Nov 4 (Reuters) - The outcome of the U.S. presidential election hung in the balance on Wednesday as nine states continued to count ballots, including some of the most competitive battleground states where the tally could take days to complete.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden has a slight edge over incumbent Republican Donald Trump with 224 to 213 electoral votes. That leaves 101 electoral votes to be allocated, and possible paths to victory for both candidates. The winner needs to secure 270 votes.
Here is the state of play in the nine states. The vote counts are supplied by Edison Research.
Trump has a wide lead and is broadly expected to carry the state. Still, just 36% of the expected vote has been counted, with Trump ahead by 61.4% to 34.7%.
Biden has a significant lead, and the Associated Press and Fox News have already called the state for the Democrat. With 86% of the expected vote counted, Biden leads with 51.0% against 47.6% for Trump, according to Edison Research.
A local news outlet in Phoenix is reporting the next count update is not expected until Wednesday evening.
Trump is holding onto a narrow lead, but several of the large counties around Atlanta that lean Democratic have substantial numbers of ballots still to count. With 92% of the expected vote counted, Trump is ahead with 50.5% versus 48.3% for Biden.
The count in those key locations has resumed this morning, with vote tallies expected around midday. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said he hoped to have a result by the end of Wednesday.
Biden has a large lead, but Maine is one of two states that divide their electoral college votes between the winner of the statewide popular vote and the winner in each of its congressional districts.
Edison Research reports that with 74% of the expected statewide vote in, Biden leads with 54.4% to Trump’s 42.4%. If that result holds, Biden would claim two of the four electoral votes. He also leads 61.4% to 35.6% in Maine’s first congressional district, with 74.2% of the expected vote counted, which would earn him one more electoral vote.
Trump, meanwhile, has a lead of 51.3% to 45.2% in the state’s second congressional district, but only 50.1% of the expected vote is in.
Biden has a razor-thin margin, with Wayne County - the state’s largest and home to Detroit - still a long way from finished with just 76.1% of expected votes counted. Statewide, with 92% of the expected vote in, Biden has an edge of 49.5% to 48.9%.
The vote counts in Wayne and a clutch of other key counties are expected to continue updating on Wednesday. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said the state aims to have a first, unofficial tabulation within 24 hours.
Long seen as a solid Biden-leaning state, Nevada now appears in play. Edison Research data shows 86% of the expected vote is in and Biden’s lead is just 49.3% to 48.7% for Trump.
State officials expect the remaining votes - largely mail-in ballots - to be counted by 9 a.m. Pacific time (1700 GMT) on Thursday. Clark County, the state’s largest and home to Las Vegas, has tallied 84% of expected votes so far and Biden is ahead there 52.9% versus 45.4% for Trump.
The margin between Trump and Biden is less than 2 percentage points as the president clings to a lead of 50.1% to 48.7% for the Democrat, with 95% of the expected vote counted.
The state allows mail-in ballots postmarked by Tuesday to be counted if they are received by Nov. 12. On Wednesday morning, the Biden campaign said they expect a final result to take several days.
Of the battleground states, Pennsylvania has the furthest to go in counting votes, and Trump so far maintains a large lead. With 79% of the expected vote counted, Trump is up 53.9% to 44.8% for Biden.
Officials there can accept mailed-in ballots up to three days after the election if they are postmarked by Tuesday. About 1 million votes remain to be counted, Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, said on Wednesday.
If the margin of victory is within half of 1%, state law requires a recount.
Biden has pulled ahead, but his lead is narrow. With 97% of the expected vote tallied, Biden is up 49.5% to 48.8% for Trump.
Edison’s data shows 15 counties still to report some volume of ballots. If the margin is within 1 percentage point, a candidate can ask for a recount.
Note: Vote counts supplied by Edison Research, which provides exit polls and voting data to the National Election Pool media consortium. Reuters has not independently tabulated the ballots. (Reporting by Dan Burns and Leela de Kretser, Editing by Tiffany Wu)
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