DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 04: A worker with the Detroit Department of Elections helps process an absentee ballot at the Central Counting Board in the TCF Center on November 4, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. After a record-breaking early voting turnout, Americans head to the polls on the last day to cast their vote for incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump or Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. (Photo by Elaine Cromie/Getty Images)
SOURCE: CNN

(CNN) — It’s the morning after Election Day and ballots are still being counted in some states.

As of early Wednesday morning, it was still too close to call in Alaska, Arizona, North Carolina, Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan, Maine, Georgia and Pennsylvania, as votes are still being counted in those states.

Donald Trump and Joe Biden each need 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.

Based on the races called so far, this is where the race to 270 stands right now:

Biden holds the lead in the Electoral College at this stage in the count, with 224 electoral college votes. Donald Trump has 213 electoral college votes.

Both candidates still have pathways to get to 270 electoral votes – the number of votes needed to win the presidency.

Preliminary US election results as at 8:30 am ET on Wednesday 4 November 2020, courtesy CNN.

Biden is ahead in Wisconsin after trailing Trump throughout the night. Here’s what happened.

From CNN's Aditi Sangal / On-air analysis by CNN's Phil Mattingly

The counting of votes is still underway in Wisconsin. Throughout much of the night, President Trump was ahead by over 100,000 votes, but now, with 97% votes reported, Joe Biden is ahead by nearly 21,000 votes.

What happened? The answer lies in mail-in voting, according to CNN’s Phil Mattingly.

Milwaukee County, home to the city of Milwaukee, is a major urban center and the biggest county in Wisconsin. It’s also home to about 16% of the state’s population.

There was “a narrower margin” between the two candidates in the county for much of the night, Mattingly explained. “And then the absentee vote came in, and then early vote by mail came in… All of a sudden, the Trump lead started to narrow.”

The same happened in Brown County. President Trump still holds a lead in this Republican county, but Biden has received a boost via mail-in voting in Green Bay, which has a Democratic base.

The same was seen in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Mattingly points out.

“The big question is what’s outstanding? Where does Donald Trump go to get 20,000 votes? The answer is not a whole lot of options here. What’s outstanding is vote by mail, which is heavily Democratic,” he added.

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – NOVEMBER 04: Election officials count absentee ballots on November 04, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Wisconsin requires election officials to wait to begin counting absentee ballots until after polls open on election day. The Milwaukee count was finished about 3AM. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Remember: This points right to the red or blue “mirage” that was expected in several states due to the unprecedented levels of mail-in ballots and early voting due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As a result, in some of the most competitive states, early results may look too rosy for former Vice President Biden, before falling back down to earth and becoming more representative of the true outcome. In other states, Trump could see early leads that slowly narrow as more ballots are counted.

This won’t be a sign of fraud or irregularities. Rather, it’s just a reflection of how states count votes. Some states process early ballots first, and will report those early in the night, while others save them for last.

“Trump’s hold on Trump country looks utterly unshakable,” CNN analyst says

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Votes are still being counted in key states across the US, and while Democrats seem to have “really run up the score in a lot of big metros,” CNN analyst Ron Brownstein said “Trump’s hold on Trump country looks utterly unshakable.”

“Even with a nominee, Joe Biden, whose calling card was supposed to be his ability to cut into those working-class Whites, those mid-sized industrial cities and those rural communities. There may be a little gain here and there, but by and large, not only did trump dominate nose those places, but Republicans won back a number of the House seats that Democrats had taken in those places in 2018,” Brownstein said Wednesday.

Democrats consolidating major metros but haven’t expanded their margin in the suburbs, Brownstein noted.

“It’s just the reality that we are living in a time where we have this trench between two very different coalitions that want very different things and very different visions of what America is,” he added.

Biden supporters wait for former President Barack Obama to arrive and speak at a rally as he campaigns for Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, at Turner Field in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Democrats are a whisper away from turning Georgia blue

From CNN's Gregory Krieg

For the second time in two years, Democrats are a whisper away from turning Georgia blue.

In 2018, Republican Brian Kemp narrowly defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams to become governor. Now, the presidential race remains too close to call hours after the polls closed. The outstanding votes almost entirely come from parts of Biden-friendly Atlanta and its suburbs.

With more than 90% of the estimated vote in, Trump leads the former vice president by a little more than 118,000 votes. But with Fulton, DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties, among others, still yet to complete their counts, the race remains in the balance – contrary to Trump’s claim early Wednesday morning that he’s already won it.

Democratic vice-presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., addresses the crowd during a campaign rally Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Duluth, Ga. (John Amis/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

No Democratic presidential nominee has won in Georgia since 1992, when Bill Clinton defeated incumbent George H.W. Bush. Barack Obama came close. Hillary Clinton, in 2016, got closer. Abrams, in the gubernatorial campaign, came within 1.4 percentage points of victory in a race marred by evidence of voter suppression.

Democrats’ slow and steady climb has been fueled by a rapidly diversifying electorate and suburbs that are, at once, growing and becoming increasingly hostile to Republican candidates. The state GOP has compounded the issue, refusing so far to expand Medicaid under Obamacare while Gov. Brian Kemp, in 2019, signed a so-called “heartbeat bill,” one of the country’s most restrictive abortion laws.

Sensing opportunity, vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris, who was joined by Abrams, and Obama both visited the state in the final push ahead of Election Day. Sensing a tight race, Trump also visited over the weekend.

Biden’s fate could be decided over the next day, as the final votes are tabulated. But the political world will keep its eyes on Georgia for weeks to come. Both Senate races – one a special election – could be headed to runoffs early next year.

No matter who wins the presidency, those races have the potential to decide the balance of power in the US Senate for the next two years.