Presidential race in Michigan tightens as absentee ballot counting continues
Mich. - Despite an early declaration from President Donald Trump that he "won the election" early Wednesday morning, several of the 2020 election's key battleground states remain up for grabs.
In Michigan, Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb Counties are still counting tens of thousands of ballots that were part of the historic absentee turnout.
While Trump was leading Biden by around 55,000 votes in Michigan early Wednesday, that lead had shrunk to just 12,000 votes by 8 a.m., according to data from FOX.
In Oakland County, Biden had scored 80,000 more votes than Trump with 80% of precincts reporting. Among the Democrat's gameplan to retake Michigan was to push turnout out in cities while running up the score in the increasingly-left-of-center county.
In Macomb County, Trump led Biden by almost 40,000 votes with 88% of precincts reporting. Voters will remember Macomb coming out with surprisingly strong voter turnout for Trump, helping him flip Michigan four years ago. The bellwether county is thought of as one of the swingiest in the country.
In Wayne County, Biden had a 200,000 vote lead over Trump. Among the storylines that will be dissected in the coming weeks is the strong turnout in Detroit precincts where more than half of the city's registered voters cast a ballot.
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So what can these numbers tell us? Unfortunately, not a lot until the remaining ballots are counted. Because the outstanding ballots are primarily those that were mailed or hand-delivered before election day, it's unclear which direction they'll go once tabulated.
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson tweeted Wednesday that "hundreds of thousands of ballots in our largest jurisdictions are still being counted, including Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint, Warren & Sterling Heights."
She later said on CNN that election officials will have a much better idea of where the state stands electorally "later today."
In Detroit, so far 143,000 absentee ballots had been counted while 35,000 more had yet to be tallied. City Clerk Janice Winfrey said Wednesday she expected absentee counting to be completed by the end of the night - an improvement over the delays that were reported in the last election.