Michigan, which is not typically a battleground state and has voted blue since 1988, is currently going for Republican presidential nominee Trump as of Wednesday morning by one point. Roughly 21 percent of the vote statewide is not yet reported.
Much of the non-reported vote is concentrated in four counties — Macomb, Kent, Genesee and Washtenaw. Among the four counties, the first two have trended GOP in recent elections and the latter two have trended fairly heavily Democratic.
As of Wednesday morning at 12:30 a.m. in Macomb and Kent, Trump was ahead by slightly over 37,000 and roughly 6,000 votes, respectively. At the same time in Genesee and Washtenaw, Clinton was ahead by slightly over 16,000 and 61,000 votes, respectively.
In Macomb and Kent, 60 and 85 percent of precincts were reporting as of 12:30 a.m. The counties have 630,504 and 453,437 registered voters in total, meaning there are as many as roughly 564,000 more individuals who were eligible to cast votes in both counties combined. Similarly, in Genesee and Washtenaw, 71 and 35 percent of precincts were fully reporting, respectively, and the counties have roughly 330,000 and 299,000 registered voters, meaning there are as many as about 368,000 more individuals who were eligible to cast votes in the traditionally Democratic areas combined.
All four areas are reporting turnout as low as 50 percent — setting registered voter turnout at that number would indicate there are a bit over 450,000 votes that may be remaining to be counted. The majority of those votes are in Macomb and Kent. Multiple smaller counties, under 10,000 voters, are also still not fully counted.
Trump is currently winning by about 33,000 votes in Michigan, meaning even given very low turnout, these counties numerically have the ability to potentially sway the race if they are highly concentrated toward either candidate.
Communications Prof. Josh Pasek, an expert on public opinion and polling, said a change in vote by any individual could alter the outcome of the state.
“Functionally, anybody could have made the difference in the state,” he said. “Any switch would have the chance to shift Michigan.”
How late into the night the counts will go remains unclear. The Washtenaw County election clerk’s office said it is still waiting for a number of absentee votes to be counted, meaning it could be hours before results are fully in. In contrast, Kent County said its results would be in soon. Genesee County gave no estimate for when the final results would be in, though a representative noted they are more than halfway reported, and the Macomb County office did not answer a call Wednesday morning.
Pasek said the results may not be finalized until tomorrow morning and a recount in the state is likely. In Michigan, an automatic recount is triggered when vote margins are less than 2,000 between the first and second place candidates. Candidates may also request a recount.
“We will probably know what the provisional results for Michigan are by mid-tomorrow morning,” he said. “But it is going to be very close. There is a good chance there is going to be a recount in the state.”
Daily News Editors Katie Penrod and Camy Metwally contributed to this report.