Biden takes lead in Bucks County, holds other Philly suburbs

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Del.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Following another all-nighter for ballot counters, tallies in Philadelphia’s suburbs showed a decisive turn towards Biden by Thursday morning.

Bucks County, where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by about 10,000 voters, announced that former Vice President Joe Biden has overtaken President Donald Trump by about one percentage point, erasing the lead the president had up until that point.

With about 28,000 ballots left to tally, Biden has 177,019 votes to Trump’s 173,467.

“Biden’s lead is expected to widen today as the county continues its tabulation of mail and absentee ballots, which have heavily favored Democratic candidates here and across the nation,” wrote spokesperson Larry King in a release this morning

The Associated Press on Wednesday night called a competitive Bucks County congressional race for incumbent Brian Fitzpatrick.

The rest of the region shows Biden with sizable margins as the bulk of vote counting winds down. Statewide, mail ballot trends show a path to victory for Biden.

In Montgomery County, all mail ballots received by 8 p.m. on Election Day have been counted. Philadelphia’s most populous suburb has shifted dramatically towards Democrats in recent years. Here Biden has swept ahead with 313,543 votes, whereas Trump won only 182,907.

Both parties increased their vote totals over 2016, but Democrats significantly expanded their margin this year.

Chester County has also finished its initial tally, with Biden in the lead, 57% to 41%. The Pennsylvania Department of State shows that there are still more than 40,000 mail ballots left to count, but a spokesperson for the Board of Elections said that’s a reporting error.

Delaware County has not updated its vote totals since 9 p.m. Wednesday, when Biden was leading with 61% of the vote. Around 17,000 mail ballots are left to count, according to state officials.

Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that ballots postmarked Nov. 3 but received by 5 p.m. on Nov. 6 could be counted, but must be kept separate. Counties have been allowed to process them for counting as they arrived, but as these votes are likely to be contested, both Montgomery and Chester counties explicitly noted their current totals do not include these segregated votes.

Bucks County officials indicated they may add those votes to their totals, saying “the number of mail-in ballots is also expected to increase slightly as county officials continue to count ballots received on Election Day and through Friday’s deadline.”

Get more Pennsylvania stories that matter

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal