Longtime GOP pollster and political strategist Frank Luntz told CNBC on Tuesday that he would be closely monitoring the results in North Carolina, Florida and Ohio and the trio of states as key elements in the election result between President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Describe Biden.
"If Donald Trump wins all three, he will be there," Luntz said in "Squawk Box," while Americans who have not yet voted go to the polls on election day. "If Biden wins any of these three, it will be Biden's presidency," Luntz added.
Biden is slightly ahead of Trump in Florida and North Carolina, but the president is within striking distance, according to the CNBC / Change Research poll released Monday. The poll didn't include Ohio, which Trump won with 8 points in the 2016 election. He also took Florida and North Carolina on the way to a disgruntled win four years ago.
If Trump is able to win these three critical states, the race could boil down to the Pennsylvania results "because it takes the longest to count [votes]," Luntz predicted. "We won't know a winner in Pennsylvania for the next 48 hours, maybe 72 hours."
Luntz said, however, that he believes Ohio, North Carolina and Florida are so critical because they could have results by early Wednesday morning, which offers strong insight into Trump's overall chances of winning a second term.
Trump spent election night rallies in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. Biden was in Ohio and Pennsylvania on Monday.
In an election with a surge in mail-in votes due to the coronavirus pandemic, Luntz urged Americans to be patient as states tabulate the results. With nearly 100 million votes cast early, states have different rules about when election officials can process votes and then actually count them.
"I think this won't be resolved in 24 hours. I don't think it will be until December 1st," he said. "But I think it will take two or three days and people may get the wrong impression based on which votes are counted early."
Ed Mills, a Washington policy analyst with Raymond James, said Wall Street investors have been focusing on Pennsylvania as a "potential tipping state" for the past few days. In a previous interview on Squawk Box, Mills adopted a tone similar to Luntz, noting that it would likely take a few days for the results to come into focus.
While polls show a Biden head start on "whether this is right or not, we'll have to wait until tonight, maybe a few days, especially in Pennsylvania, where a number of counties don't start counting a single postal vote until that day." after the election, "said Mills.