Joe Biden has been projected as the winner in Wisconsin, a pivotal battleground state in the 2020 presidential race. Biden holds a lead of 1,630,433 votes to 1,609,900 votes over President Donald Trump, who won the Badger State in 2016.
Trump and his campaign are planning on calling for a recount in the Wisconsin race and could also bring legal battles to try to challenge some of the votes cast for the Democratic candidate. Trump led by a wide margin from when polls closed on Tuesday into the early morning hours of Wednesday, before mail-in and other votes in heavily Democratic areas, including Milwaukee, were counted, flipping the state to Biden’s favor.
You can see the full 2020 presidential election results in Wisconsin courtesy of Heavy’s partners at Decision Desk HQ below:
See the Most Recent Presidential Election Results From Wisconsin & the Map of Votes Across the State Here
The results in the presidential race for Wisconsin can be viewed in the widget below, which updates in real-time. Hovering over each county will show localized results.
Trump has made the state a focus of large, social distancing-defying rallies in the weeks leading up to the election, and he told the crowd in Janesville that if he wins Wisconsin, he thinks it’s all over. He’s been to Janesville, Green Bay, West Salem, Waukesha, and, at 7 p.m. on election eve, he’s going to riot-torn Kenosha, which he previously visited in the wake of arson fires following a controversial police shooting.
Vice President Joe Biden doesn’t have to win all of the trifecta of Midwestern states back that Hillary Clinton lost in 2016 (Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania) to prevail, but it’s a tough map for Biden if he loses all three. If Biden loses all three of the Midwestern states, he could only win with Florida and an upset in a state like Georgia or Arizona. That’s possible based on the polls, but, if you’re Biden, you probably wouldn’t want to bank on it.
For his part, the former VP held his own event at Milwaukee’s airport, but it featured only a dozen people and was painted as a “private meeting,” after the airport in the Democratic-controlled county wouldn’t let Trump hold a big rally on an airfield.
What the Polls Say
Biden has been consistently ahead in the Wisconsin polls. However, that was true for the Democrat in 2016 too. In the end, Trump prevailed by 22,748 votes.
The RealClearPolitics polling average has Biden up an average 6.6%. How does that compare to 2016? According to RCP, “Final 2016 RCP Average: Clinton +6.5, Results: Trump +0.7 (Trump +7.2 Ahead of Polls).” Trafalgar Group, a Republican leaning pollster that correctly called Pennsylvania and Michigan for Trump in 2016, has Biden up 1 percent in its latest poll.
It’s generally believed that Trump pulled off a Wisconsin upset in 2016 for a variety of reasons, among them: Lower turnout for Clinton in Democratic strongholds like Milwaukee than former President Barack Obama enjoyed; flipping some Democratic and independent rural voters into his camp and bringing out rural white working class voters who don’t traditionally vote; Clinton’s failure to visit the state; and fairly strong third party candidates in Green Party’s Jill Stein and Libertarian Gary Johnson. At the same time, Trump didn’t perform as strongly in the so-called WOW counties – the Republican rich suburban belt around Milwaukee County – as a Republican candidate might.
Due to the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin, @JoeBiden's speech in Milwaukee is being given in front of just a few dozen community leaders
— Johnny Verhovek (@JTHVerhovek) October 31, 2020
This time around, the state Election Commission kept the Green Party off the ballot (and Kanye West). Will the WOW counties come out for Trump? Historically, Republicans have won Wisconsin statewide by driving out that vote.
Pennsylvania and Arizona are a magic combination for Trump. If he gets those two states, he can win without Michigan and Wisconsin. This scenario also gives Nevada to Biden. Everything else would have to go right for Trump, though, in the battleground states.
But winning Wisconsin would allow Trump to lose other states. For example, if he wins Wisconsin, he could weather losing both Michigan and Pennsylvania:
Kenosha & Evers
A few other things have changed in Wisconsin since Trump won last time. For starters, Wisconsin elected a Democratic governor, Tony Evers, ousting Republican Governor Scott Walker. This was, as with almost everything in this divided state, close. Evers won by only 1.1%.
This victory was generally attributed to high Democratic turnout whereas Republican enthusiasm was more along the lines of traditional midterm turnout, fatigue with Walker after his failed presidential bid, and a series of marijuana referendums placed on the ballot by progressives.
Still, it started a trend of statewide victories for Democrats; Evers’ victory was followed by a liberal victory in the state Supreme Court race last spring. Granted both of those elections were lower turnout contests. However, the margin of victory was 10 points this time. Will Biden continue this trend? It’s worth noting that Wisconsin was a blue state for president before Trump, voting for Obama twice.
“Democrats won the seven elections from 1988 through 2012, although the 2000 and 2004 races were extremely close,” 270toWin explains. “This streak was broken in 2016 when Donald Trump won the state by 0.7% over Hillary Clinton. The victory came despite the fact that of the dozens of polls tracked in the months leading up to the election, not a single one had him winning the state.”
Wisconsin has 10 electoral votes.
Liberal groups have spent heavily in Wisconsin this fall, investing in digital media campaigns in local races, in a possible bid to drive out turnout.
Then came Kenosha. The shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha police officer was captured in viral video that echoed throughout the country. What followed was days of protests turned into riots, with multiple arson fires destroying businesses and even a Department of Corrections facility. A 17 year old from Illinois, Kyle Rittenhouse, shot and killed three protesters in the midst of the unrest; he was charged with homicide, but his lawyer is claiming self defense. It remains to be seen how all of that will affect the Kenosha vote, if at all, but Trump’s last-minute visit to that city, capping off his campaign, implies he thinks it’s in play.
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