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Pennsylvania 2020 election results: Biden projected winner, propelling him to presidency

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CBS News projects Joe Biden will win Pennsylvania, bringing him to 273 electoral votes – enough to capture the White House. Biden edged ahead of President Trump by over 34,000 votes on Saturday, giving Biden the 20 Electoral College votes he needed to win. 

The former vice president's victory in Pennsylvania marks the third Rust Belt state that President Trump won in 2016 which in turn supported Biden in 2020, along with Michigan and Ohio. Biden is also leading in Nevada, Arizona and Georgia, which President Trump won in 2016.  

Both Mr. Trump and Biden made frequent visits to Pennsylvania during the campaign. Mr. Trump visited the state 13 times, while Biden made 16 trips, and both were here on the eve of the election

Since 2008, every presidential candidate to win in Pennsylvania has won the presidency. 

 

CBS News projects Biden wins Pennsylvania

CBS News projects that Biden will win Pennsylvania, bringing him to 273 electoral votes, a majority of the Electoral College votes needed to capture the White House.  

By Grace Segers
 

Trump election press conference to be held at Four Seasons Total Landscaping in Philadelphia

President Trump says a "big press conference" will be held Saturday morning at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, a landscaping company in Philadelphia. 

He tweeted the location and time – 11:30 a.m. ET – after posting then deleting an earlier tweet that said a "Lawyers Press Conference" would be held at 11 a.m. at "Four Seasons, Philadelphia," which seemed to suggest it would be held at a hotel.

Watch it live:

CBSN 2 Live
By Audrey McNamara
 

Ballot counting resumes in Pittsburgh's Allegheny County

Workers were expected to begin counting approximately 29,000 ballots in Pittsburgh's Allegheny County Saturday morning at 9 a.m. The ballots are from voters who received incorrect ones last month, and require special attention, CBS Pittsburgh reports.

The process is time consuming. Workers have to make sure no one has voted twice and the correct ballot is counted. 

"If Jane Doe returned two, we put them both together. That way we can decide which ballot should be counted. And we're going to segregate them and not count the wrong ballot," said Elections Divisions Manager David Voye.

About 3.1 million applications for mail ballots were requested in Pennsylvania. Democrats requested more than twice as many mail-in ballots compared to Republicans.

By Audrey McNamara
 

Biden's lead increases to 28,000 in Pennsylvania

Biden's lead in Pennsylvania increased late Friday night to more than 28,000. It's estimated there are 86,000 ballots left to be counted. 

According to CBS News elections and surveys director Anthony Salvanto, President Trump would need 63% of the remaining vote to overtake Biden. 

By Caroline Linton
 

At least 100,000 provisional ballots were cast in Pennsylvania

A spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of State said that 55 counties have reported they issued a total of 101,421 provisional ballots to voters at the polls Tuesday. Most counties only began counting provisional ballots today.

Provisional ballots are used at the polls when a voter's eligibility is in question. These ballots are more frequently challenged and take longer to get through, and must also be checked against those who voted by mail. Some voters, for instance, may have requested absentee ballots, but then opted to vote in person using a provisional ballot.

By Zak Hudak
 

Alito orders Pennsylvania officials to segregate and separately count late-arriving ballots

Acting on a request from the Republican Party of Pennsylvania, Justice Samuel Alito temporarily ordered Pennsylvania election officials to segregate ballots received between November 4 and November 6 and count them separately.

Alito also referred the issue to the full court.

In his brief order, Alito said the court "was not informed that the guidance issued on October 28, which had an important bearing on the question whether to order special treatment of the ballots in question, had been modified."

By Melissa Quinn
 

Two men headed to convention center where ballots are being counted arrested in Philadelphia

Two people were arrested Thursday night after the Philadelphia Police received a tip that armed men in a Hummer from Virginia were coming to the convention center in Philadelphia where ballots are being counted. 

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw told reporters on Friday that the two men each had a handgun, and there was an AR-style rifle in their car. The Hummer had QAnon decals on its back window. 

District Attorney Larry Krasner cautioned that there was no indication of a larger plot afoot to disrupt the ballot-counting process. He also said that there was "no significant presence" of hate groups or white supremacists at the convention center yesterday.

"We do not have indications that the story is bigger than these two individuals," Krasner said. 

By Grace Segers
 

Biden edges ahead of Trump as vote counting continues

Joe Biden edged ahead of President Trump in Pennsylvania as vote counting continued Friday morning. As of 9:30 a.m. ET, Biden had a lead of about 5,587 votes, with another 163,501 mail-in ballots still to be counted.

 

Trump's lead in Pennsylvania shrinks to 26,319 votes

President Trump's lead in Pennsylvania shrunk to 26,319 votes on Thursday night. 

Joe Biden has pulled ahead in two longtime Democratic strongholds in Pennsylvania that Mr. Trump flipped in 2016. Biden is up by just over 1,300 votes in Erie, which Mr. Trump won by 1,957 in 2016. Biden leads by just over 850 votes in Northampton, which Mr. Trump won by 5,464. 

By Zak Hudak
 

Pennsylvania secretary of state: "We already have counted the majority of ballots"

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar told reporters on Thursday evening that there are "several hundred thousand ballots remaining to be counted," but added that "we already have counted the majority of ballots.

"Boockvar said that military and overseas ballots would be counted through Tuesday and said that provisional ballots need to be counted as well. 

"It's very close. Because it's a close race, it's not quite clear who the winner is," Boockvar said.

By Grace Segers
 

Pennsylvania court orders counties to segregate some absentee and mail ballots

A Pennsylvania court ordered counties to segregate ballots from absentee and mail-in voters who were allowed to provide proof of ID after initially failing to do so on their mail ballots. The Trump campaign has asked the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court not to allow these ballots to count. 

This is the second tranche of ballots that would be segregated. In a separate case, the state Republican Party requested that the U.S. Supreme Court review a state court ruling that extended the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots by three days, through November 6. 

While the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request from the state GOP  to expedite a review of the decision, it left the door open to a review of the segregated ballots after the election. The Department of State instructed counties last week to segregate but count these ballots received after Election Day.

By Zak Hudak
 

Election official to give update on election at 5:15 p.m.

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar is speaking to reporters to give an update on the general election at 5:15 p.m. today. 

Earlier, she told CNN's Jake Tapper, "It is looking like we'll have the overwhelming majority counted by today." 

Watch it live:

CBSN Live
 

Pennsylvania AG says voters will have a "better sense" of results today

Pennsylvania attorney general on election 04:40

With Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes still up for grabs in the presidential race, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro told "CBS This Morning" on Thursday the nation will have a "better sense" of where the state stands later in the day. 

Shapiro told co-host Anthony Mason that the state's top elections official indicated the majority of remaining ballots could be counted by Thursday.

Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar "indicated that the vast majority of those ballots would be done, counted today, so I think you'll have a better sense where Pennsylvania is likely to land later today," Shapiro said.

A win in the Keystone State would carry Biden past the finish line in the race for the White House, according to CBS News' estimates. As of Thursday morning, CBS News projects Biden has 253 electoral votes and Mr. Trump has 213, with 270 needed to win the presidency.

Mr. Trump has already claimed he won Pennsylvania. Shapiro emphasized that's not how it works.

"A candidate doesn't claim something," he said. "What happens here in Pennsylvania, according to the law — and it's my job as the chief law enforcement officer of the commonwealth to enforce that law — is to make sure that legal votes are counted and then when they are, that the will of the people is respected, and that's the process we're going through right now, and so I think it really does a disservice to these community members who are doing the counting, does really a disservice to the commonwealth and the country to make those kinds of predictions or proclamations."

By Alex Sundby
 

Pennsylvania officials give election update

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is holding a press conference Thursday to give an update on the election in the state, which CBS News still considers a toss-up. 

As of Thursday morning, Mr. Trump had 3,224,408 votes in Pennsylvania compared to Biden's, with 91% of the expected vote counted.

The press conference was initially scheduled to be held at 12:15 p.m. ET in Harrisburg, but has since been rescheduled for a time to be announced. Watch it in the player below when it happens:

CBSN 2 Live
 

Trump's lead narrows in Pennsylvania

President Trump's lead has narrowed to 182,561 in Pennsylvania with 1,066,963 mail ballots still uncounted. About 88% of the vote is in, and Mr. Trump currently leads Biden 50.8% to 47.9%. It's a significant drop from late Wednesday afternoon, when Mr. Trump held a much stronger lead of 379,639 votes over Biden. 

The ballots that are outstanding seem likely to favor Biden. They were cast by mail, and of the 3.1 million mail ballots requests in Pennsylvania, 63% were from Democrats, 25% from Republicans and 12% from other. It remains to be seen if there's enough support for Biden among the million or so ballots left to surpass Mr. Trump.

By Zak Hudak
 

State's top elections official says vote count a "matter of days"

Pennsylvania's top elections official said it would be a "matter of days" before most of the state's ballots are counted. The secretary of state, Kathy Boockvar, told reporters that officials across the state have made "excellent progress" but they're still working.

"At this point, I think we're actually probably a little bit ahead of where I thought we would be, which is great, so stay tuned, but still thinking, you know, we're talking a matter of days before the overwhelming majority of ballots are counted," she said during an evening press conference with Governor Tom Wolf.

Asked about the Trump campaign going to court to stop the vote count, Boockvar said she couldn't comment on active litigation. "I can tell you that we will oppose any effort, every effort to at any point shut down the vote," she said. "We get to decide when the last vote is counted."

By Alex Sundby
 

Trump campaign wants to join GOP suit over mail-in ballots

The Trump campaign on Wednesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow the campaign to join an appeal from Pennsylvania Republicans seeking to throw out mail-in ballots received three days after Election Day.

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court granted the three-day extension after the U.S. Postal Service warned the state's top elections official that it couldn't deliver and return ballots within the timelines set for the state's election.

"Given last night's results, the vote in Pennsylvania may well determine the next President of the United States," the Trump campaign's filing said. "And this Court, not the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, should have the final say on the relevant and dispositive legal questions."

In Pennsylvania's primary, over 100,000 mail-in ballots arrived at county offices after the election. President Trump has repeatedly railed against the extension, saying it allows fraud, and Pennsylvania Republicans asked the U.S. Supreme Court in October to temporarily halt the extension and rush to consider an appeal.

The court denied those motions, but the Pennsylvania secretary of state told counties to keep the late ballots separate from others in case the high court makes a change. Jim Bognet, a GOP congressional candidate out of Luzerne County, and four Somerset County voters unsuccessfully brought a similar lawsuit in U.S. district court and appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit.

By Zak Hudak
 

Trump campaign holds press conference in Philadelphia

The Trump campaign held a press conference in Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon, with one of the president's sons, Eric Trump; his wife, Lara Trump, a senior adviser to the campaign; former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani; former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi; and campaign senior adviser Corey Lewandowski.

During the press conference, Eric Trump accused Democrats of trying to cheat in Pennsylvania, without evidence, a claim that was echoed by Giuliani.

"Do you think we're stupid? Do you think we're fools?" Giuliani asked.

Read more here
 

Trump campaign says it's suing to halt vote count in Pennsylvania

Continuing a salvo of legal challenges meant to thwart Biden's chances, the Trump campaign announced it is taking action on three different fronts in Pennsylvania.

The campaign says it's suing to halt the counting of votes over concerns about "transparency," moving to intervene in existing Supreme Court litigation over Pennsylvania's three-day extension for mail-in ballots and filing suit to challenge an extension of the deadline for mail-in and absentee voters to provide proof identification.

"We are suing to stop Democrat election officials from hiding the ballot counting and processing from our Republican poll observers - observers whose only job is to make sure every valid ballot is counted, and counted once," deputy campaign manager Justin Clark said in a statement. "The eyes of the country are on Pennsylvania, but Pennsylvania has kept eyes off of the absentee ballot counting process all along, and that must stop today."

Read more here
By Kathryn Watson
 

"There are still millions of ballots left to be counted"

Pennsylvania officials give election update 16:01

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said the state's election results may not be known on Wednesday. Wolf urged people to be patient and said votes would be counted "accurately" and "fully."

"The delay that we're seeing is a sign that the system is working," Wolf told reporters, noting that mail-in ballots take more time to count than votes cast in person.

Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said nearly half of the state's mail-in ballots had been counted.

"There are still millions of ballots left to be counted," she said.

Earlier Wednesday, Philadelphia officials said they were trying to finish counting ballots as soon as possible.

"We'll be done as soon as we're done," Lisa Deeley, chairwoman of the Philadelphia City Commissioners, told reporters. "We want to make sure that every vote that is legitimately cast and is good, it gets counted. That's what normally what happens in elections."

By Alex Sundby
 

Pennsylvania governor: Officials working "diligently" to count votes

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said in a tweet Wednesday: "County officials are diligently working to count your vote." As of Wednesday morning, the state remained a toss-up.

Earlier Wednesday, around 3 a.m., Wolf said over one million mail ballots in the state had not yet been counted.

"I promised Pennsylvanians that we would count every vote and that's what we're going to do," he said.

 

Allegheny County suspends ballot counting until 10 a.m. ET

Allegheny County (Pittsburgh and surroundings) has suspended mail ballot counting until after 10 a.m. ET. It is Pennsylvania's second most populous county, with over 940,000 registered voters and over twice as many Democrats as Republicans. 

County spokesperson Amie Downs said that staff would report at 10 a.m. and scanning would begin soon afterward. 

She said that there were 348,485 mail-in and absentee ballots that have been returned. Some 173,068 have been scanned and uploaded and approximately 29,000 would be reviewed manually. The remaining 146,537 are to be scanned beginning late Wednesday morning.

All ballots have been secured in the warehouse with county police patrolling the facility all evening. The facility is also under 24-hour video surveillance.

By Zak Hudak
 

Republicans sue to stop voters whose votes were rejected from casting provisional ballot

Republican Congressman Mike Kelly, a GOP Pennsylvania House member, and four other Pennsylvanians have filed a lawsuit asking the Commonwealth Court to prevent counties from allowing voters whose mail ballots have been rejected over a defect to cast a provisional ballot in person.

The lawsuit argues that the state Supreme Court has already ruled that such a remedy doesn't exist, while the earlier ballot-curing lawsuit in Montgomery County's Common Pleas court made a 14th Amendment argument. 

State election officials issued guidance to counties two weeks ago saying voters whose mail or absentee ballot was rejected could still vote in person with a provisional ballot, the same kind you'd use if you applied for a mail ballot but didn't use it.

Eight counties — Blair, Berks, Carbon, Clinton, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lycoming and Perry — have refused to follow this guidance, the lawsuit said.

By Zak Hudak
 

Governor Tom Wolf reports no widespread issues on Election Day: "Democracy is alive and well"

Gov. Tom Wolf and Pennsylvania's top election official say the state saw no widespread problems amid a high turnout at the polls.

"I'm happy to report that today's election in the commonwealth went remarkably smoothly. We have no major or widespread events to report," Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said at a press conference an hour after polls closed.

Some issues included lines and confusion over the use of provisional ballots, which the Pennsylvania Department of State says were used in higher numbers because some voters who applied for mail-in ballots instead came to vote at the polls.

Read more at CBS Pittsburgh.

 

Pennsylvania governor urges voters to "take a deep breath and be patient"

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf released a video on Tuesday evening urging voters to remain calm as vote counting may extend into the coming days.

"Across the state, dedicated county workers are ready to tirelessly make sure everyone's vote counts," said Wolf. "But counting that tremendous number of ballots will take more time than we are used to. We may not know the results today, but I encourage all of us to take a deep breath and be patient. What is most important is that we have accurate results, even if that takes a little longer."

Polls close in Pennsylvania at 8 p.m. ET, but the large number of absentee ballots in the state means results could take days to be counted.

By Grace Segers
 

2 Pennsylvania precincts to remain open an extra 45 minutes

Two precincts in Scranton, Pennsylvania, will stay open an additional 45 minutes, until 8:45 p.m. ET., on election night following an order from a Lackawanna County judge, the county announced.

The Democratic Party sought the 45-minute extension because polling machines at John F. Kennedy Elementary School were down between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Tuesday, Joseph D'Arienzo, county director of community affairs, said.

By Zak Hudak
 

Voting operations running smoothly in crucial Pennsylvania suburbs

Voters in the suburbs of Pennsylvania are playing a crucial role in this year's presidential election as the commonwealth is a key battleground state.

There was a rush of voters Tuesday morning — the first voter lined up at 6:05 a.m. and many followed behind him.

The vote count is already underway in Pennsylvania counties. Chester County gave us a look-see into the process.

Shifts of workers will tabulate the 140,000-plus mail-in ballots. Machines open the envelopes while there's inspecting and eyeballing. Then comes the smoothing of ballots, the crease-flattening and unfolding.

Read more at CBS Philly.

By Joe Pawlikowski
 

Lancaster County says it won't tally ballots received within 3 days after Election Day

Lancaster County's top elections official, a Republican, today sent a letter to Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar saying the Lancaster Board of Elections does not plan to tally mail ballots received within a three-day extension period after Election Day because the extension could be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Pennsylvania State Department last week told counties to segregate and wait to count ballots received after Election Day. In part because of that, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request from the state GOP to expedite the results. 

On Sunday night, the Pennsylvania State Department updated its guidance to say the ballots should be counted — but still segregated. In a letter Tuesday, Joshua Parsons, the chair of the county commissioners wrote to Boockvar that the ballots can't be removed from the count once they're tallied. 

"A majority of the board exercised our legal authority to comply with the law and your first set of guidance and wait to canvass any ballots that came in after election day," he said. 

Lancaster has over 180,000 registered Republicans, 115,000 Democrats and nearly 13,000 independents. 

By Zak Hudak
 

Elections court removes Pittsburgh poll worker for 'causing a disturbance'

The Allegheny County Elections Court ordered a poll worker removed from a Pittsburgh precinct this Election Day for causing reported disturbances.

The worker was stationed at the Pittsburgh 4-10 and 4-11 polling place on Ellsworth Avenue.

According to a Allegheny County spokesperson, other poll workers reported the person was allegedly "causing a disturbance," taking photos and videos and looking at ballots prior to them being scanned.

Read more at CBS Pittsburgh.

 

Anti-Trump group flies 'Trump Loves Jerry Jones & The Cowboys' banner over Philadelphia

 An anti-Trump group is trying to sway some last-minute undecided voters who are Philadelphia Eagles fans. Rural America 2020 had a plane fly a banner over Philadelphia and the suburbs reading, "Trump Loves Jerry Jones & The Cowboys."

The group also flew another banner reading, "Vote Like Your Life Depends On It."

Read more at CBS Philly

 

State GOP asks court to stop outreach to voters informing them of problems with their ballots

Pennsylvania Republicans have asked a federal court to keep Montgomery County from reaching out to voters to correct defects with their mail ballots. They allege the county, which has three Democrats for every two Republicans, began inspecting ballots earlier than allowed by the state Elections Code. 

The crux of the argument lawyers for a Pennsylvania GOP congressional candidate and a Berks County Republican chair make in the lawsuit is that one county starting before another is a 14th Amendment issue. They twice cite Bush v. Gore on equal protections. 

A county spokesperson said a judge may schedule a hearing today, but the county believes it acted within the Election Code. "We believe our process is sound and permissible under the Election Code," she said in a statement. 

By Zak Hudak
 

Election Day

Biden makes final campaign stops 07:23

This is the first time in a general election that Pennsylvanians were able to cast ballots by mail without an excuse. During the June primary, fears of contracting COVID-19 at the polls drove mail voting numbers far higher than expected, causing some counties to take as long as two weeks to count their ballots — and the final count changed the outcome in 10 other races on the ballot. 

Mail ballots take longer to count than those cast in person. The process involves checking signatures, opening two envelopes and scanning ballots, whereas votes at the polls are simply digitally recorded by voting machines and backed up on paper. 

Local officials asked the state legislature to allow them to begin some processing ahead of Election Day, which would have eased pressure considerably. The legislature had already voted to expand mail-in voting in late 2019, well before COVID-19 interceded. Though there was bipartisan support for early pre-canvassing, state GOP legislative leaders couldn't reach an agreement with Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat. 

Now, at least seven counties say they won't even begin opening mail ballots until November 4, so the in-person votes on Election Day, which are expected to be heavily Republican, will be counted before the mail ballots, which are likely to favor Biden.

Because the mail ballots will be processed after the in-person voting on November 4, early unofficial results are likely to suggest that Mr. Trump is winning as the polls close, while Biden may have to wait to close the gap until mail ballots are counted.

Another factor is the state Supreme Court's decision to extend the deadline for counties to accept ballots returned by mail to three days after Election Day, so long as they don't show a postmark after November 3. That ruling came after the Postal Service warned the state's top elections official that it couldn't deliver and return ballots within the timelines set for the state's election. In the primary, over 100,000 mail ballots arrived at county offices after the election. 

The U.S. Supreme Court may still overrule the state supreme court, though it denied a motion from the Pennsylvania GOP to halt the state court decision and expedite its appeal. 

"I reluctantly conclude that there is simply not enough time at this late date to decide the question before the election," wrote Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. "That does not mean, however, that the state court decision must escape our review."

Counties are to segregate late ballots in case the Supreme Court rules in favor of Republicans and orders those late ballots not to be counted.

Pennsylvania also faces another potential problem with "naked ballots." The state requires voters to be given two envelopes with a mail ballot, the outer postmarked one and an inner secrecy envelope meant to protect the ballot from tampering. 

Some voters overlooked the secrecy envelope during the primary, and most counties counted their votes anyway. State law doesn't explicitly say ballots lacking a secrecy envelope must be discarded, and counties to were advised to count naked ballots in the primary. But the state supreme court ruled in September "the only way to be certain that no fraud has taken place is to reject all naked ballots," a move that could hurt Democrats disproportionately because they were expected to vote by mail at a higher rate than Republicans. 

By Zak Hudak
 

State of the race

Mr. Trump trailed Biden by seven points in an October CBS News poll of likely Pennsylvania voters, but he's been behind and come back here before. He was eight points behind in CBS News polling the same month in 2016, but carried the state on Election Day. 

He won 56 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties in 2016, but Hillary Clinton carried seven of the state's 10 most populous counties, a combination that brought the race down to fewer than 45,000 votes. Mr. Trump flipped three longtime Democratic strongholds in the state and lost only one county that voted for Mitt Romney in the election prior. 

Historically, Democrats found strength in counties with and near manufacturing cities like Pittsburgh, Erie and Wilkes-Barre as well as in Philadelphia. 

But the areas surrounding Pittsburgh, like Westmoreland county, have become increasingly Republican, voting more regularly for GOP presidential candidates. The number of registered Republicans surpassed Democrats this year for the first time in recent history. At the same time, the suburban counties outside Philadelphia have become more Democratic. Chester County became the last of Philadelphia's "collar counties" to switch to a Democratic candidate. Bucks, Delaware, and Montgomery did so at different points in the last 15 years. Northeast Pennsylvania, once a coal mining powerhouse, has meanwhile become more Republican. In once reliably Democratic Luzerne County, the vote swing from the prior election there was over half the total number of votes Trump won the state by.

Pennsylvania is about 82% White, 12% Black, 8% Hispanic or Latino and 4% Asian. Mr. Trump won the votes of white men by 32 points in Pennsylvania against Clinton and narrowly lost among white women by 3 points, according to CBS News exit polling. He trailed among Black men by 69 points and Black women by 98 points. Clinton led by 4 points among college graduates and 22 among those with postgraduate degrees. But those with a high school degree or less went to Mr. Trump by 13 points.

The president's strength among White men has waned. Among men likely to vote, he led by just 5 points, in the latest CBS News poll, and he was trailing Biden by 18 points among women likely to vote in the state. Mr. Trump leads by 19 points among White likely voters without a college degree and trails by 21 points among those with at least a 4-year degree. 

By Zak Hudak
 

The issues

COVID-19

Pennsylvania has been devastated by COVID-19 with the state reporting 214,000 cases and nearly 9,000 deaths. Unemployment in the state soared to 16% in April, and only partially bounced back to 8.1% by September. 

Democratic Governor Tom Wolf issued an executive order shutting down all "non-life sustaining businesses" statewide on March 19, immediately prompting unsuccessful lawsuits by Republican state legislators. The state largely reopened in June with some COVID precautions still in place, like reduced restaurant capacity. On his trips to Pennsylvania, Mr. Trump has called on Wolf to "reopen" the state. He has accused Wolf of trying to hurt his reelection chances by killing jobs in the state. 

Fracking

Republicans have run ads and sent mailers in Pennsylvania alleging that Joe Biden would ban fracking, a position he has said he does not hold, and one that would be deeply unpopular here.

The Marcellus Shale boom helped rescue Pennsylvania's economy from the financial crisis. Driven largely by hydraulic fracturing, the oil and gas industry in Pennsylvania employs 28,296 workers, the state labor department says. The industry continues to thrive in the state. 

Still, warnings about environmental impacts of fracking and concern that compounds from the process could seep into the water supply have left Pennsylvanians divided. About 48% favor a ban, while 39% oppose one, according to a January Franklin and Marshall poll

Manufacturing

Likely voters in Pennsylvania are nearly split on whether the president or Biden would be better for manufacturing jobs in the state, with 48% saying Mr. Trump and 46% saying Biden in the latest CBS News Battleground Tracker poll. Mr. Trump campaigned in the state in 2016 on bringing back industry, but the decline has continued. September Labor Department statistics show Pennsylvania lost more manufacturing jobs than any state from August 2018 to August 2019. For 83% of Pennsylvanians, the economy is a major voting factor, according to the poll.

By Zak Hudak
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