Joe Biden’s campaign says it believes Wisconsin can be called for the former VP “this morning.”
In a morning briefing, campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon told listeners President Trump would need around four times the total of still outstanding votes in the state in order to overtake Biden’s lead. The lead stood at 20,748 votes as of 10:30 a.m today, according to the Associated Press.
“We expect and we believe that we have already won Wisconsin,” she said. “We have a very clear sense of the votes that are there, the votes that are in, and we are very confident that Wisconsin is ours and we will continue to stay ahead there.”
O’Malley Dillon went on to criticize Trump’s rhetoric over the night sowing doubt about the electoral process and arguing clerks should stop counting ballots. She said Biden would still be the next president even if Trump “got his wish and we stopped counting votes right now.”
Trump early this morning at the White House alleged ballots still being counted were fraudulent.
“This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election,” he said to applause. “[W]e’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4 o’clock in the morning and add them to the list, OK? … To me, this is a very sad moment. And we will win this. … As far as I’m concerned, we already have won it.”
The narrow edge in Wisconsin came after Biden entered Election Day ahead in the polls and with a big Dem spending advantage.
The final Marquette Poll, considered the gold standard of Wisconsin polls, found 48 percent of likely voters backed Biden, while 43 percent supported Trump. Another 2 percent said they support Libertarian Jo Jorgensen. That poll was in the field Oct. 21-25, and mirrored findings in previous polls from Marquette and others.
That the vote failed to align with the polls in yet another presidential election–polls found Hillary Clinton leading Trump by around 5 percent before she lost the state by 22,748 votes–will surely lead to a reexamination of pollsters’ models and methods.
Biden’s campaign and his backers outspent the Trump effort nearly 2-1 on TV, cable, radio and digital ads combined in Wisconsin since the state’s April 7 primary, according to Advertising Analytics, dropping $81.8 million and $46.2 million, respectively. Of that, the Biden campaign directly spent just under $37 million, while Trump’s campaign spent just under $10.9 million.
That advantage narrowed somewhat in the final week, with pro-Biden forces spending $8.9 million and Trump and his backers spending $5.9 million since Oct. 26.
See charts below from Advertising Analytics tracking overall ad spending and spending by market. The charts include data from the beginning of 2020, with spending from primary candidates removed.
Spending by market: https://www.wispolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Wisconsin-Overview-2.png
Although he was outspent in Wisconsin, Trump became a virtual fixture in the state, visiting the state 10 times this year to hold large-scale rallies even as Wisconsin became a COVID-19 hotspot. His visits — four in the final 10 days of the campaign — included two in Kenosha, where he emphasized a law-and-order message following civil unrest there after the police shooting of Jacob Blake. The second Kenosha visit was Monday night. Other recent visits included Waukesha on Oct. 24, West Salem on Oct. 27 and Green Bay on Friday.
According to unofficial results, Trump gained ground in Kenosha County, winning 50.8 percent of the vote, while Biden garnered 47.7 percent. In 2016, post-recount data show Trump won 47.2 percent of the vote in Kenosha County, while Clinton won 46.9 percent.
Biden, meanwhile, visited three times, holding small events with strict social distancing protocols. His most recent was a stop in Milwaukee on Friday, during which he slammed Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
And the conservative effort in Wisconsin included a large, in-person ground effort. Dems largely eschewed in-person campaigning in favor of digital outreach in response to COVID-19, a gamble that worried some in Dem circles.
See the Biden campaign briefing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBLHLt2IntU
See more election coverage at the WisPolitics.com Election Blog.