Joe Biden is the obvious winner in Wisconsin, a state Trump received in 2016


Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry in Manitowoc, Wis., Monday, Sept. 21, 2020.

Carolyn Kaster | AP

Joe Biden is the apparent winner in Wisconsin, according to an NBC News projection, flipping a state that President Donald Trump had won in 2016.

As of Wednesday afternoon, NBC showed Biden leading Trump by approximately 21,000 votes. Wisconsin has 10 Electoral College votes, and Biden’s victory brings his Electoral College total to 237.

Trump won the swing state by less than a percentage point in 2016, ending Wisconsin’s seven-election streak of backing Democratic candidates.

Winning back the state this year was a priority for Democrats, who view Wisconsin as a key piece of the so-called “blue wall” of Midwestern states that have been Democratic strongholds for decades.

The Trump campaign has already announced that it will request a formal recount in the state, claiming that there were unspecified “irregularities” during the vote.

But there is little evidence that a recount would actually help Trump make up a 20,000 vote deficit.

Recent election recounts in Wisconsin have failed to produce significant shifts in the tally for one candidate or another. Following the 2016 presidential election, a recount of the vote in Wisconsin increased Trump’s margin of victory by just 131 votes, out of three million cast.

Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, expressed doubts on Wednesday about the effectiveness of a recount.

“After recount in 2011 race for WI Supreme Court, there was a swing of 300 votes,” Scott tweeted. “After recount in 2016 Presidential race in WI, [Trump’s] numbers went up by 131. As I said, 20,000 is a high hurdle.”

The definition of an Apparent Winner is that NBC News has projected that a candidate has won the race, but the results are close enough that the outcome may depend on a potential recount and/or confirmation that the results that have been reported are accurate.


Katherine Clark