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Trump’s vote margin in latest Maricopa County ballot count is well short of what he needs to catch Biden

Rob O’Dell | Yvonne Wingett Sanchez  | Caitlin McGlade  |  Arizona Republic

(CNT) City News Talk #arizona

President Donald Trump fell far short of the margin he needs to capture Arizona’s 11 electoral votes in results released by Maricopa County officials Friday morning. 

Trump received 50.6% of the 62,787 votes released by the county at 9 a.m. Friday, to former Vice President Joe Biden’s 45%.

Third-party candidate Jo Jorgensen received 2.8%, and 1.6% of ballots had no votes for any president candidate.

The results narrowed Biden’s statewide lead over Trump to 43,779 votes.

Trump fell far short of the 57% of the remaining vote he needs to take the state. And given the size of Friday’s batch of votes from Maricopa County, Trump is running out of ballots to make it happen.

The Arizona Republic estimates 235,000 ballots remain to be counted statewide.

Even more problematic for Trump is that the Friday batch reflected results from at least 30,000 ballots dropped off at the polls on Election Day, the first look at how voters who took their early ballots to polls voted in Arizona’s most populous county. 

Typically, those votes trend Democratic, but the breakdown is less predictable this election because of the pandemic and Trump’s warnings to Republicans about early and mail-in ballots.

Early ballots, which typically trend Republican, skewed heavily toward Democrats this year. Ballots cast at the polls typically are strongly Democratic, but this year they broke hard for Republicans. 

While the early ballots that voters dropped off at the polls were favorable for Trump, they fell far short of what he needs to win Arizona.

Republican pollster Paul Bentz said Republicans and Democrats have argued for days what the results from early ballots dropped off at the polls would look like this election.

Democrats said the results would skew heavily young and Democratic. Republicans contended the results would be bright red for Trump like the votes cast at the polls.  

The first results from those ballots seems to indicate the truth is almost exactly in the middle, Bentz said.

“The Trump Train is slowing down,” Bentz said. “He’s winning these votes, it’s just not the furious pace that he needs to come back.”

Democratic consultant Chad Campbell agreed that Friday’s results are a sign that Trump’s vote tallies are starting to slow down.

“It’s definitely slower than we saw yesterday,” he said. “He needs a higher percentage of ballots than what we just got in the (Friday morning) batch … He’s well below where he needed to be.”

Jon Seaton, a Republican consultant who worked for former Sen. John McCain’s campaign, agreed that Trump needed better results than he got on Friday morning.

“He needs to do much better in subsequent drops,” he said.

Asked if he sees Biden’s margin narrowing more, Seaton responded, “I think everyone should wait until the 7 p.m. drop,” when Maricopa County is scheduled to post another round of ballot results.

Here’s where Arizona’s uncounted ballots are:

About 155,000 ballots in Maricopa County, including 18,000 provisionals

About 29,000 in Pima County, including 18,000 provisionals

Roughly 33,800 in Pinal County, including 1,800 provisionals

About 8,400 in Yuma County

More than 3,000 ballots in Yavapai County

Roughly 2,000 ballots in Coconino County

About 1,500 in Navajo County

About 900 in La Paz County

Less than 400 in Gila County

Less than 100 in Graham County