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Pa. mail ballots have Biden close to pushing past Trump | Morning Newsletter

The counting continues. moreDemetrius Freeman

    The Morning Newsletter

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

Good morning.

As the hours wore on and it looked increasingly likely we wouldn’t project a winner in the presidential election last night, the nation’s (and world’s) focus has sharpened on Pennsylvania and, specifically, the methodical vote count out of Philadelphia.

Yes, Joe Biden could still find another way to secure enough Electoral College votes to win the White House if his relatively narrow advantages (as of this morning) hold in Georgia and Nevada. But, without winning Pennsylvania, President Trump won’t have the Electoral College votes needed for a second term in office.

There are still votes to count, though, and you can track them as they come in right here.

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

The blue shift we’ve been reporting on throughout this year has whittled down Trump’s initial advantage in Pennsylvania as mail ballots began to be counted.

As of early this morning, Biden’s advantage with mail-in voters has seen his total votes climb to within 20,000 of the president’s. The state reported that there are still thousands of mail ballots left to count — many in overwhelmingly Democratic Philadelphia.

With that in mind, Biden appears on the cusp of overtaking Trump’s lead and securing Pennsylvania’s 20 Electoral College votes. Those votes would win him the presidency.

Biden still has other paths to victory, even if he doesn’t flip Pennsylvania. He has narrow advantages in Nevada and, as of this morning, Georgia. Winning one of those two states would get him the Electoral College votes he needs. But with some of those states bracing for what could potentially be days-long waits for political resolutions, this election looks likely to be decided by Pennsylvania.

What we’re paying attention to this morning

📊 Pennsylvania’s results continue to come in, click here to follow them.

🆕 Keep up with our reporters covering the election.

⚖️ The Trump campaign will forge ahead with legal challenges to the vote count in many states, focusing the bulk of the election fraud charges on Pennsylvania, specifically Philadelphia. But the flurry of court activity hasn’t appeared capable of delivering Trump a reelection victory, our colleagues report.

Our colleagues fact-checked Trump’s claims of election fraud in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania.

🔢 This is the backstory of the months-long political saga that assured the long vote count in Pennsylvania.

💃 Partisan bickering at a tense protest in Philly made way for a dance party in Center City yesterday.

What else you need to know today

  1. Officials in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are begging people to take more precautions as new coronavirus cases in both states keep setting records.

  2. There are 32,000 Philly students eligible to return to in-person instruction on Nov. 30. Less than a third of them have opted to do so, according to the district’s superintendent.

  3. Ron Donatucci, Philly’s longtime register of wills, died at 72 on Election Day.

  4. Here’s a bright spot in the coronavirus news cycle: flu season is off to a notably slow start.

  5. New Jersey voted to legalized marijuana this week. But don’t expect Pennsylvania to follow anytime soon.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

We appreciate this peaceful snapshot of Penn Treaty Park. Thanks for sharing @westofbroad.

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. 🍽️ The coronavirus pandemic has slammed restaurants everywhere — except for Ardmore, it seems.

  2. 📱 And for those restaurants that have been able to stay open, here’s how they’re using new technology to try to survive.

  3. ⛸️ The Ice Rink at Dilworth Park opens tomorrow.

  4. 🔬 Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh may have found a new ally in the fight against COVID-19: Llamas.

  5. 🦅 Remember, the Eagles are technically in first place in their division. Their roster has been through A LOT, though. Columnist Marcus Hayes broke down some of the hits and misses.

  6. 📈 As for how to wait patiently for things to happen, look no further than the Quaker view from Pennsylvania.


“The world has been waiting to learn the next president of the United States, a wait that would have been avoided if Pennsylvania Republicans allowed pre-canvassing and didn’t constantly attempt to disrupt the count. Elections should be won through the persuasion of voters, not suppression of their votes. The voting infrastructure is working. The results will be legitimate, whenever they may come — despite Republicans, not because of them.” — The Inquirer Editorial Board, which operates as a separate entity from the newsroom, wrote about the events before Pennsylvania’s delayed results.

  1. Columnist Will Bunch writes that Democrats and the media have a lot to answer for, regardless of who wins the election.

  2. Columnist Trudy Rubin writes that, if elected, Joe Biden would have the opportunity to appeal to voters across party lines with a clear message.

What we’re reading

  1. What was on deck for election night snacking? The Philadelphia Business Journal’s reporting on goPuff orders from Tuesday night could give us some clues.

  2. And over in Australia, The Guardian chronicles how doughnuts have become an unlikely emblem of hope during the pandemic.

  3. Escape with The Daily Beast’s list of classic movies that just started streaming on various platforms.

Your Daily Dose of | ‘Chicken lady’

Gwenne Bail is a 71-year-old retired nurse and midwife has been called the “driving force” behind much of South Jersey’s backyard chicken scene. Some might even call her “the mother hen." (h/t to our colleague Kevin Riordan for that eggcellent line.)