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Election 2020: Trump and Biden wait for results in key swing states

Yahoo Finance’s Kristin Myers and Rick Newman, Yahoo News White House Correspondent Hunter Walker, and Yahoo News Medical Contributor Dr. Kavita Patel discuss the close race taking shape for Trump and Biden in key swing states like Florida and Michigan.

Video Transcript

KRISTIN MYERS: Hunter, I want to start with you. Starting with the presidential race right now, I know Florida is a state that you have been watching closely. What's been surprising to some folks out there is how well Donald Trump has actually been doing in Miami-Dade County, which typically leans Democratic. Wondering if you can share some thoughts on that race there.

HUNTER WALKER: One of the big stories in Florida has been Joe Biden's underperformance with Latino voters. Progressive allies of Biden were raising alarms about this over the summer. The Biden campaign did do a little bit more Latino outreach, but you know, he has really struggled on that front, and this has been true, you know, beyond Florida, which is obviously such a key state.

You're seeing Joe Biden improve upon Hillary Clinton's standing with white voters. You're seeing him improve upon her standing in the Midwest, but the Latino vote has really been a struggle for him, and Florida is a place where it could prove decisive. I mean, there's no call there yet, and I think looking at the map, as we have it right now, you know, there's not, there's no key state that's been decided yet, right? Every result we see there right now is predictable, but there are some early indications in Florida, particularly as you were pointing out Miami-Dade, that you know, are troubling for Biden.

That being said, you know, Biden seems to have a lot more potential paths to victory tonight. There are a lot of plausible ways he could win without Florida. For Trump, that state is simply vital. Florida and Pennsylvania are ones where, basically, he needs to pull off a straight flush of the toss up states, and those are two of the more key ones to his potential path.

KRISTIN MYERS: Now Rick, I want to bring you in here, because Hunter just brought up something that I want to talk to you about. So no president has actually won the White House without Florida in the last several elections. Republican pollster and strategist Frank Luntz, the other day, just said that Biden only needs to win one of three states, Florida being one, North Carolina and Ohio being the others, since they are election bellwethers. I'm wondering what you make of that. Is, does Biden's path to victory require the state of Florida? Which again, right now, he is trailing behind Donald Trump.

RICK NEWMAN: The first thing that came to my mind when it started to seem that Florida was beyond Joe Biden's reach is, well, there goes an early bedtime, because for anybody who wanted a quick outcome, the really only way to get to a quick outcome was Biden wins Florida, because if he wins Florida, that would tell you that Trump is just not going to reach the thresholds he needs in the other swing states, but look, I mean, looks like we're going to have a close race here, so you mentioned the other swing states.

So the next best outlook for an early bedtime, but not as early as before, is watch North Carolina and Ohio. Biden is ahead in those states in the votes we've counted so far, but I think we all learned the lesson last time around and in prior elections, don't assume that that early vote count means anything, because rural counties that favor Donald Trump tend to come in later.

So North Carolina looks like it's going to be really close, and for those of us who are fascinated by the election needles and things like that, we've sort of got a war of the needles going on, because as I'm noticing on Twitter and elsewhere, people are commenting that the New York Times seems to be saying Donald Trump is likely to win North Carolina, but Fox News seems to think Joe Biden is going to win North Carolina. So let's just assume we don't know who's going to win North Carolina yet or Ohio.

If there's any good news for Biden supporters here, it's that he does seem to be outperforming relative to Hillary Clinton in 2016 in a lot of places that matter. Now again, we don't know final votes, so that's just reading tea leaves, but that means Biden is probably going to be competitive in places she wasn't, which means it's going to be close. It's not going to be a Biden blowout. It's going to be close or a modest Biden victory, at best.