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Joe Biden will become "an underdog" if he fails to win Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes, FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday.

Why it matters: Trump won the battleground by less than a point in 2016, as he narrowly swept swing states in the Rust Belt to secure victory in the Electoral College. FiveThirtyEight's average of polls currently shows Biden with a 5% lead in Pennsylvania.

What he's saying: Silver told "This Week" that if Trump ends up winning the election, "it would come down to Pennsylvania."

  • "Pennsylvania has not bumped up to a 7- or 8-point Biden lead like we see in Michigan and Wisconsin. It's 5 points. It's not a big early voting state, so a lot of votes have not yet been cast in Pennsylvania," Silver said.
  • "Among the votes that were sent in by mail, there are some provisions about a naked ballot, a security envelope. That could make things more complicated. You could have the courts involved. You have some protests, looting in Philadelphia. There's lots of stuff going on."
  • "Maybe a lot of little things add up and Biden loses Pennsylvania by half a point, and then he doesn't quite pull off Arizona or North Carolina. He does have other options. ... But still, without Pennsylvania, then Biden becomes an underdog."

The big picture: FiveThirtyEight gives President Trump a 10% chance of winning the election and Biden a 90% chance.

Go deeper

Nov 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Wisconsin recount reaffirms Biden's victory in the state

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The two recounts in Wisconsin requested by the Trump campaign were completed Sunday and confirmed that President-elect Joe Biden won the state, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: Biden won Wisconsin by more than 20,000 votes. Recounts in the state's most populous and liberal areas — Dane and Milwaukee counties — netted him an additional 87 votes.

19 mins ago - Health

U.S. exceeds 100,000 COVID-related hospitalizations for the first time

People wait outside the Emergency room of the Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park, California on Dec 1. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images

More than 100,200 Americans were hospitalized as of Wednesday due to the coronavirus for the first time since the outbreak began in early 2020, per the COVID Tracking Project.

The big picture: The milestone comes as health officials anticipated cases to surge due to holiday travel and gatherings. The impact of the holiday remains notable, as many states across the country are only reporting partial data.

4 hours ago - Science

The "war on nature"

A resident stands on his roof as the Blue Ridge Fire burned back in October in Chino Hills, Calif. Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

Apocalyptic weather is the new normal because humans are "waging war on nature," the UN declared on Wednesday.

What they're saying: "The state of the planet is broken," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, reports AP. “This is suicidal.”