Politics

Joe Biden's projected win in Pennsylvania delivers him the presidency

Key Points
  • Joe Biden's projected win in Pennsylvania put him over the Electoral College threshold for victory over President Donald Trump.
  • Pennsylvania has 20 Electoral College votes. Trump won the state in 2016 by less than a percentage point against Hillary Clinton.
U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden makes his way through the crowd outside his childhood home on Election Day in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on Nov. 3, 2020.
Kevin Lemarque | Reuters

Joe Biden traveled to his childhood home in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on Election Day and scrawled a message on the wall: "From this house to the White House with the grace of God."

Four days later, his home state put him over the top in his bid to become the 46th president of the United States.

NBC News projected Saturday morning that Biden clinched the Keystone State's 20 electoral votes. The call raised Biden's lead to 273 votes — enough to put him over the top. He has since won Nevada's six electoral votes for a total of at least 279, according to NBC.

President Donald Trump carried the state in 2016 by less than a percentage point over Hillary Clinton. That win, in a state that had backed Democratic presidential candidates since 1992, was seen as a major upset.

Biden has now won back all three of the long blue states that vaulted the Republican Trump to the presidency: Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Biden leads the incumbent by more than 34,000 votes in Pennsylvania with thousands of outstanding ballots to count. Trump carried it four years ago by a margin of about 44,000 votes.

Unofficial results returned so far show Biden leads in two counties Trump won in 2016: Erie in the northwest corner of the state, and Northampton on its eastern edge north of Philadelphia. He also fared better than Democrat Hillary Clinton in much of the eastern part of the state, including the suburban Philadelphia counties of Delaware and Montgomery.

He leads in Lackawanna County, which includes Scranton, by more than 8 percentage points. Clinton won there by about 3 percentage points in 2016.

Biden may have gotten some help as third-party candidates had less success than they did in 2016. Libertarian Jo Jorgensen won only 1.1% of the vote in Pennsylvania, versus more than 3% for Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party's Jill Stein in the last presidential election.

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Here's how Biden's electoral college vote victory is projected to work