Republicans, so it’s possible Biden’s popular vote total could surpass Trump’s when all votes are counted.

A few lines down the ballot, mail-in ballots have helped some Democrats take the poll position in their races.

Incumbent Attorney General Josh Shapiro had about 62,000 more votes than Republican challenger Heather Heidelbaugh as of 7 a.m.

US Rep. Matt Cartwright rebounded from a deficit of 10,000 votes to a more than 7,300-vote lead in the race to represent Pennsylvania’s 8th congressional district over Republican challenger Jim Bognet. The district represents Northeastern Pennsylvania.

US Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (6th District) went from trailing to earning a victory by midday Tuesday. Her opponent, John Emmons wrote a conciliatory post on Facebook after the Associated Press called the race. The district includes Reading and parts of Berks and Chester counties.

Others have held cut into their lead, but still trail.

Democrat Nina Ahmad has cut into Republican Timothy DeFoor’s lead in the state Auditor General’s race. She was trailing DeFoor by 411,600 votes at 7 a.m.

Democrat Joseph Torsella has also cut into Republican Stacy Garrity’s lead for Treasurer. He was trailing Garrity by about 267,000 votes at 7 a.m.


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