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Biden’s close, but Pa. still hangs in the balance | Morning Newsletter

Here’s what’s still up in the air.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington.
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington.Read moreCarolyn Kaster / AP

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

It’s not over just yet.

The state of the race as of this morning is that Joe Biden appears to be on the cusp of winning the presidency even as Pennsylvania’s election results remain uncertain. Winning other critical swing states yesterday that President Trump won in 2016 pushed Biden closer to grabbing the Electoral College votes needed to win the election.

— Ashley Hoffman (_AshleyHoffman) and Josh Rosenblat (@joshrosenblat) (

As ballots continued to be counted across the country yesterday, Biden’s victories in states won by Trump in 2016 have pushed him to the brink of the presidency.

But Pennsylvania (and its 20 electoral college votes) is still hanging in the balance as Trump and his campaign abruptly and prematurely declared victory. More than a million mail ballots are still to be counted. The president’s campaign has raised unsubstantiated claims of fraud and filed lawsuits seeking to slow down or stop counting votes in Pennsylvania and undermine legitimate votes that were cast on or before Election Day.

As Pennsylvania began counting mail ballots, Trump’s advantage began to shrink. Biden was winning nearly 8 in 10 of the mail ballots, with many still to be counted in deeply Democratic areas such as Philadelphia and its suburbs.

This is the long-expected “blue shift” possibility we’ve written about before where Trump would hold an advantage on Election Night following the tabulating of in-person votes before the counting of mail-in ballots would potentially see Biden cut into the advantage.

“It’s not fraud, it’s not the election being stolen," our colleague Jonathan Lai writes. "It’s just the natural product of the way votes are counted.”

📊 To follow along as Pennsylvania’s results continue to come in, click here.

🆕 To keep up with our reporters covering the election, click here.

More election coverage

  1. There’s a lot of noise around Pennsylvania’s election. These people are keeping their focus on counting votes. Let’s go inside the process where it’s all about the count.

  2. There’s no solid evidence of missing mail ballots, a USPS court filing shows. Here’s what’s likely skewing the data.

  3. In Bucks County, incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick won reelection.

  4. In South Jersey, Republican (and ex-Democrat) Rep. Jeff Van Drew is holding on to a lead over Amy Kennedy.

  5. Republicans appear to be on the brink of retaining Pa. Senate control as the House is still in question.

What you else need to know today

  1. Body-worn camera footage showing police killing Walter Wallace Jr. was released yesterday.

  2. People marched in Center City amid election demonstrations and the release of the bodycam footage in an apparent double protest.

  3. Pennsylvania and New Jersey are seeing COVID-19 cases are climb to peak levels.

  4. Philly schoolteachers will return to their buildings later than planned this month due to a COVID-19 surge.

  5. Starting in May 2022, New Jersey retailers, fast-food restaurants, and supermarkets won’t be able to provide single-use plastic carryout bags, paper bags, and foam containers including cups. Some are calling it one of the toughest laws of its kind in the country.

  6. SEPTA has recently partnered with a social services organization that’s an important part of the nationwide discussion on the future of policing.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

We’ll take any chance we can to savor how beautifully the fall foliage paints the landscape today. Thanks for capturing @mcginley43.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout-out!

That’s interesting

  1. ☮️ Give your brain a break from the stress and anxiety of the election.

  2. 🙌 The Rev. Luis Cortés Jr. is the first Hispanic to receive the Philadelphia Award. Cortés is the founder of Philly’s Esperanza — Latino-centered institutions based in Hunting Park, created to strengthen disadvantaged Latino communities.

  3. 🦃 Here are four ways to do Thanksgiving this year.

  4. 🐕 You might see this pet fashion designer rolling his five Chihuahuas in a stroller around Philadelphia.

  5. 🍜 From upside-down pizza to the best bowl of noodles with a “chicken soup for the soul vibe,” these takeout dishes handpicked by Philly chefs are pure comfort.

  6. 🎻 The baton is in capable hands with Philadelphia Orchestra assistant conductor Erina Yashima in this week’s concert.


“For six dizzying hours on Tuesday, I sought to size up early signs of the most fraught presidential contest in living memory. I started out in Philadelphia’s blue-for-Biden suburbs and made my way 90 minutes west into deep-red-for-Trump Amish country.” — writes columnist Maria Panaritis about experiencing Election Day in “a state and a nation at war amongst ourselves.”

  1. Columnist Jenice Armstrong writes that the millions of voters who voted for Trump reflect how deeply divided we are as a nation.

  2. Columnist Helen Ubiñas writes about catching up with a Media man on Election Day who traveled 3,000 miles around the East Coast with a 10-foot-tall Trump robot in the back of his truck.

What we’re reading

  1. Philadelphia magazine provides an update on local coronavirus vaccine developments.

  2. Take a break from the news to read about Zacharias Holmes, someone The Ringer has called the “Most Self-Destructive Man in America.”

  3. And then take another break from Earth with a space mystery, solved. Ars Technica tells us how researchers finally figured out the mysterious phenomenon of those fast radio bursts in our Milky Way.

Your Daily Dose of | Reunions

Sometimes fate conspires in the favor of a pet owner to reunite them with their missing animal. But that’s if you don’t get a hold of Cathy Herman-Harsch first.

The Good Samaritan runs All Things 4 Legged & Personal, a volunteer operation devoted to finding people’s lost dogs and cats, whatever it takes. Sometimes that’s thinking like the animal, but it always takes caffeine.

Staff writer Rita Giordano collected some of the sweet stories that have tugged many a heartstring.