Joe Biden Wins Michigan with 61,000-Vote Lead; Sen. Gary Peters wins second term

November 04, 2020, 9:03 PM


Update, 4:25 p.m. Wednesday: CNN has declared Joe Biden the winner in Michigan.

Biden was leading President Trump by 61,237 votes with an estimated 97 percent of the votes counted.

Seven other national media outlets -- ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, AP, Reuters and The New York Times -- also put Michigan in the Democrat's column.

Michigan's 16 electoral votes push Biden to at least 253 by most media counts, meaning he needs just 17 more to become president-elect. Results are awaited from Pennsylvania (20), Georgia (16), North Carolina (15) and Nevada (6).

"When the count is finished, we believe we'll be the winners," Biden said Wednesday afternoon.

In 2016, Trump won Michigan by 10,704 votes. 

In the state's ultra-tight U.S. Senate race, Gary Peters was ahead by 59,587 votes (1.1%) around 8 p.m. with 98 percent of precincts counted. NBC News, CNN and other projects him as the winner, and he declared victory Wednesday night..

(Table: Associated Press)

From Earlier Wednesday:

Joe Biden has taken a narrow lead over Donald Trump in Michigan, with 50.3 percent of the vote to Donald Trump's 49.7 percent, as turnout in the state exceeds 2008 totals.

With an estimated 96 percent of precincts reporting by late morning, Biden had gained an advantage of more than 34,000 votes. He had 2,582,814 votes to President Trump’s 2,548,672 as of 11 a.m., news reports say. 

Chris Thomas, an adviser to the Detroit clerk’s office, said around 11 a.m. that about 25,000 absentee ballots from the heavily Democratic city still need to be counted at TCF Center, according to Michigan Advance.

Biden had been closing in on the president in the hours since polls closed. He's heavily favored by absentee voters, New York Times data shows.

Vote change over time. (Graphic: New York Times)

Earlier Wednesday, Trump claimed victory in the key southern states of Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, even though the latter two remained too close to call. If he does indeed win them, Biden will have to secure Michigan and the upper Midwest to get to 270 electoral votes.

Trump also vowed to fight the results in the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We want all voting to stop," he said. "We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4:00 in the morning and add them to the list.”

Biden campaign manager Jan O'Malley Dillon called the statement outrageous, a "naked effort to take away the democratic rights of American citizens."

"Counting will not stop," Dillon said.

In Michigan's U.S. Senate race, first-term Democratic Sen. Gary Peters edged ahead of Republican businessman John James with a razor-thin margin of 1,020 votes: 2,549,806 to 2,548,786, with about 92 percent of the estimated vote reported. But that lead didn't last very long.

As of 3 p.m.,  James edged ahead by 13,666 votes. But tthat changed again. By 4:30 p.m., Peters led James by 9,307 votes. 

In 2014, Peters beat Republican Terri Lynn Land by a healthy margin (54.6% to 41.3%) to fill the seat held for 36 years by Carl Levin.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said Wednesday that about 100,000 ballots from major areas like Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint and Kalamazoo still need to be counted. She said she expected legal challenges, but noted she's focused on making sure every vote is being processed properly.  

The state could have final results as early as Wednesday night.

Shortly before 1 a.m., Joe Biden told supporters, "we feel good about where we are" and  "we're feeling real good about Wisconsin and Michigan." A Washington Post reporter tweets:

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