ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – Election Day in America has come and gone, but the future political makeup of our government still hangs in the balance.
Amid a global pandemic, civil unrest, and disastrous weather events, Americans have come out to vote in record numbers. Following a month of voters sending in mail in ballots and early voting, Election Day surprised with high turnout from around the nation.
Here is a breakdown of Florida, the House, the Senate, and the Presidency at large.
With polls closing at 7pm EST (8pm EST for the Panhandle), Florida was called relatively early in the night. With 51.2% of the vote, President Donald Trump carried the Sunshine State for the second time, clinching an important swing state and essential piece to his path to victory. This nearly 400,000-vote lead over former Vice President Joe Biden, who carried 47.9% of the state, seems to solidify a slight Republican majority in the state we’ve seen over the last several years.
The Florida State House and Senate have kept their Republican majorities.
The House of Representatives
Only 391 of the 435 seats have been called in House races across the nation. As it stands now, Democrats have 203 representatives to Republicans 188. 218 seats are needed for a majority, which Democrats currently enjoy.
So far, 5 Democrat seats have flipped red, but it is not expected that the house majority will flip at large. To do that, Republicans would need an additional 30 seats.
One of the biggest wins was Michelle Fischbach’s (R) win over Collin Peterson (D), who has served 15 terms in Congress.
There is a tight battle over control of the Senate. Republicans, who currently have a 53-47 majority, are playing defense, while Democrats have been taking the offensive, hoping to net 4 seats.
So far, Democrats have flipped 2 seats and Republicans 1. However, several races in which Democrats expected to win did not pan out, most notably that of Senator Collins of Maine, who won by 7 points.
Senators Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell held on to their seats after formidable fundraising by their opponents.
With only 4 competitive seats yet, Democrats would have to flip 3 of them to gain the majority. Republicans currently lead in Georgia and North Carolina.
The winner of the election is still unknown, and the country is waiting patiently as vote counting is taking longer in several key states. It is a nail biter, and will likely depend on the outcomes of Nevada, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. Regardless, the winner will have only won by a small electoral margin.
President Trump overperformed expectations and the majority of polls, carrying Florida, Texas, Ohio, and many other states thought to be competitive. He is also neck and neck in the Rust Belt states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, although the former two look to be called for Joe Biden.
As the map looks right now, Biden only needs 6 additional Electoral Votes to reach 270, the winning number for the presidency. He can do that by keeping Arizona, and taking either Nevada, Georgia, or Pennsylvania.
President Trump needs to sweep Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Nevada in order to win the White House.
Both candidates are preparing their legal teams for a flurry of lawsuits and court battles over ballot legitimacy, counting practices, and recounts.
It will most likely take several days or weeks to be sure of the winner of the election. However, it is important to remember that it is when the chosen Electors cast their votes in December that the President is actually decided. With such a close race, the concept of “faithless electors”, electors who choose to cast their ballot for someone other than the winner of their state, could potentially change the outcome of the 2020 election.
Marcos Barrios is a Florida National News contributing writer. The avid writer and musician is passionate about politics and entertainment in Florida and abroad.