Panama City

Panama City, FL – Where are we on the second day of the presidential election |

Panama City, FL –

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – The big question on Wednesday morning is “who will win the presidential race?” Frankly, we just don’t know.

President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden are fighting for three familiar battlefield states: Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Experts say it’s unclear when and how quickly a winner could be determined. Hundreds of thousands of votes remain pending in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Overnight, a late flurry of votes in Wisconsin gave Biden a small lead in the state, but it was still too early to call the race.

But by the end of the night, the margins were extremely tight, with candidates trading victories in battlefield states across the country. Trump took over Florida, the largest of the swing states, while Biden toppled Arizona, a state that reliably voted Republican in the recent election.

As of Wednesday morning, neither had authorized the 270 Electoral College votes needed to carry the White House.

Trump, in an extraordinary move from the White House, made premature claims of victory and said he would take the election to the Supreme Court to stop the tally. It was not clear what legal action he might seek to pursue.

Biden, briefly appearing in front of Delaware supporters, urged patience, saying the election “isn’t over until every vote is counted, every ballot is counted.”

“It’s not up to me or Donald Trump to say who won this election,” Biden said. “It’s the decision of the American people.”

Vote tabulations continue on a regular basis beyond election day, and states largely set the rules for ending the count. Several states allow votes posted after polling day to be accepted, provided they have been postmarked before Tuesday. This includes Pennsylvania, where ballots stamped before Nov. 3 can be accepted if they arrive up to three days after the election.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf tweeted that his state had over a million ballots to count and that he “promised the Pennsylvanians that we would count every vote and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Trump appeared to suggest that those ballots should not be counted and that he would fight for that result in the high court. But lawyers doubted Trump’s statement.

“I don’t see how he could go directly to the Supreme Court to stop the vote count. There could be fighting in specific states, and some of it could end up in the Supreme Court. But that’s not the way it works, ”said Rick Hasen, professor of law and political science at the University of California-Irvine.

Trump has appointed three of the nine High Court justices, including, most recently, Amy Coney Barrett.

Democrats typically outperform Republicans in postal voting, while the GOP seeks to catch up with turnout on Election Day. This means that the early margins between candidates could be influenced by the type of votes – early or election day – that were reported by states.

Throughout the campaign, Trump has questioned the integrity of the election and has repeatedly suggested that postal ballots should not be counted. Both campaigns had teams of lawyers ready to enter battlefield states in the event of a legal challenge.

The tight global contest reflected a deeply polarized nation struggling to respond to the worst health crisis in more than a century, with millions of jobs lost and racial injustice reckoned with.

Trump retained several states, including Texas, Iowa and Ohio, where Biden had played an important role in the later stages of the campaign. But Biden also chose states in which Trump was looking to compete, including New Hampshire and Minnesota.

Democrats walked into the night confident not only in Biden’s prospects, but also in the party’s ability to take control of the Senate. But the GOP has held several seats deemed vulnerable, including in Iowa, Texas and Kansas. The House was to remain under Democratic control.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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