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The data behind some surprising election results

What trends and shifts accounted for unexpected election results this week? Amna Nawaz and Lisa Desjardins take a look at data from Pennsylvania, Georgia, Iowa and more states critical to the outcomes of the presidential race and the balance of power in the House and Senate.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    And we turn next to Amna Nawaz and Lisa Desjardins for a closer look at the map and some of the most important data points we have been watching.

    To you, Amna.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Thanks, Judy.

    We want to try to bring together everything you have been hearing from some of those reporters in the field into one place, so you can easily see it.

    Check this out. Here's a look at the latest electoral count. You will see Vice President Biden with 264, President Trump with 214, but still a few key states as yet uncalled, of course, Nevada. You see Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

    Let's take a closer look at Pennsylvania first.

    Lisa, 20 electoral votes there up for grabs. We heard Dan Bush reporting earlier, razor-thin margins right now. Take a look at this, 98 percent of the expected vote in so far, and just less than 1 percentage point, I believe, separates them at this moment.

    But, Lisa, if there's a clue about where this is going, where is it?

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Well, I think a lot of America woke up this morning and saw Joe Biden had overcome President Trump here.

    And one reason why is Philadelphia, where Dan Bush is. That's also where he, as he said, they are counting more ballots. The other place they're still counting ballots, Amna, over near you, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, 36,000 ballots left.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Right over here.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    And just in the last hour or so, they have indicated that could take them another day in Allegheny County.

    But where did this come from? How did Joe Biden make up the gap? Let's look up top at Erie County, point up there. That's right, right there on Lake Erie. Look at that. That's where Joe Biden is leading almost exactly by his statewide percentage. This is a county Donald Trump won. We're talking Rust Belt, white working class. And it is something that Joe Biden won over, perhaps in thanks to his Pennsylvania roots and his message to white working class.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Let's take a look at another state. What do you say Georgia, as yet called? We heard Miles O'Brien reporting from Gwinnett County there earlier.

    Lisa, if Vice President Biden, who now has a narrow lead, manages to pull it off, the first Democrat to carry the state since 1992.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Right.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Where are you looking…

    (CROSSTALK)

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    If you look at a map of Georgia, you can see what's happening there is similar to what's happening in Pennsylvania.

    And we want to talk specifically about what put Vice President Biden over the top in this state as well, again, incredibly narrow margin, about 1,500 votes right now, a squeaker in Georgia. We don't know where it will end.

    But look up there right around Athens. I want to then bring up the numbers for one county, Clayton County. It is so small, you really almost can't see it. It's right in here. Clayton County is the second — there it is.

    That is this the third smallest county in the state of Georgia, but it put Joe Biden over the top with that percentage. This is where Congressman John Lewis represented. It is a majority Black county, and that percentage and the Black turnout in that county helped put Vice President Biden over the top in Georgia today.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    And Georgia, of course, home on to those two Senate races, which we know the Senate balance of power is still very much in question.

    If we take a look at where that stands right now, Lisa, what does that show us?

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Yes.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    That's — I think that's coming up in just a moment. And we should…

    (CROSSTALK)

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Going into the fourth quarter on this.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Yes.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Well, here, we're going to go — yes, the balance of power in the Senate still tied.

    But we also want to talk about what's going on in the House. So we were talking about the Democrats having unexpected losses in the House. I want to break down a couple of incumbents who will not be coming back, why they may have lost.

    This is Iowa's 1st District. We're talking about the northeast corner of Iowa, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids. Ashley Hinson, the Republican, has won. She's a TV anchor, state representative, over Abby Finkenauer, who was the second youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

    She generally votes moderate, but she was tagged as being a radical, part of radical Democrats, tagged with this idea that she also didn't support police enough because she supported police reform. She will not be returning.

    Let's look at another one, Florida. Carlos Gimenez in Florida 26, we're talking about Miami-Dade County. He had a big advantage. He's the mayor of Miami-Dade. But we see here this margin with Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. This is about the turnout of Hispanic votes, and what Republicans feel sure is a backlash against the idea that Democrats might be moving in too much of a socialist direction.

    And let's look at one more that is still pending. This is Ben McAdams' race in Utah, the Democrat, right now outpaced just barely by Burgess Owens, who is a former NFL player. We're going to be watching this closely. And if you look at the House right now, Democrats within the full 217-218 that they need to run the House, but there will be down by less than they have now.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    And maybe a couple more dozen races to call, I believe?

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    There are. There are a couple more dozen races.

    We will know the margin for the House. New York is going to take a long time to come in. But Democrats know they're going to be close on their margin in ruling the House.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    A lot to keep track of.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    That's right.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    No one does it better than Lisa Desjardins.

    (LAUGHTER)

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    I try.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Thank you.

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