Politics

GOP pollster says the Biden-Trump election might be scheduled by Saturday afternoon

The winner of the presidential race between Democrat Joe Biden and President Donald Trump should be determined within 36 hours, Republican strategist and pollster Frank Luntz told CNBC on Friday morning.

"There are enough states and enough votes that can be called where it will be very difficult for the president to win," Luntz said on Squawk Box.

Luntz's comments came around 6:50 a.m. ET on Friday, shortly after Biden overtook Trump in Georgia by more than 1,000 votes, with 99% of the expected votes, according to NBC News. The contest in Georgia, with 16 votes, remains too short to hold and could stay that way for a while. The race in the state that has 16 votes remains too close to call it up. And that could stay that way for weeks, according to John Lapinski, director of the NBC Elections Unit.

Shortly before 9 a.m. on Friday, Biden took a narrow lead over Trump in Pennsylvania as the postal ballot papers on the crucial swing state are still tabulated. According to NBC News, Biden now has around 5,500 votes ahead of Trump, with 95% of the expected votes in.

Pennsylvania, which won Trump in 2016, has 20 votes. A Biden victory in the state would put the former vice president above the 270-vote threshold required to win the White House. Luntz told CNBC on Wednesday that he believes Biden will ultimately prevail in Pennsylvania, as much of the remaining mail-in ballots come from Democratic strongholds.

The nation is waiting for a winner in the presidential race. Friday is the third day since the elections ended on Election Day. Ahead of Tuesday's election, Luntz and many other political observers warned Americans that a spike in mail-in votes due to the coronavirus pandemic could cause media organizations to take a few days to call the race.

Biden currently has 253 electoral votes of the 270 required votes, while Trump has 214 votes, according to NBC News, which have not yet given a forecast in a number of states. In addition to Pennsylvania and Georgia, swing state competitions in Arizona, Nevada and North Carolina are tied.

Biden has a slight lead in Arizona with 11 votes, but it has narrowed. According to NBC News, 90% of the expected votes were counted in Arizona. Biden also leads the race for Nevada's six electoral votes, with 89% of the expected votes counting, according to NBC News. If Biden won these two states, the rest of the unresolved competitions would not matter.

Trump has a head start in North Carolina, which has 15 votes. The president's path to re-election has narrowed, but the door has not been completely closed.

Luntz warned that if news organizations made predictions about the winner, there should be litigation over the results that could prolong the process of reaching an official decision. In addition, there will likely be recounts in states like Georgia, as the voting leeway in the state is wafer-thin.

Former Senator Joe Lieberman, who was Al Gore's 2000 supporter, told CNBC on Thursday that Trump had the right to challenge the total number of votes in court. But he said he hoped the lost candidate in the current election would get a cue from Gore nearly two decades after the protracted Florida court battle that reflects efforts in the presidential contest against then-Texas Governor George W. Bush.

"You have the right to take your case to court. Let the judges decide. But above all, like Al Gore in 2000, it has to end for the good of the country at some point," said Lieberman. Whoever supported Biden said on "Squawk Box". "You have to have a transfer of power and pull together."

After the Supreme Court ruling against the continuation of the Florida recount on December 12, 2000, Gore decided to suspend further challenges and gave Bush the race a day later.

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