Trump turned Wisconsin red in 2016 for the first time since the 80s. Biden has flipped it back to blue

NOW: Trump turned Wisconsin red in 2016 for the first time since the 80s. Biden has flipped it back to blue

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The year 2020 continues a Wisconsin trend of statewide races being decided by less than 1 percent. The 2020 presidential election has an even closer margin than that of 2016.

In 2016, President Donald Trump became the first Republican candidate to win the Badger State since Ronald Reagan in 1984. Four years later, former Vice President Joe Biden has flipped Wisconsin back to blue.

During a media briefing on Wednesday, Nov. 4, Wisconsin's chief elections official said despite suggestions otherwise, those who count and sort ballots value transparency and following state law above all else.

"There are no dark corners or locked doors in elections. Anybody is free to watch those processes as they unfolded yesterday. They can watch those ballots being tallied," said Meagan Wolfe, administrator for the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

She reminded voters that any results they've seen are unofficial, but clerks will spend the next month certifying results.

"Our municipal and county clerks have worked tirelessly throughout the night to make sure that every valid ballot has been counted and reported accurately," Wolfe said.

Trump won Wisconsin in 2016, defeating then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by fewer than 23,000 votes. Biden now holds a 20,000 vote lead this year over Trump.

"This is now the fourth of the last six elections to be decided by less than one percentage point and less than 23,000 total votes statewide," said Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law School Poll.

Franklin said Trump gained voters in northern and western Wisconsin but lost support in some suburban communities. Political experts suggest that there is now a larger rural/urban divide in the state.

"While Trump and Republicans continue to win the WOW counties, that margin has continued to go down, even has he's stabilized his support in the Republican Party in the state," Franklin said.

Biden had higher turnout in Dane County than Clinton did four years ago.

In total, more than 3.2 million votes were cast in Wisconsin, exceeding the nearly 3 million votes in 2016 and surpassing the 2020 voter models.

"This was a remarkably high turnout election though not wildly out of line with what we thought we would see," Franklin said.

Wolfe said there could still be provisional ballots that have not been counted yet from voters who didn’t have a photo ID at the polls Tuesday. They have until Friday to verify their identities.

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