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EXPLAINER: Why AP called the 2020 election for Joe Biden

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Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Janice Jamison, Evans, Ga, reacts after hearing the announcement by CNN that former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden had defeated Pres. Donald Trump, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, at McPherson Square in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON – WHY AP CALLED THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION FOR BIDEN:

As Election Day ground on into “election week,” it became increasingly clear that Democrat Joe Biden would oust President Donald Trump from the White House. Late-counted ballots in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Georgia continued to keep Biden in the lead and offered him multiple paths to victory.

The questions, rather, were these — where he would win, when it would happen and by how much.

On Saturday, Biden captured the presidency when The Associated Press declared him the victor in his native Pennsylvania at 11:25 a.m. EST. That got him the state’s 20 electoral votes, which pushed him over the 270 electoral-vote threshold needed to prevail.

It was the final piece to fall into place after the former vice president carved a path to the White House by recapturing Democrats' “blue wall,” a trio of Great Lakes states — Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan — that Trump narrowly won in 2016. Those states had long served as a bulwark against Republican presidential candidates.

But he also made historic gains in the Sun Belt, becoming the first Democrat to win Arizona since 1996. He also held a narrow lead of more than 7,000 votes on Saturday in Georgia, where a Democrat hasn’t won since 1992.

Democrats entered Election Day confident that Biden would win. But their hopes for a landslide that would quickly repudiate Trumpism — something that polls helped amplify — did not materialize.

Florida, the president’s adopted state and one of the largest electoral prizes, went for Trump on Tuesday.