President Donald Trump's campaign manager Bill Stepien announced Wednesday that Trump plans to "immediately" request a recount in the state of Wisconsin, where the race remains close. Wisconsin was called for Democratic candidate Joe Biden with unofficial results putting him ahead by about 21,000 votes, or about .6%, reports the Associated Press, just four years after Trump carried the state by fewer than 23,000 votes.
In Wisconsin, a race within 1 percentage point can have a recount forced by the trailing candidate, which is what Stepien said the president's campaign plans to do. "The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so," he said in a statement.
Trump and Biden are currently battling it out for the presidency in three battleground states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — that could determine who takes the White House. As of publication, Biden had a lead in the 270 electoral votes needed to win, having earned 238 while Trump has 213. Wisconsin has had a razor-thin margin, with three of the past five presidential elections being decided in the state by less than one percentage point. In 2016, Trump became the first Republican presidential candidate to win the state since 1984, and polls leading up to Election Day showed Biden with a lead in the state.
In Wisconsin, there was record early voter turnout due to the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 1.9 million people voting either in person or by mail ahead of Nov. 3. Those ballots do take longer to count than day-of ballots, and counting reportedly could not begin until polls opened Tuesday, leading to the slow counting process. More than 1 million more Wisconsin residents voted in person Tuesday, despite another wave of the coronavirus in the state. The total number of votes is expected to come to nearly 3.3 million votes, the highest ever in Wisconsin since 2012, when just over 3 million voters cast their ballot. Turnout is reportedly about 72% of the eligible voting-age population, the highest since 2004 when it was 73%.
After Wisconsin decided the presidential election for Trump in 2016, both campaigns made a concerted effort to campaign in the state in the final days of the race. Leading up to Election Day, Trump and his campaign made four stops in the state during the final 10 days of the race, while Biden and his campaign appeared once.