Nov 3, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden campaign believes it has 8-point battleground early vote lead

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign said Tuesday that it believes it has at least an 8-point advantage in battleground states after analyzing the nearly 100 million ballots that were cast early.

Why it matters: The campaign is arguing that it will be mathematically difficult for President Trump to close the gap with in-person voting on Election Day, and it's working to create the impression that a Biden victory is most likely.

  • The Biden camp also believes the former vice president can win 270 electoral votes even without Florida and Pennsylvania.
  • "That allows us to continue to have these multiple paths to victory," Jen O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s campaign manager, said in a briefing with reporters.
  • "Florida is a coin toss without a doubt," she added. In the Midwest, she said the campaign believes it is "ahead significantly — by 10 points or more coming into Election Day. "

The big picture: Both campaigns are girding for post-election legal fights on contested ballots, but Bob Bauer, a former White House counsel and current Biden adviser, said that "voting is proceeding smoothly."

  • The Trump and Biden campaigns have not coordinated any potential phone call between the candidates for a concession conversation. "We’ll let the logistics play out," O’Malley Dillon said.

What we're watching: While the Biden campaign thinks it may have a good idea about the outcome, officials stopped short of saying that Biden will declare victory when he speaks this evening.

  • "You're going to hear the vice president speak as he has every single day of this campaign about leading this country forward, about unifying this country," O’Malley Dillon said.

The other side: Trump has also told confidants he'll declare victory on Tuesday night if it looks like he's "ahead," Axios' Jonathan Swan reported.

  • But while Biden would rely on news organizations making a call before any declarative statements, Trump may say he won even if the Electoral College outcome still hinges on large numbers of uncounted votes in key states like Pennsylvania.
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